Eau d’Hermes

One of the fun things about going into the Hermes boutique on Madison Avenue in New York was checking out all the variations of their fragrances, some of which I didn´t even know existed. I can´t find my notes, and my memory can´t be relied on, but this is what I recall. In addition to Caleche, there´s Kelly Caleche, Delicate, and one or two others. There are Delicate versions of Rouge and 24, Faubourg. There´s Amazone and Amazone Fraicheur (or maybe Light, or maybe both.) There´s Orange Verte, OV Concentre, and something called Eau d’Orange Douce that´s like orange-scented air, only with less lasting power.

But all of that receded into the distance in the face of Eau d’Hermes (not to be confused with either Parfum d´Hermes or Eau des Merveilles). Somehow I´d gotten Eau d’Hermes mixed up in my mind with Parfum d´Hermes, which I think they had and which, unless I really am further gone than we realize, was a conventionally pretty, big-shouldered floral, so let´s get back to Eau.

I was interested in Eau because there´s a bit in Chandler Burr´s The Perfect Scent about how much Jean-Claude Ellena admires it. The notes I find listed online are sandalwood, labdanum, cedar, oakmoss, birch, and cumin. The Hermes website gives no information (although they classify it as unisex), but according to Osmoz the fragrance was created by Edmond Roudnitska in 1951, with only 1500 bottles originally available. It lists notes of bergamot, petitgrain, lemon tree, lavender, sage, “a ronde of spices” including coriander, cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon; jasmine and geranium, vanilla, Tonka bean, labdanum, cedar, oakmoss, birch and caraway. Osmoz says the reissue is supposed to smell the same as the original and “lingers on the skin like a subtle caress.”

Well … yeah. This thing is smack-you-in-the-forehead phenomenal, in a very quiet way. I´d focus on that first list of notes, because my point is, it´s neither sweet or citrus-y. It is unisex on me leaning toward masculine. It has the immediate (although delicately rendered) recognizable scent of cumin, which you all know I am wild for. The spices are there, but they´re at the opposite end of the spectrum from, say, the spice-market effect of the original Comme des Garcons. It doesn´t stink, really, although if your tolerance for cumin is zero, this isn´t going to please you. I get some of the citrus and pretty much none of the flowers as distinguishable notes, although I think the flowers are there to balance the spices and contribute to the sillage.

At the risk of boring you all to tears, this is yet another scent with an aura-like effect that fascinates me; you don’t wear Eau d’Hermes so much as … radiate it, or merge with it, or something. It’s a human smell. It´s less sweaty (and less … perfume-y) than Cartier Declaration. Online reviewers on Basenotes use words like timeless, awe-inspiring, incredible, etc., except if they think it’s disgusting, with opinions divided fairly sharply (and tilted heavily toward the positive). The Osmoz review blathers on about various waves of the scent. To me it was a single, monumental smell, as sensual and playful as a Matisse lithograph, no less beautiful for its spareness.

Eau d’Hermes is too current in feel to be called “classic.” It was niche before there was niche; when brilliance was enough and a master like Roudnitska could please himself rather than consumers age 18 – 34.

Matisse illustration, Ronsard Florilege des Amours; www.franklinbowlesgallery.com

PS While you’re enjoying the cuminy goodness of Eau d’Hermes, let me recommend a bite of cumin-flavored chocolate from Dolfin (and thanks to Robin at Now Smell This for my new addiction.) The cardamom and pink pepper bars were good, but my heart belongs to the Earl Grey Tea bar (with a lovely, slightly crunchy texture and an Earl Grey aftertaste). Now I really want to try the Hot Masala. NST and I agree that, while we can’t decide whether we really like the cumin bar, it is strangely addictive. Weird.

  • John S says:

    It would appear that Eau d’Hermes has been discontinued, as it has disappeared from the company’s website. It is a real tragedy when an interesting fragrance bites the dust:(( Even those who hate this fragrance would probably agree that the perfume world is a more barren place without it; it’s better to hate a fragrance than to find it merely unremarkable -not a term usually associated with Eau d’Hermes.

  • Sean DT says:

    Some time ago, I remember reading about this fragrance in the Sunday Times(UK) Style supplement.
    The description of it as “the divine stink of shameless and corrupt wealth” has stayed with me. This is how I want to smell -I don’t care what my nose thinks!

