The LVMH fragrance house has funded a campaign to better understand how sperm whales live to conserve their environment
Perfumers historically used the cruelty-free sperm whale secretion ambergris in fragrance; image: Longitude 181, ARR
The LVMH-owned maison, renowned for scents like Baccarat Rouge 540 and 724, is funding a new mission as part of Longitude 181’s WhaleWay programme.
This specific project, known in French as La Voix des Cachalots, or The Voice of Sperm Whales, is based in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of France’s Port-Cros national park.
Its primary aim is to better understand how sperm whales live in order to protect their environment and enable them to thrive.
According to Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s co-founders, Marc Chaya and Francis Kurkdjian, this commitment has particular resonance for perfume, given its historic use of ambergris as a fragrance enhancer.
Now replaced by synthetic molecules due to its rarity, ambergris is a natural substance secreted by sperm whales and collected from beaches.
Its distinctive scent is said to intensify, evolve and mature under the effects of ocean salt, UV and air.