The Hermessence collection is emblematic of the signature of a house, of creative freedom, and of unique poetry for both women and men. Christine Nagel: “I wanted to return to the origins of perfumery and immerse myself in its history. Each of these five creations is an individual expression of a dream of the Orient.”
The creative freedom of the house of Hermès is matched by its know how and that of its métiers. The Hermessence collection welcomes five new olfactory compositions – two essences de parfum and three eaux de toilette. Five creations including a new gestural experience by Christine Nagel: in the meanderings of the imagination, soul and matter become fragrance. Two essences de parfum, three eaux de toilette .
Five, the number of harmony and balance, to rediscover the age-old grace of an oriental dream, the trace of a story cherished by Hermès and its perfumer. Source materials, ancient and rare – musk, myrrh, agar wood and cedar – gain full expression through contact with contempo- rary notes, like watercolour brushstrokes in a travel journal. The memory of the silk roads and the eternal elsewhere is reborn, carnal, original, and familiar. Time immemorial rewrites sacred rituals. Here they are liber- ated, free to be worn alone or in combination, in a caravanserai of emotions and sensations.
The tradition is perpetuated, bold, lively, tactile, with harmonies magni- fied and acts reinvented in a mosaic of unguents. The eau de toilette bottles are presented in these precious cases, sheaths and caps of fine and supple leather, in Swift or Sikkim calfskin: beautifully soft to the touch, in harmony with these olfactory messages.
From the most improbable of encounters between a red resin and a small wild rose bursts love at first sight. In an irresistible attraction of opposites, powerful myrrh, in former times more precious than gold, mingles with a spicy and mysterious rosehip.
An old trunk opens, exuding the aroma of agar wood, and from the darkness fir balsam emerges. Warm and woody, this balmy note weaves a veil of cashmere – everything is a memory, nothing is onerous.
It is said that cedars know history better than history itself. The Greeks made stat- ues of them, the Romans sculpted their gods from them. Deeply rooted in the sacred earth of this world, a supple jasmine embraces it.
Essences de parfum
By invoking the memory of the material, Christine Nagel has found one of the most precious expressions, a rare form of quintessential musk. Two pure perfume oils, a texture that highlights cardamom on the one hand, iris on the other, form a captivating duo that dance on the skin. Two essences to wear alone, or under a Hermessenceto intensify and personalise its sillage.
Under the radiant influence of cardamom, one of the most ancient spices in the world, enveloping animal notes of musks intertwine and unfurl with unbridled allure.
Like a second skin, the sensation of an unguent, the musks enhance the iris, bringing it suppleness. The very quintessence of a balm, a magic spell of liquid gold to embroider with the fin- gertips, it escapes into the fullness of the evening.
History of Hermes Fragrance
The Hermès adventure began in 1837 when the harness-maker Thierry Hermès opened a workshop in Paris. Fragrance entered the house of Hermès in the 1930s and evolved in unison with the other métiers.
It was in 1951 that the olfactory adventure really began, with Eau d’Hermès, composed by Edmond Roudnitska. Since then, there has been a succession of creations from some of the great names of perfumery, all contributing to Hermès’ commitment to the métier of fragrance, as both artisan and artist.
In 2004, Jean-Claude Ellena became the exclusive perfumer of the house. His free approach was a perfect fit with the house, each creation illustrating expertise that placed craftsmanship, uniqueness and disciplined fantasy at the heart of his quest. Today it is Christine Nagel, per- fumer and creative director since 2016, who embodies this creative freedom so cherished by Hermès.
In 2014, Hermès extended its expertise in personal fragrance to the broader art of living, enriching the story of the métier with new chapters: Le Bain Hermès and Le Parfum de la maison. With Le Bain Hermès, soaps, gels, milks and balms enter a dance of the senses, celebratory and colourful, offering an experience of scent and its rituals that are as intense and intimate as the act of applying perfume. Meanwhile, Le Parfum de la maison opens the door to a new olfactory space at the heart of our private lives. Thus the Hermès art of experiencing fragrance reaches every room in the house.