Parfums Christian Dior has announced the appointment of Francis Kurkdjian as Perfume Creation Director. Kurkdjian is stepping into the role previously held by industry veteran François Demachy.
The news comes as Grasse-born Demachy retires from his full time position, closing off what has been one of the most impressive tenures in the history of fine fragrance. Demachy is the nose behind a slew of iconic male and female perfumes, including ‘Miss Dior Eau de Parfum’, ‘Dior Homme’, ‘Midnight Poison’, ‘Hypnotic Poison’ and the international best-seller ‘Sauvage’.
Kurkdjian, 52, is 20 years younger but still comes with an impressive transcript. A precocious talent, he was only 25 when he composed his first men’s fragrance, ‘Le Male’ by Jean-Paul Gaultier, which launched his career. A passionate artist and exceptionally skilled perfumer, he has never ceased moving forward after this initial success, redefining the very concept of perfume, including his opening of a bespoke fragrance atelier in 2001.
Since then, Kurkdjian has devoted his creativity to producing timeless scents — some of which have been conceptualized for major fashion brands including Armani, Burberry, Versace and more. The French creator expanded his skill even further by recreating the late Queen Marie Antoinette’s signature perfume for the Palace of Versailles. He is also known for creating striking scents for mythic perfume Maisons, including Dior, for which he composed ‘Eau Noire’ and ‘Cologne Blanche’ for the ‘Collection Privée’. In 2008, he was named Best Perfumer by Cosmétique Magazine, and many of his fragrances have won international prizes.
Kurkdjian took his career to new heights in 2009 by launching his eponymous label Maison Francis Kurkdjian with co-founder Marc Chaya – including the Maison’s incredibly famous Baccarat Rouge 540, a fragrance inspired by the ruby crystal used by French crystal house Baccarat on its signature chandeliers. In the same year he was made Knight of Arts and Letters. By 2017, Kurkdjian’s brand reached a milestone and became a part of the LVMH Group. Most recently, the creative has been announced as Parfums Christian Dior perfume Creation Director leaving him in charge of the Maison’s fragrances.
A visionary who continually expands the scope of possibilities for fragrances, Francis Kurkdjian brings an artistic dimension to creating scents. He has signed numerous collaborations with renowned artists such as Sophie Calle and choreographer Christian Rizzo. His ongoing aesthetic journey has also led to memorable olfactory installations and performances in such superb settings as the Grand Palais and the Château de Versailles, a unique location that has long resonated with Maison Dior.
Perfumery is a rarified craft, so it’s always interesting to witness new talent ascend the ranks at major fashion houses such as Dior. But with a knack for creating awe-inspiring fragrance, Kurkdjian is definitely the man for the job. And to those who are sweating at the thought of Baccarat Rouge 540 disappearing, don’t worry — Kurkdjian will still work as the Creative Director on his eponymous Maison.
Come into the beautiful worlds of Dior and Francis Kurkdjian