An ice vault tunneling below the ground, covered with a glass panel. Illuminated objects below the glass shining with an unearthly beauty. A 18th century private home in the not-as-hip 13th arrondissement in Paris, on a side street. Touring through 5 rooms, each propped to reflect a different scentscape. This is the somptuous setting for the presentation of the latest collection by Hermès.
And last Tuesday a presentation in a Manhattan mansion built in 1905 by society architect C.P.H.Gilbert, again split into 5 different rooms, decorated to a fault to reflect something which is by nature abstract.
|via Mitchell Owens|
No, it didn't involve either accessories, nor saddlery (on which la maison built its reputation), not even perfume, though the link with the head perfumer is hard to miss. The charming and no-nonsense Céline Ellena, 3rd generation perfumer and daughter of in-house master perfumer Jean Claude Ellena and an accomplished artist in her own right, has composed a range of home scents for the super chic French brand: Rêveries, Dreams.
Céline is said to have been inspired by Cabris, the olfactive references in her father's home there, giving the rationale behind creating a home scent line: "A home breathes and whispers, it makes noises and murmurs that cause your mind to wander" And none of the scents created are specific. "I wanted to create stories that could be olfactory murmurs". Care was taken to distinguish this home scent collection from any perfumes in the Hermès catalogue.
The 5 different Hermès home scents come in 3 formats: Limoges porcelain white faceted jars holding scented candles with a different color glaze inside for each scent designed by Guillaume Bardet, ceramic "stones" (which can be rescented) and paper origami horses that can fold flat for transport. The porcelain bowls start from $185 (they come in varying sizes), the stones start from $245 and the originami horses cost $79 for a package of 4.
- À cheval! (Saddle Up!) is of course the one most tied to the heritage of the house, presented via a lifesize horse model amidst books and smelling of smoky leather and beeswax.
- Temps de pluie (Rainy Day) evokes the favorite past-time of many a perfume lover, reading in the bedroom, and Celine herself, spending time with her kids on the sofa, watching movies: the misty atmosphere and the freshness of geosmin.
- Champ libre (Open Field) is a green composition that was conveyed via a wall covered in reeds. Fenêtre ouverte (Open Window) is as literal as it is evocative of a bedroom with its window open into the fresh air.
- Des pas sur la neige (A Walk in the Snow) smells of hay, soft and fluffy like snow, like the the artificial snow that overflowed from a Parisian bathtub.