Frank Gehry designs Louis Vuitton perfume bottle to make you say ‘Oh!’

Two titans of their respective crafts, architect Frank Gehry and Louis Vuitton perfumer Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, distil their creative juices for the new Les Extraits perfume collection

Louis Vuitton perfume with bottle and carrier trunk designed by Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry’s bottle design and carry case for Louis Vuitton’s Les Extraits perfume collection
(Image credit: Louis Vuitton)

This October, Louis Vuitton and Frank Gehry are coming together to launch a groundbreaking collection of perfumes. Les Extraits collection features five new fragrances by the brand’s master perfumer, Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud, in bottles designed by Gehry. Both figures are titans in their respective industries, but this Louis Vuitton perfume collaboration marks a new chapter for them both as they deconstruct and reshape their previous work. 

For Cavallier-Belletrud, this means his first collection of perfumes from Louis Vuttion with no top, heart or base notes, the basic building blocks of a typical fragrance. ‘I wanted to venture where no one goes anymore. To reinvent the notion of an Extrait [the most highly concentrated form of perfume] in a contemporary way,’ he says. 

New Louis Vuttion perfumes in bottles designed by Frank Gehry perfumes including Stellar Times,Symphony, Dancing Blossom, Rhapsody, Cosmic Cloud

(Image credit: Louis Vuitton)

For Les Extraits, the perfumer has reassessed perfume’s major families, ‘to give them a twist, expand them, exaggerate certain facets, and reveal purity. In revisiting chapters, florals, chypres, and ambers, you create movement and rounded, caressing forms every time.’ 

Those ‘rounded, caressing forms’ find their visual counterpart in Gehry’s fragrance bottle, his first ever. The bottle is a continuation, in miniature, of Gehry’s now iconic design of the Fondation Louis Vuitton. The nautically inspired building used 3,600 curved glass panels to create the impression of 12 sails colliding in a mass of fluid, wind-swept lines. This bottle, conceived as the 13th sail, echoes that movement with a curved glass body and a crumpled aluminium top that sways like fabric caught in the wind. A complementary leather case features similar, twisting shapes. 

‘How do we make it so captivating that it catches the eye and says something both about the house and its contents?’ muses Gehry. ‘That’s how we started looking at these shapes. We wanted to create something that elicits emotion. That brings a sensation to life. That when you look at it, you say, “Oh!” Then when you smell it, you say, “Ah!”’


A version of this article appears in Wallpaper’s October 2021, 25th Anniversary Issue (W*270), on newsstands now and available to subscribers – 12 digital issues for $12/£12/€12

Writer and Wallpaper* Contributing Editor

Mary Cleary is a writer based in London and New York. Previously beauty & grooming editor at Wallpaper*, she is now a contributing editor, alongside writing for various publications on all aspects of culture.