It has been 70 years since Louis Vuitton came up with a women’s fragrance, so it’s not surprising that the brand
—one of the most illustrious luxury houses in the world—would launch a new collection in such a grand and extraordinary fashion.
Unveiled in select markets in September last year, and launched recently at Greenbelt 4, Makati boutique, where Louis Vuitton Les Parfums is exclusively available here, the line of seven women’s fragrances was several years in the making. The house acquired a shuttered 17th-century perfumery in Grasse called Les Fontaines Parfumées, and renovated it for this purpose.
Like many of the luxury houses, it also hired its own in-house perfumer, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, a third-generation Grasse perfumer whose family has lived in the French perfumery capital for five centuries.
Cavallier Belletrud traveled to five continents in search of ingredients and inspirations for the fragrances that were to be the brand’s love letter to travel
—an ode to the “emotions we feel when we travel, which we can’t find anywhere else,” bottled in “seven suspended moments,” according to the brand. Louis Vuitton, after all, was founded as a luggage company.
Previously, Cavallier Belletrud worked for the fragrance Firmenich, and was behind popular scents like Acqua di Gio by Giorgio Armani, Stella by Stella McCartney, L’Eau d’Issey by Issey Miyake and Poême by Lancôme, among others.
The collection is all about pure floral notes, with a couple of the scents using new notes created from Louis Vuitton leather scraps.
Rose des Vents is a blend of three kinds of rose: Bulgarian, May and Turkish, mixed with notes of iris, Virginia cedar and pepper. It is said to mimic the scent of the rose fields in Grasse, and is a crowd pleaser for fans of floral scents.
Intoxicating tuberose is at the heart of Turbulences, blended with jasmine. It’s the perfumer’s attempt to recreate the high you get when you fall in love at first sight.
Though Cavallier Belletrud created Dans La Peau with women in mind, its leather notes may appeal to men just as well. He infused notes from the same cowhide leather used in the Speedy bag, along with the velvety and creamy notes of Grasse jasmine.
At the heart of Apogee is lily of the valley, a fresh and serene fragrance that might remind a mother of her baby as she carried him or her in her arms. The floral bouquet is rounded up by whiffs of jasmine, magnolia, daffodil and rose.
Contre Moi is sweet and sensual, a marriage of Madagascar and Tahitensis vanilla, with rose and magnolia blooms and orange flower.
Dark, mysterious and sexy would describe Matiere Noire, an ideal tropical scent that’s a blend of Laotian agarwood and patchouli. These two dark woods are deepened by notes of black currant, foiled by the white floral hints of jasmine and narcissus.
Ode to leather
Mille Feux is another ode to leather. On a visit to the house’s leather atelier, the perfumer was enamored by a shade of berry red, Capucine, used in the handbags, and decided to infuse the fruity notes of raspberry and leather. (He later bought a purse of the same Capucine shade for his wife.)
The elegant, minimalist bottles were designed by Marc Newson, who has previously designed a luggage line for the brand.
The fragrances come in 100-ml (P12,500) and 200-ml (P18,750) bottles. A boxed set of miniature bottles (10 ml each) comes at P15,600. A travel set—four 7.5-ml bottles plus an atomizer—retails for P12,500. (The full-size bottles are refillable at selected global outlets.)
They are available only at Louis Vuitton boutiques, so don’t expect to find them at the duty-free shops in airports.
When Louis Vuitton opened its second boutique in Manila recently, at Solaire, Rhea de Vera-Aguirre, general manager for Guam, Saipan and the Philippines, said some product lines would be exclusive to each boutique—the gifting collection at Solaire, and now, Les Parfums at Greenbelt 4. A men’s fragrance collection is also in the offing.
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