A dinner that smells like thousands of flowers

“There’s a fountain in it Perfume in it?asked English actor Leo Woodall, raising his eyebrows in disbelief. One might think that the star of Season 2 of HBO’s White Lotus wouldn’t be bothered by extravagant decorations, but he’s never seen this before.

To celebrate the launch of Dior’s new L’Or de J’adore fragrance and the house’s recent collaboration with French sculptor Jean-Michel Othoniel, the brand hosted a dinner for 100 people at the Palm House inside the Brooklyn Botanic Garden the night before. New York Fashion Week has begun. There were actually 14 Murano glass fountains spaced out on two long banquet tables — made for the occasion by Othoniel, the event’s co-host — that quietly pulsated a watered-down version of Dior’s scent throughout the night.

“Oh, yeah, I smelled it,” Woodall said, after inhaling deeply while standing over one. It was about two feet tall and made of golden glass orbs stacked on top of each other – A reference to the design of the perfume bottle. Now, Woodall’s White Lotus co-star, actress Megan Fahey, has gotten curious, and done the same, calling the scent “amazing — and subtle, too.” Developed by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, it contains notes of neroli, jasmine and rose centifolia.

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

“In the house of Dior, the gardens have always been very important,” said Véronique Courtois, president and CEO of Parfums Christian Dior, in a toast. “Mr. Dior cultivated them as places of memory and rebirth. And of course, flowers inspired many of his haute couture creations and many of his perfumes, which were considered the finishing touch to a garment.”

Today, Othoniel believes parks are just as important to everyone’s well-being, if not more so. “People need places like this to relax and get rid of the stress of the city,” he said. Through this dinner, he hoped to stimulate all of the guests’ senses—sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste—at once, and create lasting memories. “to work for souvenir “That’s what I like,” he added. “It’s not like a museum, where you can go back to it. This is so amazing it’s just something you remember as a crazy night.

the audience: In addition to Woodall, 27, and Fahey, 33, guests included actresses Charlize Theron, 48 – who has been the face of Dior’s J’adore fragrance since its launch in 1999 – Alexandra Daddario, 37, and Rachel Brosnahan, 33. , and Natalia Dyer. , 28, Anna Diop, 35, and Stephanie Hsu, 32; artist Mickalene Thomas, 52, who has collaborated with the brand several times, most recently for its spring 2023 couture collection; Art dealer Marian Ibrahim; Gallery owner Emmanuel Perrotin, 55, who represents Othoniel; Photographers Brigitte Lacombe, 72, and Maripole, 76; And model May Musk, 75 years old.

Table: This was Othoniel’s first time hosting a dinner with the fashion house, something he had always dreamed of doing. “It’s really like a fairytale presentation,” he said. “My sculptures are quite abstract and simple, but the diner was quite baroque, which I like.” For this event, he and his team created 14 fountains (seven per table); 50 meal filled vase with pink and white roses; and 50 lamps that glow golden from within – all produced in Murano, Italy. It was placed on a tall centerpiece also made of Murano glass, which Othoniel described as a “golden brick road.” He also designed dinner plates containing watercolor versions of his gold sculptural design L’Or de J’adore.

the food: The meal started with a salad of beets, white strawberries, lettuce, buckwheat and goat cheese, plated in a blooming flower shape. Next, the striped sea bass is served over a pillow of yellow jeweled rice – a nod to the golden-hued bottle of L’Or de J’adore – along with mixed carrots and peas. For dessert: dark chocolate tart topped with salted caramel and peas. Cara Cara orange slices, followed by fruit-flavored mini gummies and chocolate and caramel bonbons for guests to enjoy on their way out the door.

Drinks: Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc and Newton Vineyard unfiltered cabernet sauvignon, as well as Ruinart Champagne with dessert.

Music: During the 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 Bologna and Ludwig van Beethoven.

Conversation: Talking about weddings is naturally inspired by The Palm House. One guest noted that she got married in the same building years ago and attended another wedding at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this summer. Is everything booked? The park’s president and CEO, Adrian Benepe, nodded emphatically. In fact, after dinner, the venue had to be vacated for a wedding the next day at 4pm (Benepe had hoped to keep some of the Dior collection’s decor intact). However, it is a relatively well-kept secret that there are two small organized celebrations allowed daily on Saturday and Sunday in the park for the low cost of $600. The only catch is that it has to be kept on from 9am to 10am

advice: Naturally, Othoniel loves putting flowers on his table at home. “But not in such a great way,” he said with a laugh. Fahey’s amusing rule: “You can’t run out of wine; This is a big no no. (She prefers cold Sauvignon Blanc.) Woodall added that you may also want to eat a little yourself before guests arrive. “As a host, you have to set the tone, so you have to be as calm as possible,” he said. “It can be exhausting, and if you drain that energy, people will say, ‘Oh, this isn’t going well.’”

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