In a nutshell, her debut launch for the house’s exclusive Hermessence line is another pleasant surprise from the perfumer. For starters, there are not one but five launches at once –three eaux de toilette and two essences de parfum (perfume oils) – all inspired by the Orient. But there’s a lot more to it than that, of course. As she tells us all about the line, we gain an insight on Nagel’s likes, dislikes, perfume creation process and more.
“I work sparingly with (only a) few raw materials, because I’m convinced that simple (is best). The philosophy of the Hermessence line lies in three words: sens (French for “meaning”), essence, and essential. I wanted to express this literally in my first creations for the collection. It’s about starting with the raw materials (used in) perfume (myrrh, agar wood and cedar for the eaux de toilette, and a rare form of musk for the essences).”
“Scent is interesting (and it’s amazing how) any scent can be inspiring. My love (for ingredients) fluctuates and I have no preconceptions about any. When I discover a new one, I want to know everything (about it), experiment with it… and push its boundaries… (It helps that) Hermes gives (me) the unique freedom to choose my raw materials – an absolute luxury that lets me go where no one else has gone.”
IT LETS YOU EXPERIMENT
“Audacity is the greatest trend (in fragrances) – what I want is to be able to smell something radically different.” (Each of the new Hermessence launches can be worn alone or combined with the others. The two musk-anchored essences de parfum – one with notes of cardamom, the other iris – can even be layered under the eaux de toilette to personalise or intensify their lingering scent.)
IT HAS NO GENDER BIAS
“I think of perfume as an art and, like all art, it has no gender. Gender and (the stereotyping of) character came about for financial reasons – it’s better to sell two, three or four perfumes than one. The gender of a perfume depends on the wearer: (The same scent) can be masculine on a man, and feminine on a woman. I know women who wear men’s perfumes, and are very sexy.
I know men who wear rose (traditionally a feminine scent – it’s also found in the Myrrhe Eglantine eau de toilette), and it’s perfect for them.”
All five scents are exclusive to Hermes boutiques, and available in stores this month