Les Parfums Louis Vuitton: What you need to know about Louis Vuitton’s first fragrance collection
Louis Vuitton’s olfactory journey
That a maison like Louis Vuitton with its rich brand history of over 160 years, to not have launched a fragrance in recent times, is very rare. While Louis Vuitton did create four fragrances between the 1920s and 1940s, all trace of their scent and formula have since vanished. And hence, when it was decided that it was time for Louis Vuitton to create a fragrance, they called upon Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, a master perfumer who's a native of Grasse, France, the birthplace of the finest perfumes. Jacques' father and grandfather were also perfumers who laid the foundations of Jacques' knowledge of scents from the tender age of 8. It was Jacques who created some of the most iconic perfumes of our time including L'Eau d'Issey and Opium pour Homme by Yves Saint Laurent.
When Jacques Cavallier Belletrud started at Louis Vuitton in 2012, the project he was working on was top secret. "While I was exploring the Maison and getting to know the people who work there, the different designers, the leather goods and crafts, I was already jotting down my first formulas," says Jacques. "Fresh flower scenarios unfurled in my head. I wanted this delicacy to be embodied in each composition—I was looking for olfactory movement, freshness, and transparency. Perfume is like Aladdin's lamp: once it's opened, it should produce some form of magic."
Jacques was given free reign to create the Louis Vuitton scent and was also given the luxury of time. He travelled across five continents for inspiration, collecting scents along the way, and four years later, the top secret project finally revealed itself to be a collection of not one, but seven fragrances, an olfactory journey designed to begin on bare skin.
"Perfume is like Aladdin's lamp: once it's opened, it should produce some form of magic." —Jacques Cavellier Belletrud
The sleek, minimalist bottles are designed by Marc Newson and come in various sizes: 200ml, 100ml, travel size with four cartridges of 7.5ml each, and a box of seven 10ml miniatures. For the seriously indulgent, there is also the fragrance case—a Monogram case resembling the vanity cases used by elegant lady travellers in the 1920s that hold three bottles from the collection.
ROSE DES VENTS
A sophisticated and delicate rose scent unlike any other. Jacques used centifolia roses from Grasse at the heart of this scent, further enhanced by Turkish rose and Bulgarian rose essences. Florentine iris and Virginia cedar takes on a spicy accent when introduced to pepper notes. Beautifully feminine.
Inspired by a walk he had with his father in his garden in Grasse one August evening, Jacques captured the magical combined scent of tuberose and jasmine. Here, he used jasmine grandiflorum from Grasse and absolute of jasmine sambac, as well as Chinese magnolia, May rose, with a lightest touch of leather.
DANS LA PEAU
But of course there had to be a leather scent to pay homage to Louis Vuitton's heritage. Intertwined with natural leather from the Louis Vuitton workshops are apricot notes, jasmine from Grasse that's exclusive to Maison Louis Vuitton, jasmine sambac, narcissus and a medley of musks - powdery, clean, animal and floral.
In this scent lies "the freedom of femininity," says Jacques. A tribute to the symbol of renewal, the lily-of-the-valley, Apogée is a celebration of petals from Grasse jasmine, Chinese magnolia and May rose, laced with smokey guaiac wood and sandalwood essence for spicy woodiness.
With notes of vanilla tinged with orange blossom and a touch of bitter cocoa, Contre Moi is an oriental fragrance but one full of airiness and lightness. The vanilla sweetness unfurls to reveal pear liqueur and a heart of soft musk.
An elegant scent for the evening, Jacques explored the use of patchouli with the most precious wood in perfumery, Laos agarwood. The scent's sensuality is sweetened by blackcurrant, and contrasted with white narcissus and sambac jasmine.
A bright, sparkling scent, Mille Feux is an enchanting mix of Louis Vuitton leather infusion, with a touch of raspberry, the first pairing of such a kind.
Turbulences, Matière Noire, Rose Des Vents, Dans La Peau, Mille Feux, Apogée and Contre Moi—seven wholly unique scents for different personalities, occasions and different adventures, whether olfactive or otherwise.