Friday, October 5, 2018

Hermes Eau d'Hermes: Thoughts on Revisiting a Classic

Choosing an Hermès fragrance is, to me, an embarrasement of riches. The brand is among my very favorites for several reasons; most important of all is that their axiom of effortless luxury is very simpatico to my own aesthetic values. I love so many of their fragrant canon...In the end if put into the position to choose, I have to distill the exercise into a search for clarity. In that field, two clear contestants came head and shoulders above: Terre d'Hermès and the original Eau d'Hermès. After all the latter is advertised as being "l'eau de la terre d'Hermès depuis 1951" (i.e. Hermes's essence since 1951)

They're both unexacting on the wearer, feeling like lucid impressionistic creations that manage to be abstract without coming across as maudlin, nor conspicuous. In the ensuing bras de fer the progenitor rose triumphant in those stakes, even though the child, Terre, is stellar on its own merits. Eau d'Hermès for the ride then!

This old creation from 1951 was a composition by the legendary perfumer Edmond Roudnitska, and since such a huge part of the Hermès modern legacy has been composed by Roudnitska's magnificent pupil, master perfumer Jean Claude Ellena, it was long due to pay respects to the fountain that brought forth such scented marvels. Additionally, Ellena has overseen the perfectly decent modern reformulation of the vintage composition with his customary attention to detail; a feat in today's world of watered-down reformulations that leave new perfumephiliacs in a query as to what we, rather more seasoned aficionados, see in the monuments of the past.

Eau d'Hermès is predominantly a fresh and the same time sensuous scent for both sexes, with emphasis on both qualities. Nowadays these might seem mutually exclusive, but they definitely are not by default; it's culturally imposed to view them so. The inspiration couldn't have been more Hermès if it tried: the soft insides of a luxurious leather handbag where a spicy citrus mingles with the odor of fine leather. The important addition of cardamom, a "cold" spice which pairs exceptionally well with both leather and citruses, and which gives a cool feeling of freshness alongside the spiciness, is pre-empting several of Ellena's spicy arpeggios, inclusive or exclusive of Hermès fragrances.

At the time of writing, Eau d'Hermes has ONLY 4 PEOPLE naming it as a signature scent on a popular database of millions of viewers, which I think must be a record for a scent from a major fragrance house. It's high time more people talked about Eau d'Hermès and tried it on for good measure. I hope my update accomplishes that and ensures a continued production of this silent strong type of a scent.

1 comment:

  1. i will definitely have to seek out the "eau"---the husband often wears "terre" and i like it greatly; this sounds lovely. i'm mad about cardamom, and any scent with that as a prominent facet sounds good to me.


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