Warm air that cloaks the skin, sultry orange and pink tones that paint the blue sky, a light breeze that tickles the surroundings, effortlessly cool ambience… the West Coast in the US is a mood, with its iridescent Californian sunset, wild and untamed. Louis Vuitton knows how important travel is for the soul, and now more than ever, we find ourselves longing to be transported anywhere but here.
Almost intuitively, the French luxury house released its Cologne Perfumes Collection — a series of four scents that were “conceived as an ode to the West Coast and a promise of a faraway adventure and the spirit of an endless summer”.
It’s always fascinated me how a scent can remind you of a moment, of a person, of a place; how fragrances can capture feelings and moods — and in a single spritz, transport you. How do you bottle sunset?
Master perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud has been bottling dreams for Louis Vuitton since 2012 and is no stranger to a challenge. For the brand’s Cologne Perfumes series, the idea was simple: travel, always and forever. Its tryptich includes Sun Song, Cactus Garden, Afternoon Swim, and — most recently released — California Dream, the collection’s swansong.
Drawing inspiration from the West Coast’s sultry and vast territory, the brand explains how it “[is] an ideal atmosphere for a fragrance collection that blends the spontaneity of colognes with the sophistication of perfumes”.
California Dream is a citrus blend that succeeds in capturing the resonance of a sunset. Notes of musky ambrette give the fragrance its joyfulness and warmth; mandarin notes give a fruity and floral, charming energy; while the vanilla-tinged benzoin lifts the mood, enveloping the skin in a light, summer night balm.
WATCH | The transportive power of Louis Vuitton's California Dream:
It makes sense, then, that acclaimed Los Angeles artist Alex Israel was commissioned to dress the perfumes. Using his signature aesthetic LA “Sky Backdrop” of cerulean and haloed pink, and his signature motif of waves, the packaging — including the travel case and the glass bottle itself — personifies the Californian landscape.
Allow yourself to be transported and cloaked in the emotion of sunset.
• Louis Vuitton’s California Dream, R3,600, is available from selected Louis Vuitton stores or online.