Hermès dabbles with fragrance oils for its new Hermèssence additions

With reverence


By Wei Yeen Loh

Hermès dabbles with fragrance oils for its new Hermèssence additions

Back in 2004, the then-master perfumer of Hermès Jean-Claude Ellena launched the Hermèssence fragrance collection — a lineup of 10 eaux de toilette that were so distinct (thanks to an amalgamation of sui generis ingredients) that it exemplified the luxurious heritage of the French house. Most recently, Ellena’s predecessor, Christine Nagel, made her first move as the current in-house perfumer by elevating and, at the same time paying homage to the range with five new additions.

This time around, the house sought inspiration in its know-how and métiers, upgrading the Hermèssence collection with unique olfactory compositions that are anchored by ancient, rare, and contemporary notes alike. “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,” says Nagel. Three of the five are eaux de toilette: Myrrhe Églantine, an uncommon pairing of the heady myrrh with a spicy rosehip; Agar Ébène, a warm and woody fragrance made of precious agar wood, fir balsam, and cashmere; and Cèdre Sambac, a cedar and jasmine offering that leaves a woody yet floral trail.

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But what makes the Hermèssence collection stand out are two new concentrated essences de parfum — fragrance oils that can be worn on their own, or used as a layering base with another fragrance for an intensified effect. Cardamusc has notes of the cardamom spice with an alluring dash of musks, while Musc Pallida incorporates one of the most expensive ingredients in the industry — orris root, addled with iris for exquisite molten gold. The new eaux de toilette bottles come decked in chic cases and sheaths of leather — beguiling enough for both your vanity dresser and travel tote.

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