Perfumer Christine Nagel reinvents a key ingredient in Hermès’ newest women’s fragrance
The pandemic has been the reason for numerous delays, including for the launch of Hermès third women’s fragrance in their Twilly line. While the rest of the world has already gotten a whiff of its floral, spicy and woody notes, in India, the scent came in earlier this month. At the brand’s Mumbai store, a sensory experience awaited those who attended the launch. A magician, a painter, and some practical silk accessories (a Twilly neck scarf made into a face mask holder) awaited those in attendance, but the centerpiece, quite literally, was an expertly-wrapped giant bottle of perfume.
Christine Nagel | Photo Credit: Sylvie Becquet
‘Not scent that makes the gender’
“Creating a fragrance from scratch or continuing an existing story is not the same exercise, but both are exciting," says Christine Nagel, Hermès in-house perfumer, about the newest scent. Paradoxically, it is perhaps a little more difficult to create a fragrance within an existing family because it involves respecting its spirit, structure and imaginary world while “adding your own signature”. In this case that meant using ginger — with its crispness and bite — to layer with peony and cedar.
The perfume is aimed at women, but Nagel draws on history to explain why it fits in neatly with the current push towards genderless fashion. She explains, “I consider fragrances to be works of art, and as such they are aimed at all humanity. In Eastern and Indian cultures, rose or patchouli can be worn by men. It’s not the scent that makes the gender because a scent becomes masculine on a man’s skin and feminine on a woman’s skin. We just have to know how to dare, be bold, trust ourselves and try things out.”
Ingredients of Twilly d’Hermès Eau Ginger | Photo Credit: Thomas de Monaco
With freedom comes creativity
And if asked to look ahead? “Looking to the future… if I had a dream, it would be to ban consumer tests and panels that have standardised and confined the world of fragrance,” is Nagel’s response. “If I had a dream, it would be to give all perfumers the freedom that Hermès gives me. It allows me to be bold, to take risks, to go where no one else can go.” She goes deeper and cites changes that are “also technological because new methods for extracting materials, new molecules and tools for understanding and analysing materials have also shaken up the way fragrance is designed”.
- Hermes has just reported strong growth in the third quarter, across business segments: +40% compared to 2019 and +31% compared to 2020. While the launches of the H24 Perfume for Men and Twilly Eau Ginger have pushed sales in the perfume department, the debut of Hermes HO8 (above) at April’s Watches & Wonders helped the watches category surge ahead as well. Months later, the all-terrain watch with its circular shape, angular details, and graphene composite case still stands out for its Parisian modernity.
As for the new fragrance, Nagel explains why she’s working with ginger, found in the original and first Twilly formulation, but now amped up and used for its unique candied scent. “I had not finished with [ginger] and wanted to reinvent it in a different style, because when I work on a material, I like to take it to its limits… I retained its burning heat while softening the texture to make it convey something different. I could compare this exercise to the work on the Brides de Gala scarf, the emblematic Hermès design that has been artistically reinterpreted ever since 1957.”
Priced at ₹11,500, Twilly d’Hermès Eau Ginger is available at the Hermès stores in Mumbai and New Delhi.
Source: Read Full Article