Last week I talked about perfumery as “the art of fortunate proportions,” and one of the best examples for this idea is the newest fragrance from Hermès, Muguet Porcelaine. Created by Jean-Claude Ellena just as he prepared to give over the reins of the house to Christine Nagel, it feels like a recap of his work over the past few decades. Ellena is not leaving Hermès, and he will be delighting his fans with other perfumes, and yet, there is something nostalgic in Muguet Porcelaine, a tender lily of the valley.
Muguet Porcelaine is also a tribute to a legendary perfumer who influenced Ellena, Edmond Roudnitska. Ellena, however, denies it, commenting that it was time to create lily of the valley for Hermès’s portfolio, but it’s hard not to spot the parallels between the two. In my review for the Financial Times’s HTSI column, I follow the clues. Muguet Porcelaine is delicate without being precious and ethereal without being evanescent. It lingers for several hours and creates an illusion of a springtime breeze.
“It is with Muguet Porcelaine (£171 for 100ml EDT) that Ellena references Roudnitska most memorably. Lily of the valley, a delicate blossom with a potent scent, is impossible to capture by anything other than a perfumer’s imagination. Roudnitska kneeled at the lily of the valley patch near his house in Cabris to study the fine nuances of the aroma, reminiscent of pale rose petals, green sap and clove. In Diorissimo (£82 for 100ml EDT) he evokes the fragile beauty of May flowers, damp earth and vibrant greenery. The idea is elegant but dramatic. To continue reading, please click here.”
Have you tried Muguet Porcelaine?