Eau d’Hermès, Calèche, Equipage, Amazone, Bel Ami, Rocabar, Hiris, Rouge Hermès… these timeless fragrances make up The Classics Collection by luxury Parisian fashion house Hermés.
Hermès first became a House of Perfume in 1951, 114 years after the company was founded by Thierry Hermès as a horse harness maker. The transition from rugged leather to delicate skin may seem like a simple one- but to get it right with true craftsmanship, was never going to be easy.
“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” -Italo Calvino
As with all Hermès products, the fragrances represent art and a unique, free-thinking approach that does not shout but carries a subtle strength- a rigorous, clear and structured style. Each composition signals the presence of its wearer through a particular aura, and leaves a trace, rather than solid, overpowering proof.
The true story of this Hermés collection is best told by Jean-Claude Ellena, Hermès’ in-house perfumer since 2004.
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Eau d’Hermès is “The perfume of the beginning. The ultimate refinement. Supple leather that mingles with spices and wood.” – it’s the original Eau d’Hermès, created in 1951 by Edmond Roudnitska, and inspired by “the inside of a Hermès bag”
Calèche “is the essence of classicism. Seduction through the beauty of being.” – made with uplifting citrus to the modern notes of aldehyde, from the floral heart embellished with ylang-ylang, rose and jasmine to the woody, chypre sillage accentuated with noble iris. This is a female offering.
“A thousand times I tried to capture its smell, a thousand times it evaded me. Surprise attracts me.
I take this perfume on my travels to get to know it.” says Jean-Claude Ellena. Equipage was the first Hermès fragrance for men- created by Guy Robert in 1970 with spicy, woody aromas, and a perfect balance between power and delicacy, the liveliness of the aromatics and the strength of the spices, against a background of silky woody notes.
“A mischievous and smiling fragrance with cheerful flowers, red fruits and wood.” says Jean-Claude Ellena.
￼Created in 1974 by Maurice Maurin and arranged around blackcurrant buds, this is a harmonious green floral fragrance in which daffodils, galbanum, red fruits and vetiver assert their presence. Again, for her.
“A remarkable and confident creation. The leather is indisputable, devastating and distinguished.” comments Jean-Claude Ellena.
A bold fragrance but with calm, masculine strength! Bel Ami celebrates leather in its most authentic form. The chypre note, conceived in 1986 by Jean-Louis Sieuzac, is an equally opulent and characterful interpretation of the raw material.
“A perfume for the wandering spirit attracted to open spaces.” says Jean-Claude Ellena
– deep and emotive. A contraction of the word “rug” and “à barres” – the French for “striped” – this fragrance for men takes its inspiration from the traditional horse blanket with its blue and red stripes against a saffron background, made in the Hermès leather workshops. Created by Gilles Romey in 1998, Rocabar reveals its most powerful facets in tones of wood, balsam and resin, its sillage underlined by the full-bodied signature note of cypress.
Hiris is “a sensitive watercolour that describes the freshness of dawn and the cold beauty of iris with a powdery elegance.” says Jean-Claude Ellena. Modern and clean, dedicated to women and the iris. Created in 1999 by Olivia Giacobetti, it expresses with delicacy the sometimes floral, sometimes powdery or vegetal reference of one of the olfactory miracles of nature.
Rouge Hermès is “a fragrance with the colour of passion, with its rich scents of the East.” confirms Jean-Claude Ellena. Created by Akiko Kamei in 1984, the fragrance was initially called Parfum d’Hermès. Reinterpreted in 2000 and renamed Rouge Hermès, after the iconic colour of the House, this is an oriental amber floral perfume. Its sillage offers a richness and impeccable crafting.
The Classic Collection includes Amazone, Hiris, Rouge Hermès, Bel Ami, Equipage, Rocabar, Calèche Soie de Parfum and Eau d’Hermès spray in 100 ml. Available now and exclusively from Hermès stores, and a selection of outlets.
*Launching 9th November 2015 is Equipage Géranium.