For the first time in 70 years, Louis Vuitton will re-enter the world of fragrance with its newest perfume line, Les Parfums Louis Vuitton.
LV is set to release the seven-fragrance line — described on the website as a “collection of seven olfactory emotions” on Sept. 1, in 473 stores internationally at $240 per bottle with scents ranging from floral, to oud, to leather.
Louis Vuitton made an attempt to launch its first fragrance, Heures d’Absence, in 1927. During this time the brand produced luxurious toiletry products, like crystal perfume bottles called Editions d’Art that were decorated by artists such as Camille Cless-Brothier, Gaston Le Bourgeois, and André Ballet.
Heures d’Absence was followed by Je, Tu, Il in 1928, and then Réminiscences and Eau de Voyage in 1946.
To ensure that the new line of fragrances would succeed, LV brought in the expertise of third-generation perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, in addition to setting up a new base in Grasse (the perfume capital of the world), following the company’s 2013 purchase of Les Fountaines Parfumees – a 9,900 square-meter perfumery with more than 350 species of flowers and plants, including jasmine, tuberose, May rose, geraniums, and lemon trees.
“Over the last 20 years, we have extended our reach everywhere from shoes to accessories to jewelry and beyond… And fragrance — a fundamental aspect of dressing, and telling the world who you are every day — was our last major frontier. It is of no real surprise we decided to go into this in a big way,” Chairman and Chief Executive of Louis Vuitton, Michael Burke told the New York Times.
Belletrud is known for some of the most iconic scents of our generation, including L’Eau d’Issey, Dior Addict, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique, and Stella by Stella McCartney.
Each scent in the collection will be available in a 200-milliliter bottle, a 100-milliliter bottle, and a travel spray.
“We decided right away, and very quickly, that it would be a collection,” Belletrud said.
Consumers will also have the option to purchase all seven scents as a set in miniature size, 10-milliliter bottles, or three full-size bottles that come packaged in a monogrammed Louis Vuitton travel case.
“We also made a decision that these fragrances would be feminine—it’s not written on the bottle that they’re for women, but they’re feminine,” Belletrud continued. “And the third choice I made was that [this collection] would be a story about flowers, because flowers to me are so delicate, so intense, so powerful, so beautiful—just like a woman—and it’s always been my longtime obsession to try to put the beauty of fresh flowers in a bottle.”
Each bottle is refillable – Vuitton’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière, left the majority of the decisions up to Belletrud while still allowing his vision for an environmentally sustainable product to shine through.
To get the purest fragrance possible, Belletrud used a method called CO2 extraction, a process originally developed to make decaffeinated coffee.
With this technology, “you’re not boiling the flowers as in classic extraction techniques,” Belletrud told Allure. Instead, the process captures the CO2 in the air and transforms the CO2 molecules into a liquid. “You then mix that with your flowers at a very low temperature, as low as 20 degrees Celsius, and you maintain the fragile, volatile elements of the flowers,” Belletrud continued.
While CO2 extraction isn’t exactly new, this will be the first time a brand has ever used the process on flowers from Grasse.
According to Euromonitor analyst Nicholas Miscallef, Louis Vuitton is following the footsteps of its competitor, Chanel. “They want to highlight the fact that they are exclusive from start to finish,” Miscallef told Bloomberg.
Chanel, a brand that grows its own fragrance ingredients, made more than half of its $7.5 billion revenue in 2014 from beauty products alone.
[Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]