  • carmencanada says:

    I think I read the most hilarious description of Eau d’Hermès in Basenotes: “Robert Mitchum’s jockstrap in Grace Kelly’s bag.”=))

    • March says:

      Lord, how did I miss that! That is … well, apt. And very funny. And even funnier that we can read that and think, mmmmmmm, that sounds wearable. 😡

    • Cait says:

      Pretty funny. Ok, I got my bottle of this complete with tiny dollhouse booklet and it blew my Roudnitska-loving mind. I lurve it. I am wearing it now and everybody look out because I have no restraint with it. It’s stunning, astonishing, yet light (to me, heheh) so I reapplied at lunch. It’s my kind of perfume. So glad this post reminded me to purchase it and meet my destiny, once and for all. Coulda guessed it, since I love PdT, Diorella, Sous le Vent and they all share something with it.

      • March says:

        You know what? I really want a bottle of this. Really, really. I feel like it could turn into another one of those “me” fragrances. I am so glad you are enjoying it!

  • zara says:

    i shouldn’t have read this review. as said previously, i haven’t encountered a hermes i didn’t like (except hiris, i wasn’t fond of that but thought it nice). i saw this in the hermes airport boutique in brussels. hm, just discovered it on ebay for a very reasonable price, oh my, i shouldn’t buy unsniffed stuff…
    and yes, chocolate, please, more chocolate

    • March says:

      The dreaded Unsniffed Purchase! Well, my guess is that at this pt you’ve either bought it or moved on … it’s masculine, more masculine than Declaration or Kingdom. If their sweaty notes appeal to you, and you like leather, then I’d say go for it.

      • zara says:

        i bought it hmm…couldn’t resist the temptation. i hope i’ll like it. if not, i’ll swap it 🙂

        • March says:

          I hope you like it too! Please report back and let me know what you think.

          • zara says:

            oh boy, first off, i’m having a cold, my nose is running a bit an my smell receptors are a bit off, nevertheless, i couldn’t wait to spray it on and sniff it. the opening was nice, fresh, brisk, green, hm, i thought to myself, well well, very hermes, i like it. then, after a few minutes, it started to turn warmer, though the green notes were still there, and the warm, sweaty cumin entered the scene, and the only thing i could think of was, robert mitchum’s jock strap, robert mitchum’s jock strap, robert mitchum’s jock strap, and i couldn’t get the picture of it off my mind and it felt nauseating! then after another couple of minutes, the robert mitchum note slowly started to vanish, but of course not completely and it settled into something that reminded me so much of fur coats of old ladies (at least as i remembered it from my childhood), that stale smell…i simply couldn’t help myself. to wrap it up, i had to wash it off. it wasn’t so much the sweaty smell that killed me, it was the stale fur coat smell. i know many will find it blasphemous, but that’s the way my nose goes. of course, it may be i’ll change my mind after i get rid of the cold! :d

  • Anthony says:

    I am thinking I probably am commenting too late but I just bought this this weekend and was on the site a couple days ago looking for anything you all had written about it… Just a day later you’d end up writing a whole entry. I saw it in a mall store, similar to Perfumania… I saw it, my jaw dropped, and I picked it up, 3.3 for $55 which is average for online retailers but a steal compared to the store retail! I sniffed it in NYC for the first time in the winter and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I find it interesting that Ellena respects it so, because I really find immense similarities with Bigarade Concentree. Anyway, thanks for the article. 🙂

    • Anthony says:

      I think if one is in a relationship and wearing Eau d’Hermes, I think it’s the responsibility of the wearer to introduce partner and bottle 🙂 Because I wonder when sniffing myself, “what would someone kissing my neck or arms think if they just came upon the Eau d’Hermes ground zero without any prior knowledge of the scent???” Better to have the conversation, “NOooOO… that’s what it’s SUPPOOOSED to smell like :)”

    • March says:

      Yay for you! And I see your point about fragrance introduction, although of course my own perspective is so warped at this point that I assume anyone who knows me knows that sometimes I smell really, really freaky. Having said that … well, it’s personal preference. Cultural, to some degree? Like, I bet you can wear Eau in Paris and nobody’d blink. It wouldn’t need defending. But here, if it doesn’t smell like Cool Water, then uh oh.

