Is that really necessary? Hermès introduces its first children’s perfume

While children’s fragrances are a matter of course on drugstore shelves in France or Italy, they are difficult to find in Germany. Why actually?

At what age is a nice scent appropriate? This is where opinions differ in Germany.Imago

It smells really wonderful, this new perfume from Hermès. Very delicate, almost fleeting, pleasing in the best sense: there is really nothing about this elegant combination of osmanthus, honeysuckle and sandalwood that should displease anyone. Except maybe the drawing on the iconic orange packaging.

Because the funny work by the illustrator Alice Charbin shows a small child in a striped romper suit who is doing gymnastics on a little horse, trying to catch a butterfly, in short: having the fun of his life. The new fragrance “Cabriole” that has just been presented is the first children’s perfume from the house of Hermès – and this could not only cause enthusiasm, especially in Germany.

Because while children’s fragrances are a matter of course on drugstore shelves in France, Italy, and in many Asian and Arabic countries, products in the category “Things that the world doesn’t need – but that simply make them more beautiful” are difficult to find in Germany “. Abundance and superfluity just don’t go with the self-image of the Germans, who are all too happy to turn to the factual, to objectivity.

With “Cabriole” Hermès is probably targeting younger and older fragrance fans.Flower Studio

In any case, anyone who googles pros and cons lists of children’s perfumes will find a large number of forum entries in which parents complain about laissez-faire godparents who give away such a little cologne; and of course statements about the fact that the children’s scent itself, i.e. the child’s completely natural scent, is the most beautiful anyway. After all: A few less moral, less narrow-minded articles can also be found. They list harmless children’s products or give tips on which rules can be set in relation to prepubertal perfume consumption.

The little ones also try out playing with scents

Because it’s like this: Many little girls and some little boys have fun getting ready in a playful way. Playful, mind you: they enjoy trying out a lipstick or putting on a few drops of perfume – which does not immediately mean that they willy-nilly want to mimic adulthood down to the smallest detail; that they “give up a piece of their childhood”, as it is often dramatically said.

The Egyptian bottle (circa 1353–1226 BC) is decorated with a child figure.Imago

On the contrary: Playing as an adult is a form of trying out, of discovering different roles – playing “mother, father, child” together is just as much evidence of this as dressing up as a policewoman or princess, fiddling around with the plastic doctor’s kit or with the children -Tool box.

And it’s nice when there are child-friendly products for playing and trying things out – and the little ones don’t have to secretly reach for their mother’s “Trésor” bottle from Lancôme.

The first perfume specifically designed for children was a flop

In fact, children’s perfume has a longer history than meets the eye. Quite apart from the fact that in Egyptian antiquity, at the time of the invention of perfume, or in the Rococo, rulers of all ages were probably incarcerated anyway – the first modern-day fragrance specifically designed for children also existed more than 50 years ago.

However, not much can be found out about the “Baby Dior” perfume that Christian Dior is said to have presented in 1970 – the perfume is said to have been a flop and quickly disappeared from the brand’s range.

It was only in the following decade that “Eau de Bonpoint”, the fragrance launched by the French children’s fashion brand Beaupoint in 1986 and developed by the extremely successful perfumer Annick Goutal, became a hit. Or the fragrance “Ptisenbon”, which means something like “the little one smells good”, presented in 1988 by Tartine et Chocolat, also a French children’s brand.

A floral children’s fragrance was ubiquitous throughout the 1990s

In 1989, the Dutch children’s fashion brand Oilily triggered a real hype with the presentation of its own perfume: well into the 1990s, the label’s flowered bottle – matching the flowery scent – was really omnipresent. In children’s rooms all over Europe, but even more so on the dressing tables of teenagers and young women.

It doesn’t just seem likely that the Hermès “Cabriole” will end up there. The goal of addressing younger and older fragrance fans is apparently part of the concept: Her wish was to design a fragrance “that bridges the gap between young and old,” according to Hermès chief perfumer Christine Nagel in a preliminary announcement. “This fragrance is an invitation to let the childish, playful esprit in which everything seems possible continue as long as it goes.”

The completely alcohol-free perfume, which can be found in the brand’s online shop and in selected sales outlets for a whopping 92 euros for a 50-milliliter bottle, was designed as a unisex fragrance. Dressing up a bit, smelling it, in this case little boys and little girls are allowed to try things out. And no one can really do anything about that.


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