Master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, the man behind Louis Vuitton’s first collection of fragrances for men, talks about his landmark new collection.

Launching Louis Vuitton’s first collection of fragrances for men, what difference do you hope to make in the perfume market? If we look at fashion for men today, we notice a lot of colors, flowers, and freedom. Nowadays, men dare to wear colorful clothes. They are more disruptive, less classical, but still chic. Clothes and accessories are more and more creative. I think it is time for men’s perfumes to be in the same mood. Perfumery for men is evolving, just as fashion is. The perfume market is full of all the stereotypes of masculinity. I wanted to break this because I believe men are ready to use their perfumes as women do: with more sophistication. I want them to feel that wearing a unique perfume makes your personality more unique too. For these men’s fragrances, as for the women’s line, I have decided to play with very colorful raw materials, in terms of both freshness, woody notes, amber or oriental notes.

What is the general philosophy around this collection? I was dreaming about perfumes that a woman would love to smell on a man. I wanted to create a unique personality for our fragrances, with very specific emotions, but not only something sporty, chic, or trendy. I wanted to pay homage to the adventurer on a journey of self-discovery and invoke the energy of his skin. The aim was to compose a fragrance that both captured the energy of this historic moment, yet remains timeless.

Are these fragrances only for men? Gender is important in perfumery, but it is no longer as important as it once was. In my opinion, smell has no sex. For the women’s collection, I noticed that a lot of men bought our fragrances for women but also for themselves.

Where have you sourced the ingredients for this collection? Raw materials are coming from all over the world: Calabria, Guatemala, Salvador. We source them where the best know-how is: I am in constant conversation with growers, artisans, and factories. Perfume is universal, but the meeting point for that universality is in Grasse, where we rework these materials into perfumes.

Belletrud Decodes His Perfumes

L’Immensité

 “It refers to something with no ends, no borders – a perfume that you spray in the morning and that lasts on the skin until late at night, with the same freshness. This fragrance is a blend of ginger and amber. To finish, I added some grapefruit, which brings something very acidic to the fragrance.”

Nouveau Monde

“Nouveau Monde is the meeting point of the Middle East, with the mix of oud coming from Assam and cocoa from Ivory Coast, to form an intense, unique fragrance. I also used a fantastic spice – saffron – to make the link between oud and cocoa.”

Au Hasard

“This fragrance is dedicated to sandalwood, which is a very deep, creamy and woody material. Cardamom – one of my feelgood ingredients – produced by Guatemala’s primary producer, mixes with sandalwood to create contrast.”

Sur La Route

“As I always want to create perfumes based on contrasts, I chose to mix the acidity of citron oil with an oil called Peruvian balsam. The latter has a deep, intense smell with notes of vanilla, spice, and leather.”

Orage

“This fragrance is the celebration of a fantastic note: patchouli. My goal was to make a very airy patchouli as if the scent were traveling to Grasse across the skies. I have associated this oil with iris. The association of iris and patchouli makes the fragrance unique and sophisticated.”

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