Parfum D’Hermes and ’80s perfumes

 Parfum D’Hermes

madonna cross - Parfum D'Hermes

You know I can’t ignore this Madonna on a cross with a crown of thorns on her head and a horsewhip in her teeth… Manolo put it best

“Ecce Ho.”

Let me just add, with top tickets selling for $380 a seat, Non Ecce Cheap Ho. And no comments from those of you that spent 12 years conjugating at Our Lady of Perpetual Latin.

It’s just not Friday unless I get to rag on Madonna or Tom Cruise.

New blog by just a delightful, knowledgeable, kind perfume nut, Ina at Aromascope.  Make sure to check out her New to Perfume link on the right side at the top, lots of great links.  It is just wonderful to have more great perfume blogs popping up.

A wonderful friend sent me a little bottle of Parfum D’Hermes, which seems to have been discontinued a while back, but which I had heard good things about forever.  Of course I was anxious to smell it!  Designed in 1984, the same year “Like a Virgin” came out, with notes of cedarwood, bulgarian rose, amber, sandalwood, vetiver spices, vanilla and jasmine.  It goes on soft and a little powdery, so I was thinking right off the bat this is definitely not for me. Me no like powder. Who knows, it may be just that this is an older perfume, but then it comes on in that ’80s strong kind of way, though with Hermes’ more conservative approach, which definitely gives you the time period of its creation if you didn’t know it by now.  I expected this to stay big, like that big hair we all used to have back then —

My hair sure was big.  First I had the Farrah flip in the late ’70s, which I got more or less right (only two pictures that demonstrate this well  — my first wedding picture on the left there, with the white dress and my senior picture above it) and then just big ole short hair with the linebacker shoulder pads (there on the right with the second husband), and we aren’t really going to go into how many times I’ve been married. I’m reformed and am a for-lifer now! And that hair, what a mistake that was. I had tried dying my hair on my own to keep expenses down, and it just got fried, so I had to go crawling to my stylist to please fix it, and we had to cut it all off and make it big, bleached short hair. I kept for the longest time this one jacket from the ’80s because I have a confession to make, I loved and still love shoulder pads.  Every time someone disses them, I think but whyyyyyy?  I’ve always thought of dressing up as a costume drama. Normally my dress is so casual that I’ve been known to run errands in my pajama pants — yes, I’m one of those women, but I have a seriously cute wardrobe of pajama pants and I always stay in the car, and if I’m in an accident, at least I’d be already dressed for the hospital — but back when I used to dress for work and important things, I liked to do it up right.  Admittedly, this was before children, and my fashion sense pretty much washed away in a wistful stream of diapers, play dates, extra pounds and co-op preschool.  Anyway, too many people didn’t understand the big shoulder and gave it a bad name, but done well, it  made your hips look slim, your big hair looked fuller, and your legs just poked out from underneath that mess like the cute little pins they always should have been if you weren’t such a short person. Loved it from a costume drama viewpoint, and I get that it was bad fashion, but costume drama is way more fun than fashion any day of the week. And these pictures were like a hunnert years ago — or 23-25 at least — from the ’70s and ’80s.

Back from that little side road — Parfum d’Hermes is still in its big hair period, and I don’t hate it at all, I actually like it quite a lot, especially for the memories it brings back. For its era, it’s a well-done perfume, but I think Hermes did a better job of the rich floral when they did Hermes 24, Faubourg, but this one has some other things in it you just don’t get in 24, Faubourg. If you’re a fan of Hermes and the ’80s, Parfum D’Hermes is well worth taking a sniff of.  It would be excellent worn out for evening, and you really should tuck a pair of shoulder pads in your jacket for good measure.

What I find interesting is in smelling my way through the Hermes perfume lineup, how it changed. For such a staid, old line, they’ve been very adaptable over a long period of time.

I remember the exact day I knew the big ’80s perfumes were over… when I semlled Lancome Tresor.   I mourned more for my big shoulder pads.  Madonna was big in the ’80s too, kinda fresh,original and fun, dare I say likable?

What perfume do you think Miss Elizabeth Bennet would have worn (please do not confine yourself to what was available in that era) and what cologne should Mr. Darcy have worn?  Yes, it was a Pride and Prejudice weekend, why do you ask?

 And the winner of the Guerlain giveaway from last Friday is… Monica!  Just hit the Contact Us link over there <


  • Josey says:

    I just recieved the bottle and samples!! *HUG* (my parents redirected it to my new summer addy) The bottle is GORGEOUS and the samples…mm…my fave is Plus que Jamais which smells both luxurious and expensive 😡 Thank you so much!

