Catch a whiff of the five exquisite new scents in the Hermessence collection

Catch a whiff of the five exquisite new scents in the Hermessence collection

Oud intentions

Text: Renée Batchelor

With these new creations by in-house perfumer Christine Nagel, Hermès steps away from the light and airy notes that have characterised the house and goes into slightly deeper territory

We've had the pleasure of meeting legendary French nose Jean-Claude Ellena back when he was still the in-house perfumer for Hermès way back in 2010. The scent we were introduced to was Voyage d'Hermès which remains a firm favourite of ours both for its effortlessness and the fact that it could easily be shared between a man and a woman. Fast forward to 2018, and Christine Nagel, who has been the house's perfumer since 2014, is venturing into the territory of ouds, spices and deeper, almost Oriental scents.

Hermes scents

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. Consisting of three eau de toilettes and two precious, perfume essences, these are unisex scents in the sense that they can be worn by really everybody — after all many are of the opinion that gendering scents is merely a marketing tool. 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. 

If you're into perfume oils, the two new additions will certainly entrance. Almost delicate when dabbed on, these are the ultimate secret scents worn almost just for yourself and for your own, personal pleasure. Cardamusc — the clever portmanteau that hints at its ingredients — is described by Nagel as, “A true olfactory manifesto. A proposition shaped around cardamom, a cool and cascading spice that transforms and reveals all its sensuality through contact with the warm and enveloping notes of musks.” And if you like the comforting warmth of a powdery, musk scents then Musc Pallida, is a gentle achemy of iris and musk you won't be able to resist. 

Hermessence Essence de Parfum in Cardamusc and Musc Pallida are, $592 for 20ml. Hermessence Myrrhe Eglantine Agar Ebene and Cedre Sambac Eau de Toilletes are $400 each for 100ml. Available from 2 April exclusively at Hermès boutiques

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