March 25, 2020
LVMH-owned French fashion house Christian Dior is playing up the source flowers of its J’Adore perfume in a new fragrance campaign that appeals to the consumer desire to connect with nature.
Dior Parfums' cross-channel effort pays tribute to the "myth and the scent" of the perfume which comes from elements in the French countryside.
"Reinforcing the heritage of Dior's perfumes and how far back the brand's relationships with the flower farmers in the Grasse area go is one of the goals of this campaign," said Thomaï Serdari, founder of Brand(x)Lux and director of fashion and luxury MBA and professor at NYU Stern, New York.
"Additionally, Dior reminds us that the craftsmanship that goes into making one of the most iconic perfumes of the century is essential to forming the creation and to connecting the wearer to the ideas of femininity, elated exuberance and earthly participation," she said.
Dior celebrates the scent of Jasmine Grandiflorum from Grasse, France in the campaign, appealing to affluent consumers looking for more environmentally friendly products.
These flowers are celebrated every August at an annual festival held in the French Riviera town since 1946.
The campaign focuses on how perfumer Francois Demanchy remembers these festivals as a child and uses this inspiration to make the scent.
In recent years, the presence of the jasmine flowers in the region has been dwindling. So Dior has been helping to turn this around by cultivating more flowers in the region.
Since 2006, Dior has been working with local growers to bring back the flowers. There is now a revival.
Carole Bianca of Domaine de Manon has led this movement and encouraged a blooming of flowers in the area. Now, her entire jasmine harvest, which jumped from 3,000 plants in 2018 to 7,000 plants in 2019, is reserved for Dior.
Dior is also working with a producer named La Colle Blanche.
The campaign includes digital ads, social media and email.
By playing up the story of the source, the brand is tapping into affluent consumers' love of organic materials and classic French tradition.
Dior helping to support flower growers in France is a narrative that consumers looking for more environmentally friendly products will embrace. It targets both existing fans and new customers through deep storytelling.
"In the process, the consumer learns more about the history of the brand and of Grasse: which types of flowers go into the mix, who manages these domains where the flowers are cultivated and what a harvest of jasmine looks like," Ms. Serdari said.
"This is an important message in today's world, where brands have made a concerted effort to respect nature and to celebrate it," she said.
"People's livelihoods depend on the harvesting of these beautiful flowers, the 'white gold' that Dior transforms into the celebrated perfume, J'Adore."
Dior’s last campaign for the fragrance starred actress Charlize Theron emerging from a pool in a golden bathhouse showing off her iconic beauty and power. Ms. Theron has been the face of the product since it launched in 1999. This 2018 campaign introduced, J’adore Absolu, a more floral interpretation of the house’s classic J’adore fragrance (see story).
Going outside to the source of inspiration is common for Dior Parfums.
The brand recently worked with actor Johnny Depp on a fragrance campaign to promote its Sauvage product.
The “We Are the Land” campaign was filmed in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, which is the ancestral home to the Utes, Apaches and Navajo people and paid tribute to Native American culture.
While a number of brands have been called out for cultural appropriation of Native American attire and imagery, Dior worked with the organization Americans for Indian Opportunity and experts in an effort to portray a respectful and authentic take on Native American heritage (see story).
The new line of J’Adore includes a miniature roller-pearl bottle of the scent that can easily be carried in a small handbag.
Additionally, the brand created a hair mist to scent hair.
The brand is promoting the whole line using poetry and comparing the scent to the complexity of a symphony led by a maestro, as well as to the colors of Impressionist landscape paintings:
“How can such richness soar so lightly? What is this flower that delights our senses with passion and sensuality?
“The answer remains as mysterious as ever: this is not one, but a glittering myriad of flowers, all heady profusion, sensorial abundance and fragrant exuberance."
The copy is certainly lyrical and romantic.
"There is nothing more reassuring that reconnecting with one's body and spirit during turbulent times," Ms. Serdari said.
"This can be achieved when we embrace all our senses and we appreciate life around us as is for the beauty it contains," she said.
"Perfumes are designed to trigger our memories of well being and, as such, can positively impact a person's mood in times of crisis."