Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hermes 24 Faubourg: fragrance review

Named after the famed "faux bourg" rue of Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8eme arrondisement in Paris, where the headquarters of the Dumas-family luxury house are situated, 24, Faubourg was immersed in luxury from the very beginning; to the manor born.



Like many perfume lovers I'm not averse to luxury per se. Luxury and luxuria pose an interesting thought; luxuria is the Latin name for...lust. One of the 7 deadly sins. Luxury lovers do lust over the objects of their desire, do they not?  Desire is sparked by lack. Lack creates eros, the urge to fill the lack, the platonic ideal of uniting two parts that once made a whole. It's a metaphorical concept. Explains why brands keep us on our toes searching for the part that's missing!

In rebelliousness against social class and perhaps due to anti-snobbism on my part (or is it just plain snobbism in reverse, I sometimes wonder?) I have refrained from conscious overt exhibition of the insignia of wealth and embracing the lowly and the humble on purpose. Look at that drugstore item, isn't it fabulous? And that Zara fragrance at a fraction of the cost of a designer one, yet made by Puig just the same? Who needs logos and frou frou, it's the quality in things that matters. The axiom of Coco Chanel has always guided me. It'd be quite inelegant to hang a 50 carat diamond from one's neck, as surely as it'd be gauche to hang a check from it. So why indulge in the luxuria of capitalism? Wanting more, exhibiting more?

I have been perfectly happy going for my esoteric woody incenses for everyday wear. People usually don't even ascribe the aromas emanating from my humble person as "perfume", even when they like them. It's not like Coco Mademoiselle, "hey, you're wearing perfume". I suppose it's like I just left Vespers or something or have been spending a lot of time at the library, which is not unusual come to think of it. I'm also big on white florals and on spicy orientals, though these have a harder time passing under the radar of "perfume awareness". Not that it really bothers me if they do make people notice. After all, many a time a potent scent has sparked an interesting conversation. People united by scent are people united at breath, it's a powerful connection.


The scent of 24, Faubourg is floral, undeniably floral, white floral drenched in honeyed tones, to be exact, not just "a floral".  It's the floral to end all florals, and yet it's not only floral. In its elaborate, Byzantine bouquet I can detect resins, balsams, fruit (fuzzy peaches and tangy citruses), a soft powderiness of orris, some wood, something intangible, something aching to overreach...Sounds like everything and the kitchen sink (same thought with the original feminine Boucheron ) and yet it is not that in effect. Instead, a perfectly judged, lush, satisfying, calorific, dare I say it, yes, I will, RICH effect comes out of that lovely bottle shaped like a carré silk scarf that the Dumas house is famous the world over for.
Although the orange blossom and the jasmine and the (rather less copious in the mix) gardenia owe as much to analytical chemistry as they owe to nature's laboratory, the experience feels like a silken thread woven by some exotic insect with beautiful wings in an engulfing tropical greenhouse.
The allusion to the sun is nowhere more evident than in the advertising images which reflect the golden, ambery aura of the scent. I wrote before that "solar notes" stand for warmth and luminosity and although this is not especially salicylates-focused, it does smell snuggly and jovial and reminiscent of the touch of the sun.

Perfect for the Indian Summer days and evenings we're going through then!

4 comments:

  1. Boucheron is more the lusty affair; 24 Faubourg is the evening out. Both equally beautiful!!

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  2. annemariec13:21

    Lovely review, and yes, 24 Faubourg does ask us to confront our ideas about overt luxury. I loved it for a while, especially for what (to me) reads like a scratchiness in there somewhere, rich but dry, like raw silk. Gradually started I to find it too ... moneyed ... or something. It didn't help that I met someone whom I dislike who wears 24 as a signature. But it is a lovely piece of work and I will hang on to my pretty little 30 ml of the EDP. I may go back to it one day.

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  3. You read my mind. I wore 24 Faubourg for 7 straight years ( 3 bottles of 100 ml EDP a year I believe ! ) before becoming a raging perfumista . Simpler times ! I spritzed the EDP over the weekend and was immediately entranced all over again .It's so much more than a white floral ,so big ,handsome and well smells much different from scents today .

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  4. Oh, it's beauty in a bottle. Prescious!
    Today I discovered Twilly. Love love love !!! .. after 24 Fauborg and L'Ambre des Merveilles of corse.

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