Terre d’Hermès, Sensuality Of A Perfume

A perfume concocted in 2006 has, 13 years later, been enthroned to the pantheon of icons. Terre d’Hermès breathed a new vision of masculinity. 

Neither sweet nor peppery. Terre d’Hermès  carries woody, spicy notes – this is where it sources all its strength. When Jean-Claude Ellena was given the mission to elaborate a new scent, the nose attracted by Hermès wanted to join together the authenticity and emotion brought up by such a maison. He would source his inspiration from Jean Giono’s literature to find the harmony of man in the 21st century. 

Known for his stories that join the world of Provence with Italian flavors, Jean Giono inspired in Jean-Claude Ellena a story.. “A story with characters, a mise en scène of olfactive emotions”. His mantra? Terre d’Hermès must be a perfume that is “direct,  honest and readable” – a sillage most befitting of the Hermès man. “At once simple and complex, tender and determined, a dreamer with his feet on the ground” notes Jean-Claude Ellena. And the result stays true to the nose’s signature stamp. 

Terre d’Hermè is an earthy fragrance that plays at its top notes an accord between grapefruit, bergamot and pink peppercorn. At its heart, black pepper balances itself out on an emanating geranium before flying out together in a titillating vetiver. Cedar and benzoin come to complete the composition. “Today, I create with less than 200 materials, when perfumes normally contain 1000 our 1500” clarifies Jean-Claude Ellena. And it is true that his olfactive style is very fitting to the Hermès vision of luxury. 

Terre d’Hermés carries that discrete elegance that has now become quasi-synonymous with the maison at 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A density and a mineral depth that makes it one of the most sold perfumes in the world. It must be said that the man that wears Terre can only spread sensuality and brightness with every step. A kind of incarnation of the masculine ideal, conceived around the natural elements celebrating the breathtaking beauty of Nature. To capture this juice, surprising for its power, Philippe Mousquet was given the role to create the bottle. 

A bottle where Philippe Mousquet, the designer of Hermès at the time, managed to put into perspective an unexpected structure. The idea? The bottom of the bottle moulded into the letter “H” leaving a visible mark – just as the perfume leaves its trace in the soul. A heritage that Christine Nagel, who succeeded Jean-Claude Elena in 2016, seeks to preserve. Just as Hermès continues its impeccable style beyond fashions and seasons – this is chic with a capital H.