A dinner that smelled like thousands of flowers | ET REALITY


“There is a fountain with Perfume on it?asked English actor Leo Woodall, raising his eyebrows in disbelief. You’d think the star of the second season of HBO’s “White Lotus” wouldn’t flinch at extravagant decor, but I’ve never seen this before.

To celebrate the launch of Dior’s new L’Or de J’adore fragrance and the house’s most recent collaboration with French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel, the brand hosted a dinner for 100 people at the Palm House inside the Botanical Gardens of Brooklyn the night before. New York Fashion Week has begun. Spaced along two long banquet tables were, in fact, 14 miniature Murano glass fountains, made for the occasion by Othoniel, the event’s co-host, quietly bubbling with a diluted version of Dior’s scent throughout the event. evening.

“Oh yeah, I smelled it,” Woodall said, after inhaling deeply while standing next to one. It was about two feet tall and was made of golden glass orbs stacked on top of each other. a nod to the design of the perfume bottle. Out of curiosity, actress Meghann Fahy, one of Woodall’s “White Lotus” co-stars, followed suit, calling the scent “beautiful and subtle too.” Developed by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, it has notes of orange blossom, jasmine and rose centifolia.

The fresh, fragrant air inside the Victorian-style building offered a much-needed respite from the sweaty 80-degree weather outside, where six new Othoniel pieces were on display as part of his latest exhibition, “The Flowers of Hypnosis,” sponsored by by the Dior Cultural Gardens Initiative. The brand began working with the artist, whose pieces often resemble looped configurations of giant jewelry beads, in 2012, and for the launch of L’Or de J’adore, the house commissioned 100 miniature versions of his sculpture “Golden Rose” (2023). to accompany a limited edition version of the perfume bottle.

“At the house of Dior, gardens have always been very important,” said Véronique Courtois, president and CEO of Parfums Christian Dior, in a toast. “Sir. Dior cultivated them as places of memory and rebirth. Of course, the flowers inspired many of his couture creations and many of his fragrances, which were considered the finishing touch of the dress.”

Today, Othoniel believes gardens are equally, if not more, important to everyone’s well-being. “People need places like that to relax and leave the stress of the city,” he said. With this dinner, his hope was to activate all of the guests’ senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste) at once, forming lasting memories. “Working for him memory “It’s what I love,” he added. “It’s not like a museum you can go back to. This is so spectacular. “It’s just something you remember as a crazy night.”

The assistants: In addition to Woodall, 27, and Fahy, 33, guests included actresses Charlize Theron, 48, who has been the face of Dior’s J’adore perfume since its launch in 1999, Alexandra Daddario, 37 years old, Rachel Brosnahan, 33 years old, Natalia Dyer. , 28, Anna Diop, 35, and Stephanie Hsu, 32; artist Mickalene Thomas, 52, who has collaborated with the brand on several occasions, most recently for the spring 2023 couture collection; the art dealer Mariane Ibrahim; gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, 55, who represents Othoniel; the photographers Brigitte Lacombe, 72, and Maripol, 76; and model Maye Musk, 75 years old.

Table: This was the first time Othoniel hosted a dinner with the fashion house, something he had dreamed of doing for a long time. “It’s really like a fairy tale performance,” she said. “My sculptures are quite abstract and minimalist, but the dinner was totally baroque, which is what I love.” For the event, he and his team made 14 platters (seven for each table); 50 vases, filled with pink and white roses for the meal; and 50 lamps that glowed golden from within, all produced in Murano, Italy. They were also placed on a long centerpiece made of Murano glass, which Othoniel described as a “golden brick road.” He also designed the plates with watercolor versions of his golden sculpture design L’Or de J’adore.

Food: The meal began with a salad of beets, white strawberries, lettuce, buckwheat and goat cheese, served in the shape of a flower. Next came the striped bass served on a pillow of jeweled yellow rice (a nod to the golden bottle of L’Or de J’adore), as well as mixed carrots and peas. For dessert: a dark chocolate tart topped with salted caramel and Cara Cara Orange Slices, followed by bite-sized fruit-flavored gummies and chocolate-caramel bonbons for guests to enjoy on their way out the door.

Drinks: A sauvignon blanc from Cloudy Bay and an unfiltered cabernet sauvignon from Newton Vineyard, plus Ruinart champagne with dessert.

Music: During cocktail hour in the garden before dinner, the Harlem Chamber Players performed Mozart’s “Spring” quartet, as well as pieces by Franz Joseph Haydn, Joseph Bologne and Ludwig van Beethoven.

The conversation: The Palm House naturally inspired nuptial conversations. One guest noted that she had been married in the same building years before and had attended another wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this summer. Is everything reserved? The president and general director of the garden, Adrián Benepe, agreed emphatically. In fact, after dinner, the space had to be cleared for a wedding the next day at 4 p.m. (Benepe hoped to keep some of the decorations from the Dior set intact). That said, it is a relatively well-kept secret that two small ceremonies are held. allowed per day on Saturdays and Sundays in the garden for the low cost of $600. The only downside is that they have to be done in 9 to 10 hours.

Tips: Of course, Othoniel loves to put flowers on the table at home. “But not in this grand way,” he said, laughing. Fahy’s entertaining rule: “You can’t run out of wine; “That’s a big no-no.” (She prefers a chilled sauvignon blanc.) Woodall added that you may also want to drink some before guests arrive. “As the host, you have to set the tone, so you have to be as relaxed as possible,” he said. “It can be stressful and if you put that energy into it, people will think, ‘Oh, this isn’t going well.’”

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