Francis Kurkdjian

Francis Kurkdjian, Talent Behind Baccarat Rouge 540, Is New Dior Master Perfumer

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PARIS (Grazia) — Parfums Christian Dior in October 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. After composing his first scent at just 25 (Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Le Male) the perfumer went on to co-found Francis Kurkdjian — including the brand’s incredibly famous Baccarat Rouge 540, a fragrance inspired by the  ruby crystal used by French crystal house Baccarat on its signature chandeliers.

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 sweating at the thought of Baccarat Rouge 540 disappearing, don’t worry — Kurkdjian will still work as the Creative Director on his eponymous brand.

“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 is a great privilege. I want to sincerely thank Bernaud Arnault for renewing his confidence in me as part of LVMH, and I extend my warm thanks to Claude Martinez, Stephanie Medioni, Laurent Kleitman and Marc Chaya for their support,” Kurkdjian said in a press release.

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