Friday, June 2, 2023

Hermes Eau de Basilic Pourpre: fragrance review

 Hermès launched another vegetal, light, and airy fragrance in its Cologne collection in July 2022. Eau de Basilic Pourpre represents a sunny and summery Mediterranean scent, inspired by basil at a farmer's market, a very common occurrence in open air spaces in the south of Europe and temperate climate Middle Eastern countries. 


The composition was created by in-house perfumer Christine Nagel, who describes it as an instant burst of pleasure and freshness. Rather than imitating the scent of basil itself, the perfumer relied on her memory of a smell she once experienced and the impression she remembers.

 The fragrance of Eau de Basilic Pourpre focuses on basil's invigorating and herbal scent, combined with light touches of bergamot from Calabria, geranium (in its geraniol rosy-green-minty facets), a hint of patchouli, and warm peppery-clovey spices. Purple basil is the main ingredient, as it takes center stage in the composition.

The spicy component in Eau de Basilic Pourpre is recognizable as soon as the bottle is sprayed. It's an invigorating scent that many people smelling it identify as mint, actually, but that is probably because they cannot pinpoint accurately, over-acclimatized as they are to functional scents from toothpaste and chewing gum. Which is strange in a way, because people around the Mediterranean are well accustomed with the scent of potted basil - but there you have the poetic interpretation we were talking about stirring Nagel's imagination and creativity. The variant used or the combination of spicy notes is not immediately a thought of a basil salad and that's what makes the scent very wearable. In fact it also bonds with the rest of the heritage in that it replicates elements of the dry-down of the original 1979 Eau d'Orange Verte, (also known as Eau de Cologne Hermes); that impression of a hesperidic peel being clawed on with a cruel fingernail. Nagel plays homage, clearly. 
After the initial spicy jolt the scent development of Eau de Basilic Pourpre calms into a chord that recalls the classic Cologne structure with clean musk and the distinction of a floral note; in this case that's geranium, making it perfectly unisex and to most women leaning unto masculine because of the distinct lack of sweetness overall.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous21:08

    A beautiful review, as always! I'm going through some of your archives, to amuse myself on a surprisingly cold and grey summer day here. I haven't tried this yet but you're tempting me. I'm glad you're still writing about scents :) Very best regards, Carole


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