Who doesn’t know J’adore, the most iconic of Dior’s line of fragrances? Its ubiquitous ad campaigns with Charlize Theron is seeing a revival, giving off powerful golden-goddess vibes, in equal parts a celebration of female empowerment and an expression of the allure and glamour of gold.
Launched in 1999, J’adore was an immediate success, drawing praise the world over for its complex, fresh yet creamy white floral notes. The elegant and sensual perfume bottle, with its elongated neck bound in delicate threads of gold, is a common sight on a woman’s beauty shelf. The J’adore Absolu, released this November, is a delightfully lush new composition that sees the floral absolutes dance in unprecedented ways, in a modern and fresh take on the floral complexities of the original perfume.
According to François Demachy, Dior’s perfumer-creator tasked with the new formulation, J’adore Absolu was “an ode to expressive floral absolutes that required precision handling.” Demachy is particularly attached to the jasmine, calling it the “queen of Grasse”. Of working with the delicate and fragile flower, he says: “You can’t work on them all in the same way – you need to create nuance and dialogue.”
In order to bring forth the full intensity of the jasmine in the new J’adore Absolu, Demachy combines jasmine sambac with Grasse jasmine, fusing the more animalic, musky indole with the warmer, fruitier facets of the jasmine. It was important that the flowers were only picked at certain times, too. “In the morning, the jasmine has sharper, almost blackcurrant notes. When it is picked, it gives its all, delivering indolic strength,” explains Demachy in his perfume notes. “In the damp, cooler evening air, when it opens once again, it provides extraordinary sensations. The harvest over, the jasmine lets go, growing richer and even more sensual, releasing fruity apricot notes.”
A delicate spray of J’adore Absolu reveals all the original signature floral absolutes. At first light in character is a perfectly honeyed sensual rose conversing with a new oranger note; the scent later reveals its potent animal character, with the floral notes taking on a touch of liquor. The merest touch of a potent magnolia absolute in the formula brings a refreshing smell of wet greenery, sustained with an aquatic floral note. Always wanted to run the world, but felt like you were missing a certain je ne sais quoi? A spritz might do the trick. And just remember, as Theron tells us, “We are gold.”
This feature originally appeared in the November/December 2018 print issue of #legend