Grasse is the French Riviera’s sweetest smelling locale: where the scents of the town’s perfume factories waft through the air, enveloping inhabitants in orange blossom and lavender. Louis Vuitton’s perfumer, Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, walked Grasse’s cobbled streets as a child, prompting a life-long obsession with perfume. With his latest collection, Les Parfums — Louis Vuitton’s first men’s fragrance line, following on from its women’s perfume debut two years ago — Cavallier Belletrud reaffirms his meticulous devotion to craft, whilst showcasing a new understanding of fragrance’s emotional nuance. Launched last month, the quintet of luxury men’s perfumes, “Sur la Route”, “Orage”, “L’Immensité”, “Au Hazard”, and “Nouveau Monde”, are inspired by adventure, harnessing perfume’s transportive psychological power: whether it evokes powerful memories of the past, or envisaging new horizons.
Each perfume is encased in a Marc Newson-designed glass bottle, tinted a different hue to indicate a particular mood or key ingredient. The minimal containers are topped with a cap of galvanised silver metal, the raw materiality of which anticipates the fragrance’s union with the human body. In its grey-tinted glass, “Orage”, or ‘Storm’, is a powerful interpretation of contemporary masculinity. Uniting the potency of patchouli with the delicacy of iris, the scent mimics the meeting of sky with earth. Strong overtones command attention, and overtime the fragrance’s delicate layers reveal themselves in order to represent masculinity’s hidden depth.