PARIS — Louis Vuitton said Wednesday that it would thrust into the fragrance arena, having hired a master perfumer it lauds as one of the best of his generation.
This story first appeared in the January 5, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
This confirms a report in WWD on Oct. 24 that Vuitton had tapped Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud to guide the project.A third-generation perfumer who hails from the floral mecca of Grasse in the south of France, Cavallier-Belletrud officially started work at Vuitton on Tuesday.
A vertical operation with no wholesaling, Vuitton said it would distribute fragrances exclusively in its own boutiques, of which there are 461 worldwide.
The company did not indicate when the first Vuitton scent might reach the market, saying their new nose would likely travel the world in search of precious essences.
“Making perfume is a magnificent journey, which starts with the quality of the base ingredients,” Cavallier-Belletrud stated.
Cavallier-Belletrud was most recently at Swiss fragrances and flavors supplier Firmenich and has had a storied career.
He was the nose behind such popular scents as L’Eau d’Issey, Jean Paul Gaultier Classic, Dior Addict, Poeme by Lancôme, Stella by Stella McCartney and Cinema by Yves Saint Laurent, among many others. He was awarded the Prix François Coty Parfumeur 2004 award.
Founded as a trunk maker in 1854, Vuitton is considered the cash cow of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Best known for its monogram handbags, Vuitton introduced ready-to-wear in 1998, watches in 2002, a fine jewelry collection in 2004 and eyewear in 2005.
Vuitton marketed three perfumes in the Twenties and Thirties, but they were discontinued.