Featured Perfume Houses: Hermes- Luxury with Every Creation

Some of the most elegant and exquisite fragrances sold by LilyDirect come from the house of Hermes. As opposed to internationally renowned houses like Chanel, Guerlain or Dior, Hermes is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of luxury perfume. However, some of the house’s creations have stood the test of time and constitute high-end choices for men and women everywhere.

A bit of history:

The Hermes Fashion House was established in Paris as a harness making shop in 1837 by Thierry Hermes  This family business was established as a harness shop in the Grands Boulevards quarter of Paris. The shop catered to the needs of many European noblemen, creating the finest wrought bridles and harnesses for carriages. His clients were the stylish Parisian beau monde and European royalty including Napoléon III and his empress, Eugénie.

A year after the death of Thierry, his son Charles Emile expanded the business and started manufacturing other leather products, opening a new location near the Palais de l’Elysee. After Charles-Émile Hermès’s retirement, sons Adolphe and Émile-Maurice took leadership and renamed the company Hermès Frères. Shortly after, the company began furnishing the czar of Russia with saddles.

In 1918, the first leather golf jacket with a zipper, made by Hermès, was introduced, shortly followed by Hermès’s first leather garment, a zippered golfing jacket for the Prince of Wales.

It was only in the 1960’s that the company started creating women’s apparel and perfume. Hermes introduced its first perfume Caleche in 1961. At the prompting of Jean-René Guerrand (son-in-law of Émile Hermès and founder of the fragrances branch), the perfumer Guy Robert composed Calèche, a masterpiece which instantly transformed Hermès into one of the major players of modern perfumery. The same designer is the author of Équipage, the house’s first perfume for men.

The most recent designer for the house is Jean-Claude Ellena, who signed some of the greatest creations, such as Un Jardin en Méditerranée in 2003,  and has been exclusive house perfumer since 2004.

A few of the most successful perfumes from the house include

The Unisex jewel Voyage D’Hermes

The great perfume for men Terre D’Hermes

The delicate and exotic Un Jardin sur le Nil


Perfume Reformulations: A Few Things You Need to Know

In our last week post we were discussing the new perfume regulations that could mean the end of classic perfumes like the legendary Chanel no. 5. We will investigate perfume changes further this week, by looking at the concept of reformulation.

One of the most definite ways to antagonize perfume lovers across the world is to take their favorite scent and to change it. When such reformulations happen, there are usually a few reasons behind the change in perfume design.

  1. Perfume houses need to change ingredients to follow regulations. Every once in a while, the international regulatory bodies will ban or restrict the use of certain ingredients in the  mass perfume industry. These are generally decisions that are backed by scientific research which list some substances as a threat to public health. In order to keep selling these perfumes throughout the world, fragrance companies must comply or they can choose to discontinue that line of perfume altogether. As none of the above seems right, it makes more sense for the perfume houses to start reformulating their perfumes.
  2. Some cost savings are also involved. In a very competitive market, perfume houses must also consider their profit margin. The first step would be to cut production costs and thus, some of the products are replaced with cheaper synthetic aromas.
  3. To boost sales and remain relevant on the market. This brings about what many perfume companies call perfume modernization. This is also very true for quite classic fragrances that were created decades ago. A perfume like Fahrenheit from Dior was released 34 years ago and, in an attempt to meet international regulations and match recent tastes, it was reformulated recently.

What to do if your perfume was reformulated

If you are one of those people who cling onto things they love for decades, and you find that your favorite perfume doesn’t smell just as it used to, the reason is it was probably reformulated.

Looking for vintage editions and stacking up on them is not a solution, as it also can be very costly. Looking for replacements is also not a good idea, as it will trigger more frustration.

-          You can identify what you loved most about your favorite perfume and start searching for a perfume that shares some of the similar qualities.

-          Maybe it is time to find yourself a new favorite and look for a perfume that is totally different from what you usually wear. For instance, if your signature scent was a musky one, go for something lighter, fruity, for example. You will make more discoveries and you will reinvent yourself in the process.

Trending: Future of Classic Perfumes Is Uncertain With New EU Regulations

Every sophisticated lady loves her Chanel No. 5, the iconic unique perfume drop that Marilyn Monroe would have chosen over any outfit. But will this legendary creation survive the new EU regulations banning certain substances from being used in scent creation?

The European Commission is targeting the multibillion dollar perfume industry with ingredient bans and labeling requirements aimed at protecting allergy sufferers. According to the AFP, the new rules could limit the use  of certain ingredients (twelve, in an initial phase) that are featured in some of the most iconic perfumes- from Miss Dior to Chanel. A few of these ingredients are coumarin, which is typically found in the tropical tonka bean and eugenol, which is found in rose oils or citral, usually found in tangerine oils and lemon oils.

In 2012, an advisory report had recommended severely limiting the use of these ingredients, regarded as the pillars of the luxury perfume industry.

