â Brand: HermÃs / Type: Fragrance / Concentration: Eau de Toilette â
Launched: 1984, in production
Group: Chypre Floral
Hermes is a luxury accessory and perfume brand founded in Paris, France in 1837. I own a number of Hermes miniature fragrances I wear and test as a hobby; one of them being Parfum d'Hermes created for ladies in 1984.
The original packaging, a round, hollowed out bottle housed in a very '80s dark red 'croc skin' pattern is unmistakeably luxurious and classy. Recently repackaged, today's Parfum d'Hermes comes in a heavy, rectangular bottle with a transparent dome cap, a bottle design shared by many creations of the house.
Top notes: aldehydes, galbanum, bergamot, hyacinth
As soon as I dab the fragrance on my wrists and neck, I'm hit with a powerful blast of bitter, soapy and detergent-like aldehydes, a classic ingredient used to give a sparkling cleanness to fragrances. Some moment later the aldehydes are tinged with a strong aroma of galbanum; a bitter, green and earthy grass-like element and citric, tangy bergamot. The result is a fairly sharp, strong, bitter and herbal soap / detergent accord rather than a fresh, sweet or uplifting one as you'd normally expect even from classics.
Heart notes: iris, ylang-ylang, jasmine, rose
As the minutes pass, the non-sweet and bitter and most of all soapy opening is changing in the presence of white florals notably bitter and to me cloying hyacinth, a good choice if you want to preserve the bitter soapiness of the accord. The proble;m is it doesn't work for me at all. With time, other, more subtle and sweeter florals emerge such as plush jasmine and powdery iris, however they are consistently left in the shadows and never fully bloom. The soapy and bitter aromas never leave the composition and whilst I can make out two distinct facets - the opulent but soft, powdery and a sensual white floral one hidden under a bitter and soapy upper coat - the overall feel is rather formal, unfriendly and coarse coupled with a weak projection in the first 8 hours or so.
Base notes: spices, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, vetiver, cedarwood, incense, myrrh
The day passes and I'm eagerly waiting for the supposedly rich, spicy and indulgent oriental dry down based on the notes but alas nothing of that sort happens. The fragrance is just as linear as throughout the earlier phases apart from a hidden layer of a powdery, dry and dirty vanilla mixed with some dark and dry elements, woods or incense I'm guessing. The accord is blurred, almost-non sweet and has an ever present soapy aroma hanging like a cloud over it. The dry and almost cold, non-sweet base notes cling to close to the skin and clothing for up to 10 - 12 hours.
I tend to appreciate classics as they provide a window into perfume-making of the past and apart form a few exceptions, not many of them are in production anymore. Even if I do not wear these fragrances on a daily basis , I know beauty when I see it. I looked hard, tried to understand where Parfum d'Hermes comes from yet it just doesn't grab me. It possesses an overload a aldehydes but it's not an aldehydic fragrance like Chanel No. 5 or Hermes Caleche. Whilst quite bitter and non-sweet, it lacks the earthier, more oriental and mossier base of Chypre fragrances it claims to be. It's not warm, spicy or woody enough to be an oriental either. It has a bit of everything yet, somehow it's not going anywhere. Loud to begin with and increasingly linear from the middle onwards, on the whole I find Parfum d'Hermes out of balance, strident and joyless.
Both the recently reviewed Bel Ami for men and Parfum d'Hermes come from the '80s, I find the former aged remarkably well while the latter didn't. Parfum d'Hermes could easily pass for a 1970's fragrance for that matter when this type of soapy, sharp, woody green floral oriental fragrances were the norm. On a person with a right skin chemistry the fragrance might offer a richer and more suave experience. Sadly, due to the soapy aldehydes that never quite dissipate and which drown the other elements that could have developed otherwise, Hermes's classic offering gets a thumbs down from me.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Currently available as an Eau de Toilette version from Hermes boutiques or online at a full RRP of 107 / 100ml together with an offshoot of Parfum d'Hermes called Rouge at the same price. Both can be found on discounter sites such as eBay for a lot less.
Â©powered by lillybee also posted on dooyoo.co.uk