As you saw in my recent video, Hermès sent me a package of 4 samples, not for review consideration but as a curious customer. You see, I had been reading Chandler Burr’s ‘The Perfect Scent’, which is a chronicle of Jean-Claude Ellena’s journey as a perfumer at Hermès. Intrigued, I began poking around their brand, and liked what I saw. Today’s post is a result of that.
Here are my quick thoughts about each of the fragrances:
1.) Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Toit: Hermès is famous for having a lavish, luxurious rooftop garden in their HQ in Paris, and Un Jardin Sur Le Toit is a reference to that garden.
A 2011 release, this has notes of rosemary, magnolia, rose, pear, red apple, and grass. I find that in the top of the fragrance the red apple and grass notes reign supreme, but in an organized fashion. At an arm’s distance you smell the dominant grass and gentle magnolia, and when you hold it up to the nose – warm on live flesh – you get a lovely fruit arrangement. You can imagine Ellena relaxing in the garden with every breath – a labour of love. I think that the predominant grass note gives the perfume a masculine quality, but the apple and magnolia give it feminine curves. This is a rather subtle fragrance in terms of projection, which makes sense because it’s an EDT. I thought it was funny that my mom thought I’d sprayed Febreeze on my wrist when I had her smell this, but I can see where she’s coming from because of the strong floral notes. I will enjoy the rest of the sample, but have no plans on purchasing this one.
2.) Hermès Terre d’Hermès: in my video I called this one Ground of Hermès, which, believe it or not, is roughly correct. It’s supposed to be a metaphor for the ingredients, which sounds interesting already.
This is a 2006 release, and has top notes of grapefruit and orange, a heart of Pelargonium and pepper, and base notes of benzoin, vetiver, cedar and patchouli. This scent is incredibly bitter, and like Un Jardin Sur Le Toit, it has a gentler footprint closer to the skin. From arm’s length you get patchouli, but from up close you get a sweet pepper scent. What happens to the citruses in this is completely beyond me, as I don’t recognize them at all. This is too mature for me, I’ll pass.
It was suggested to me by a Fragrantica user to layer this one with Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue pour Homme, which I did. The result is the same as before with a light hint of citrus – better, but still rough around the edges.
3.) Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte: the sample I’ve got is a reformulation of a 1979 classic by the same name. It is supposed to be inspired by moist, rose-scented morning undergrowth. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have no idea what that would smell like. Let’s see if this solves the mystery.
This reformulation was released in 2009, with top notes of minty citrus fruits (mint, amalfi lemon, mandarin orange, and orange), and a base of patchouli, oak moss, and cassis. On first sniff all I could think was Lush – it has the unmistakable citrus aroma of a Lush Cosmetics store. When you dive deeper into the recreation, you experience bitter orange and green moss – heavenly. This is on the top of my wishlist.
4.) Hermès Voyage d’Hermès: Perhaps it’s ironic to end the post with Voyage… never mind. I never would have picked up this fragrance on my own, because the bottle intimidates me. So maybe it is appropriate that this is Voyage – a voyage of discovery through overcoming my fears. THIS IS SO OFF TOPIC.
This 2010 release has top notes of cardamom, amalfi lemon, and spices. In the heart we discover green notes, floral notes, and tea. And for the base – woodsy notes and musk. The tea notes in this are divine, but unusual; instead of steeped-leaves tea, you get fresh tea leaves – a whole different story. The amalfi lemon combines to make an iced-tea effect, and only when you get skin-deep do you get the civet-like base. Fine from a distance, but not appropriate so much for intimate situations. I’ll finish this up, but I will not run out to get this any time soon.
Collective thoughts about what I’ve sniffed today: Hermès continues to fascinate me, as does Jean-Claude Ellena. I can’t wait to take a trip to their store and smell some more!
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