Eau d’Orange Verte, the founding scent of Hermès’ Cologne collection, was crafted by François Caron in 1979, and has since become a beloved bestselling item at the French luxury house. But it may have just met a worthy successor with the latest addition to the collection: the gender-neutral Eau de Citron Noir, which contains freshness, longevity, and depth in a handsome blue bottle.

“The idea was for Christine [Nagel] to bring a touch of modernity and newness to the current collection,” says Julien de Mestier, area manager for Hermès Parfums for Australia and Southeast Asia. Christine Nagel, who is Hermès’ first female head perfumer, approached the undertaking by surveying a variety of citrus fruits before finally discovering one that commanded her attention: the black lime, a Persian ingredient that frequently finds its way into Middle Eastern dishes as a spice. De Mestier continues, “I think what interested Christine was its freshness and vivacity, and a very particular smoky note that comes from the fruit.”

Originally a green citrus fruit, the lime is boiled in water and then dehydrated for several weeks until it turns into a dark colored version that is then called a black lime. The result here, as concocted by Nagel, is a distinct citrus scent with subtly smoky and woody notes that temper its piercing tartness.

The goal, according to de Mestier, was to craft a scent that is “beyond age, beyond season, beyond fashion.” Mission accomplished, we think.

Hermès is at Greenbelt 3, Makati; its fragrances are also available at Rustan’s.

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