      As you’ve already discerned, I find sweaty fragrances wildly attractive. So the thought of one of those all over my husband’s neck is a pleasing one. :d

  • BBliss says:

    How have I missed out on two such things in my love-categories – Hermes and special chocolate? I’m on the hunt – thanks for the tips! And, I know there’s no citrus here, but any chance that the Eau falls in the same-type as the old O de Lancome? I adored that one…

    • March says:

      I meant to resniff O at the Lancome counter and somehow missed it! IIRC it is a pretty sharp citrusy floral? And Eau is .. well check the bottom comment, Robert Mitchum’s jockstrap in Grace Kelly’s bag.” :”>

  • minette says:

    i love eau d’hermes – yes it is radiant and rich – but i get such an unwashed b.o. note from it that i have yet to be brave enough to wear it out of the house. of course, it may be that no one else will notice that note on me. i don’t know yet. it has admittedly turned me into a bit of a weenie. and i can wear kingdom in public no problem. must. be. brave.

    • March says:

      I wish I’d bought a regular bottle of Kingdom instead of the wussy Summer LE, although it’s really pretty to look at. Femme is the one I’ve noticed people looking at me very oddly when I’m wearing it. I don’t think they even think it’s B.O., because it’s so perfume-ish. Maybe they think I work in a curry shop? I don’t know.

      The Hermes I could definitely see the trucker-short aspect of, though. :d

      • minette says:

        trucker short? now there’s a note to consider.

        i think people wonder about femme because it so different and so much more complicated than most of what they’ve smelled. they have no reference for it. when i have asked guys what they think – sticking my femmed wrist right up under their noses – they always give it the thumbs up and also say it’s sexy. (as i suspected.)

        a former coworker would sniff the air when i wore chypres or vintage scents – but not comment. i could tell he didn’t dislike them, but he clearly did not know what to make of them. but when i wore something with notes he recognized (like the simple rose and peony in carolina herrera chic) he seemed comforted and would compliment me. this is a man whose taste in foods does not include anything green (other than jello) or more exotic than barbeque, so his simple taste in scent didn’t really surprise me.

        • March says:

          I think your point is a good one, particularly for people who haven’t sniffed much beyond modern mass market perfumery — the whole American Tommy Girl esthetic and what have you. As I am sure you know, if you sniff much vintage the first thing you realize is how gamey a lot of the older frags were — sexual, raw, heavy on stuff like musk and civet.

  • Robin says:

    Try the anise already! It can’t *kill* you :d

    • March says:

      It COULD kill me! It’s anise! You have no idea. Shudder. The smell … the taste … :-ss

      oh, okay. I’ll try it. Thanks again!

  • moi says:

    Oh goody, more cumin. I’m still duking it out with Gucci’s poochie EDP. But if I win and decide I’m not such a baby after all, I’ll give his Hermes a try.

    • March says:

      I know, I know. I’d promise never to write again about anything that contained my favorite bodily smells, but it would be such a lie. I’ll try to work in a couple of florals next week, how’s that?

  • Amarie says:

    I do do do want to get around to trying some more Hermes. I enjoy Hiris and Jardin sur le Nil is nice in summer.
    But I love Matisse’s lithographs. Such a lovely simple economy of line. My favourite works of his are his massive paper cutouts he made in the last years of his life when he was nearly blind and he hired people to do the cutting for him. Such pure joy and poetry. It encourages me to feel that getting old may be a wonderful thing.

    • March says:

      I love his cutouts! I saw a show of them when I was a teenager, I thought they were amazing. At the National Gallery of Art they have a number of them. They are lyrical and beautiful and make me happy every time I look at them.

      If you google Ronsard Florilege des Amours there’s a whole series of the lithographs, I think Matisse illustrated the book or folio. The hardest bit was choosing one!

  • Patty says:

    It takes an hour before the Cumin is bearable on me, and then I do find it perfection. That first hour… dur…. ::shudder:::8-}

    • March says:

      Ah, come on!!! If you’ve got the nerves of steel for Borneo, and the romp with the mothballs, you can take a little trucker sweat, no problem! :)>-

  • Denise says:

    This sounds amazing. I’ve never been inside a Hermes boutique; too intimidated, but I just might brave it for this. And then there’s always TPC…

    Speaking of your Courtesan (Suzanne’s comment, above), I’m loving my sample!

    • March says:

      Oh, I am so happy! If you come back (I’m responding late tonight), please do tell me what it smells like to you. Do you get that cumin-y note at all?

