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Louis Vuitton Said Readying Launch Into Fragrance

Luxury brand has tapped a master perfumer for the project.

PARIS — Louis Vuitton is gearing up to enter the fragrance category, and has tapped a master perfumer for the project, WWD has learned.

A third-generation perfumer who hails from the floral Mecca of Grasse in the south of France, Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud is to start work at the leather goods powerhouse in January, sources said.

Additional details of the launch could not be learned, and Vuitton officials were not immediately available for comment.

Cavalier-Belletrud, who currently works at Swiss fragrances and flavors supplier Firmenich, 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.

Cavallier-Belletrud is said to be a specialist in using natural, raw materials. According to sources, Vuitton has recently been investigating rare, almost-extinct flowers in France that could be used as elements of its fragrance venture.

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Cash cow of luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Vuitton is famed for not having any licenses and being selective about its brand extensions.

Best known for its monogram handbags, Vuitton introduced watches in 2002, a fine jewelry collection in 2004 and eyewear in 2005.