The house of Hermès will launch a new unisex perfume in the selective Hermessence collection entitled Muguet Porcelaine, a composition inspired by the combined delicacy and power of the scent of lily-of-the-valley...
This is the 13th opus in a series of fragrances which are likened to poems and dedicated most single-mindedly to the pursuit of aesthetic beauty.
The composition is signed by in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena who explained that his study results from the discarding of all the senses, save for that of smell, to try to analyze and retranscribe the depth of subtlety of the smell of muguet.
To the French nose, it is a scent which he confesses moves him personally describing it as "a rebel whose artless delicacy hides its strength and mystery..." The name "Muguet Porcelaine" was chosen to symbolize the frailty, fugacity and delicacy of the aromatic profile of the woodlands flower, which is captured whole. The bamboo green of the Swift veal leather wrapping the cap is meant to suggest the scent of the leaves of the flower.
But lily-of-the-valley is also a bloom which reawakens thanks to the human spirit because its scent cannot be captured with any efficacy by traditional technical means. It is one of those so-called "mute flowers" which need to borrow the language of perfumery even more than the others in order to speak to us. It is a flower "conquered by the spirit."
Ellena has often said that he considers perfumer Edmond Roudnitska to be his mentor. The latter is the acclaimed author of Diorissimo which is a reference - or rather was - a reference lily-of-the-valley perfume as today it has curiously been brought to the other side, to a much more solar expression of itself. Yes, we have an unpublished article on that topic. So, the new scent ought to be considered in light of a patrimonial and personal spiritual heritage.
The May launch to the wider public will coincide with the May 1st celebration and ritual of muguet gifting in France, which exists since King Charles IX was inspired to offer lily-of-the-valley to court ladies.