The fragrance-making game has long been dominated by those with XY chromosomes and a Grasse (the mecca of fragrance) birth certificate, with positions often passed down through generations. But over the past few years, there has been a subtle shift toward female perfumers with zero familial ties rising through the ranks.

Creative noses like Daniela Andrier (think every Prada fragrance you’ve ever inhaled), Marie Salamagne (Maison Martin Margiela, Azzedine Alaïa) and Julie Massé (Giorgio Armani Sì and Sì Rose Signature) are stepping into the spotlight. And last year, beloved Hermès house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena named a successor in Christine Nagel, a Geneva-born perfume hitmaker (Narciso Rodriguez for Her, Miss Dior Chérie) with a background in organic chemistry.

Her debut juice, Galop d’Hermès Eau de Parfum Spray ($222 for 50 mL), is a saffron-spiked accord that weaves together leather and rose notes. While the combination’s bouquet is both tough and soft, Nagel assures us of its true intentions. “It’s a manifesto of femininity,” she says. We’ll spritz to that.



Galop d’Hermès Eau de Parfum Spray ($222 for 50 mL), at