Christine Nagel

Christine Nagel

Christine Nagel: A Swiss Perfumer with a Passion for Chemistry

Christine Nagel is a Swiss perfumer who works as the director of olfactory creation at Hermès. She has created many fragrances for various brands, such as Narciso Rodriguez, Jo Malone, Miss Dior, and Guerlain, as well as her own line, Mizensir. She is known for her analytical skills, her innovative use of different notes and materials, and her ability to create scents that evoke emotions and memories.

Nagel was born in 1959 or 1960 in Geneva, Switzerland, to an Italian mother and a Swiss father. She discovered her passion for perfumery at the age of 16, thanks to a girlfriend who was passionate about perfumes. She studied medicine at the University of Geneva, but switched to chemistry, which she found more fascinating. She then decided to pursue her dream of becoming a perfumer and moved to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world, where she trained at the Lautier Florasynth group.

Nagel began her career as a research chemist at Swiss fragrance firm Firmenich, where she became interested in the emotional reactions that perfumes elicited from people. She asked to transfer to the perfumery department, but was rejected because she lacked the traditional background of most perfumers, who were men from Grasse. She then switched to chromatography, a technique that allowed her to analyze the composition of fragrances and their ingredients on a molecular level. This gave her a unique advantage and expertise in the perfume industry, as she was able to recognize ingredients by their smell alone.

Unable to advance further at Firmenich, Nagel moved to Italy to work as a freelance perfumer. She quickly gained success and recognition, creating fragrances for brands such as Fendi and Versace. She moved to Paris in 1997, where she continued to work for various clients and projects.

Nagel established herself as a versatile and creative perfumer, creating fragrances in a variety of styles and genres. Some of her most notable creations include:

• Narciso Rodriguez for Her (2003) for Narciso Rodriguez: A floral and woody fragrance that won the Fragrance Foundation's FiFi Award for Best New Fragrance in 2004. It features notes of rose, peach, amber, musk, and patchouli.

• Miss Dior Chérie (2005) for Christian Dior: A fruity and gourmand fragrance that became a best-seller for the brand. It features notes of strawberry, popcorn, caramel, jasmine, and patchouli.

• Wood Sage & Sea Salt (2014) for Jo Malone: A fresh and aquatic fragrance that evokes the feeling of being by the sea. It features notes of bergamot, sea salt, sage, seaweed, and ambrette.

• Galop d'Hermès (2016) for Hermès: A leather and floral fragrance that represents the spirit of the brand. It features notes of rose, leather, saffron, and quince.

Nagel joined Hermès in 2014 as the successor of Jean-Claude Ellena, the previous in-house perfumer. She became the first woman to hold this position in the history of the brand. She has since created many fragrances for Hermès, such as Twilly d'Hermès, H24, and Un Jardin à Cythère. She has also collaborated with other perfumers, such as Mark Buxton for Comme des Garçons Series 3: Incense, Olivia Giacobetti for Iunx, and Ralf Schwieger for Etat Libre d'Orange.

Nagel has won several awards and honors for her work as a perfumer. She was the first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fragrance Foundation in 2003. She also won the Prix François Coty in the same year. She has been praised by various magazines and critics as one of the best perfumers of all time.

Nagel lives in Geneva with her husband, who helps her run her Mizensir line. She is also passionate about gardening, which she considers as a source of relaxation and inspiration. She continues to create new fragrances for different clients and projects, always seeking to express her vision and emotion through scent.