Louis Vuitton Just Re-Launched Its First Fragrance and It's a Floral Ode to the South of France

Courtesy Louis Vuitton

Heures d’Absence is a jet-setter's dream.

When in 1927, Louis Vuitton launched its first fragrance to mark the opening of the company’s London store, the perfume captured the adventurous spirit of travelers at that time sporting an airplane on the bottle and a box that was shaped like a kilometer marker. The fragrance was named after the vacation home of the Vuitton family located southeast of Paris and was produced in a limited number of bottles. In fact so limited, that the formula was eventually lost and, today, nobody knows what it actually smelled like.

Courtesy Louis Vuitton

So when Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, Louis Vuitton’s master perfumer, started working on relaunching the fragrance, he had carte blanche to interpret the scent as he wished. So Cavallier-Belletrud turned for inspiration “to the blossoms from Grasse that he so loves—allegorical figures of joy, love, and getaways.”

And so the 11th fragrance of Louis Vuitton was born.

The floral scent was achieved partly thanks to an exclusive high-tech extraction method using carbon dioxide that preserves the fresh notes of the blooms much better than the regular method of boiling the petals. Cavallier-Belletrud infused the scent with two varieties of Jasmine and May Rose. He then added the green, powdery facets of Mimosa flowers from Provence, raspberry, and vanilla “to amplify the sophistication of the fragrance.” 

Courtesy Louis Vuitton

"Everything is done in service of the flowers, there’s no element to rein them in or disturb their message," he stated in a press release.

Louis Vuitton also re-vamped the original bottle to better reflect the fragrance and Heures d’Absence now comes in a clear glass bottle that you can refill in select Louis Vuitton stores and retails for $250.