Hermes was founded in in 1837 by Thierry Hermes, dealing in saddles and other leather goods.
Hermes' scarves debuted in the 1930s and are still a much coveted item, made of silk, cashmere, with beautiful patterns and designs.
Grace Kelly started handbag lemmings over the cliff with her "Hermes Kelly Bag" in 1956, but the bag itself had been in production since the 1930s. Hermes' Birkin bag, after a mention on "Sex and the City" created another lemming and year or more long waiting list.
Venturing into perfume for Hermes occurred with the introduction of Caleche in 1961, composed by Guy Robert, followed by the men's scent, Equipage, then the uber-skanky Eau d'hermes and the now discontinued and heartbreakingly beautiful Doblis.
The latter half of the 1990s established Hermes as a premier fragrance house. In 2004, Jean-Claude Ellena took over as head perfumer for the Hermes fragrance line. With this change, Hermes launced the Hermessence and Les Jardin series of perfumes.
Hermessence was launched with four original perfumes created by Ellena in 2004 - Rose Ikebana, Ambre Narguile, Povire Samarcande and Vetiver Tonka - available exclusively only at Hermes boutiques. Since 2004, they have added Osmanthe Yunnan, Paprika Brasil, Brin de Reglisse, Vanille Galante, Iris Ukiyoe, and Santal Massoia. Ethereal and beautiful, this collection embraces the Ellena minimalist view of refining perfumes.
Les Jardins series was launched in 2003 with un Jardin en Mediterranee, followed by Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, Un Jardin Apres Le Mousson and Un Jardin Sur le Toit. This series was themed from Ellena's travels and the smells he encountered. The story behind the creation of Un Jardin Sue Le Nil was the subject of a book by Chandler Burr entited The Perfect Scent: A Year in the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York.
Terre d'Hermes was launched in 2006 to wide critical acclaim and still tops favorite fragrance lists on Basenotes.
Ellena also launched the Merveilles series, which included not only the original eau des Merveilles, with its use of ambergris and dumping the fragrance pyramid on its head, but some of the best flankers in the industry - Parfum des Merveilles, Elixir des Merveilles, Eau Claire des Merveilles, and yet to be introduced L'Ambre des Merveilles due sometime in 2012.
From its powerhouse men's fragrances to its stunning women's fragrances, Hermes embodies the classic style this house is known for in all of its perfumes. There isn't a clunker in there. Though we still wish they'd find a way to bring back that darn Hermes Doblis.