Hermessence: Hermès Exclusive Line

Hey Hey Perfume Posse. Hermessence is a group of fragrances created by Jean-Claude Ellena for the Hermès boutiques. They are available only in stores and a few lucky department stores that have internal Hermès stand alones like Selfridge & Co. in London. The line is regularly lauded and panned by perfumistas. It seems they are created for a very specific taste range, yet also manage to be accepted as style benchmarks by the wider general public. Maybe due to Hermès own iconic status as one of the last self governed multi nationals. One of the things I particularly like about the Hermessence range is that they can be bought in sensible 15ml travel sets of 4, though the costs is way more per ml, which means you can have choice. LOVE choice!

Hermessence: Hermès Exclusive Line

usa.hermes.com:perfumes:hermessenceHermès

No matter your favourite notes in perfumery the Hermessence range isa filling up to showcase at least one thing that will grab your attention. Be it amber, pepper, rose, lily of the valley or sandalwood within the oily, wet, sheer and elegant confines of the range you’ll find something to satisfy your fragrant cravings. Here are a few that I have paid retail for:

Hermessence Ambre Narguilé HermesHermès

Hermessence Ambre Narguilé

Known here on the Posse as the Nazgul Ambre Narguilé is the largest scent in the Hermessence line. Amber, sweet tobacco and smoke of the winters air all combine to create a chewy, crunchy caramelised fragrance that wears linear and lasts all day. This is an evening or cold weather go-to for me but I have a mate here in Sydney who wears it in summer too and smells amazing. When I first bought my Surrender To Chance sample I drained it in a moment but since I’ve owned my 15ml travel it doesn’t get so much wear, I’m going to put it in my travel wetpack today so I have it for wearing on weekend jaunts.

Hermessence Cuir d'Ange HermesHermès

Hermessence Cuir d’Ange

When Cuir d’Ange came on the market I went straight to Surrender To Chance to get a sample because it was released overseas before we got it here. INSTANT love. My first 15ml travel of the baby was gifted to me by Val the Cookie Queen and I ran that dry in no time so I’m currently on my second 15ml and when it’s empty I’m going FB. There is something so soft and supple about it and I feel I can wear it at any and all times, though this applies to most of the Hermessence line. Considering how sheer it is I’m always surprised when people compliment me on it, which happens regularly. Even Tara from A Bottled Rose gave me an unexpected thumbs up while we were in Venice earlier this year.

Hermessence Vanille Galante HermesHermès

Hermessence Vanille Galante

Vanilla and lily, an unexpected and interesting pairing that when I first bought a Surrender To Chance sample was put directly into the give it away pile. Too freaky for me back then. So about 3 years ago it came as a sample with something else I bought at Hermès and this time it was love. I drained that sample in no time and then saw someone selling a 15ml travel which I snapped up, drained and last time I was buying a 4 travel pack I added a new one to replace the empty. It’s a fabulous travel scent because it’s neither warm nor cool and fits into both temps beautifully. I recently had to take it out of my travel wetpack because there’s only a couple of ml left.

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Which is your favourite Hermessence?
Portia xxx

This is interesting too!

24 Comments

  1. I really like the Nazgul, and the SA at the boutique told me it’s the bestselling of the Hermessences. I think my favorite is probably Vetiver Tonka, which is both unique and cozy. I just wish it stuck around longer. Vanille Galante is really beautiful, though, and I’d like to thank the lovely perfumista at the South Coast Plaza meetup who convinced me to get a sample. It didn’t smell that interesting on a card, but the gorgeous green lily came to life on my skin.

    • Hey LaurelS,
      Vetiver Tonka is very nice. So wearable and it keeps me sniffing because it goes through so many changes on me.
      Not surprised that the Nazrul is their bestseller, it’s YUM!
      Portia xx

  2. I have never tried anything from Hermes. Probably because it has never interested me in the way a lot of other houses do.

    • Hey Eldarwen22,
      That is so interesting. Is it the JC Ellena thing or the whole Hermès product?
      Portia xx

      • I think that it is the whole JC Ellena thing. He has done many great perfumes but his aesthetic doesn’t appeal to me.

