‘Inside the Dream’ Chronicles Francis Kurkdjian’s Quest to Remake an Icon

Tracing the master perfumer's steps over a year, the documentary charts the journey of L’Or de J’adore
'Inside the Dream' Chronicles Francis Kurkdjian's Quest to Remake an Icon L’Or de J’adore
Francis Kurkdjian creating L’Or de J’adore for Dior Beauty. Photo Credit: Dior

For his first mission as the new Director of Perfume Creation for Dior, lauded perfumer Francis Kurkdjian was tasked with the ultimate test: reinvent the house’s most iconic fragrance, J’Adore. A year later, L’Or de J’adore ($306), which translates to ‘the gold of J’adore’, was unveiled as a sensual evolution of the legendary fragrance. But the process was arduous and is one we could only have imagined until now.

In Inside the Dream, a documentary chronicling Kurkdjian’s painstaking quest for beauty, film director Matthieu Menu follows the perfumer for a year, curiously unravelling the mystery around the fragrance from its conception to its materials and journey to our shelves.

By documenting Kurkdjian’s great challenge of reinventing J’adore, an institution in the beauty world, the director takes us on a sensory voyage through the House of Dior and into a secret world of passionate artisans.

From Paris to Los Angeles, via the Château de La Colle Noire, the flower fields of Grasse and India, it is a symphonic portrait in which stars and creatives, decision-makers and expert hands all come together. We not only get a behind-the-scenes look at the immense work that goes into making a fragrance but glean insight into the human adventure and creativity that permeates throughout its layers.

“I thought I knew what Dior was,” Kurkdjian can be heard saying in the documentary’s new trailer. “But it’s true that from the inside it’s completely different.”

'Inside the Dream' Chronicles Francis Kurkdjian's Quest to Remake an Icon L’Or de J’adore
Photo Credit: Dior

Elsewhere, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Creative Director of Dior, notes a fragrance’s powerful impact that extends far beyond sensorial pleasure. “The first thing which characterises a person is their perfume,” she notes in the trailer for the documentary.

Throughout the film, we see the perfumer get to the root of fragrance. “You get the smell, but you forget about the material,” he explains, noting the many hands that touch the creation. “We forget where it comes from, how it was grown and by whom.”

With L’Or de J’adore, Kurkdjian endeavoured to capture the same notes that swept up a generation of women and reinterpret these to inform a new signature. Pruning the legendary bouquets, he artfully traces a new silhouette of radical minimalism, organic sensuality and an unprecedented concentration level. “Simplicity is the obsession,” he remarks.

Photo Credit: Dior

Inside the Dream orchestrates a lyrical and intimate immersion in the heart of the composition and production of a fragrance, a process many of us take for granted when perusing the perfume aisle.

A captivating, humanising and, at times, highly suspenseful, watch, this visual spectacle will change the way you spritz.

‘Inside the Dream’ is available to stream on Prime Video.