October 6th, 2016
Once upon a time, like every other major luxury brand, Louis Vuitton had its own line of fragrances, introduced in 1925. The last launch came in 1946, after the end of World War II.
Now, after a 70-year absence, fragrance is back in the big way with the launch of a seven-scent collection created by renowned third-generation Grasse perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud.
The beautiful scents are made from all-natural ingredients using CO2 extraction to maintain the fragile essence of plants and flowers used.
The names of the fragrances tell a story of a journey through life and travels in keeping with the brand's roots in creating sturdy, stackable and waterproof trunks for travelers.
The excursion starts with Rose Des Vents, evoking a field of roses in Belletrud’s home of Grasse, France, leading to Turbulences, with the scent of tuberoses, to stir excitement about the road ahead. Dans La Peau possesses an infusion of leather reflecting LV’s association with travel luggage. Apogee’s lily of the valley scent represents the pinnacle of travel, while the warm vanilla scent of Contre Moi (“Close to Me”) is one to snuggle up with when missing home. Matiere Noire (“Dark Matter”) blends dark wood and white narcissus and jasmine to create an air of mystery, and Mille Feux (“Thousand Lights”) is and ode to a starlit sky or Aurora Borealis, the light that contributes to the magic of travel.
The fragrances are presented in elegant apothecary-style bottles designed by Apple watch designer Mark Newson to reflect the heritage brand, combined with contemporary magnetic cap and illusion spray stem.
To mark the introduction, the Louis Vuitton Waikiki store recently presented an open house allowing shoppers to sample the new fragrances through a smart display including ceramic keys that allowed all to easily take in the individual scents before deciding which they wanted to try on their skin.
Work on the fragrances began four years ago, and it was well worth the wait. All the fragrances are so great I wanted to try them all. Although unisex, a couple scents, such as Dans Le Peau and Matiere Noire struck me as more masculine. In the store, I was drawn mostly to the florals, but now I have taken to wearing Mille Feux most of the time, taken by the spark of the thousand lights of fireworks. The candy-like fragrance includes an infusion of raspberry, with osmanthus, iris and saffron.
Each 100 milliliter bottle is $240; 200 milliliter bottles are $350. Refills are available at $150 and $300, respectively. A mini set of all seven scents in 10 millileter sizes is $290. And a travel set of four 7.5 milliliter pocket atomizers is $240. Available at Louis Vuitton Waikiki and Ala Moana Center.
Coinciding with the introduction and tied in with the local roots of the Gump Building that now houses the Louis Vuitton store, LV is also presenting a mini display of four Hawaiian carved wood perfume vessels created by Fritz Abplanalp in the mid-1930s. That's when Alice Spalding Bowen, a gallery manager at Gump's—Honolulu's original luxury store—had the idea of creating fragrances unique to Hawaii, for affluent steamship travelers.
Abplanalp used ohia, monkeypod, milo and hau woods to create the floral cases that housed vials of Pikake, Plumeria and Fern Lei fragrances. The bottles will be on display through Oct. 18, on loan from the Honolulu Museum of Art.
Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her fashion coverage in print in Saturday's Today section. Contact her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.