Tatler Indonesia

On The Nose

Get a whiff of what makes Maison Dior perfumer François Demachy sentimenta­l about the smell of summer

- By Coco Marett

Despite the beauty industry’s battering during the pandemic, trend forecastin­g company WGSN recently reported that the demand for fragrances actually rocketed as people looked to scents to provide a touch of luxury during highly unglamorou­s times.

“Fragrance has the power to lift your spirit or switch your mood,” says perfumer François Demachy, the perfumer-creator for Christian Dior since 2006, who creates all of the house’s fragrances from his laboratory in Grasse. “It can take you places or send you into a memory. It is very powerful, and if I did not think that, I would not do this for a living.”

Here, Demachy, whose creations are often inspired by memories and moments, tells us about some scents that hold a special place in his heart.

What scent reminds you of…


I come from a place with so many fragrances, it’s hard to pick one. I would say the jasmine fields that I used to cross at night on my motorbike.


There is a very particular smell that your loved one leaves on the sheets, which you can smell long after he or she is gone. To me, this is romance.


I loved road-tripping across the US national parks with my family. I distinctly remember the smells of the desert. During the day, it is dry and you can’t smell anything, but at night, all the smells awaken and it becomes very freeing and fragrant. I think on some level, this inspired Sauvage.


The new Eden-roc fragrance, inspired by Hotel du Cap Eden-roc, comes pretty close. This fragrance is a scented reflection of Cap d’antibes’ exceptiona­l location.

You have the salty marine top note. Then, you have the sweetness of jasmine and a touch of coconut, which mirrors the smell of tanning oil, followed by green notes like pine and citrus. A little wood for the base, and voilà!

The year 2020?

Hydroalcoh­olic gel, of course.

Your favourite destinatio­n in Asia?

A few years ago, I was in Japan and I couldn’t sleep because of the time difference. I noticed a beautiful, fragrant sakura flower in my hotel room, and I spent the night trying to decode its smell and imagining a future creation around it. That’s the story of how the perfume, Sakura, was born.

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