I am slowly coming around to the idea that perfumes which bear the name of Louis Vuitton do not have to be leather related. A year ago the first release of the LA collection, Cactus Garden, helped get me to that mindset. The latest addition Louis Vuitton California Dream continues my evolution.
California Dream is the fourth of the set of perfumes inspired by Los Angeles. Along with perfumer Jacques Cavallier, artist Alex Israel has been providing visuals to go with it. Mr. Israel’s vision has been inspired by California. The inspiration piece (shown above) is called “Sky Backdrop”. It is part of a series where he interprets a Cali sunset. M. Cavallier took the colors of this rendition and turned it into California Dream.
M. Cavallier looks for the same hazy layering of colorful effects. There is a simple progression which finds the soft interfaces between them as the colors do in the inspiration painting.
It opens with a blast of mandarin which I think represents that clear blue in the upper right of the painting. This is that sunny citrus effect so commonly found in this style of perfume. M. Cavallier uses a bit of pear to provide a softening effect. This is where that flows into the lighter shades of pink through the middle of the piece. Here the botanical musk of ambrette seed imparts the softer muskiness that this source provides. It ghosts through the mandarin. This moves towards the brighter pink in the bottom third of the painting. When I looked at it, I was thinking it looks like it is lit below by twilight neon. Which made me imagine this sunset was taking place over Sunset Boulevard. The base accord of vanilla infused benzoin has a bright sweetness of resin and confection. There are moments I felt like it might be pink neon.
California Dream has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
I am a bit sorry to see the end of the LA phase of LV perfumes. I’ve enjoyed all of them. Maybe I’m finally just looking forward to the next perfume from Louis Vuitton as I enjoy this olfactory sunset.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample provided by Louis Vuitton.