HERMÈS fragrance is an art of living. The new fragrance Muguet Porcelaine is 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. 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.
“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.