Parfums Christian Dior names Francis Kurkdjian as perfumes creation director
In his new position, Kurkdjian will lead the creation of the maison’s fragrances as perfumes creation director. He succeeds François Demachy, who has held the same position since 2006.
Kurkdjian entered into the LVMH empire back in 2017, when the luxury group acquired a majority stake in Maison Francis Kurkdjian, an independent fragrance marque which he co-founded in 2009 with Marc Chaya.
“Francis Kurkdjian is a visionary perfumer and a passionate artist who brings his full creative energies, savoir-faire and exacting professionalism to Dior perfumes, crafting future Dior fragrances that will conquer the world. Francis will build his creations from an exceptional olfactory heritage which started in 1947, anchored in the use of exceptional flowers and bold creative initiatives,” said Laurent Kleitman, president and CEO of Parfums Christian Dior.
In recent years, the Paris-born Kurkdjian, of Armenian origin, has been considered one of the most inventive creators of modern scents in the industry. He will remain artistic director of the house bearing his name, a major player in the niche luxury segment.
“It is a tremendous honor for me to join Parfums Christian Dior, a maison with a richly inspiring history and a resolutely future-facing creative spirit. I am delighted to share my vision through my fragrance creations, working at Maison Dior while continuing to create for my own maison in a great privilege. I want to thank Bernard Arnault for renewing his confidence in me as part of LVMH, and I extend my warm thanks to Claude Martinez, Stéphanie Medioni, Laurent Kleiman and March Chaya for their support,” Kurkdjian added in a release.
The 52-year-old perfumer has created over 40 scents in his career including fragrances for Elie Saab, Burberry, Nina Ricci and Narciso Rodriguez. Known as a genuine innovator, Kurkdjian once recreated Marie Antoinette’s favorite perfume for the Chateau of Versailles.
Kurkdjian was only 25 when he created his first men’s scent, the pathbreaking Le Male by Jean Paul Gaultier. Back in 2001, he even created his own bespoke fragrance atelier, sparking a movement to indie fragrance brands.
He has already created several significant scents for Dior including Eau Noire and Cologne Blanche for the house’s Collection Privée. In 2009, the French state bestowed on him the honorific title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres. Kurkdjian also broke new ground by developing unusual link-ups with fine artists – notably the great French conceptual artist Sophie Calle and choreographer Christian Rizzo.
His appointment marks the passing of a generation at Parfums Christian Dior, succeeding Demachy, a highly experienced perfumer, who besides reimaging iconic scents like J’Adore and Miss Dior, has created fragrances for Chanel, Fendi and Acqua di Parma.
“François Demachy will remain one of the most prominent talents among those who have helped celebrate the unique Dior spirit and perpetuate the Dior dream. His scents are treasures that will remain timeless. It has been an extraordinary adventure and a great honor to work with him in both Paris and Grasse,” Kleitman concluded.
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