Hermès Private Event

IN THE SADDLE: Christine Nagel has taken over the reins for Hermès.

The brand’s in-house perfumer was the guest of honor at an event hosted by the French fashion house Thursday night at Skylight Modern. Nagel took over from Jean-Claude Ellena, who spent over a decade at the helm of Hermès Parfums. After the event, Nagel said that the beauty of working for a house like Hermès is the complete freedom she’s given when creating a fragrance. She has no restraints when it comes to cost or ingredients and doesn’t have to worry about market research when she decides to blend unlikely notes.

The night celebrated her first fragrance in her new role, called Galop d’Hermès, a women’s scent that hit counters this month.

Hermès used the cocktail reception as a way to bring to life its vision of a woman. A film and dramatic dance performance, choreographed by Angelin Preljocaj, was followed by the unveiling of the scent and a “flower bomb” that blasted perfume-soaked petals from the ceiling.

Bob Chavez, U.S. president and chief executive officer of Hermès, as well as Agnes de Villers, general manager of Hermès Parfums, spoke. Nagel addressed the strength of women.

“It’s actually a manifesto, a manifesto of the femininity of Hermès,” Nagel said of the scent. “It’s born out of a foundational moment, and its history starts in the leather vaults of the house.”

It was the Doblis leather that spoke to Nagel.

“To the touch it feels as soft as the skin of a woman,” she continued. To her as a perfumer, the leather was feminine, even though the material is typically associated with a more masculine effect. “If it was to be used it would be more of an accent or a touch…This leather needed a rider, and this rider is a rose.”