    And another vote for P+P…I have an old 1930s edition of the book, and in one of the inked illustrations, Mr. Darcy looks (appropriately) JUST like Colin Firth! 😡 oooo Mr. Darcy…

  • Dusan says:

    Patty, stay ON Keira? Hmm, now that’s an interesting choice of words… I’m sure there’s some serious Scorpio influence lurking in your natal chart 😉
    So I was totally wrong about you two. March, Gemini? Of course, the signs were all over the place: great sense of humour, multitasker, wide range of interests and talents (oboe? wow, I’m amazed), all that with 4 little ones and a big cheese!
    So your b-day is coming up? Yeey! You know, Gemini never really lose their looks or youthfulness, just like us Leos (may I just add that I happen to have Mars, Venus and Jupiter in Gemini in my N.C. :-)&#41;). Oh and, I wore The Dreamer today and felt like a million $$$.

  • Katie says:

    For part of the 80s my mom insisted I wear a Dorothy Hamill ‘do. I HATED IT SO, but she was like the Dorothy-Hamill-hair-nazi about it, and I didn’t successfully escape the haircut until I think I was around 11 or 12. I would have loved, and in fact, BEGGED for that big hair you were sporting. It seemed so sophisticated to me! You carried off the Farrah well, too. You, know, if you ever miss it, it seems to be slowly coming back in again 😉

  • March says:

    P and Dusan — you guys crack me up. I am Gemini, birthday coming right up. I am of two minds about pretty much everything.

  • BBliss says:

    Ooh – fun – Pride & Prejudice and Perfume!

    Well, I’d choose a fragrance that’s something a little different, intelligent but still feminine for Lizzie – like Ormonde Jayne Woman or Ecume de Rose. Jane would be another Rosine, maybe La rose or Rose d’amour – classic and soft or maybe Divine’s L’ame soeur. Darcy/Colin Firth would wear Tabarome, but only a faint hint – he would never drench himself in anything except that pond!

    Adore the BBC version, and expected to hate 2005, but after some mental adjustment at the beginning, appreciated it in its own way. (sort of like my opinions on some perfumes!)

  • Emotenote says:

    hmmm sorry, I’ve tried to picture what EB and MD would wear but I keep picturing Colin Firth after his little swim in the lake. So distracting. You did mention a tvland crush did you not?

    I’d be fine with Mr. Darcy as himself, but I wonder if he would have worn one of the Creeds, like Imperial or vetiver. For Elizabeth, Bois de Iles, intelligent and subtle.

  • Love Parfum d’Hermès but haven’t smelled it in ages — just have a fond memory of it. Rouge d’Hermès has some of the same undertones, woody and sweet at the same time if I remember correctly.

    I already answered that question regarding Lizzie once on MUA and will restate it here: Après L’Ondée. The aniseed gives it a little kick and represents Lizzie’s wit, the hawthorn for the long strolls in the countryside, the iris for the final softening of the damsel.

    Darcy — something austere in appearance but hiding a deep sensual base. Can’t think of anything right now though.

  • Patty says:

    Pam, I know. I thought the way they did it in 2005 Model, the Bennets’ circumstances were probably a little closer. In the BBC version, without having read the book, it was hard to detect any class differences.

    Yes, I know, Jane would not have approved, or maybe she would have, if she had been born in a different time. I keep thinking she might have written it that way if she wrote it today. The best part about all of her novels is the unspoken yearning and longing. It’s far, far hotter than some of the crap they put in books and on the movie screens and call it romantic.

    They way we all go on and on about our feelings seems so self-centered and just can’t be healthy. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    Well, you stay on Keira and I’ll stay with Colin, they are both worthy of Austenian daydreaming.

    Yup, Sag, through and through. Now I was hunting through for March’s birthday and I can’t find it, which isn’t hard to believe, given my filing system.

  • Pam says:

    Patty, I had the same experience with the new P&P. It took me a while to warm up to the new Darcy. And to the squalor of the Bennets.

    And the fight scene in the ’05 version. Very sexy. And very unAusten. Elizabeth wouldn’t have bared her teeth like that; she kept herself under control in the book during that scene. Still, in the new movie version during the fight scene, when Darcy leans toward Elizabeth and is so tempted to kiss her and she’s tempted to kiss him and the chemistry is running white hot at 1000 degrees. . . well, that’s worth a few daydreams, isn’t it. It’s fabulous. Almost as good as the phone kiss scene in It’s a Wonderful Life.

  • Dusan says:

    Guilty of charge, boohoo!
    I knew I’d get them all wrong, and it’s all your fault-you got me fantasizing about Keira and I can’t think straight with her in my head! 🙂
    Sage, huh? That’s great, my ascendent is Sagittarius, that’s probably why I like you so much ;-)!

