Need to fulfil your wanderlust while uncovering a process that’s usually shrouded in secrecy? Welcome to the world of Dior’s Nose. The dreamy documentary captures the art of perfume-making through the eyes of esteemed master perfumer, or “nose” as the insiders say, François Demachy. The man has been credited for some of Dior’s most well-loved scents, including Miss Dior, Joy by Dior and Sauvage.
Whether it’s the rose and jasmine fields of Grasse, the tiny island of Nosy Be in Madagascar in search of ylang ylang, or other far-flung places such as Italy, India, and Sri Lanka, the film sees directors Arthur de Kersauson and Clément Beauvais trailing Demachy for two years, as he travels all over the world acquiring the most noble ingredients for Dior fragrances.
It also earns the distinction of being the first-ever insider look at a perfume maker — what’s more, we’re getting a glimpse at one of the world’s most prestigious fragrance houses too.
As for why perfume-making is so mysterious, the reserved Demachy says this: “It’s the perfume, more than anything, that is mysterious! We persist in trying to explain it, describe it and dissect it, but it is never completely defined. I believe that a scent is like love – you can’t explain it.” This reverence to the allure of scent is probably gained from spending the 15 years as a Dior Perfumer-Creator, where he currently creates all Dior fragrances.
He also shares about a particular dream of his that got fulfilled along the way — visiting the patchouli plantations in Sulawesi, Indonesia. “The journey was quite a marathon! We took a small plane, then a four-wheel drive, followed by a hike through a few isolated villages in the middle of nowhere,” he says.
“That in itself was already an enjoyable adventure, but then there was this magnificent reward at the end, and I finally got to see my favourite ingredient in its natural environment, on these steep slopes. Even after so many years of creating perfume, I was still absolutely amazed, and I’ll never forget the joy I felt at meeting the local growers.”
Poetic, tranquil, and utterly enchanting, Nose takes us on a journey across seas and cultures while trying to grasp the mysteries of scent and life. It’s that “smell-good movie” we’d all love to indulge in — whether you’re a perfume lover or not.
Dior‘s “Nose” documentary, available on video-on-demand platforms including Apple TV and Google Play.