There is no scent that is luxurious

There is no scent that is luxurious. It’s what we do with it that makes it luxurious. Otherwise, how will we know when something is luxurious? The supreme luxury is to take time, and we have time at Hermès. When we develop perfume at Hermès, we can take two to three to four years to do it. It’s unique. What we are creating together is for 2015 or 2017.

— Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, from Q&A: Hermès’s Perfumers on Luxury, Perfume Bloggers, and Nighttime Scents at NY Mag.

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3 Comments

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  1. Dilana says:

    In A Heart is Lonely Hunter, Carson McCuller’s novel of a small southern town, a young girl goes on her first outing with a boy. To make herself more attractive, she places a small drop of vanilla extract from the kitchen and puts it behind her ear.
    When I first read this, I thought of this moment as a demonstration of how unsophisticated she was. Now, of course, I know that vanilla is a primary building scent of most modern perfumes, and the girl was very clever.
    Going from the vanilla in your kitchen (and nowadays a bottle of real vanilla extract in a kitchen is a sign that baking “from scratch” and commitment to the best ingredients, both real luxuries) to a bottle of perfume (let’s say Shalimar) is a luxury.

    • Robin says:

      Lovely — have not read that book in years & did not even remember that scene. Thanks for posting!

    • Jonette says:

      Dilana, this is so weird! I was planning on writing about one of my perfumes with a vanilla note and saying I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of vanilla on skin ever since I read one of Carson McCuller’s books in the early ’60s! (I couldn’t remember if it was Ballad of the Sad Cafe or the one you mentioned.) I wore Blue Waltz as my first fragrance, and only recently figured out that it was mostly vanilla.

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