In a oversaturated fragrance sector, there is a new release to actually get excited about. This is the first perfume venture in seventy years for the luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton. Master Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletreud, a native of Grasse (world’s perfume capital), was appointed and given full creative licence to curate Louis Vuitton Les Parfums.
The Louis Vuitton Les Parfums seven strong collection, is a culmination of Jacques five month expedition across five continents. Inside each apothecary style jar, is a breath of exotic and rare materials, designed to convey scenarios and emotions. For a journey that begins on the bare skin, each of the seven feminine scents of style, available in 100ml and 200ml, are given their own narrative. I was invited to the Louis Vuitton Apartment to experience the fragrances, which are exclusive to Louis Vuitton stores and online, over an intimate breakfast.
“Inspired by a desire to compose a fragrance that is as airy as it is silky soft. Jacques Cavallier Belletrud transports us to Grasse, to the middle of a field of centifolia roses. There is nothing nostalgic or syrupy about this May rose. Buffeted by the wind, it is vibrant.”
Turkish rose essence and Bulgarian rose essence are both steam distilled. The fragrance is designed to allow you to visualise loose petals floating in the wind. The heart opens revealing Florentine iris, and Virginia cedar, which takes on spicy glazed accents when it comes into contact with pepper.
“Inspired by a state that’s akin to love at first sight, Jacques pays tributes to the most narcotic of flowers. A flower that invites ecstasy yet doesn’t oppress and proves just as addictive as extreme emotion: the tuberose.”
Turbulences is the essence of Tuberose at dusk. The fragrant fusion of white petals is a memory of the Perfumer, as he walked in the garden with his father. Alongside the top note of tuberose is jasmine grandiflorum from Grasse, absolute of jasmine sambac and Chinese magnolia. At the time it was impossible to disentangle the scent of tuberose from that of jasmine bushes in the garden, so he worked for months to recreate the scent palette.
“To illustrate this unique sensation, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud chose a symbol of renewal: the lily of the valley. Obsessed with this poetic scent that is revered in the West as well as in Japan, Louis Vuitton’s Master Perfumer has imagined with Apogee, an elixir of innocence.”
Apogee is a delicate floral fragrance. To harmonise the lily of the valley, he added Grasse jasmine. Chinese magnolia and plenty of May rose. The vibrant base holds the parfum together with smokey guaiac wood and sandalwood essence.
“From these torrid evocations, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud has dreamt up an encounter as indelible as an imprint. An exclusive infusion of natural leather from Louis Vuitton’s workshops makes you want to suurender to a passionate embrace.”
Leather is combined with a special carbon dioxide extraction of Jasmine from Grasse-exclusive to the Maison Louis Vuitton- and sambac jasmine from China. The heart opens to reveal the absolute of narcissus, which is an earthy tobacco, with a freshness of freshly cut stems. A string of musks envelope the skin, from powdery, floral, animal, and clean musk calmed by Chinese magnolia.
“Always fascinated by vanilla, Jacques knows all its botanical varieties by heart. The Madagascar infusion, is almost leather-like, animal absolute and the precious Tahitensis vanilla. Instead of the black plump pod, he prefers to draw inspiration from the orchid.”
Contre moi which translate to against me is a romantic cascade of delicate orange blossom and rose centifolia petals, added to vanilla. Essence of magnolia, bitter cocoa and ambrette seed feed into a rebellious heart. The base of pear liquer settles into a soft musk. for a lovely oriental scent.
“In imagining the mysterious matter we know so little about Jacques decided to explore patchouli and beyond. He chose the most precious wood in perfumery, Laos agarwood, a scent whose every facet he has mastered for years.”
The Louis Vuitton Matiere Noire is a play of dark and light. He pairs blackcurrant with the wood, offset against white narcissus and sambac jasmine. At the heart is flora of Centifolia rose and cyclamen. A heady scent at the base is incense and bezoin balm.
“Wishing to capture that glow in a fragrance, Jacques sought a vibrant colour to weave into his theme. On a visit to one of louis Vuitton’s leather ateliers, he saw a craftsman transforming a raspberry-colored leather into a luxurious bag. The skin as bright as ripe fruit gave him an idea: to associate the scent of leather with that of the berries.”
Of all of the stories Mille Feux is the true elemental depiction of the fashion brand as it does evoke the smell of the Vuitton leather. The exclusive leather infusion with Chinese osmanthus, leads into a touch of iris with saffron, culminating in Raspberry accord. Visit Louis Vuitton to discover the world of Les Pafums with French actress Léa Seydoux fronting the campaign.
All pictures were taken by me.