  • MarkDavid says:

    Never met an Hermes I didn’t like and this one is no exception.
    Which reminds me – I dont own this.
    Must remedy that immediately.

    And I adore Declaration as well – the Essence is what I wear. Love Love Love it.

    -MD

    • March says:

      I wonder if the Essence is the one I like so much? I can’t remember whether there’s more than one variation… (googling) yes, that’s the one with the immortelle, I like that very much! I wish regular old Declaration was a tad less sweaty on me.

  • AngelaS says:

    Maybe JCE’s love for it explains the cumin in Cologne Bigarade? It would be fun to do a chart showing the relationships between different perfume. In any case, I’m definitely going to have to find a bottle of Eau d’Hermes to try right away!

    • Lee says:

      Sorry to interfere, but I really think it does. I love Cologne Bigarade – Concentree as the other one is 5 minutes of top notes only – and that’s the most streamlined reworking of EdH by JCE I think. Declaration, in all its guises, is a little more decorative than the beauty some witty basenoter described as cab driver eating an orange… (I love a sweaty cabbie, apparently)

    • March says:

      Angela, I think your idea is a great one. Clearly there is something about Eau d’Hermes that JCE adores, and given some of his other stuff it seems like a natural part of his palette, doesn’t it? Since you and I and Lee (and some other folks) like cumin, all the better for us.

      :d

  • tmp00 says:

    well this is one that I am going to have to try..

    • March says:

      Tom, I daresay it’s not skanky enough for you, but you should still try it. You could layer it with Kouros. No, no, don’t do that. Kidding! b-)

  • chayaruchama says:

    This is the first Hermes I ever wore, or bought myself.
    Glorious, exquisite, intimate.

    CHOCOLATE ?
    YES, please.

    • March says:

      Oh, that makes me feel extra special about it!

      I really need to write up Eau de Chaya (wait, sorry … I think it’s Parfum d’Ida.) I was wearing it last night, rootling around in the Neil Morrises. You hit the jackpot.

  • Suzanne says:

    I just checked out the Basenotes reviews on this: they are hysterical! Not sure if people could stomach some of the more, um, colorful descriptions this early in the morning, so I won’t reference them (except for: “Personally, Eau d’Hermes smells like your favourite Uncle.” Ok. Hmm. Kinda creepy).

    Seriously, though, I do love cumin and your “aura” description makes this sound intriguing. I still haven’t tried your beloved Courtesan so maybe I’ll get a little decant of both of these. Will also have to try the Dolfin chocolate bars. My husband gave me an early Valentine’s gift of Vosges truffles, and I love the one with the wasabi in it, but wish they would actually be a bit more audacious and add more wasabi.

    • March says:

      Yeah, there’s a slogan they should totally co-opt for their advertisement! I haven’t been able to get on Basenotes for a while (I think they’ve been having some issues) so it was like visiting an old friend. I like the mix of reviews on there, in terms of expertise and good old hilarity.

      Lord, that Courtesan. If you try it and get something that smells like Gwen Stefani’s latest, all I can say is, I personally know of at least two people who don’t think I am insane. /:) I haven’t gotten tired of it yet, and it’s been almost a year. On some level it’s my signature scent.

  • sweetlife says:

    *not thinking about chocolate*

    *especially bacon chocolate*

    (says the sweet/salty freak)

    I adore that Matisse drawing, and love thinking about it with the Eau d’Hermes. I need to spend more time with the Hermes line, hardly know anything from it past a sniff or two except the Hermessences.

    • March says:

      I think it’s easy to get stuck on Hermes The Brand, gag on a couple sniffs of 24, Faubourg (you know what I mean) and move on. Having fallen in love with Sur le Nil, I tend to stop by the counters. But this was my first boutique foray.

      Sweet/salty freak, I’m going to second Janet’s vote up there that the Vosges sea salt/goji berry bar up there is so good it’s barely legal.

  • Malena says:

    😕 i had never heard of dolfin chocolate bars – i googled & found the line, but though it´s from belgium i wonder if i can get it here (germany): all online stores i found it at were in the U.S.

    i´ve a sample of EdH, but i haven´t tested it, yet. (too many samples… 8-| )
    cumin is a note i like quite a bit & the comparison to femme tempts me as well.
    femme (at least the new version, i don´t know the vintage) is a bit too heavy for me, not too heavy on the cumin, but in general. something a bit lighter, with more leather or more masculine might suit me better.

    i don´t know if you like SL mandarine mandarin, but i adore the cumin note in it (or is it ambergris? as cumin isn´t listed among the notes.) anyway, to me it smells like cumin :p & i love it!

