The Sniff Box – Perfume In Plain English

Hermès

Cuir d’Ange

The latest addition to the Hermessences range, created by in-house perfumer Jean-Louis Ellena for Hermès and launched in 2014, Cuir d’Ange is, as its name suggests, a rather ethereal take on the smell of new leather – appropriately enough for a company that started out making riding tackle.

Inspired by a phrase in Jean le Bleu, a 1932 novel by Jean Giono – a kind of French Thomas Hardy – Ellena explains that, for…

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Guerlain

Vetiver

If I had to choose a single perfume from all my favourites, then Guerlain’s Vetiver would be a strong contender. I’m not, I have to admit, entirely sure why, since it’s not the most mysterious or unusual scent I know, but there’s something about its combination of zest and earthiness that’s sexy, tough, and powerfully alluring.

Created by Jean-Paul Guerlain and launched in 1961, Vetiver is, for many people, the ultimate masculine fragrance. Maybe it’s something…

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Hermès

Vétiver Tonka

Like several other major perfume and fashion brands, Hermès has, in  recent years, organised its range of perfumes into a number of different groups. I’m guessing that this is partly to help them refine their message for different segments of the market, but I also wonder whether it has something to do with their in-house perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena, trying to bring order to a rather disparate collection of scents, in the way that a newly appointed curator might attempt to impose order on a rather muddled art collection…

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