Marrakech greeted us with rain and a piercing wind. But it turned out to be even better! What could be more romantic than listening to Christine Nagel's story, warming himself by the fire with a glass of sweet Moroccan tea. Moreover, the perfumer of the House of Hermes can tell no worse than Scheherazade, and this time the story turned out to be long - three new fragrances and two essences can brighten up more than one night.
“Despite the fact that I have already made several fragrances for the House of Hermes, the Hermessence collection was a new experience for me. Since there were no strict briefs, commercial orders, specific deadlines, it was possible to experiment with confidence. Let me tell you a secret: Hermes never analyzes the market and does not ask millions of people what they like and what they don't. It offers a great product that you just can't help but love. This is such a trust in the perfumer and at the same time such a responsibility …
This is how two essences were born: Cardamusc with a zesty cardamom accent and Musc Pallida, soft and flexible under the influence of iris.
So, you know what I did? I tried to get rid of stereotypes, for a while to forget everything that happened before, - says Christine. - It was then that the idea came to my mind about the first spirits, which did not contain alcohol at all - they were pure essences of oils. And there was incredible sensuality in this - undiluted, even, one might say, uncompromising. I really wanted to create something similar, and to implement such an idea it was quite logical to turn to musk - “animal” and at the same time warm. (For me it is the smell of a man.) But since the original musk is banned today, I took several modern versions and added notes of honey and cut grass to them. All together it sounded very interesting and deep. This is how two essences were born: Cardamusc with a pungent cardamom accent and Musc Pallida, soft and flexible under the influence of iris. These oils can be used on their own, or can be applied under one of three new perfumes, playing with their expressiveness and prolonging the durability."
As I said, it was important for me to look differently at the usual things, - continues Christine. “At the same time, I wanted to preserve the codes of the House of Hermes, its spirit and recognizable style. And this is, first of all, attention to detail and love for primordial matter. This is why I have chosen the notes so carefully for each of the fragrances. And since Hermessence is always a bright duet, the compatibility and harmony of the main characters were important.
Weakness dominating primordial strength is the essence of Cedre Sambac.
Myrrhe Eglantine is based on a myrtle tree. It was myrtle that was in the first "historical" scent (found in Egypt). But in the modern world, for some reason, it is used very rarely. I tried to revive this note and added rosehip to it, delicate and at the same time very hardy, capable of raising a woody accord to new heights.
Agar Ebene is also woody, but sounds different. Now the most popular association with the East is oud. But I didn’t want to use it because it’s too popular and only sounds good in very small quantities. Agarwood belongs to the same family and has a stunning natural scent. This note is so beautiful that I didn't even want to combine it with flowers. Instead, balsamic fir, viscous, sweetish, a bit like burnt sugar, was used. As a result of such a union, something special has turned out: a scent that envelops you, caresses, warms and creates a feeling of thin, thin cashmere on your skin.
And finally, the third composition is Cedre Sambac. Cedar is a very strong, self-sufficient tree. The power and magic of a perfumer lies in the fact that we can not only recreate the scent itself, but also convey the aura that the plant has. I took notes of Virginia and Texas cedar, added some more (moss, for example) to them and got the smell of blue millennial cedar. But that is not all! The power I recreated had to be balanced by something.
And I settled on jasmine. I love the image of delicate white flowers wrapping around a powerful tree trunk. They cling to him, gradually seizing power and finally winning. Weakness dominating primordial strength is the essence of Cedre Sambac.
I wanted to return to the origins of perfumery, plunge into its history, inspired by dreams of the East. And I dare to hope I succeeded."
Photo: Getty Images, press service archives, personal archive
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