    • March says:

      I hadn’t heard of Dolfin either, until Robin sent me several (and how’s that for fragrant friendship? Although she worried needlessly that the cumin had infected the package’s contents.) I don’t know where else you could get them, but it seems in general all of Europe has so many better choices than we do … sigh.

      New Femme I love too, but it’s not a choice I make lightly when I wear it. It’s a lot to handle. Eau d’Hermes is easier on me.

      • Lee says:

        It’s sold in supermarkets here, though not too wide a range. Though I’m gonna check my local Waitrose – their choc aisle is tres excusif… Selfridges stock all of em.

        • Malena says:

          march,
          i found several dolfins online – sadly not the cumin 🙁

          lee,
          so, english supermarket stock it? germans don´t – or i simply visit the wrong ones 😉

  • donanicola says:

    gotta be quick as have another horrid stressy job on and I shouldn’t be taking time out but oh! how I love Eau d’Hermes (and that beautiful Matisse drawing – totally the right colour too). One of Roja Dove’s uber exclusive scents is verrry similar and I would adore some of that as it doesn’t go as sweaty on me as Ed’H does. Honestly, I can’t be out in polite company wearing it which is a shame. Declaration and Kingdom are just right on me (skin chemistry eh?) But the elegance of the leather……..sigh.

    • March says:

      Sorry about the sucky job, but glad you stopped by! I love Kingdom. I don’t think I have ever seen it in a stand-alone store in the U.S., and what is up with that? Declaration I keep trying to love, knowing that one day I will get there. :)>-

  • Judith says:

    I can’t believe I have never tried this! Must do ASAP! I am closing my ears to all this talk of (sigh) chocolate.8-|

    • March says:

      chocolate chocolate chocolate!

      I couldn’t write or blog without it. Oddly, buying the more expensive stuff helps me eat less of it — not the guilt, it’s just richer or something. It’s the bag of Hershey’s kisses I have to stay away from.;)

      • kim says:

        I think it’s because of the higher cocoa content – that’s where the chocolate chemicals we crave are found! The better the chocolate and the higher the cocoa content, the less I need. Even just a square totally satisfies. Besides aren’t there studies showing it is healthy, so really, don’t we have to eat it? Now all we need is some studies saying perfume is healthy :d

        • March says:

          I’m sure there’s something saying it’s healthy. Plus if you eat those ones with the goji berries, or raisins or whatever, or the tea, I’m sure those are off the chart healthy… :-\”

          • March says:

            Dang, my whistling emoticon doesn’t work anymore! I get that stupid question one. I love the whistling emoticon — what am I going to do?

            😮

  • Elle says:

    Wait. A cumin scent I’ve missed? How did that happen? One can never have too many cumin scents. This one sounds heavenly!
    Am not a huge chocolate fan, but I do adore chocolate w/ peppers or spices added, so that Dolfin sounds like a must try.

    • March says:

      Oh, Elle — I think you would love this! I hadn’t realized, I assumed everyone had already worked through the Hermes classics and I’m a little slow on the uptake.

      It’s quieter on me (pls see my response to Silvia above) but not TOO quiet. I like that it’s cumin but more than that, and it wears so interestingly. And several people up there have mentioned leather, which I should have put into my post. I was so entranced by the initial effect I forgot about the leather and I didn’t have a sample to retry before posting this.

  • Silvia says:

    The SA at Roja Dove, where I tried this first time, said Roja calls it “Eau de Dirty Pants”. @-)
    I can see his point, but it’s such a beautiful scent, totally FBW. My only complaint is that the staying power isn’t that great for the EDT I have (not sure EDP exists). It can be found quite easily on ebay and it’s not mega expensive either. Joy !

    • March says:

      I think the reason I liked it so much was it is *less* “dirty pants” than Kingdom or Femme on me. The cumin notes in those are so omnipresent on me, as beautiful as I think they are, it’s just all about the cumin.

      Eau is restrained enough with the cumin on me that I can enjoy it as a full fragrance rather than a cumin vehicle, if that makes any sense at all.

