The new Maison Christian Dior not only houses exquisite perfumes, it signifies a new way of life. Joyce Cheo speaks to François Demachy, Perfumer-Creator of Parfums Christian Dior, for a first-hand experience.
"The Maison Christian Dior apartment at ION Sky"
Perched atop the 56th floor of ION Orchard, ION Sky is known for being one of the best places to get panoramic views of our tropical island as it offers an unobstructed outlook of central Singapore. But today, the sprawling space has taken on a new identity as a stylish Parisian apartment.
The light-filled location is decked out in a harmonious colour palette of understated ivory and grey. Think of it as Hotel Dior—from bedroom to living room and dining room, plush furniture has been laid out across the floor, carving out a living space that is as inviting as it is elegant. It is as if I’ve walked into an ultra-chic apartment overlooking the Seine, with a curated mix of vintage finds and ultra-luxe contemporary furniture.
As it turns out, it is this modern and effortlessly elegant aesthetic that inspired the concept of Maison Christian Dior. “Everything has been designed to make you feel good, in an atmosphere conducive to fully experience the pleasure of perfume,” declares François Demachy, Parfums Christian Dior’s Perfumer-Creator, who is visiting Singapore for the opening of the Maison Christian Dior boutique in ION Orchard—a first in Asia; designed with the intention of making customers feel comfortable and totally at home while discovering the House’s long-standing perfume artistry. It is impossible to miss the generous tester bar in the centre of the boutique, which encourages seasoned perfume fans and passers-by alike to sample the scents at ease. “Every last detail has been carefully considered to transmit a love an accessible way; in the spirit of sharing,” he says.
Asia’s first Maison Christian Dior boutique at ION Orchard
Globally, a total of 26 Maison Christian Dior fragrances are available, with the Singapore boutique currently stocking 20. But beyond that, it also offers a range of candles, soaps, body products and even silk scarves so these exquisite scents can be experienced and savoured throughout life’s many moments. More than just a new line of fine fragrances, this also marks a milestone of perfumery at the House of Dior, as it is “less about ingredients but more of a lifestyle”, as Demachy explains.
Maison Christian Dior replaces its predecessor, La Collection Privée, which focused on exalting the use of rare, noble ingredients to create what was regarded as the couture of perfumery. With Maison Christian Dior, Demachy wanted to amplify the connection between fragrances and emotions, referring to the collection of scents as “an anthology of emotions”. Since the part of the brain that processes smells also stores memories, fragrances have the power to trigger often forgotten memories and stir up emotions.
This link between scent and emotions is perfectly embodied by Jasmin Des Anges, one of Demachy’s latest creations under Maison Christian Dior. As its name suggests, the jasmine flower is at the heart of the fragrance, but unlike conventionally intoxicating jasmine scents, Jasmin Des Anges is a luminous floral that’s effervescent with vitality, and pays homage to the glorious summers in his native Grasse. “Jasmine is harvested from July to October here [in Grasse], which coincides with the peak of summer holidays. As a teenager, I remember staying out all night with my friends and coming home at dawn. I would be greeted with this freshness of jasmine in the air as I rode my motorcycle across the fields.” To encapsulate that raw joie de vivre of his youth, Demachy looked to a specific distillation of jasmine from Grasse and combined it with sweet apricot for a jam-like profile that’s equally vibrant as it is addictive.
“I want people to understand fragrance is about emotions, something you can make your own because it’s very personal,” continues Demachy. So regardless of whether you connect with Sakura because of how it brings you back to a happy family vacation in Japan several seasons ago, or gravitate towards Dioramour because its sensuality reminds you of a lover’s touch, each scent can evoke a myriad of wonderful sentiments that’s irrefutably different for each person. With dozens of scents and infinite possibilities, how you choose to incorporate these scents, and in turn emotions, into your everyday life becomes an olfactory journey that you create for yourself and no one else—and this highly personalised aspect is what makes Maison Christian Dior emblematic of a new chapter of luxury in the House of Christian Dior.
Clockwise from top: Maison Christian Dior fragrances. The tester bar in the Maison Christian Dior boutique. Perfumer-François Demachy. Maison Christian products, including candles, hand bar soap and body wash. The light-bedroom of the Maison Christian Dior apartment at ION Sky.