A Twist On Tradition
Prestige Singapore|December 2021
Jacques Cavallier Belletrud boldly reinvents the extrait, the most concentrated form of perfumes, in a new collection that celebrates movement and freedom. Nafeesa Saini speaks to the Louis Vuitton master perfumer on the latest interpretations.
Jacques Cavallier Belletrud

Perfumery is a marriage of art and science, and, throughout our interview, it is clear that Jacques Cavallier Belletrud approaches his craft through the lens of a romantic. Despite decades in the business, he remains wideeyed and earnest about his fragrance philosophy.

“I have a lot of curiosity about the world. It helps translate emotions or experiences I have.” He gives an example of dedicating a perfume to a woman he sees crossing the street: “Maybe I like the way she was dressed. If she’s wearing a yellow dress, I will use ginger or an orange flower in the scent.”

The native of Grasse, France, comes from a long line of perfumers; His father, grandfather and great-grandfather were masters of the craft. Now, his daughter Camille has also taken up the mantle.

Belletrud, who joined Louis Vuitton in 2012, is behind some of the world’s most renowned scents and was awarded the Prix International du Parfum in 2004. He is making a splash with the maison’s latest launch of the Les Extraits Collection, which is now available at all its boutiques and online at louisvuitton.com.

The five-scent range reinvents the extrait, a once-vintage olfactive form with the highest concentration of perfume. Equally sculptural in form and formulation, the flacon design is a collaboration with eminent American architect and designer Frank Gehry, who lends his expertise to this field for the first time.

We caught up with Belletrud to discuss his approach to perfumery and the creation of the collection.

What are some of the biggest lessons your father taught you?

When I officially became a perfumer at 20 years old, my father said to me: “We are here to dare. If you don’t dare, you will copy the others and you will not a be a leader.” This is what I tell my daughter too.

What is your earliest scent memory?

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