So what will be the impact on such creations as Miss Dior or Chanel No. 5? The new regulations will basically force perfume makers to reformulate many of their scents. Additionally, a changing of their products’ packaging will be involved, which will lead to extra costs. For the big house creators, these costs may be easier to absorb, but for niche perfume creators, this may prove devastating.

If you thought this was all, well, this is in fact only the beginning.

The Commission is planning to ban, in its original form, oak moss and tree moss, two of the most widely used base notes which give perfumes depth and help make the scents last.

Such mosses could be found in Chanel’s No.5 and Dior’s Miss Dior but the brands have been working on using altered versions, stripped of the molecules atranol and chloroatranol, regarded as potential allergens by the EU.

According to the Independent, Frederic Malle, founder of  one of the most famous niche perfume houses, Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, said he would have to reformulate about a quarter of his scents to protect a “small” group of people and branded the ban on citral “absurd”.  According to Malle, “ it can take more than half an year to reformulate a fragrance and a minimum battery of 30 tests is required,” which is considered precious time in the world of perfume creation.

So what will the future of these perfumes look like? For now, this is uncertain, and it looks like many of our favorite classics will have to reinvent themselves to survive the market changes.

Perfume Wearing Tips for a Hot Summer

Summer is here and most of us are already preparing for a long, luxurious holiday. No matter where you are heading this summer, keep in mind that wearing perfume is an art you need to master, to the delight of everyone around you.

Here are a few thoughts on wearing a summer fragrance.

Do you ditch your old perfume? There are no rules that say you must do this, while the weather is hot, but why not switch to a scent that’s bright and vibrant, something that matches the weather and your overall mood?

Try a perfume variation. Check to see if the perfume you prefer to wear has a lighter, L’eau  de cologne version version. These are often less concentrated than the original, and perfumers enhance the fresher top notes and soften the heavier e last notes of the scent to develop. If you love Marc Jacobs, for instance, Oh Lola is a very good choice.

A few applying tips

-          First, find a body wash that you love. Look for qualities in that cosmetic product, that you’d look for normally- good refreshing small, hydrating qualities. What notes do you love most: flowery, baby powder, freshly cut grass?

-          Pick up one of the favorite notes in the wash and find a body lotion that will highlight that note. If you need something to touch up your scent after a day’s choose a solid perfume, which tends to be a little less overwhelming on the scent scale.

Other summer perfume wearing tips

Go for your favorite taste perfume.  Many of the lighter foods you like to eat in summer translate into gorgeous fragrances. That means anything citrus, all kinds of berries, tropical fruits, mint, and rosemary. The same goes for spicy scents. Instead of heady cumin and cinnamon, look for zestier ones, like cardamom, ginger, and pink peppercorn.

Choose white flower scents. These, often called soft florals won’t load up your scent. They are quite appropriate for summer wear: honey suckle, freesia, magnolia are notes that should be in every summer perfume.

Try and keep a lighter, positive attitude. While it may sound funny, this is actually quite true- if you stress out and get agitated, your fragrance molecules will evaporate quicker from your skin. Your perfume will smell stronger when it’s warm, if you are too agitated and stressed.

Men’s Fragrance Tips: When and How to Apply Your Cologne

Men wear perfume or eau de cologne too. So why not share a few essential tips on how to wear the scent in an expert way? Read a few tips below,

Rule no.1- Find out how much is too much

This is a piece of advice that applies to men and women alike. No matter if it is perfume or cologne, you should know that a commercial or designer’s scent can be your best friend or your worst enemy. In fact, a lot of men will make the mistake of thinking they need to choose a single scent to wear on all occasions. Ask yourself this: would you wear the same pair of shoes on all occasions? If the answer is no, you are typically on a good path. This is probably obvious, but the number one rule is not to marinate in your cologne. This may actually cause more harm than good to your overall personal appearance. So ttry to apply the appropriate amount of cologne without driving away the others, this will not work well in any circumstances.

Apply on the right spots

There are a couple of key areas where you should apply your perfume. Experts call them pulse points and they are the base of your throat and your chest. This allows the cologne to mingle with your own natural odors and pheromones, creating a very distinct and personalized scent. You can additionally place a strategic dab of perfume under your ears. If you would like to apply on your wrists, just like women do, remember not rub your perfume into your skin, as this will cause the scent to dissipate quicker.

Another aspect to be mindful of while applying cologne is the type of skin you have. Fragrances tend to cling to men with oily skin complexions longer than those with drier skin, which soaks up the scent. Therefore, if you have dry skin, feel free to apply a little extra cologne remembering not to drown yourself in it.

Learn where and when to wear your perfume

Keep in mind that wearing cologne to work is generally acceptable. Just in very decent doses. But this becomes a necessary fashion accessory when going out at night. A light citrus-based scent is perfect for an afternoon outing. But if you are preparing for a special romantic evening, choose a stronger scent with spice undertones or musky notes that will mix with your own natural pheromones.