She was bewitched by its abandoned romance and returned through the seasons, as she told me, delighted by its poetry and its strange, haunting melancholy. In April, for instance, the pittosporum tree was completely covered with yellow and white flowers, smelling like orange blossom or jasmine, whilst in June, as Nagel recalled, “the magnolia smells so delicate, and of course the odor comes from the sky!” She also loved the smell of the trees’ roots, which cover the ground “like the lines on your hands” because they can’t burrow into the salty earth. The fleshy saltwort, the Madonna lilies, and the smell of the salt air were also amongst the smells that the alchemical Nagel (whose fragrances for Jo Malone included a collection inspired by traditional English desserts) blended together into her fragrance, aptly titled Un Jardin sur La Lagune.
I don’t know how to really explain this, but I touch the texture with my eye, whether its silk or leather of cashmere. For example, in my building, I work on the second floor and on the ground floor we have the stock for the men’s collection, and very often I go alone to the atelier to touch and smell the fabrics. They have a special sensuality, and when I talk about my perfume I often use words related to the clothing, like round, straight, soft, tough.
— Perfumer Christine Nagel talks about synesthesia and her approach to perfumery. Read more at Inside the Atelier of an Hermès Perfumer Who Can Smell and Taste Color at Architectural Digest.
Robin Here at NST® has a PhD in Hermès Eau de Merveilles and its spawn: she’s reviewed all seven perfumes. I have an easier assignment; Hermès has launched just three Terre d’Hermès flankers: Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche, Terre d’Hermès Parfum and the new Terre d’Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver.
Hermès in-house perfumer Christine Nagel developed Terre d’Hermès Eau Intense Vétiver, and its description is pretty straightforward…
Mexico city, or specifically Frida Kahlo’s Garden is where I encountered magnificent Lantana bushes. This small bush has red and white flowers or sometimes yellow and white ones. When you crush the flowers between your fingers, they give off a scent that is like that of passion fruit. It’s an acidic yet fruity and sulphuric aroma, a bit like a blackcurrant that tastes of sunshine.
— Perfumer Christine Nagel gives travel advice, in Heaven scent: 10 holidays you will remember forever at The Telegraph.