Exciting News at Hermès

Posted by
Sarah Colton
 December 31, 2013


Hermès has announced that perfumer Christine Nagel will join the company in March 2014 to work with Jean-Claude Ellena, the current in-house perfumer.

In a brief press announcement Catherine Fulconis, CEO, Hermès Parfums said:

“…The arrival of Jean-Claude Ellena in 2004 marked the start of a new journey for Hermès. Ten years later, we are enriching our story with a new and wonderful partnership. Together with Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès’ Artistic Director, we strongly believe that Christine Nagel will use her personality and talent to write a new chapter of the history of perfumery at Hermès….”

This is exciting news because Christine’s imminent arrival assures a dynamic and creative future for Hermès.

Christine is perhaps best known for her powerhouse fragrance Narciso Rodriguez for Her which she co-created with Francis Kurkdjian in 2003, and which won Fifi Awards in the US in 2004 and France in 2005.

In addition to being a talented and versatile perfumer, Christine is an original thinker and risk taker whose path has led her to work with a number of different fragrance houses both alone and in partnership with other perfumers, for niche and mainstream brands.

Christine knows how to use her unique talents to slip into a brand’s identity. “I consider myself the olfactory instrument to a brand,” she said in a 2012 interview. “While I will always take into consideration the values of the brand and create scents that connect with its philosophies, I have the desire to look for new accords, new associations of ingredients. I aim to introduce innovation and newness among ingredients, whenever it’s possible.”

Christine first began working at Firmenich as a research chemist, but soon switched to perfumery under the mentorship of Michel Almairac.

She later moved to Quest where she was exceptionally prolific.  Among her fragrances at the time were Madness for Chopard and Eau de Cartier for Cartier in 2001, Miss Dior Cherie (original) in 2005, as well as Narciso Rodriguez for Her.

When Quest was acquired by Givaudan in 2007 she co-created fragrances with a number of Givaudan perfumers notably, Aurélian Guichard for John Galliano by John Galliano (2008).

In 2009 she became Vice President Paris Creative Director at Fragrance Resources where she teamed up with Benoît Lapouza to create Si Lolita by Lolita Lempika and Lalique’s Encre Noire Pour Elle, among others.

Currently at Mane as vice president of fine fragrances creation, she has created a number of fragrances, including one of my favorites, Archives 69, for Etat Libre d’Orange in 2011, and more recently by Giorgio Armani in 2013.

Speaking most elequently for the soon to be Ellena-Nagel team is the fact that in 2012 The French Fragrance Foundation chose a masculine and a feminine fragrance for a special Fifi award entitled, “Best Fragrance of the Past 20 Years”.  And guess what?  The Masculine was Terre d’Hermès  (Jean-Claude Ellena 2006) and the Feminine was Christina’s Narciso Rodriguez for Her.

The future looks bright.


1. Narciso Rodriguez For Her and Terre  d'Hermès

Photo Courtesy of the French Fragrance Foundation

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