Jean Claude Ellena is a man who knows how to play with the public’s expectations. He must have realized that most people who think of Hermes were going to associate any limited availability perfume line of theirs with insane levels of luxury. Maintaining this luxury is a pretty difficult assignment since Hermes is a global brand that, at least in theory, should sell as well in Beijing as in Paris, and the expectations of consumers in those parts of the world differ.
Hermes must have brought Ellena on because his work is subtle and minimalist, but not really as lifeless as those two adjectives might lead you to expect. I had not smelled most of the Hermessences and some of them, such as Paprika Brazil, I can barely smell at all. Others, though, have a robust presence that makes you sit up and take notice. Continue reading