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Countdown to Christmas: festive fragrances
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Jean-Claude of Hermes on his Christmas inspiration


What inspires you when you’re creating Christmas perfumes?

Quite simply, Christmas past. To show you where I get my inspiration from I’ll read you an extract from a piece I wrote some years ago. It’s all about Christmas in France and the olfactory memories and thoughts it evokes.

"25th December.

The grand-chidlren are awake, all excited and asking to open their presents. I quickly throw on an old baggy cashmere that retains a particular sweet, acidic, salty, smell.

The children are waiting round the tree, and they throw themselves at me. Three different faces, three different scents mingle into one. During the night, the smell of soap recedes a little and they smell of sweetness, affection and joy. I’m drunk on the smell of pure joy.

The room is filled with separate scents that retain their individual qualities: resin, candles, yellow tea roses.

Christmas dinner is like a symphony of flavours and scents: with an Irish wife and Italian and German in-laws, our Christmas dishes are always magnificent: all the best of European cooking! We have white truffles from Alba in Italy and stuffed goose. Everything dripping with butter, seasoned with spices and left to cook slowly so that the delicious smells spread throughout the house…"


Sarah Horrocks
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