New Hermessence Collection – Oil on Canvas

In 2016, Christine Nagel took over the reigns as the resident nose at Hermès. Breathing new life into the Maison’s fragrance world while living up to the traditional elements and quality the brand is famous for, Nagel seeked inspiration from the orient and its long history of perfumery for the house’s first foray into fragrance oils which are part of the new HERMESSENCE collection.

«I wanted to return to the origins of perfumery and immerse myself in its history. Each of these five creations is an individual expression of a dream of Orient
Christine Nagel

Originally created by Nagel’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Ellena, around six years ago, the ten eaux de toilette – all made of exquisite and unexpected notes – are now joined by three new unisex contributions, that are based on oriental notes such as cedar, agarwood, and myrrh.

For her new concept, Nagel ties to ancient scent applications and suggests layering them with one of the two oils from the collection, both grounded by musk, one laced with cardamom, the other enchanted by iris.

HERMESSENCE Eaux de Toilette
Myrrhe Elegantine – Agar Ebène – Cèdre Sambac
CHF 278.00 (100ml)

Cardamusc – Musc Pallida
CHF 402.00 (20ml)

My personal favorite combination is Cèdre Sambac together with Musc Pallida. Warm, sensual and extremely yummy. Try for yourself – Hermès is about craftsmanship – so now it’s up to you to use your skin as your canvas! Enjoy!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès and © Sandra Bauknecht

Dinner with Frédéric Malle


Lately, I was invited by Perfumery Osswald in Zurich and had the amazing honor to have dinner with Frédéric Malle, a very captivating and inspirational gentleman, a father of four, and the man behind the niche fragrance house Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. Born in 1962, he grew up immersed in the world of perfumery (his grandfather Serge Heftler-Louiche founded Christian Dior Perfumes, and Frédéric’s mother later worked as an Art Director for the same perfume house) and has a deep knowledge of raw materials, fragrance structure and accords that he shared with me that night. His ‘Editions’ collection includes scents by distinguished noses including Dominique Ropion, Jean-Claude Ellena and Pierre Bourdon.

IMG_0198With Frédéric Malle at dinner at the Widder hotel.

Malle studied art history and economics at New York University. In 1988, he began his career at Roure Bertrand Dupont, the prestigious perfume laboratory. After working in the industry for more than 12 years, Frederic was ready to embark on a new adventure.

Frederic_Malle_20004 of his first launched perfumes in 2000: Lipstick Rose (Ralf Schwieger), Musc Ravager (Maurice Roucel), En Passant (Olivia Giacobetti) and Une Fleur de Cassie (Dominique Ropion).

In 2000, using his connections and experience in the industry, Frédéric invited nine top perfumers to design their own original perfumes with no restrictions, not even financially regarding their ingredients they chose. Thanks to Frédéric Malle, the return to luxury perfumery took place at the beginning of our century. In an era in which most companies put more importance on brand names, Malle brought the attention back to the product itself: perfume.

Until today, through a simple “back to basics” approach, Editions de Parfums is challenging all prevailing trends. Frédéric Malle’s contribution to the creation of the different fragrances sold under Editions de Parfums varies depending on the perfumers’ desire. Perfumers appeal to him to assess their work in progress and to share ideas.


These fragrances are packaged in bottles that feature the name of the perfumer—a first in the industry, where the perfumer is traditionally behind the scenes and credit for the scent is given to the fashion house or celebrity on the bottle. While we were talking during dinner, I could sense that Frédéric Malle is very fond of Dominique Ropion‘s work. The two of them seem to build an amazing team.


The development of a signature scent is a lengthy process, generally lasting between 6 and 18 months. Each fragrance starts with an idea, an “olfactive sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the mix of two or three raw materials, like colors in an abstract painting – or of an initial feeling, the desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumers gradually build a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved. The challenge is to polish and perfect without losing the impact and personality of the original idea.

Eliminate all that is superfluous or merely decorative” – this, Frédéric Malle’s credo, is the only rule imposed on the house perfumers. Malle requests that each fragrance be designed to uniquely merge with the wearer’s skin rather than to just be a “pretty scent.”


Designer Frédéric Malle has more than 25 perfumes available at the moment, made in collaboration with perfumers Jean-Claude Ellena, Dominique Ropion, Maurice Roucel, Bruno Jovanovic, Carlos Benaim, Olivia Giacobetti, Pierre Bourdon, Edmond Roudnitska, Ralf Schwieger, Edouard Flechier, Michel Roudnitska and Sophia Grojsman.

Frederic-Malle_Downstairs-finalNew investments under the new helmet: Frédéric Malle’s London store at 14, Burlington Arcade.

Two years ago, The Estée Lauder Companies acquired Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

Frédéric Malle said about his decision to sell part of his company: “The Estée Lauder Companies has great respect for the art of perfumery and for the creativity, dedication and mastery required to create truly exceptional fragrance experiences. The company’s commitment to a high standard of excellence and ability to support the growth of entrepreneurial concepts in a way that preserves all that is unique and special makes The Estée Lauder Companies the ideal partner for us.

A truly inspirational creator and a real business man!