  • Patty says:

    Dusan, you are just a baby too!

    The 2005 Model of Darcy I did warm up to, but it took most of the move. Him walking across the field was pretty breathtaking, and I liked the fight between them better. But Colin Firth does it for me, whether he’s Mr. Darcy or not. Lucky Mrs. Firth.

    I think you’ve got them a little flipped. I’m a Sagitarius, and I think March is a Scorpio? Or the one right before it, Libra? I know I know this, but I barely can remember my mom’s birthday.

  • Patty says:

    Hope, oh, that could work too for Darcy. I thought about putting Elizabeth in En Avion, I lean towards that one because she’s so practical and earthy and not so flowery.

  • Patty says:

    R — I do a modified Farrah flip, honest! I just have chin-length or so hair, with long layers, and then I flip the ends with my flat iron a bit so it won’t hang there.

    I’m thinking Darcy smelled like leather and soap and a faint waft of chocolate. But if I could spritz something on him, it would be Vetiver Tonka. Yum.

  • Patty says:

    Victoria, those are stunning! Wow, I love the one with the woman laying on her stomach with the leaf with a drop of water on it. I could spend all week going through those, thanks!!

  • Dusan says:

    Patty, wow, what a glam pair of photos, Farah eat your heart out! Yup, those 70s and 80s, those were the days: me in my diaper (a staple in my wardrobe back then), with my favorite accesory, the pacifier, in one hand and a cigarette in the other, glued to the telly watching Crystal and Alexis losing their shoulder pads in a mud wrestle. Hmm, something’s not right in that sentence… got it – strike out the pacifier, I’d already been hooked on coke (the drink, that is).
    Lizzie B. (both Keira and Jennifer Ahle) – YES! Only, ditch the boring, non-descript 2005 version Darcy and bring back Colin Firth – Jane A. wrote the character in his image, didn’yall know that :-)). I guess Lizzie would wear Miss Dior or Chanel 19 (intellectual, but also romantic and feminine, good point HopeB!), no heavy Guerlain; Darcy-isn’t it obvious: Egoiste, chilly at first, but then goes all warm’n’fuzzy.
    Madonna- no! Well not anymore anyway.
    Ladies, I’m curious, what are your star signs? I’m guessing Patty’s an Aquarius (or Scorpio) and March’s Pisces (or Leo). I’m embarrasingly off the mark, aren’t I? Do tell.

  • Robin says:

    LOL — have to agree with R, Darcy “just wears his “Darcy-nessâ€? very well.”

  • Victoria says:

    Here you go:

    Click letter H and select Hermes.

  • HopeB says:

    Hi, Patty
    Fabulous post–I totally agree about Madonna!
    I love Pride & Prejudice, so I think Lizzie would wear Chanel no.19. It’s the perfect mix of demure & assertive, and it makes me think of long walks in the English countryside. Darcy has to be a Guerlain Vetiver man. He just is.

  • violetnoir says:

    Hey, babe–You were HOT in seventies and eighties, woman, what are you talking about? 😉
    And for that matter, we were all pretty cute. LOL! And, I love that Farrah Fawcett flip. I would still wear it if I could get away with it, yuck, yuck!

    Yeah, I wish Carmela had walked into Guerlain, too. I bet they shot some scene in there but cut it, because that scene seemed too “chopped up” to me.

    Here’s my end of week round up:

    Madonna–NO! Girlfriend’s getting a bit long in the tooth for hanging on crosses and dressing in B&D, don’t you think? I’ve seen her show twice in the past, she puts on a good show, but enough already. Go back to the UK and ride horses or whatever you do, Madonna.

    Parfum d’Hermes–YES!!! I did not like the powder at first, but the drydown is gorgeous. I don’t think this one smells too 80’s, babe. When I think of the 80’s I think of Van Cleef’s Gem or Giorgio or such another, but not this one.

    Ananas Fizz—YES! I love it for the hot weather months. Good one, P!

    Pride and Prejudice—YES, YES, and YES!!! My favorite book and miniseries of all time. But for the life of me, I can’t think of what darling Elizabeth would have worn. L’Air du Temps comes to mind, maybe because it’s a classic like she is, but avoids being too cloyingly sweet yet is strong and feminine at the same time. And as for Darcy…I get the feeling he just wears his “Darcy-ness” very well.

    Hugs and love!

  • Patty says:

    Monica, congrats! I’ll tuck in some of the Parfum D’Hermes with your Guerlains!

  • Patty says:

    Marine, the operative word should be WERE. Now I’m just a normal middle-aged old bat with a menopause belly which I *loathe* and is resistant to any efforts to make it dissappear.

  • Patty says:

    Ina, the Child. Good grief, you are just a baby!

