Ask the uber-talented Jennifer Lawrence to name a career-high and you’d expect her to mention her Oscar win or any one of her countless award-winning films.
But it was the chance to collaborate with Dior on a new fragrance – their first in 20 years – that marked a “major moment” for the 28-year-old actress. And a personal one, too. “I remember my mom always wore Miss Dior and it was the first perfume I ever smelled; even today it gives me such warm memories.” So when Lawrence received the call to visit Paris to meet Dior’s head perfumer, Francois Demachy, she brought along her mum, Karen. Fast-forward 12 months, and the collaboration is complete with today’s release of Joy by Dior which joins Miss Dior and J’Adore in the French fashion house’s iconic collection of fragrances.
Yet like everything the actress attaches her name to, authenticity was key. Lawrence not only visited the Paris laboratory to sample the many different notes, she decided with Demachy on the final juice - a feminine fusion of florals, sandalwood and musk. “It was a really cool experience to see the process and it feels so personal because I’ve been a part of it,” she tells marie claire exclusively during the fragrance’s lavish launch in LA.
Shooting the mostly underwater advertising campaign (a couture-clad Lawrence was fixed with floaties and Styrofoam to stay submerged) was also very personal, allowing her to reunite with friend and filmmaker Francis Lawrence, who directed her in The Hunger Games and Red Sparrow. “He knows me so well and was able to incorporate my personality into the film. Every smile, every laugh, everything was real.”
Spend time with Lawrence and it’s impossible not to be impressed by her easy ability to eloquently swing between topics from politics and activism to couture and fragrance, all served with a sassy sense of humour. Which is why Dior approached Lawrence to be the spokesperson for Joy. “She’s spontaneous, strong, full of life, glamorous, exctly what we wanted to convey in this fragrance,” said Yann Musquin, marketing manager fragrances, Parfums Christian Dior. “This scent is for any woman who wants to exude confidence, strength and femininity – it’s for the modern woman, and Jennifer is a very, very modern woman.”
Lawrence’s connection to Dior goes back to 2010 when the luxury brand first asked her to join their stable of high-profile ambassadors, and now “every monumental moment in my career and life has been in a Dior dress” (including that famous Oscars tumble). In 2015, Lawrence extended her relationship with the Parisian fashion house, signing on as the face of Dior Beauty. And now that relationship comes full circle with the launch of Joy. “I feel like we’re a very close family at this point. Christian Dior created his first scent after World War II to make women feel happy and beautiful again, and we’re at that time again when we need to bring something joyous and happy-making back.”
What gives Lawrence joy are simple pleasures: friends, laughter, TV, spaghetti, her dog Pippi, walks in the park, seasons, “when I wake up and I don’t have bags under my eyes; I remember those days – I can count them on five fingers,” she says, raising her hand and letting out that famed infectious laugh.
She also finds pleasure in Joy. “I love that it’s subtle from the moment you put it on. It’s soft and beautiful and unlike anything else I have ever smelled.” A new icon is born.
Joy by Dior is in store now.
Jennifer Lawrence talks feminism, film, friendships and fragrance in the October edition of Marie Claire, out Thursday.