Two of LVHM’s most beloved brands are getting their own fragrance workshops in Grasse- arguably the perfume capital of the world. The CEOs of Louis Vuitton and Dior (Parfums) Michael Burke and Claude Martinez inaugurated “Les Fontaines Parfumées”, the creative workshops of Jacques Cavallier Belletrud and François Demachy in Grasse, situated on the French Riviera.
Fontaines Parfumées was restored after four years of study and research into the legacy of the site with the help of almost 200 artisans and journeymen who were selected from the region as a mark of respect for the local craftsmanship. The challenge for the brands was adding contemporary features to the ancient structure of the Bastide and its mill without destroying the heritage. The aim was to create a place where creativity, education, and exchange of ideas could be fostered.
Jacques Cavallier Belletrud and François Demachy, the Master Perfumers of Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior respectively, have selected 350 essences to create a sensual palette of raw materials intended to be experimented with by the hundreds of colleagues from the Maisons Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton whom the estate opens its doors to each year.
Bernard Arnault said, “The inauguration of Les Fontaines Parfumées conveys our ambition to preserve and sustain our expert knowledge and skillset. Grasse was the muse of Christian Dior and the place where he claimed to feel as much a couturier as a perfumer. It is also here where the leather industry emerged and flourished in the 17th century. By establishing its perfume house in Grasse, the LVMH group has once again shown its commitment to the preservation, transmission, and promotion of the highest level of expertise within its original birthplace.”
The brands also aim to support local production. Dior did this by entering into exclusive partnerships ten years ago, firstly with the local estate “Domaine de Manon”, then with the “Clos de Callian”, from where Christian Dior has committed to purchasing its entire crop. Louis Vuitton will now begin similar partnerships as their perfume collection expands. The brands also welcome apprentices from the Grasse region to introduce them to the creative world of perfumes as well as to continue the tradition of transferring knowledge from master to disciple.