The Sixth Sense of Hermès

St. Francis Elevator Ride

The new nose at the French house brings a fresh—and heightened—sensibility to fragrance.

When Christine Nagel, the new in-house perfumer at Hermès, drives home to her apartment on the right bank in Paris after a day in her laboratory, the first thing she does after parking is spray the inside of her car three or four times with whatever perfume she’s currently creating. She jumps out and quickly shuts the door to seal in the scent. “And in the morning,” she tells me over lunch...