Louis Vuitton, On the beach, Lampoon
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Louis Vuitton, On the Beach. An ode to the West Coast and the city of Los Angeles

Created by perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, On the Beach is an expression of a day spent at the beach in the Californian summertime

The fifth California-inspired fragrance in LV’s collection: On the Beach

The warmth of the sun as it hits the sand, then the skin. A rumbling sound of ocean waves. The mineral saltiness of a breeze that, as it travels from the coast to the alternating barrenness and prosperity of the inner land, carries an impression of creaminess and softness belonging to memories of love, lotion and suntan. On the Beach is the fifth California-inspired fragrance in LV’s collection. Perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud developed it.

The perfume follows the path traced by Afternoon Swim, Sun Song, Cactus Garden and California Dream. An aromatic, citrus-based take on West Coast fantasies. A fugue awakened by a blast of Japanese yuzu. The supple sweetness of Tunisian neroli rounds its sharpness and spiciness. Thyme and rosemary accents, accompanied by the warmth of pink pepper and clove, anticipate the woody, enfolding essence of cypress, building upon the connection of notes.

An endemic tree in California, it counts eleven species in the state. Seven of them are classified as rare, threatened or endangered by the California Native Plant Society. These include the Santa Cruz, Tecate, Gowen, Monterey and Cuyamaca cypress. Cypress are serotinous trees. Their cones do not open when the seed reaches maturity. They remain attached to the parent tree for a year or longer, and open when exposed to high temperatures. Wildfire is key for the progression of the plant’s life cycle. It is when the heat produced by fire opens the cones that fertile cypress seeds are released. The trees do not survive the fire, but the seeds ensure the continuation of the stand. 

Californian lifestyle of the twenties

Fire and wilderness are recurring concepts that characterize the narratives, iconographies and myths of California. Being situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire, in fact, Los Angeles and the surrounding area is subject to approximately ten thousand earthquakes every year. Further,, the San Andreas Fault passes through the city’s metropolitan area.

The city’s economy is based on the entertainment industry, with a focus on motion pictures, music, gaming as well as television. Its sprawling and decentralized structure finds its origin from the suburban-style, clustered development pattern born together with the rise of edge cities in the twenties, which led the area’s institutions to become geographically dispersed, and Los Angeles’ identity to be scattered.

Covering about 1.210 square kilometers, the city lies in a basin in Southern California. The Pacific Ocean, mountains ranges as high as 3.000 meters and deserts surround it. The territory also hosts a multiplicity of plant communities – like the coastal sage scrub, the chaparral shrubland and the riparian woodland – and habitats such wetlands, mountain heights as well as beaches. This setting has been defining the Californian lifestyle since 1920.

The inception of Southern California beach culture

It was only after Bruce Brown’s The Endless Summer came out, in 1966, that Southern California beach culture – and the possibility to think that one could spend his or her life at the beach – spread across the world. Surf, therefore, shifted from being a symbol of rebellion to representing an ideal of freedom.

The evolution of the Californian lifestyle in those decades declared that the future of California had to rely on coastal recreation and real estate, and less on the oil extraction industry. This, in fact, used to be one the area’s main economic drivers until the beginning of the twentieth century. Another one was the wood industry.

At that time, redwood – coming from Sequoia sempervirens, a species in the cypress family – was used for building railways, oil derricks, homes, piers, sidewalks, port pilings, telephone poles, fences as well as everyday items. The range of California’s redwood forest was almost 2.2 million acres in 1850, before the settlers arrived. The speed of the forests’ depletion corresponded to the growth of California in the twentieth century. In 2017 there were 120.000 acres.

Louis Vuitton, On the beach, Ph Pietro Cavallari

The development of Modernism in architecture

With the rise of public transportation and the diffusion of the streetcar network came the romanticization of suburban life. The outward stretch towards the landscape commenced. A system of concrete, high-speed freeways now dominates L.A.’s expanses. They replaced railways in the middle of the twentieth century. Their study and construction turned into a science in the forties and fifties. During the historical period, in fact, neutrality, objectivity, empiricism and a thirst for innovation began to define architecture and urban planning.

Modernism in architecture established itself through the introduction of an analytical, rational approach to the function of buildings, the use of materials like reinforced concrete, steel frames, ribbon windows, industrial glass and curtain walls, as well as the elimination of ornament. Emphasizing the connection between indoors and outdoors, modernist houses featured post-and-beam construction, open plans, glass walls and clerestory windows. Fenestrated walls built higher than the roof to light interiors.

