The Quest for Essences


« The creation laboratory is like a post card of all these journeys. » François Demachy

For Dior’s perfumes, François Demachy, the House’s exclusive perfumer-creator, travels the world in search of the most beautiful raw materials. Now we can discover his voyages, retraced in an exclusive web documentary by Arthur de Kersauson and Clément Beauvais.

In this first episode we go to Grasse, in the south of France, where the centifolia roses bloom.

It’s to Grasse the cradle of French perfumery, ideally situated between sea and mountains, that we’re heading for this first episode in The Quest for Essences. This unique terroir is the origin of many of the House perfumes. Christian Dior himself, a great lover of flowers, settled in the area when he bought the Château de la Colle Noire. And François Demachy, who grew up in Grasse, has cemented special relationships with local centifolia rose growers for the Dior perfumes. « The centifolia rose is the queen of flowers in the Grasse region. We must remain vigilant that the savoir-faire behind it is never compromised, » the perfumer-creator explains. At the Domaine de Manon and the Clos de Callian they’re cultivated exclusively for Dior following age-old traditions and a sense of patience and respect for the long-term, so that their honeyed accents can be expressed to utmost effect in the House’s perfumes.

In the second episode François Demachy heads to Calabria, in southern Italy, the source of the bergamot that’s found in all Dior perfumes.

« Going to Calabria means sensing the reality of a terroir, being inspired by the beauty of its plantations, » François Demachy reveals. This sunny region in the south of Italy is where we turn for bergamot, that iconic raw material found in each of the Dior perfumes. Its accents are zesty, flowery, fruity – possessing so many facets, in fact, that the House’s perfumer-creator shaped them into a unique San Carlo bergamot, through an exclusive partnership with an estate situated in Reggio, which gives over its entire annual harvest to Dior.

Third and final stage of this voyage in the footsteps of the perfumer: southern India, where the jasmine destined for Dior perfumes blooms.

« One can’t understand India if one doesn’t understand its people’s passion for flowers, » explains François Demachy. And among the flowers that blossom on the subcontinent, jasmine is considered the flower of the gods. Powerful and sensual, sambac jasmine scents J’adore, while delicate and sunny jasmine grandiflorum wafts from Miss Dior, the House’s very first fragrance.

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