Rolling out of bed, so tired, bleary eyed, exhausted, another day of work and running and errands ahead. Hop into the shower, thinking about what perfume to wear. Too many take too much effort and will just wear out my nose before the day is done because they are too heavy, too sweet, too nothing, too unknown, I don´t want to think about this! Hermes, take me away!!!! Hermes always has a perfume that requires very little effort to wear or understand, but are not so simple that they are boring, so I have several picks as best perfumes from the Hermes line that I can spritz on with abandon, that feel like old friends, whether Ive had them for years or just a month.
The best part about doing a post about my Best Perfumes from hermes is that I get the revisit them all and remember why I love them and depend on them. These aren´t necessarily my favorite perfumes as far as how I find them interesting or unusual or how they create a mood – most of them aren´t – but they are the ones that are the Deep Bench, the Pinch Hitters, the scents that don´t require any work for me to love or wear. There is no interpretation, they are comfortable old coats I can shrug on and not think about, but just enjoy being in their company.
Hermes Eau de Merveilles or Water of Wonders — ambergris, bitter orange, Italian lemon, Indonesian pepper, pink pepper, oak, cedar, balsam, vetiver and woods. This has everything I love in a fragrance. The citrus notes are bright and sparkly, but not overly sweet. The pepper adds a little oomph to it, and then all of that woods. This perfume is charming and comfortable. It´s effortless to wear. I don´t have to pretend to be anyone other than who I am with this friend, it reflects me instead of me wearing it.
Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil – from the Hermes garden series, this one celebrates the River Nile. Notes of green mango, lotus flowers, aromatic rushes, incense, sycamore wood. This one is more citrusy than the Merveilles, without feeling fruity. It is made for spritzing wildly all about and feeling like I can just float above my cares for the day, not worry about tomorrow. This is the friend that takes me out for a wild ride when I’ve been working too hard and makes sure I remember what it is just to laugh and be carefree.
Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee – another of the garden series and one that many people do not care for, though I can´t figure out why. Notes of fig tree, mastic tree, red cedar, bergamot, orange blossom and white oleander. It´s not my favorite of the Hermes scents, but it is the one that nets me the most compliments, followed by Merveilles, then Sur le Nil. I cannot wait for the next one in the Un Jardin series to come out. It is a friend because I feel so pretty when I wear it, adored.
Last in the best perfumes from Hermes line of friends, but not least, but newest to me are the Hermessence series. I do not know them as well as the others, but have fallen in love with two, alone or together. I won´t discuss the Nazgul. Even when I am not bearing the ring, it loves me not.
Hermes Hermessence Rose Ikebana – The silk in the series, with notes of rose tea, infusion of petals, peony, magnolia, pink peppercorn, zest of grapefruit, rhubarb and vanilla honey. I cannot imagine a perfume that is easier to wear than this one. It is smooth and creamy, and I am a total sucker for peony and rhubarb. Throw those in a perfume and you own me forever. There´s nothing about this perfume that seems remarkable or outstanding, but in the total, from start to finish, it feels as easy as breathing to wear it, and in its ease is the thing of significance. It is the friend you meet who you instantly feel you have known forever. There is nothing horrible that is revealed as you get to know them, they fit into your life easily, and you feel blessed for having known them. Rose Ikebana is graceful and easy, as I find most of the Hermes scents to be, it never tries too hard or laughs too loud or stays too long, she always leaving you wanting more time with her. This has quickly become the one fragrance that I reach for when I´m in a hurry and just want to smell good.
Hermes Hermessence Vetiver Tonka – The wool in the series, with notes of vetiver, neroli, bergamot, grilled hazelnut, dry fruit, cereals and tonka bean. Smells like chocolate to me. Not really chocolate, but all the best that is chocolate without being gourmandy. This one is the friend to go out drinking with, gossiping and laughing all night, content in sharing what´s been going on in your life, indulging in a wonderfully sinful dessert, wishing you could spend more time together, but so content with having the time that you have had.
Combining Vetiver Tonka and Rose Ikebana is bliss. I need a new language just to express how comforting these two together are. Any season, whatever my favorite clothes are, watching the Poseidon Adventure for the 300th time. How did I live my life without knowing them?
