The Quest for Essences | DIORMAG

12 April
Savoir Faire

On the Nosy Be Estate

12 April
Savoir Faire

In Search of an Essence: Ylang-ylang at Nosy Be

François Demachy travels the world seeking out the most beautiful raw materials for his Dior perfumes, such as the exceptional ylang-ylang that can be found in J’adore Injoy. Discover the secrets of a flower whose scent is customized by the House, from the island of Nosy Be to Grasse, in a new episode of the web documentary series created by Arthur de Kersauson and Clément Beauvais. 

It is “the flower of flowers”, readily blooming in tropical sunshine, but the best ylang-ylang is found only in Madagascar or the Comoros. For Dior, François Demachy chose to collaborate with the estate of Nosy Be, a small island off the coast of Madagascar, not only for its rare production quality, but also for its social and environmentally respectful values. Employees enjoy good living conditions, water is managed with an emphasis on recycling, and a plantation of eucalyptus and avocado trees guarantees the estate’s independence when it comes to firewood used for distillation.

Harvested by hand from branches that have been specially trained to facilitate the picking process, the Nosy Be ylang-ylang, which flowers throughout the year, undergoes an initial on-site distillation. However, this essence needs to be further worked in order to become even more faithful to the scent of the flower, in turn better marrying with the new facets of the J’adore Injoy bouquet. A journey to Grasse, the cradle of perfume flowers and their processing, is necessary. “The people in Grasse have a quasi-mystical approach to the natural products they wish to dramatically enhance, literally sublimating them,” explains François Demachy. “This attitude and science is to be found nowhere else. It makes subtle olfactive undertakings such as J’adore Injoy possible. This is from where the luxury of the Dior perfumes also comes.” And it’s thanks to a long process of fractionation performed by these Grasse experts that the ylang heart unique to Dior emerges in a pared down new essence rich with salty and sunny notes.  

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