        • Fair call Eldarwen22, not everyone can like it. It would be terribly boring if we all loved the same thing.
          Portia xx

  3. The only one I have tried is Cuir d’Ange and it’s really beautiful, transparent and cozy. My only complaint is the poor longevity, at least on my skin. I’d like to try out the others, especially the recent one, a lily of the valley.

    • Mot just you. They ALL have poor longevity. It’s a hallmark of the Hermessence, sadly.

    • Hey Neva,
      Interesting story about Cuir d’Ange. I was wearing it on holiday earlier this year and had complained to Jin about its longevity. About three hours later without any fragrant conversation Tara from A Bottled Rose turned and gave me a compliment on my beautiful leather fragrance and asked if I was wearing Cuir d’Ange. Jin and I couldn’t smell it at all but apparently to everyone not already nose blind to it it smelled fabulous.
      Portia xx

  4. I’m definitely in the Nazgul camp — Love. It. I also really love Osmanthe Yunnan, especially in the spring — there’s something green and dewy about it that I find relaxing. I grabbed a sample of Rose Ikebana once, but it never really worked for me — I wish I liked rose, but I’m not a fan, and this was rose with rose on top and a rose chaser. I passed it along to my goddaughter. I wouldn’t mind trying the Cuir D’Ange sometime because I like me some leather, and I’m also curious to try the Iris one — I have such a love/hate relationship with iris perfumes, but I have to sniff. Other than the Nazgul, I find the Hermessence perfumes really people-friendly (like, for office wear), and yet more interesting than the average scent.

  5. Yes to Hermes! Vanille Galante was true love at first sniff. Ambre Narguile was an “oh no”, but I tried it again much later and it was “Oh YES, where have you been all my life.” Those 15 ml bottles are a delight. They are my little perfumed loveys that make me smile every time I see, touch, or smell them. 😀

    • Hey Tiffanie,
      That makes me so happy that you love Vanille Galante, first sniff is impressive.
      15ml, I love it. Don’t care if it costs more or that I have to rebuy, SO EAST!
      Portia xx

  6. Howdy, Portia! This is such a nice line, isn’t it? And those lovely, big samples — hats off to Hermes for those! I’m a fan of the Galante, the Vetiver Tonka, and the Iris Ukiyoe. It doesn’t seem to get much love, but it’s a fresh, slightly sweet iris that’s easy on the nose and makes me happy when I wear it. Our Hermes boutique moved a year or two ago from an easily accessible storefront to a high-rise shopping center with complicated (and expensive) parking, so haven’t been in there to sniff around.

    • Hi there Ann,
      That seems like a weird move for Hermès. You should go and ask the staff how the move has affected business.
      I had a sample of the iris a long time ago that didn’t really gel for me. Maybe it’s time to reassess that.
      Portia xx

  7. I have a small bottle of Vanille Galante, a nice springtime scent. It’s true, though, that Hemanessence = evanescence…

  8. Love Vetiver Tonka (FB), Cuir d’Ange (FB) and Santal Massoia (gift set); like Epice Marine (gift set), Osmanthe Yunnan and Ambre Narguilé (both samples). I’ve only sprayed others on card – neutral about the Rose and Iris; had to get the card with Muguet on it into the recycling quick.

    • I do want to explore Brin de Reglisse properly. On card the first blast of licorice was a bit much but I’m curious how it works on skin. I see it getting a lot of love on the blogs.

      • Hey there MrsDalloway ,
        I was tossing up whether to put Brin de Reglisse in the post because I think it’s suck an elegant lavender with that fun liquorice opening but decided to leave it for next time.
        Portia xx

  9. I haven’t sniffed them all, but I love Cuir d’Ange. Also like Iris Ukiyoe and Osmanthe Yunnan. I love those travel sizes and want to get some someday.

    • Hi DinaC,
      The travel sizes come in an excellent 4 pack. They’re not cheap but they are ultra convenient and fit in purses and backpacks on planes so easily. LOVE them.
      Portia xx

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