Hermès connection with perfumes reaches back to 2004 when legendary French nose Jean-Claude Ellena launched its Hermèssence collection constisting of rare and unexpected notes, which is why it was difficult and almost impossible to come up with the next best aroma. Until now. when Christine Nagel, who has been the house’s perfumer since 2014, managed to inject fragrant blends of noteworthy and rich ingredients and thus create five new unisex perfumes, part of Hermèssence range.
Her new collection of scents for Hermessence, the most poetic and noble scents created under the house, is elegant and understated in a very Hermès way and would likely appeal to those who want a more restrained take on heady and luxurious perfume notes.
Three of them are eaux de toilette, like the others in the range, but two mark a new departure for Hermès, being oil-based ‘essences de parfum’, intended to be worn on their own or used as a base for other perfumes.
When talking about perfume oils, these two are Cardamusc and Musc Pallida. Cardamusc is infused with the fresh but spicy smell of cardamom – an appealing update on Ellena’s trademark use of cumin, whose faintly sweaty character some people find unpleasant.
Musc Pallida mixes musk with the equally soft and sensual scent of iris or orris root (the species iris pallida is grown for the essential oil extracted from its rhizomatous roots).
As for the three eaux de toilette, Myrrhe Églantine represents the wild intermingling of myrhh and rosehip oil. Says Nagel, “This legendary material evokes the world of desert caravans and the former perfume routes. A myrrh, then more precious than gold, reinvented and reworked around rosehip, a wild, fresh and tangy rose that never surrenders.” Agar Ébène meanwhile blends a carnal agar wood with sweet fir balsam.
This quietly intoxicating scent will have even the most casual observer leaning in for a closer whiff to determine what exactly they’re smelling. Explains Nagel, “To the scent of agar wood, which carries a warm and mysterious vibration at its heart, I wanted to bring another wood, fir balsam, with its balmy and enveloping notes.” The final eau de toilette, Cèdar Sambac, is touched by climbing jasmine for a voluptuous and heady twist that is sweeter than most woody scents tend to be.