Fun fact of the day: I can’t keep a secret. Seriously. If you start a conversation with me with the words «now, don’t tell anyone…», I will shut you up immediately. Because
I DON’T WANT TO KNOW.
The pressure of keeping a secret will literally make my head explode and I’m so afraid I’ll shout it out the very next chance I get that I choose a life without any secrets (which my husband may either deeply appreciate or truly hate).
Having said that, I’m sure you can imagine how hard it’s been for me, not being allowed to take you with me on my press trip in June 2017 to Paris. Hermès invited me over as the only blogger from Switzerland to discover their newest scent waaaaay in advance, and there were so many embargoes and impassioned pleas from their part NOT to share any info on «Twilly d’Hermès» until August 17th, that there was no way I wouldn’t comply.
But now I can, so let’s just dive right in an discover a truly unique new perfume, right at the Hermès headquarters in Paris, d’accord?
I’ve seen enough Hollywood blockbusters (and had enough too-fast-foreplay) to know that it’s a good idea to pace yourself, so why don’t we check in to the stylish and very hip Grand Pigalle Hotel in Montmartre first…
The Grand Pigalle Hotel is a really great tip for a romantic (or even not-so-romantic) weekend in Paris! I fell in love with the tiny, but beautifully outfitted rooms and the fabulous bathroom (tile porn, anyone?), and despite the location, right across the street from a busy bar, it’s surprisingly quiet at night.
And finding THIS on your hotel pillow always works:
After a fab dinner with a few of my colleagues, I hit the hay early in order to do some sightseeing before our driver came to pick us up the next day, and took us straight to Hermès new headquarters in Pantin, on the north-eastern outskirts of Paris. And they had been busy getting ready for the press launch!
Wait… WHAT? Precious Hermès silks, sewn to fabulous spaghetti, and used as a stage prop to decorate an entire office building? OMG! NO! YES!
We headed straight up to the birthplace of Hermès newest perfume: Master perfumer Christine Nagel welcomed us right in her office on the top floor and quickly unveiled «Twilly»!
Twilly d’Hermès Eau de Parfum (30ml), approx. US$ 80.00
*Also available in 50ml and 85ml
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT TWILLY D’HERMES:
«What do young women dream about. What are their innermost thoughts?». These questions were key in the creation of Hermès’ new scent – their very first for the young (as in REALLY young) Hermès girl. For Christine Nagel and her team, the fact that the brand is beloved by both moms and their daughter, fascinated them. Mostly, because their youngest customers tended to give the classic brand their own twist, in order to style their Hermès pieces in a way that made it truly theirs.
An example? The classic Hermès Carrée that a woman would tie around her neck would be stolen by her daughter and knotted almost carelessly onto her backback or tied up into her hair.
So: Less Grace Kelly, more Amy Winehouse.
Christine decided to connnect that playful approach with one of Hermès most irreverent products, the «Twilly» scarf… and the results are surprisingly risqué!
«When I first started working on the scent, I gave it the code name «Carte Blanche», because I wanted absolute creative freedom», Christine explains.
«It’s always about revisiting the code and remixing things.»
As the past isn’t ever truly the past at Hermès, she helped herself to three iconic notes that aren’t usually used in «young» perfumes: Ginger, tuberose und sandalwood.
«I love ginger – the hotter, the better», says Christine. The fiery, almost explosive ingredient joins a second raw material, the tuberose, which Christine chose for its theatrical, envelopping feel. «You love it or you hate it», she laughs, and tells us a story about how in earlier times, nuns weren’t allowed to grow tuberose in the gardens of the convents, because they were afraid the sexy scent would corrupt them!
The third element is sandalwood – animalistic and addictive, but also surprisingly gentle and milky, olfactorically speaking.
«I wove the three materials together and treated them like a gang of young girls. The notion of the group is important. They’re together, but still individually recognizable.»
The bottle is the work of a young female designer and is based on the classic Hermès «lantern» flacon, but radically cut in half… «like the girl who tries on her mother’s dress and cuts it off to a minidress to suit her»… and the stopper bears a strong resemblance to a classic bowler hat – a nod to the swinging Sixties in London.
After the presentation, I was invited to join a select group of beauty journalists from all over Europe for a lunch on the rooftop terrace of Hermès – under a specially built glass tent. It was well over 30° Celsius on that that day, but I really enjoyed chatting with Christine and her colleagues… she’s an incredibly down-to-earth person!
YES, that’s foie gras, and I’m not even gonna tell you it wasn’t delicious. Forgive me, vegetarians! Wonderful food, wonderful company… and all that for a truly creative, bold new perfume!
As a goodbye present, the Hermès models (who were all very attractive employees of the house) tied a Twilly-Spaghetti to my wrist…
…and sadly, the Hermès Cadillac was just a prop and they wouldn’t let me drive it back to Gare de Lyon. But there was enough time for a few selfies!
THE HEY PRETTY LOWDOWN:
What a wonderful experience! Being able to see behind the scenes at Hermès, and meeting a perfume superstar like Christine Nagel and being able to talk to her about her newest creation was simply wonderful, and I’m honestly a bit surprised that the «scent of the Hermès girl» turned out to be such a bold and unique creation…
…both in-your-face sexy and incredibly fresh at the same time.
It’ll bei interesting to see how the Hermès clients react to Twilly d’Hermès (at 43, I’m out of their target age group, but I’m pretty sure it will appeal to older women, too!), and I love the idea of celebrating an entire new generation of Hermès fans.
Twilly d’Hermès Eau de Parfum will be available worldwide from August 28th, 2017 in Hermès boutiques and select luxury department stores.
*This trip was made possible and paid for by Hermès, and I received the scent as a PR sample. Thank you so much for the opportunity!