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Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, Master in-house perfumer for Louis Vuitton

By far the most powerful and evocative of the senses, our sense of smell can take us back to a time or memory instantaneously. Jacques Cavallier Belletrud gives us a glimpse into his world of perfume creation and explains how he keeps his nose talent sharp.

Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a fragrance?

My inspiration can come from raw materials such as jasmine, rose or patchouli. But it can also ignite from a fashion show, a visit to the workshop at Maison d'Asnières of Louis Vuitton, or simply from a marvelous landscape in the early morning, in Grasse or in China …

Do you have a ritual?

Every morning, I smell five mystery raw materials prepared by my assistant, not only to train my olfactory memory but also to look for a note I thought I knew but surprises me instead. This can sometimes initiate a new creation.

How do you create desirability through a fragrance?

Creating desire is the most important thing for an artist. In a perfume, I suggest a blend of various notes. I wear them as a test, or ask my wife, daughters or assistant to wear them … I check their reactions, the pleasure they get (or not) from wearing these prototypes, and most of all the feedback from people around them.

You created a collection of seven fragrances for Louis Vuitton. How does each fragrance stand out?

Every fragrance in the Louis Vuitton line is unique, in its architecture and in its ingredients. You can find a floral rosy, a floral blend of lily of the valley, a flowery oud wood, a fruity Chypre, or a vanilla orange blossom … all raw materials used stand out in each perfume.

A favourite ingredient?

I love roses, from the variety cultivated in Grasse (the Centifolia rose) to the essence of Damascena Rose, cultivated in Bulgaria, known for its floral, spicy, fruity accents, which for me are as complex as the personality of a woman.

What are the similarities between wine and spirits and fragrances?

Just like fragrances, wine is composed of tonalities which more or less volatile. Nature offers us very complex scents originating from grapes, and similarly to flowers, they can be fruity, flowery, or tough. But both are tasted through smell first. Wine, just like perfume, has been part of our history forever.

Can you pair wine or champagne with a fragrance? If so, which one(s) comes to mind?

Yes, it is absolutely possible: Dom Pérignon 2009 / Rose des Vents.  The rose of this fragrance has a honey character, which for me is the signature of Dom Pérignon.

How would you define the “Art of Hosting”?

For me, the Art of Hosting is treating your guests better than yourself.

How would you define the “Art of Hosting”?

For me, the Art of Hosting is treating your guests better than yourself.

What are the fragrance trends you foresee?

2018 began with mandarine; followed by citrus fruits, and woods. The coming year will be sunny in terms of perfume.