Among L.A.’s Modernist hallmarks are the Case Study House #8, built by Charles and Ray Eames in Pacific Palisades. The Case Study House #22 by Pierre Koenig, located on the Hollywood Hills. Richard Neutra’s Silver Lake home, known as Neutra VDL Studio and Residencies. The Foster Carling House, which sits above Mulholland Drive and was designed by John Lautner. Richard Meier & Partners’ Paul Getty Center, home to the Getty Museum. And the Wayfarer Chapel by Frank Lloyd Wright, a church built on a cliff in Palos Verdes, overlooking the ocean.

The gradient appearing on perfume bottle

The nexus between the Californian soil, the presence of the sea and the role of sunlight springs up in Alex Israel’s work. Its color variations summon the stillness of a summer sky at midday, peach-hued afternoons, or the blazing red of California’s dusks.

The gradient that appears on On the Beach’s perfume bottle – and on Mexican actress and singer Eiza Gonzalez as body paint, in the campaign shot by Thomas Whiteside – is heir to Alex Israel’s Self Portrait (Wetsuit), which he sculpted in 2015 using stucco on neoprene.

It was made for his film SPF-18, a teen surf drama. The man Israel hired to write the movie’s screenplay was Michael Berk, co-creator of the action drama series Baywatch. In SPF-18, the spray-painted wetsuit functions as a device to advance one of the main characters’ creativity and narrative arc.

Israel wanted the wetsuit to recall his Flats. A series of sky-toned pieces he made in the 2010s, spraying acrylic paint on stucco and ceramic tiles. The idea was to have a body wearing the wetsuit on the beach. Its colors changing together with the setting sun, dissolving into the sky. 

Lampoon review: On the Beach’s euphoria, peacefulness and wonder manifestation

Detachment, hollowness and synthesis are central to Israel’s work, which is entwined with his hometown of Los Angeles. An assistant to Jason Rhoades and an L.A. native, Israel creates art riffing on Hollywood culture, myths as well as cults. Throughout his practice, the artist pays homage to the people and culture of the city.

His celebrity portraits aim to catch the in-betweenness of the figures he observes and interacts with, not to promote them. The same goes for his perspective on Los Angeles, a context replete with complexities. In his paintings, the artist evokes Californian atmospheres by referencing and juxtaposing colors.

Not unlike Andy Warhol did in his Self-Portrait from 1966, Israel goes after a pop ethos. He executes a branding gesture that evokes the need to make oneself recognizable in the industry, or factory, that is the art world, and Hollywood’s remnants. Between 2011-2012, Israel also directed, decorated and hosted a series of televisual portraits of influential Angelenos.

As It Lays, Israel’s portraits of influential Angelenos

He took inspiration from the likes of Joan Didion, whose life experience was also enmeshed with Californian dramas and blues. He filmed them in a sunset-toned set in his Pacific Design Center Studio in Hollywood. They are titled As It Lays, after Didion’s 1970 novel, Play it As it Lays. A dissection of American life in the sixties set between the landscapes of the human soul, Hollywood, Las Vegas and also the badlands of the Mojave Desert.

The portraits represent an abstraction of the talk show format and its signifiers, together with L.A.’s aberrations of space, time, and identity, celebrity culture, as well as the inner sparseness of a society in crisis. Standing between reality and fiction, the visions that grabbed Israel’s attention in the last decade span from the vista of the city at night from the Griffith Observatory, to psychics with neon displays in their shop windows, to sunsets seen while sitting on a beach in Malibu through the tinted plastic lenses of sunglasses.

At times a feeling of catharsis visits those who rest on the water’s edge, between earth and sky, when the sun’s brightness starts to subside, soothed by the bliss of a cloudless day. It is the aura of euphoria, peacefulness and wonder that manifests in On the Beach, where the rapture of L.A.’s idylls unfolds.

Louis Vuitton On the beach

On the Beach is a perfume by Louis Vuitton. It recounts the delights of the coastline and the desire for wide open spaces. A blissful long stretch of beach and the peaceful rush of the ocean. Jacques Cavallier Belletrud created the fragrance. The aim was to continue an emotional adventure with Cologne Perfumes. An unprecedented concept illustrating the perfect alliance between the lightness of a citrusy mist and the depth of flowers. 

Veronica Gisondi

The writer does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article.

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us

check and buy on Prototipo Store
item collections in limited edition
crafted according to our editorial search

Hemp / made in Italy
Lampoon is working to restore
Hemp production in Italy
as hemp is the one and only
natural vegetal fiber sourceable in the country
for more info, please email us at [email protected]

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