That image of Angelenos as laid-back noncombatants has been replaced of late by the reality of frenetic, freeway-hopping locals. But outsiders still find the “L.A. vibe” healthy, even (gasp!) positive.
French master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, the “nose” of Louis Vuitton’s fragrance collection, was so inspired by green juice, the ubiquitous veggie-infused concoction inhaled by L.A. gym rats, that he created a fragrance around it.
Cavallier Belletrud discovered the liquid dopamine at brunch last year with Los Angeles artist Alex Israel, a frequent collaborator. Israel’s work, characterized by a quirky “L.A.-ness,” turned out to be ideal for the visual presentation of all of Louis Vuitton’s California-themed scents—the artist created bottles, packaging, travel cases, even trunks, to complement them. So when you buy “the juice” (fragrance junkies’ jargon for perfume), you also get Alex Israel art.
“When Alex and I discussed our love for the wellness culture of L.A., I detoxed with green juice for four days,” Cavallier Belletrud explained. “I think it made me well—I got so much energy! That’s when I decided to create a wellness fragrance.”
That warm-and-fuzzy feeling spilled over to Louis Vuitton’s Pacific Chill launch party in May, awash in outdoor sound baths on a Malibu mansion’s manicured lawn overlooking the ocean under a perfect blue sky. Holistic activities were offered: yoga, touch-based Reiki, and one very healthy lunch. Ruinart champagne was served—after all, it’s good for the soul (and owned by the perfume brand’s parent company, LVMH).
Cavallier Belletrud described Pacific Chill’s secret sauce: gourmand essences of carrot juice, fresh ginger, black currant, and fresh orange juice that commingle with herbal notes. “It reminds me of trees and small flowers,” he noted. “A bit fruity, an apricot tone, but woody and a little bit green: basil, mint, coriander seed. It’s the fragrance equivalent of an Erewhon smoothie.”
Native Angeleno Israel based Pacific Chill’s packaging on the view from his favorite hike, Paseo Miramar in the Palisades.
“I did a landscape painting from Paseo—the bright blue and green palette evokes energy,” he said. “This fragrance is special; it’s the aroma of wellness. You add it to your morning mindset routine.”
“Perfume is self-seduction,” added Cavallier Belletrud. “If I could give you one message today about this fragrance: ‘Be happy.’ ”