It's easy to appreciate an Hermès scent. First, they're always nuanced, clean and almost sheer on the skin — especially under the creative genius of in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. Then, there's the exquisite packaging — this one has a sculptural, stirrup-shaped flaçon, and detachable leather tie — feeling weightly but perfect in the palm, and slipping easily into the travel-friendly pouch it comes in. The luxury house stays far away from our pet peeves — smell-a-like scents and gaudy packaging — and by eschewing these populist attributes, it has drawn a certain discerning customer that appreciates its quiet elegance.
For this new women's scent, perfumer-creator Christine Nagel works with the opposing notes of rose and leather for an intriguing play on masculine-feminine tensions. Working with Doblis calfskin in particular, a leather that is used in the equestrian world and thus has linkages to the house's roots — the rose's floral and feminine attributes are a fine contrast to the rawness of the natural material. The leather heightens the rose's more powerful facets. Other notes like quince and saffron lend fresh nuances to the main ingredients, but as with any Hermès fragrance, the final result is much more than the sum of its parts. On the skin, this kicks off with the spicier aspects of the rose at the forefront, before settling into an intoxicating blend of musky florals and animalic leather. For us, this quickly dries down into a comforting yet addictive powdery base. Not your run of the mill scent, this is something that will set you apart from the crowd... in the most classy way possible.
$408 for 50ml Eau de Parfum. At Hermès stores from today