Pharrell Williams' first fragrance for Louis Vuitton makes us think of Swedish summer

By Lauren Murdoch-Smith

Photo: Erik Ian

Creating a scent that encapsulates summer and sunlight, we can't help but equate Pharrell Williams' first fragrance for Louis Vuitton with a walk through the Nordic woods – albeit thanks to an Iranian ingredient – and a spot of sunny boating in the archipelago

I always think of summer as fragrance season: as we enter the warmer months, an influx of new scents and seasonal iterations on classics flood beauty counters. Recently, a small fragrance lab sample arrived on the Vogue beauty desk to much excitement. Why? Because this one promised to be more than just another light, zesty holiday hit – and we were lucky enough to get first spritz (albeit a hushed and carefully rationed one).


The scent in question is from Louis Vuitton and menswear creative director Pharrell Williams, hence the frenzy. Ever wondered what the coolest man in the industry thinks you should smell like? Now you can find out. While it’s not the first time Williams has launched a fragrance – he previously released one in 2014 – it is his first with Louis Vuitton. Predictably, LVERS, created by master perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud together with Williams, is unique, desirable and transcends gender and age.

Williams hasn’t simply put his name to the bottle: famously a stickler for detail, the multi-hyphenate creative worked closely with Cavallier-Belletrud on the scent. “Olfactory represents something people don’t realise – it’s the glue of every memory you’ve ever had,” he says. “So, the opportunity to be able to come to this Maison and work on a fragrance is an absolute pleasure.”

Williams explains that LVERS is inspired by light. “I asked Jacques and Camille [his daughter and fellow perfumer], what does sunlight smell like? This fragrance is a poetic and metaphorical version of the answer to that question.” Conversations began between the two creatives after Williams’s debut Vuitton show last June. “When we discussed a few hours after the show how the perfume should be, we spoke very precisely about the use of the variety of light in nature coming from photosynthesis and this is where everything started,” the perfumer says.

Galbanum is the main ingredient in the €280 fragrance, and one that Williams was instantly drawn to. It’s what brings the green freshness to the sunlight-inspired perfume. “It’s an ingredient that hasn’t been used in years,” explains Cavallier-Belletrud of the woody, green note created by the gum resin derived from an Iranian plant. “It’s connected immediately to nature with a mix of ginger extract which brings quality and a lot of freshness. But the starting point was galbanum – it was really something that was so interesting for us to work with.”

As for when Williams knew they had finally landed on the perfect LVRS scent? “Smelling it, my first realisation is that I can smell colours of this fragrance. It’s definitely on the blue side: blue and light blue and there’s little bit of some purple in it. I don’t see red or burgundy or brown. It’s on the sweeter side. It smells like an elegant, elevated version of something that’s familiar to me.”

Louis Vuitton

Eau de parfum LVERS

Via Louis Vuitton

LVERS launches worldwide online and in Louis Vuitton stores on 19 June

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