Hermes Cuir d’Ange ~ fragrance review & quick poll

Hermès Sac à Dépêches

I said when I reviewed Épice Marine that a new fragrance in the upscale Hermessence range from French house Hermès always makes me happy, even when I don’t love the juice. Part of the reason is that they rarely bore me, and another factor is that the relatively easy availability of the 15 ml bottles means I can get some if I want it.1 So the news of the latest (and the 12th in the series), Cuir d’Ange, was welcome, although I find now that every new fragrance from Hermès brings with it a little twinge of anxiety: will it be the last from house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena? (Please, Mr. Ellena, don’t retire just yet.)

I tend to divide the Hermessences into three categories: the few I don’t care about at all (sorry, Paprika Brasil), the few that I need in 100 ml (Osmanthe Yunnan!), and the rest, which I generally need in 15 ml (Vanille Galante, for instance). Sometimes I’m wrong, of course; I think I’m now on my third 15 ml bottle of Vetiver Tonka and my second of Rose Ikebana, and I’m heading fast towards another bottle of Brin de Réglisse. Cuir d’Ange, for now, is going in the 15 ml category — I’d like to own some but I’m not at all sure I’d run through 100 ml…

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Friday scent of the day 7/25

Quaint Cape Cod scene, Cape Cod Mass.

Today’s community project: wear something by Hermès OR something by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. What did you pick?

As always, do chime in with your scent of the day even if you didn’t participate in the community project!

I’m wearing Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche, because it’s the only choice I have (I’m still on vacation). I smell great but it’s probably not what I would have picked if I was at home…

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There is no scent that is luxurious

There is no scent that is luxurious. It’s what we do with it that makes it luxurious. Otherwise, how will we know when something is luxurious? The supreme luxury is to take time, and we have time at Hermès. When we develop perfume at Hermès, we can take two to three to four years to do it. It’s unique. What we are creating together is for 2015 or 2017.

— Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, from Q&A: Hermès’s Perfumers on Luxury, Perfume Bloggers, and Nighttime Scents at NY Mag.

Hermes Jour d’Hermes Absolu ~ perfume review

Jour D'Hermès Absolu visuals

So how much do you care about a perfume’s lasting power? If it’s an important issue to you, you probably weren’t impressed with Jour d’Hermès, the 2012 release from French luxury brand Hermès. I’ve seen it described as radiant, and translucent, and luminous (all fitting adjectives for a scent from from perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena), but nobody claimed it was a powerhouse. Personally, lasting power is only rarely a concern of mine. I’m disappointed if a perfume fizzles out in 45 minutes, but I’m not at all concerned if a perfume doesn’t make it through the day — ideally, I’d like a perfume to smell lovely for about 4 hours and then disappear altogether. I’m not sure if Jour D’Hermès actually manages a full 4 hours, but it comes close enough for my purposes.

Still, a slightly more full-bodied version would be appealing, and the new Jour D’Hermès Absolu sounded like it would fit the bill, and might also provide an interesting variation on the original — sort of like the Eau de Parfum version of the original Kelly Caleche Eau de Toilette. And that’s about how it works out…

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