Perfumes: private tour of the Maison Hermès factory

Under the sky of Pantin, north of Paris, beats the heart of Hermès. A 28,000 square meters behind the company is surrounded by gardens and clad in red-gray stone that houses the house’s employees, including Christine Nagel, 58, the founder and olfactory heritage from 2016.

His “open boat is in Pantin”, he said. This 180-degree glass factory is a prism that reflects the light and eliminates the smells of the city, the clematis on the wall, the leather armchairs in the living room, the last of the things The smell was born well to make it possible, with all the places. , portraits of inspiring women, including portraits of Germaine Cellier, perfumer of the mid-20th century.

The “nose” first uses the herbs to taste the perfumes prepared in the factory. (Serge Picard for Le Parisien Weekend)

Pepper and vetiver

It’s back to school, and Christine Nagel is back from Essaouira, Morocco. “I bring back from there the smell of cedar burl, the making of the Moroccan violin. One day I will do something about it. However, vetiver is the focus today, the heart of Terre d’Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver, an extension of the men’s mineral fragrance by Jean-Claude Ellena, the creator of the perfume.

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A year ago, Christine recreated the style. “I first asked our Sicilian supplier to pick the bergamot before it was ripe, it was greener, more nervous, stronger. Then I replaced the black pepper with pepper. Sichuan, almost a grape, crunchy, fresh. And, when I get to the wood part, I want to find a little vetiver, more simple, less. »

In the creative process, Christine Nagel cuts the shape with concern for the specific nuance in the beautiful house. “For me, the prestige of Hermès items can be seen before they are touched. The shirts made by Véronique Nichanian, the director of menswear, often have their pockets lined with leather. sheep, and not be seen. This purification is what I thought. »

It is on the surface that the perfume is released. Every color is a promise. (Serge Picard for Le Parisien Weekend)

The handwritten instructions, written with grammags, are sent to Richard, his assistant, who prepares the samples in his lab. After kissing them on the sticks, Christine rested them on the silver coins placed on her hand. The scent is born naturally when smelled on the skin.

“The first time, I thought it was Earth, but it was another Earth. That’s what Jean-Claude Ellena thought. »

And so the famous water goes to new paths, to lead it from the mineral to the plants, celebrating the spread of the lover of Hermès. Finally comes job satisfaction. He concluded: “A few days ago, I breathed someone on the street and I saw us. »

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