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Exclusive: Louis Vuitton’s New Fragrance is the Ultimate Oud for Layering

Louis Vuitton Pur Oud ingredients

Louis Vuitton Pur Oud ingredients. Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Created just for the Middle East, Louis Vuitton’s new fragrance, Pur Oud, pays homage to the region’s iconic woody note. Speaking to Vogue Arabia ahead of the perfume’s launch, Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud explains to Vogue Arabia that he wanted to dedicate a fragrance that spoke directly to the region, after witnessing how oud was worn across the Middle East. “I wanted to create something exceptional, that smells like a luxury,” he shares. “I was amazed by the way women and men practice layering in the Middle East, mixing and applying their very personal oud preparation. I wanted to offer an oud signature from Louis Vuitton, which is why I’ve invited the Middle Eastern style of perfumery into the Louis Vuitton bottle.”

Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, Louis Vuitton

Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, Louis Vuitton. Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Belletrud says that Pur Oud was created solely with the Middle Eastern market in mind, noting that differences between here and how European markets use fragrance. “Women in the Middle East appreciate true perfumes, those that are full of signature, that has a richness. The perfume is not just an accessory, it is a part of you, and it is sending a secret message about you.” Made for mixing and layering in the Arabian style, Louis Vuitton’s Pur Oud plays well with traditional oils as well as other fragrances from the maison. “It’s a base for layering, or for mixing,” agrees Belletrud “Used with Ombre Nomade, it’s fantastic.”

Louis Vuitton Pur Oud ingredients

Louis Vuitton Pur Oud ingredients. Image: provided

Finding the perfect oud became its own journey for Belletrud, taking him to Bangladesh in search of the ideal source to meet his exacting specifications. “I was seeking an agarwood that was harmonious and balanced between the spiciness, the woodiness, and the animalic,” the perfumer tells Vogue. Louis Vuitton and Belletrud finally set upon an essence of Assam oud, produced by a family, who “maintains a sustainable forest, farmed ethically. I met with them in Paris, as they wanted to make sure I would take care of their product, and we now have the exclusivity on their supply.”

Louis Vuitton Pur Oud

Louis Vuitton Pur Oud ingredients. Photo: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

He took the unusual step of making the new fragrance dedicated to just the singular ingredient, as a way to explore the many faucets within oud. “It’s an oud that’s purely a 10 percent oud isolated in musk, that’s very concentrated as an eau du parfum,” explains Belletrud. “The white musk carries and reveals the beauty of the oud rather than modifying this pure note, keeping its character.” In addition, he wanted to maintain the integrity of the agar wood, and the meaning it holds for those that wear it daily. “I respect the oud a lot, as it is really a piece of culture that we contain in our bottle, that has a meaning throughout the centuries,” he opines. “It’s not just another perfume, but a piece of Middle Eastern, of oriental culture.”

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