(picture from De Rosado)
Caron Coup de Fouet – I tend to go on and on about this one, as anyone who has been reading here for any length of time knows. That clovey spicy goodness that is The Coup is my Very Best Friend Forever. It is comfort in a bottle, I can slip into that and do nothing but breath deep. It feels like Old Spice does emotionally, all the good things in this world. It isn´t just about the way it smells, this one is entirely about how it makes me feel. I feel loved and accepted and comforted and happy. There is no bad mood for me when the Coup is about. The Coup is my sister in a good mood. My sister’s a Scorpio and never reads this so I can say what I want. Lovely, loyal, wonderful person, but Good Lord can she get mad fast. Coup never gets mad, just stays with you faintly for days and weeks. Months can go by, and I can pick up a coat that Coup has been with, and peace and contentment just surround me. I have no idea why it has this effect on me, but it is powerful indeed.
It is odd that Poivre is not quite the same for me. Poivre is stunning, a more powerful Coup, deeper, richer, but it takes a little work for me to wear. I think Coup´s comfort is that it is rich without being heavy, deep without being terribly complex. I love them both, but Coup is the one that has such a deep emotional comforting effect.
What fragrances are your Best Perfumes from a favorite line? Not your favorite or the most popular, but the one you depend on when all the others let you down?
Judith, you just crack me up. 🙂
I think the difference is probably just that I trend to lighter scents generally, maybe its my fair complexion. So I find the Poivre intense and it distracts me a lot, but the Coup feels lighter and more familiar, it just seems to “live” with me a little more easily. I think there are days when Poivre would be that, but it wouldn’t be every day, though, it’s just stunningly deep and gorgeous and I must have a full bottle next Caron sale. I could change my mind, though, as I live with it and it becomes more familiar.
What I think is so fun is that each person has an emotional reaction to some scents in very different ways. It is somehow an extension of who we are, and one scent feels like us and another feels more like a person we are trying on and being for the day.
That’s what makes this whole perfume gig a blast.:rotfl:
Great group of friends you’ve got there…we have lots of favorites in common!
. . .And reading M’s comment makes me add Chaos! I will stop adding scents now. This is becoming reminiscent of our first swap exchange–and I am stone cold sober!
Oh, and I forgot Ambre Narguile–definitely add AN, perfect for both celebration and comfort; I wear it when I want to feel festive AND when I want to curl up in bed!
Hi Patty–Great piece! I am particularly interested in your comments about Poivre and Coup de Fouet, because I have almost exactly the opposite feelings about them: I enjoy CdF, and I find it nice to combine with others (e.g., Or et Noir), but Poivre is definitely one of my “best friends forever.” I reached for it today when I couldn’t decide what to wear, and I am happily luxuriating in its spicy goodness. Other best friends:
Chanel Cuir de Russie (parfum)
Jicky (PdT–I love the parfum, but the PdT is what I consistently reach for when I want comfort–and when I can’t sleep!)
and sometimes, Mitsouko parfum
It’s an odd list, I guess, because these ‘fumes don’t have the reputation of being the easiest to wear, but all of them instantly feel like “me” when I put them on. . . I’m not an easy person, so I guess that makes sense:)
Love your blog, BTW,
It would be cool if you sold a Patty’s Best Friends Collection of samples or decants based on this post.
I will have to give this more thought (because it’d be fun) but I think my best friends include:
Jean Patou Joy
Chanel No. 22
Parfum de Nicolai Cologne Sologne
AG Le Chevrefeuille and Jasmin,
Divine Homme de Coeur
FM L’Eau d’Hiver
SL Bois et Fruits
I cannot be objective on the subject, however.
Great idea for a post!
Eau des Merveilles, huh? I tried it a while ago and it didn’t do anything for me, I should definitely re-try.
As for my Best Friend Scents, well, Frodo…um…Patty, Nazgul is one of them. It never lets me down. The same applies to Bois des Iles, Organza Indecence, Or des Indes, 100% Love, Chanel No 5 Elixir Sensuel…oh and Poivre and my 2 new loves, Cologne Blanche and Chaos. :wave:
Well, I had to go look, which is funny. Because they’re not the ones I think about. They’re the ones I just… wear, easily. AG Petite Cherie, Mandragore, 4711 (summer.) AG Passion, Etro Messe de Minuit, Passage d’Enfer (winter.) Apres l’Ondee anytime.