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Epice Marine: the upcoming "spicy marine" from Hermes, a preview

hermes epice marine jean claude ellena perfumeshrine elena vosnaki

An idea begins to take shape in Ellena's mind as he listens to his friend Olivier recount the seafaring adventures required to amass and distribute green cardamom and Sichuan pepper on the Spice Route during the 16th century and the trafficking conducted by pirates....
Epice Marine, the 11th Hermessence fragrance, is inspired on the one hand by the Saint-Malo milieu, full of celtic traditions and the marine songs of the changing scenery of Mont Saint Michel, that is so familiar to Olivier Roellinger (3 stars Michelin chef & owner of Maisons de Bricourt in Cancale) and on the other hand by the Provencal countryside of Cabri where Hermès perfumer Jean Claude Ellena spends his days immersed in the serene Mediterranean blue. The conversation between these two opposing, and yet converging worlds, took the course of a passionate and prolonged epistolary exchange of views between the two men during the course of many months, starting with Roellinger's invitation to Ellena in october 2011 to come over at Cancale at La Maison du Voyager (the voyager's mansion) where the chef grew up and keeps his spice & savory archives for his restaurants. 
A preview of the upcoming new Hermessence fragrance Epice Marine can be accessed on PerfumeShrine.com
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Jul 31 2013 12:35 PM

Elena- Great preview on Perfume Shrine of Jean Claude Ellena's upcoming new scent for Hermes.   Worthy of a click and a leisurely, pleasurable read.  I was fortunate enough to work with Jean Claude on several new fragrance briefs when he was based in H&R's Manhattan studio back in the mid-1990's, just after the Bulgari eau parfumee "green tea" revelation and at the beginning of the "gourmond" movement he was so influential in.   Often times creative geniuses are tempermental, but I always found Jean Claude to be relaxed, calm and perfectly unassuming - so eager to share his new perfume explorations.  J.

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Aug 01 2013 05:54 AM
Thanks, Elena, for the article with lots of detail about Épice Marine. I'm a little worried about the cumin but the whole thing sounds intriguing. It sounds like a savory gourmand very different from the sweet gourmands out there. Looking forward to smelling it.
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Úprise de flacons
Aug 01 2013 08:50 AM

This sounds fascinating, thank you for posting! I will definitely seek to test this (and catch up on the Hermessences since the launch of the banana one). The take on the ocean, ocean beds and aquatic, the desire to balance salty and sweet, sound definitely to try, a nuanced bouquet, not a blunt, astringent thud of calone. While cumin is a difficult note for me in compositions like Arabie, it will be interesting to see how Elena's superb efforts to craft and choose the materials according to the facets he wants in the composition (fractionated lavender molecules, anyone?) bring out for example the sesame aspects, and modulate the type of sweaty to be not foetid and funky but warm and human as he wants. Could he make a showcase of a difficult note that warms people to it? (I've read similar things about some tuberose scents.)

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Interesting. Thank you for the review! I haven't been that fond of marine scents, but do enjoy savory spice notes. This sounds worth a try.

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