Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Hermes Twilly d'Hermes: fragrance review

Perfumer Christine Nagel's style could be likened to an Italian sunset. Probably has to do with her paternal Italian side. The bleeding of the colors into the sky and the transformation of dusk into darkness could be compared with her inimitable mastery at blending luminous and bright notes into chords which resonate deeper and darker as the scent develops throughout time. You're never on a simple path with her perfumes, such as the stupendous Maboussin, the balsamic wonder of Les Larmes Sacrees de Thèbes among her limited edition perfume trio for Baccarat, or the intricately sweet Si fragrance by Giorgio Armani, and of course the stupendous Theorema by Fendi, a case study in how to make a non threatening oriental fragrance.
and there's always something to discover in the process.
I find this quality quite enjoyable in her latest creation, Twilly by Hermès, the house Nagel now acts as in-house perfumer for.

double exposure photography artwork by Antonio Mora via

Although Twilly d'Hermès possesses that optimistic flair (via its fresh citrusy opening) that people find more summery than wintery, I find that the composition veers into another direction very, very quickly thanks to the brilliant combination of fresh ginger and a floralcy which is hard to pinpoint (official sources say tuberose, but it's a totally unexpected kind of tuberose). A kaleidoscope of green, floral, and even earthy and woody nuances pass before your nostrils in quick succession, as if buoyed by the golden light of a glorious afternoon full of grace when everything seems to happily melt unto itself.

Twilly d'Hermès doesn't remind me of any other fragrance I know (which is remarkable in itself) and it's playful enough and light enough to appeal to younger women without appearing condescending in the least. Nevertheless, its very memorability lies in the delicate and rather sophisticated interweaving of fresh spiciness and carnal sensuality without recalling any particular genre: is it spicy floral? is it a citrusy woody? is it floral woody musky? It's a puzzle, but a good one.

Her last two fragrances for Hermes showcase the treatment of light and delicate juxtaposition.
Eau de Rhubarbe Ecarlate is a study in this duality, whereupon the succulent yet fresh rhubard note is envelopped in high-tech musks to give a persistent buzz like a bubblebee around nectarous blossoms. And Galop, for all its deluxe price, does not smell like it's trying too hard; a bet lost by many of the luxury segment brands nowadays, who, intent on presenting something posh, lose the golden measure and load the perfume with insurmountable heaviness. Galop, on the contrary, breathes!

Twilly increases its appeal with repeated wearings, so I suggest you give it some thorough testing before pronouncing a definitive assessment. It's young and probably not too serious in intent, but we all have our heavyweights for the days we want to immerse ourselves in existential ennui I suppose.


  1. This sounds very interesting to me...I once had a ginger based perfume that I liked very much in certain moods, and I can see how ginger + tuberose could work well together. This is one I definitely hope to sample!

    1. The sum of its parts is greater than its components would suggest. And yet it's a light perfume! It's quite something.

  2. Great review. Sounds like a good one!

  3. Replies
    1. Good for you. It's quite unusual! Enjoy :)

  4. I have tried this and .... well, I thought it was for the young ones. I got sick of it so I was very glad I could just sample it in the department store. I could not smell tuberose but , maybe its me and my old nose! LOL

    1. Oh it's definitely for the young ones! They say so themselves. But thank heavens it's not another heavy syrupy thing, it's quite sophisticated for the target group it aims. You know, I always thought Kelly Caleche should be the entry perfume for young demoiselles into proper scents, but somehow it didn't quite work that way and it's a shame. Still, they keep trying and that's admirable of them.

      No tuberose discernible in its proper form though. You're not suffering from old nose dear M, it's just that it's totally different than anything we have smelled before in "va va voom" tuberoses!

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  6. Ok now you've just convinced me to give it another try… maybe it's because of the opening. It sounded like something already smelled many times. So I stopped smelling it seriously and... completely missed the point. Thank you for reviewing it!

  7. Anonymous02:49

    Interesting! I honestly felt that Twilly smelled like a lot of fruity floral designer scents. I wasn't impressed. I wish the ginger came out more.


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