Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver ~ new fragrance

Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver

French house Hermès has launched Bel Ami Vétiver, the first in a projected series of classic Hermès fragrances reworked by house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. Bel Ami Vétiver is a variation on 1986's Bel Ami, a leathery chypre originally developed by perfumer Jean-Louis Sieuzac.

The other classic fragrances in the series will include Eau d'Hermès, Calèche, Equipage, Amazone, Rocabar, Hiris and Rouge.

Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver is available in 100 ml Eau de Toilette. It can be found now at Hermès in France, €90, and is expected to go into wider distribution next year.

(via,, found via Sorcery of Scent)

Update: see a review of Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver.

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  1. kaos.geo says:

    Robin, please, I am tryin to save up some money to buy my first car (at 40)…. this news sets back the car purhase to 2015-16! LOL

    • Robin says:

      Hey, sorry! But if 90 euros will set you back a year…or do you mean you’re going to buy ALL of them??

      I am curious to smell them all but most interested in Caleche & Hiris. Please, JCE, do something lovely with Hiris…

      • kaos.geo says:

        Just kidding… but I will smell all! I am interested specially in bel ami, equipage and caleche… I find the rest not my type, but I am very intrigued as maybe JCE will brig them to the 21st century! Rocabar for example, was a huge letdown for me when it came out… big, bold, stuffy… not my cup of tea at all.

        • Robin says:

          You never know! He might do something to make me like Amazone :-)

      • C.H. says:

        Hoping your Hiris wish comes true! My first thought was that a JCE version of anything means a lighter version, which is not the first request I’d make about that fragrance, but I’ll share your hope for a lovely spin on the Hiris composition!

        • Robin says:

          That’s true too. We’ll have to see what he did with Bel Ami, which is not a lightweight :-)

    • juicejones says:

      Ha! How many posts begin with the inferred “Robin, please”?
      I am curious about these too, and don’t need the temptation. Caleche and Hiris spark my interest.

  2. galbanumgal says:

    A leathery chypre + vetiver? Must try. Used to like Amazone (in the 8th grade!), but the newest iteration didn’t impress, will be interested to see what they do this time.

    • Robin says:

      I am not a massive fan of Bel Ami, but very curious to smell. And maybe that’s why I don’t love Amazone, maybe it’s over-reformulated.

  3. chandler_b says:

    Why is this not available in America yet! (currently checking air fare to France…)

    • Robin says:

      Hopefully it will get here in December, but hard to say with Hermes. Sometimes we are much later than other locations.

  4. nozknoz says:

    Earlier this year I decided to sniff several vintages of Rochas Femme. Of course, they are in different conditions, but I really believe they are really different fragrances. Put them in a line-up with similar types of fragrances from different points in time, and I don’t think many people would be likely to identify the various versions of Femme as one fragrance. For example, I’d wager the recent cumin-centric version is a better match with L’AP Al Oudh than with original Femme.

    Hermes is taking an interesting approach in deciding to publicize this series of classics reworked, rather than just stealthily continuing to reformulate them – basically making lemonade when IFRA gives you lemons. JCE could come up with something worthwhile, and I’ll certainly try to sample these. I’m clutching my old bottles tightly, though. ;-)

    • Robin says:

      Well, hate to say it, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t go right on stealthily reformulating the original versions, right?

      • nozknoz says:

        You’re right, of course! I carelessly jumped to the conclusion that these reworked versions would replace the old ones, but I guess the amended name Bel Ami Vetiver suggests a parallel line, like No. 19 Poudre, now that I think about it.

    • annemarie says:

      I have not explored all possible iterations of Femme but I will say that the vintage EDC I bought on eBay, which I’d say may be 1970s or so, is nowhere near as good as the new stuff in my view, even allowing for the top notes in the vintage having turned. My conclusion was that maybe whoever had the Rochas license in the 70s had let the formula run down. The 1989 reformulation, which was explicitly named as a reformulation, was perhaps the result of a decision to inject some more money and energy into the product. I’d rather a good reformulation than vintage from some era where nobody cared.

      • nozknoz says:

        Yes, that’s a great point. Although some stubborn part of me wants them to just retire the old name and give the new perfume a new name. Or at least a number, like royals, such as Femme IV, LOL.

  5. prism says:

    omg! i’m properly excited for all those reworked classics

    tho, isn’t Kelly Caleche a reworked classic already?

    • Robin says:

      Gosh, not to me…doesn’t remind me of Caleche at all. I’m assuming these will be closer in spirit to the originals, although perhaps I will turn out to be wrong!

  6. CobraRose says:

    I was thinking, JCE takes on 24 Faubourg?!, then I read on–apparently not.

    • Robin says:

      I’m surprised they didn’t include that one, it has to be one of their bigger pre-JCE sellers.

  7. donanicola says:

    Didn’t JCE already do a riff on Eau d’Hermes? Oh but for Cartier (Declaration). Or was that a riff on Eau Sauvage. Anyway, that aside I look forward to E d’H because much as I love the original it really does smell of “Robert Mitchum’s jockstrap in Grace Kelly’s handbag” on me. Not that I’ve smelled RM’s jockstrap but you know what I mean ;)

    • nozknoz says:

      That’s a great description!

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