      I am really lemming a bottle now.

  • Divina says:

    Oh yes, you have to try Hot Masala! It is amazing! Have you smelled DSH’s “Lumiere”? It smells (and I *do* feel inclined to say tastes too) exactly like Dolfin’s Hot Masala chocolate! mmmmmm, good! 🙂

    • March says:

      So very funny that you wrote that. As I was *eating* the cumin bar, I was wishing I had some Eau d’Hermes to wear while doing so. The Femme seemed too much, and the Kingdom summer LE wasn’t enough. /:)

      I want to try Hot Masala while wearing Lumiere. Experiencing a flavored chocolate and corresponding fragrance would make for an interesting post IMHO. BTW I have been lurking regularly on your blog. Your writing is lovely — insightful and thought-provoking.

  • Anne says:

    Hermes is a line that for some reason I have never focused on. Too much perfume, not enough hours in the day…. Can’t wait to dive in.

    Ahhh, a new chocolate line to experience. Have a white chocolate and kalamata olive bar (Vosges) in my fridge waiting to be sampled. The Oaxaca is my fav of that line so far. Tried the Chocolove Chili Cherry in Dark Chocolate last weekend at a Chocolate Festival and I think I need to spend this weekend looking for more of that fire.

    I am really proud of the fact that I have a second obsession to balance out the perfume thing. That’s how it works right? :d

    • March says:

      Definitely we need at least two obsessions. I think the chocolate one goes nicely with the perfume one. I need to try the Oaxaca bar!

  • Louise says:

    Ah cumin…love it. I may overwhelm my colleagues with a bath of Rochas today. I must try the Eau d’Hermes-if it’s “dense” and heavy, it might actually last on me :d/

    • March says:

      Huh, well if Lee says it’s dense and heavy — given your feelings for Femme, you might as well try it. It’s more masculine, and people keep mentioning leather. Right up your alley, babe! 😉

  • Lee says:

    I love Eau d’Hermes, but to sniff, not to wear. In fact, it’s a little too thick on me, if that makes any sense. A little too much going on. I can imagine how wonderful it would be when it wafts past on someone else, but for me, I’m a little smothered by it.

    Blasphemy alert – I actually prefer to wear Declaration. It’s a little more skanky perhaps, but somehow sheerer, more layered. Anyway, it’s better on me than the original it apes.:d

    • March says:

      Too thick? Really?!? I’d have reversed our descriptions. As you know, though, I just keep going back to Declaration over and over (there’s a flanker I prefer.)

      The Eau to me is … simpler? And sheer. Weird. Should have stuck that leathery bit people are mentioning up there in the review, that always reels them in.

      • Lee says:

        Well, this is one we’re definitely gonna disagree on. There’s an Old World powdery leathery thang going on in the base of EdH, and that’s what gives it the thickness. It’s part of the unwashed quality too… Though I like a bit of (pretend) unwashed. Though I’m not Napoleon.:d

  • dinazad says:

    Another one to try! At this rate I’m never going to get over my perfume addiction. In fact, I’m afraid I won’t even be able to put myself on a no-buy until I’ve moved (new apartment on the horizon as of April)….
    My favourite Dolfin bar by far is the pink pepper and – nobody understands that, but that leaves more for me – the one with lavender. Cumin sounds good as well – I haven’t seen that one around yet. Which is probably better for my hips anyway!

    • March says:

      The pink pepper was good, definitely. Just not weird enough, probably. I have a little anise square up there that for whatever reason terrifies me, I have to try that. And the lavender I can actually see liking.

      Congrats on the new apt!

  • carmencanada says:

    AH… Eau d’Hermès. Fell in love with it last summer as I was testing Kelly Calèche. Its sillage is so unique that I can pick it out immediately: in fact, the other day, I asked a dapper gentleman in his late sixties if he was wearing it as we were standing in line to pay for fancy books in a fancy bookshop on the rue de Rivoli. Yes, he was wearing it indeed, he replied before congratulating me. I’m still not sure to this day it wasn’t Jean-Claude Ellena. Can’t recommend Ed’H highly enough: it’s a sparer echo to Rochas Femme and does have some leather notes, enough to classify it in the leather family.
    As for the Dolfin chocolate bars, I’ve been buying sets forever, in those lovely, classy pastel wraps, to give to people when I’m staying over for the week-end. I particularly love the Hot Masala.

