The Diorama Gourmand was created specially for Christian Dior by Maxim's, the Parisian restaurant famous for its classy clientele and art nouveau interior. And with no pictures or detailed recipes beyond brief descriptions of a vanilla dessert with an orange insert, it remains one of the most intriguing and mysterious desserts to this day—inspiring Dior's perfumer François Demachy to recreate this mysterious pastry as his latest fragrance for La Collection Privée Christian Dior.
The Vanilla Diorama is a delectable scent that builds on a base of sweet citrus, cocoa and rum notes to present a warm and opulent heart of Madagascan vanilla.
"I wanted to celebrate both this power of evocation and the nobleness of this rare raw ingredient," says Demachy. "I wanted this trail to be a faithful portrait, for it to reveal its highly nuanced olfactory beauty and incarnate its smoothness heightened with joyful citrusy notes, along with its denser, more organic side swathed in an enveloping base."
To mark the occasion, Demachy also invited Julien Dugourd, a world-renowned pastry chef at the Château de la Chèvre d'Or restaurant with two Michelin stars, to join him on his journey in recreating the Diorama Gourmand.
The two masters meet in the kitchen of Christian Dior's last residence, Château de la Colle Noire, to unveil each of their creations.
Dugourd's culinary creation layers feather-light vanilla mousse and orange marmalade and coulis on a white chocolate base and vanilla cookie crumble, seasoned with a light pinch of fleur de sel to elevate the taste of this scrumptious combination.
"Each spoonful contains exactly the same amount of mousse and orange insert so that the balance is always perfect," says Dugourd. He reveals that each visual component of this petit gateau is inspired by the couturier's writings. For instance, the sleek curves and gold leaf emulate the elegant shape of Christian Dior's signature, as well as his luxurious clothing designs.