  • Patty says:

    Sybil, the trick is hairspray and lots of it.

  • Patty says:

    Heather, if it helps, my hair wouldn’t stay way for long. I have really thick hair, and it pulls out about anything in an hour. Lots of hairspray kept it for a couple of hours.

    I know the feeling. I just want my shoulder pads back so I can armor up to face those flat-bellied people. 🙂

  • Patty says:

    March, it took me forever to get that to do that, I have another picture or two of what it usually looked like, which was hanging straight down.

    Joan and Linda were my idols! I had thse cute little jumpsuits and red dresses and things with shoulder pads that would make them cry with Envy. And this one Donna Karan suit was just amazing! I really loved that look, but I also loved the ’40s as well, the Joan Collins Power Bitch. Nothing can beat that.

  • Patty says:

    Pam, I’m thinking of springing for a small pair of them again. I just really liked the shape they gave.

    Mmmm, I think Elizabeth would wear that, bright, but brooding. Mr. Darcy needs something mysterious and dashing and outdoorsy. Derby would have worked for him.

  • Patty says:

    Oh, Andy, I suspect those glases looked great on you!

  • Patty says:

    I know, Flora. I just want to KILL the writers. They could have just had her window shop for a second or two!

  • Monica says:

    YAY!! *Muah*
    now I musk look for some Parfum d’Hermes just to complete my Hermes education =)
    Thanks again!

  • Marina says:

    You are gorgeous!

  • Ina says:

    I wasn’t quite the child of the 80s (well, in fact, I was a child then – went to 1st grade in 1983) but, man, can I ever relate to shoulder pads. Enough said. Thank you for your kind announcement! 🙂

  • sybil says:

    I’m also bumming for the (more or less) demise of shoulder pads, but not for the hair flips. My hair is constitutionally unable to do that, but how I tried…

  • Heather says:

    I remember trying to do a Farrah – and ending up with a thick brown mess stuck down with a tonne of hair lacquer because the great British weather and me with hair as straight as rain – it would never stay put – and hung like a limp thing in the wind – yak!!

    and you are so right about Tresor being the beginning of the end – very perceptive.

    and today in the sun – surrounded by pert young things and me in my work clothes and a ‘loose top’ to hide the bulges – I could do with 10 inch shoulder pads to compensate!!


  • March says:

    OMG — you were sooooo cute with your gorgeous, thick Farrah hair!!! You must have been the envy of all the other girls, my hair would never do that right.:((

    Big shoulders never went out for the women who love them — my MIL did, and She Was Style. PLEASE check out the June issue of Bazaar — there is the most fabo spread on the return of the 80s power clothes, featuring Joan Collins and Linda Evans looking stellar in their, what, mid-70s? and still working the shoulder pads. Mad, MAD SKILZ, nobody Works The Shoulder Pad like Alexis and Krystle.

  • Pam says:


    Glad to meet another shoulder pad fan. I confess that I’m a fan, too. I never leave home without them!! Okay, I don’t wear the big Joan Crawford-football pad type any more. Just soft, small ones. Even they are a great way to make the waistline/hip area look smaller than it is. For some reason I saved a Harper’s Bazaar from 1984; now and then I get it out just to look at the ‘fume ads and the fashions. The designer clothes in the mag are all so flattering and wonderful. . .

    I love P&P. Elizabeth would have worn Apres L’Ondee, and Mr Darcy? Well, maybe something like Jicky. Not sure.

    Great post, Patty. Have a nice weekend.~o)

  • andy says:

    Thank you for the cool pics. Lucky you, you didn’t need glasses in the 80ies. Looking back at myself innocently behind these face filling things. brrr….

  • Flora says:

    ROTFL – I was doing the SAME thing during The Sopranos!! PLEASE go in, throw us a measly crumb of what it’s like to be in Paris! But no, she stood OUTSIDE, looking at the Guerlain store being bathed in a soft golden light. Pure torture. So near and yet so far… =((

  • Patty says:

    I tried going there, but it just had an opening page in French from Figaro? I’d love to see that ad.

    sounds like Madonna may have done some snitching from that ad too. 🙂

    That just was the image I had of Hermes for the longest time, not so much for their perfume, but just the whole thing, the scarves, the beautiful purses, just old money, upper crust.

    Now I’m going to be searching for that ad forever.

  • Victoria says:

    I love Parfum d’Hermes and I regret it being discontinued. I cherish whatever I have left. Hermes may have a staid image, but its perfume ads were quite sexy. Check out for Caleche ads (I am fairly sure it is Caleche) depicting a nude woman with a whip in her teeth wrapped in Hermes ribbons. Staid it is not! Of course, many French and Italian perfume (and food!) ads always have a strong erotic element.