    • March says:

      Oh my goodness!!! A gentleman on the Rue de Rivoli was wearing it?!?! Every time you write something like that I want to climb through this screen and hug you! And then, could we go to a nice cafe in the neighborhood and have some lunch? Please? 😉

      I am getting an itch to buy a bottle.

      And I should have mentioned in the blog how beautiful the Dolfin bars are packaged. Will definitely have to try the Masala now.

      • March says:

        Wait. I just processed what you wrote.

        WHAT IF IT WAS JCE?!?!? HOW COOL WOULD THAT BE?!?! Because after he mentioned on French TV how much he admired it, Hermes sent him a bottle (this was before he started working in-house.)

        Wouldn’t that be fab?

        • carmencanada says:

          That would indeed have been a cool encounter, except that said gentleman was only seen in profile (so I couldn’t ID him properly) and scooted out there as fast as he could. Which is what made me wonder if he was indeed Ellena, thinking a rabid perfumista was stalking him…
          And of course, dear, you’re expected in Paris for lunch and hugs and all… And sniffing dapper gents.

  • violetnoir says:

    Ooh-wee! I love some of those classic Hermes ‘fumes, especially Caleche and Doblis (a true wonder!). I must try the Eau.

    Eau, and by the way (pardon my french,lol!): I received a sample of the Teo Cabanel Alahine, and I loves it, woman! I even found a bottle on line and ordered it. What a beautifully unique fragrance. Thank you so much for writing about it.

    And, I need to google that chocolate you are raving about.

    Hugs!

    • March says:

      Eau, I am so happy about the Alahine! I admit I’m a bit surprised, I’d have thought it was too mannered for you, but it’s certainly got that glowingly pretty feel I also think you like — how’s the drydown?

      And if you like Caleche and Doblis you would like Eau.

  • tio kake says:

    Hey I think you should try the Vosges BACON-BAR heh heh heh The Hermes that I gave grammy…was it 24 rue fauberg? I hated that stuff but it smelled sooo expensive and lasted (in Gid’s car) FOREVER. Have they moved dramaticaly away from that type of scent or are there various “themes”? Based upon that one experience, I would not have gone back, ever. ciao bella, xxoo

    • March says:

      Kake! I could get NOBODY to eat the Bacon bar — eventually I had to suck it up and eat it myself. Isn’t that sad? :((

      The 24, Faubourg was very grammy, wasn’t it? I kind of liked the Light version. They have other flavors I think you might like a lot, particularly the Hermessences (much cleaner) and Jardin Sur le Nil. Of course the way you fell for Mitsouko, maybe you are a dirty girl. 😉

  • Dusan says:

    Hey, I too was reading the Basenotes thread on EdH the other night. How cool then that you’ve whipped up a review so soon, you must’ve been reading my mind, thanks! 🙂
    The magic word for me was cumin, of course, since I’m in love with the note, but knowing Hermès it’s probably only a whisper.
    Btw, I remember Luca Turin also liking Eau de Rochas but not sure which one, men’s or women’s. Anyhow, I just dabbed a smidgen of Parfum d’Hermes and your description is right on the money – big floral it is.

    • March says:

      cumin cumin cumin! Whispering it at you! You like Declaration and I don’t, so much (although that could change any second.) Worth a sniff, though — Eau’s beautifully streamlined.

      P d’H I can see the beauty in, but (whispers) it smells a little dated to me.

  • Janet says:

    You should try the Vosges chocolate bar with sea salt & goji berries…to DIE for!

    • March says:

      … and that is my all-time favorite chocolate bar! But then there’s the Vosges Conundrum, which is I tend to eat an entire goji bar and then feel justifiably ill. The Dolfin’s drier (?) texture means I feel sated after a square or two.

  • Tigs says:

    Is this available at all Hermes boutiques or everywhere? I don’t remember seeing it at the department stores. Oh well, I’m going to have to brave the Hermes boutique again, anyway. The ladies there are lovely actually – they gave me MASSIVE samples of three Hermessences last time I went in – but they usually look so exquisite that I’m terrified of going in there.

    • March says:

      I’d never seen it before, so I’d say only the boutiques. And they were very nice in the New York store as well, although two of the SAs got into a quiet, hissing-in-French dustup.