In Switzerland a large selection is available at Perfumery Osswald in Zurich.

LoL, Sandra


Photos: Courtesy of Frédéric Malle and © Sandra Bauknecht, via Mr Porter

Hermessence Muguet Porcelaine


One word says it all. Sense. Essence. Essential. The essence of Hermès and the soul of fragrance. The Hermessence collection is emblematic of the signature of a house, of creative freedom, and of unique poetry for both women and men.

Hermessence collection (see photo above) – Rose Ikebana, Osmanthe Yunnan, Iris Ukiyoé, Muguet Porcelaine, Vanille Galante, Brin de Réglisse, Épice Marine, Vétiver Tonka, Santal Massoïa, Poivre Samarcande, Paprika Brasil, Cuir d’Ange and Ambre Narguilé.

FRance, Paris, 2011 POrtrait of Jean-Claude Ellena, French perfumer France, Paris, 2011 Portrait de Jean-Claude Ellena, parfumeur français Richard Dumas / Agence VU

To create each olfactory poem in the Hermessence collection, Hermès ventures forth with Jean-Claude Ellena in the pursuit of beauty. Their quest is shaped by encounters with materials, people and cultures. For Muguet Porcelaine, the thirteenth fragrance in the collection, Jean-Claude Ellena sought to capture a flower that moves him profoundly, a rebel whose innocent delicacy conceals strength and mystery.


The history of perfumery is strewn with lily of the valley. Yet experts label it “the mute flower” as its fragrance evades all attempts at capture. To reproduce its essence, the perfumer must use his creative palette, his associations of ideas and his imagination. In the hands of Jean-Claude Ellena, this silent, diaphanous flower becomes eloquent and radiant.


From nature transformed to nature idealised, my craft as a perfumer could be likened to a game of hopscotch. Arriving at the ‘summit’ at a hop, after multiple attempts, is joyful, celebratory. There is so much subtlety in lily of the valley that I imagined it exalted,” explains Jean-Claude Ellena. “I immersed myself in its perfume, abandoning my other senses, in order to recreate the beauty and the supple exquisiteness of this flower of porcelain fragility.


Because Muguet Porcelaine is the story of a flower conquered by the mind, this fragrance is lily of the valley, it is the scent, wholly and exclusively, of its burgeoning bells and its protective foliage.


And as if traversed by an air of spring, the transparency of the bottle is energised by a vibrant green. In tribute to the hues of the flower, the bamboo-coloured case in Swift calfskin envelops its white Mysore goatskin interior in a perennial green.

Available in Hermès stores, Bon Génie Geneva and online for CHF 385.00 (200ml).

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hermès, © Richard Dumas

Classics Reloaded

Hermes Classics Reloaded

As a part of the Collection Les Classiques, Hermès launches new interpretations of the two classic scents, one for women and one for men, which were both reworked by in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena.

Les-ClassiquesCollection Les Classiques by Hermès

Jean-Claude Ellena



1974: once upon a time there was Amazone. Symbolic of a free, modern femininity, Amazone, which is still produced, takes its inspiration from the mythical horsewomen who, according to legend, ruled over the shores of the Black Sea. A novel composed by Maurice Maurin at the time and orchestrated around blackcurrant buds, the fragrance is a green floral harmony in which daffodils, narcissi, galbanum, red fruits and vetiver take turns to shine.

Now there comes a new, modern version of this legendary fragrance, reimagined by Jean-Claude Ellena, named Rose Amazone which is much more contemporary. A sparkling, tangy and tender perfume, brightened by citrus fruits, currants and raspberries. There are also floral notes of rose, laid on a background of sweet amber, vanilla and woods. A perfume full of colours for cheerful fragrancing. 

Available as 100 ml Eau de Toilette for CHF 166.00 (In Switzerland from end of October 2015).



1970: once upon a time there was Equipage. A masculine, aromatic woody fragrance created by Guy Robert, is reborn this fall with the same original message, but with a new, contemporary freshness.

This manly and aromatic fragrance contains spicy accords. With its emphasized geranium note, it plays with the addition of an invigorating note hovering between rose and mint. Sandalwood brings an elegant and sensual side to the composition.

Available as 100 ml Eau de Toilette for CHF 131.00 (In Switzerland from end of November 2015).

Jean-Claude Ellena at work…

… choosing from the most precious ingredients.

Two great new additions to the Hermès fragrance family!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hermès

Les Colognes Hermès – New Fragrances


The refreshing collection Les Colognes Hermès (Eau d’Orange Verte, Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Eau de Gentiane Blanche) is expanded by another two fragrances this summer. With Eau de Mandarine Ambrée and Eau de Narcisse Bleu having recently joined the range, you have two very interesting choices for both men and women, elegant interpretations of spring flowers and sweet citrus, created by in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena.




Top note: Mandarin orange
Middle note: Passionfruit
Base note: Amber




Top note: Narcissus
Middle notes: Orange blossom and galbanum
Base notes: Woody notes

Both new colognes are available for CHF 137.00 (100ml) each.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Hermès

New Oriental Fragrances for Fall 2012


Three new oriental fragrances that might reveal the Scheherazade in you hit the shelves this fall. Not only fans of the One Thousand and One Nights will love the precious essences of amber, vanilla, patchouli and rose.

