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Hermes Epice Marine ~ fragrance review

Hermès Épice Marine, Hermessence series

A new fragrance in the upscale Hermessence range from French house Hermès always makes me happy, even when I don’t love the juice — it’s pretty rare that one has bored me, although it has happened. The new Épice Marine is number 11 in the series, and it falls squarely in the very-interesting-but-don’t-adore-it category, which makes me even happier; as I pointed out in my review of Jour d’Hermès, the brand has taken the lion’s share of my perfume spending already. I will be perfectly happy with the 15 ml travel size I have already purchased, and presumably Hermès will continue to prosper even if I don’t shell out for the full-sized bottle.

So, Épice Marine. The fragrance is about spices and the ocean: it was developed in a collaborative process between Hermès house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena and Breton “pirate chef” Olivier Roellinger, and was inspired by their mutual love of spices and the smell of the sea…

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Hermes Santal Massoia ~ fragrance review

Santal Massoïa

Santal Massoïa is the tenth fragrance in the Hermessence Collection from Hermès, and like the others, was developed by house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. Unless you’re new to the collection, you probably already have some idea of what to expect, that is, you know not to expect Santal Massoïa to fit neatly into your idea of a sandalwood (or massoia) fragrance, and you know that this isn’t the place to go looking for the functional perfume to last through your 8 hour workday. I’ve already gone on and on about my take on the collection, and if you’ve been reading here regularly you also know that there’s about a 50-50 chance that I’ll want at least a small bottle of Santal Massoïa, and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: thank you, Hermès, a million times over, for the lovely little 15 ml bottles.

And I’ll save you time and start with the outcome: yes, it’s 15-ml-bottle-worthy, no, it isn’t going to join Osmanthe Yunnan and Vetiver Tonka in the 100-ml-bottle-worthy category. Given the size of my overall perfume collection, the 100-ml-bottle-worthy category, mind you, is now very narrow indeed, but another way of putting it is that I really like Santal Massoïa but I’m not head-over-heels swooning, although once upon a time I might have said the same of Brin de Reglisse and now I’m in the position of having to replace what I had of it…

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