PARIS — Hermès is broadening its olfactive reach with a line of home fragrances — Le Parfum de la Maison — due out starting on Dec. 1.
“For us, home fragrance is a new territory of expression that’s very important and marks the evolution of our business toward what we call ‘art de vivre’ of perfume,” said Catherine Fulconis, chief executive officer of Hermès Parfums.
The house took its first step in that direction in June with the introduction of a bath collection.
Fulconis said the idea with this burgeoning lifestyle brand is to offer a palette of olfactive experiences and different “rituals.”
For the new home-fragrance collection, Hermès signed on Céline Ellena, daughter of its in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. She took a conceptual route to conceive the scents.
“When someone is at home, they hear the small sounds of the house, the breathing of the house,” said Céline Ellena, calling it a “false silence” that allows someone to begin dreaming. “The home fragrances are the little dreams. It’s as if you listen to a sound with your nose. It’s a whisper — but olfactive. It is a fragrant sound. They are my dreams.”
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Her five “perfume-reveries” are meant to conjure up different states. There’s Des pas sur la neige (Footprints in the Snow), Temps de pluie (Wet Weather), Fenêtre ouverte (Open Window), Champ libre (Open Field) and À cheval! (On Horseback!).
For the project, designer Guillaume Bardet said he was also after conceiving objects that whisper and are messengers of scent. He began working with paper, for its fragility and refined texture.
“The story starts with the little horse,” explained Bardet, referring to a symbol of Hermès that inspired an origami horse, which is fragranced.
He used paper, as well, to create the shapes of the candle bowls, which were then made out of porcelain. Their interiors are colored differently, according to the scented candle they hold. That of À cheval! is pumpkin, while Des pas sur la neige’s is taupe, for instance. There is a fragranced ceramic pebble in the line, too.
Each of the three formats comes in every one of the five scents.
The new collection will be introduced on Monday in Hermès shops worldwide, followed by about 50 other doors.
In France, the 220-g. candle bowl is to sell for 150 euros, or $187 at current exchange, while the 620-g. size will go for 250 euros, or $312, and the 1,100-g. iteration for 350 euros, or $436. A packet of four scented-paper horses will be 85 euros, or $106. And the perfumed pebble will be priced at 200 euros, or $249.
While Hermès executives would not discuss figures, industry sources estimate the home line will generate first-year global retail sales of 15 million euros, or $18.7 million.