Enjoy those scents that will at once transport you to warmer climes and enchanting Eastern places in thought.

Rose d'Arabie Flacon

Armani Privé – Haute Couture Fragrances
ROSE D’ARABIE “L’Or du Désert”

Giorgio Armani presents a limited edition of its Rose d’Arabie fragrance of the Armani/Privé line of couture perfumes in “La Collection des Mille et Une Nuits”. The sensual fragrance features amber and patchouli as well as saffron and Damask rose extracts. Elusive gold flecks mingle with the fragrance, dancing and twirling like desert winds so that its name L’Or du Désert is very suitable. The beautiful gold dust will leave a subtle shimmer on the perfumed skin.
EDP 100 ml – CHF 330.- Limited Edition available end of October 2012.



Aramis goes Arabic with its newly launched unisex scent Perfume Calligraphy, that is geared towards the Middle Eastern market. Full of eastern promise and inspired by the beauty of the written word, the fragrance and its bottle, both reflect a perfect pairing of ancient crafts and high quality ingredients such as oud and rose. Additional notes include cardamom, lemon, cinnamon, myrrh, saffron, patchouli, amber and musk.
EDT 100ml – CHF 168.- in stores now.



“Lucent, translucent, luminous, generous, solid, indestructible, if the legend is true, if beads of yellow amber are the tears of the gods, they are tears of joy.”

The newest Hermès fragrance L’Ambre des Merveilles is full of magic and mystery. This extremely beautiful scent includes notes of amber, labdanum, vanilla and patchouli. The idea behind his latest interpretation L’Ambre, as in-house nose Jean-Claude Ellena explains, was “to make the woman more sensual and mysterious. For this new chapter, I wanted to relate one of the mysteries of amber, hovering between a delicious treat and sensuality, where vanilla meets the warmth of labdanum, and the moist quality of patchouli.” After a spritz or two, it is obvious that this fragrance does just that in perfection.
EDP 50ml (CHF 128.-) and 100ml (CHF 182.-) in stores now.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Giorgio Armani, Aramis and Hermès

Up On the Roof

Hermès launches the new fourth frangrance from the collection of garden-inspired fragrances, named Un Jardin Sur Le Toit, meaning a garden on the roof.

Let me tell you the story behind it that reads like a fashion fairy tale.

Collection des Parfums- Jardins Hermes

In 2003, the Year of the Mediterranean inspired by Jean-Claude Ellena to create the first Garden-Perfume, Un Jardin en Méditerranée, an homage to the  secret garden of Leila Menchari, director of decoration at Hermès, on the Tunisian shoreline.

Two years later, 2005, in the Year of the River, he set off to the island gardens in the delta of the king of rivers to invent Un Jardin sur le Nil.

In 2008, the Year of Indian fantasies invited him to glorify India’s rebirth after the life-giving monsoon rains, with Un Jardin après la Mousson.

In 2011, the chosen theme, “Contemporary Artisan”, is an opportunity to celebrate craftmanship, of every kind, throughout history to the present day. Un Jardin sur le Toit.

What unexpected fragrances could be shared? What unique story could be told? Which new water could be bathed in? After rainwater, river water, sea water… going back to the source, like going back through time. Happy as Ulysses to be coming home. What better pause in series of pilgrimages than a return to the  native land?
To the luxurious Hermès roof garden at 24, Faubourg Saint-Honoré, the French house’s headquarter.

PR Guidelines- Un Jardin sur le Toit - JCE - 3

This is such a beautiful story. The garden is high up, hanging like its mythical ancestors, over in Babylon. From its lawn and between its branches all of Paris is on view.

Un Jardin sur le Toit - JCE -Yasmina 4

The green fingers of an Hermès craftswoman, Yasmina, the gardener, create this paradise. She cares for it every day, planting, pruning, watering and perfecting. This roof garden is very familiar to since 2004 in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. It is where he went for his first meeting with Hermès and each visit, even that he knows it by heart, he discovers it all over again.

Hermes - Un Jardin sur le Toit - JCE - 2

„A perfumer’s place is everywhere and nowhere“ admits Jean-Claude Ellena. „That’s how, one day, I found something I thought was a long way right under my nose. I had been there several times. My footsteps had produces a burst of aromas, lush grass, damp soil, and I loved letting them work their way inside me. And in order to make it really Parisian, I sprinkled it with light…“.

The new Hermès composition includes fragrant notes of apple and pear, alongside tea rose and belongs to the olfactory family of Greens. It captures the atmosphere of a fresh and sweet-smelling garden by magnolia, basil and compost notes. Available Mid April.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès
Eau de toilette: Natural spray 100ml (3.3 fl oz),  Natural spray 50ml (1.65 fl oz)
Perfumed body milk 200ml (6.6 fl oz)


Eau de toilette Natural spray 100ml (3.3 fl oz) Natural spray 50ml (1.65 fl oz)


Jardin sur le Toit