Eau d'Hermès 
Hermès (1951)

Average Rating:  87 User Reviews

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Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

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About Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

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Hermès
Fragrance House

Conceived by Edmond Roudnitska in 1951 on the basis of a citrus, spicy, floral theme, Eau d’Hermès is the first perfume of the house. It draws its inspiration from the idea of a magical smell, full of sensuality: “The inside of an Hermès bag where the scent of a perfume lingered… A note of fine leather wrapped in fresh trails of citrus fruit and seasoned with spices,” the composer described it at the time. A historical novel inspired by in-house customs and traditions, it is intended for men as well as women. A powerful, sensual writing style.

Fragrance notes.

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Reviews of Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

There are 87 reviews of Eau d'Hermès by Hermès.


Noble, strong, confident in life, classy with warm charisma all sum up Eau d'Hermès. It is a masterfully well-blended fragranc. The first burst is just stunning: daringly sharp, nearly bitter, hedged around with beautiful citrusy notes, and a strong snake of cardamom magic dust helping to round it all out even more.

The citrus notes are bright and realistic but remain soft and warm while at the same time remaining fresh and sparkling. That Edmond Roudnitska Dior style is apparent but it's softer, more ethereal, more introspective and quiet.

Soon enough, soft and a bit skanky cumin comes into the game unsuccessfully trying to bring darkness into light. Its the feeling you get when you escape from the darkness of the night and find the joy of the early morning summer soon. Sandalwood, cedar, and labdanum come soften and take over from these spices, with a leathery accord.


I find the opening of Eau d'Hermes to be one of the most refreshing and bracing: the bergamot and petitgrain harmonizes with the cumin and coriander. It is a real showstopper, but it doesn't end there: as the smooth, tawny leather and florals come to the fore, there is this synergy of sacred and profane for which I am such a sucker.

This is the grandfather of Terre d'Hermes and the muse for Declaration. However, Eau d'Hermes exudes a debonair yet sultry sensation for which the other two, while remarkable in their own right, fall just short. Indeed, one can find a similar quality in Jicky, however here the lavender is rather a supporting player then the main act. I might be tempted to say that the cumin is the main act (and rumor has it that older formulations lack the strong presence of this pungent spice, but the formulation I have is the one with which I fell in love), but I really think that it isn't overbearing at all; it really is the leather and florals that are accented, along with other spices such as clove and cardamom. There seems to be still others that, while not listed in the notes pyramid, seem evident to the nose (nutmeg, for example). So, it is really the sum of all these piquant, aromatic spices that stir the senses, accenting and shading the other notes. They also seem to blend seamlessly with the leather that hums. Also, yes, it all coalesces into sweaty, visceral sensuality, but not in a brazen manner. It still manages to come off as genteel, and that is the magic and appeal of Eau d'Hermes.

I would be remiss without giving proper credit to Colonial Drug in Newton, MA for introducing me to this beauty. What a stellar education on exceptional fragrances from these fine folks. I tip my hat!


2020 formulation.

Like no other perfume I've smelled. Fresh, dirty, crisp, raunchy, luminous, spare, biting, silky, vaporous, sculptural, familiar, exotic. Chic with a knowing wink. The ultimate skin scent. It reeks of sensual pleasures and old-world elegance, yet is as brisk and bold as an autumn dawn, reminding us that classic perfumes needn't be treated like dusty museum pieces. Robust citrus, full-bodied florals and sinewy spices ride carefree on a sun-warmed leather saddle. Eau d'Hermès feels alive and elemental, like something borne of nature, captured by human hands but not created by them. There's nothing I would add or take away here, no room for improvement. It's fresh when I want fresh, sexy when I want sexy, weird when I want weird. It doesn't outstay its welcome, and it gives my day a glinting edge, with a sense of cheeky joy. Eau d'Hermès is not a safe blind buy - please trust me on this - but if you're on its wavelength, you won't find much better.


TL;DR (19th April, 2021, inspired by coppertop 2001 vintage)

Sheep on wind-swept peak
Beauty vast to ev'ry side
Foiling ev'ry fall

2nd TL;DR (20th April, 2021, inspired by clear-cap 2008 vintage)

What is clarity?
Lenses fore and aft in time
Correcting themselves.

Original (17th April, 2021)

Pretty
Dirty
Shitty
Purty

Eau d'Her
Mès she
Set yer
Nez free

Classy
Freshie
Brassy
Fleshy

Saddle
Subtle
Buttly
Scuttle

Jekyll
Hydin'
Carriage
Ridin'

Mary
Wanna
Polly
Gonna

Terre d's
Mama's
Merdous
Dramas

Spray on
Clothing
Merdure
Loathing

Way of
Roudy
Thing of
Beauty

Spacy
Spicy
Lacy
Lysy

Copper
Capper
Topper
Tapper

Dipper
Sprayer
Dapper
Stayer

Better
Modder
Ne'er do
Weller

Clearer
Capper
Caster
Speller

Newer
Liker
Redder
Fumer

Eau d'
Cook.bot
Frag.com
Sumer

Clean'n'
Dirty
Kin of
Kouros

Fire'n'
On Ol'
Fac' tree
Neuros

Classic
Boutiq'
Stick-a
Rounder

Classy
'Questry
Clique-a
Stounder

Time two
Wrap up
This here
Present

From this
Ol' fac'
Tory
Peasant

Like it
Love it
Leave it
Spray it

So damn
Good I
Had to
Say it.


One of the greatest olfactive achievements in perfume history, Eau d'Hermes, Eau Sauvage, Kouros, etc..
A few years into the hobby I realize my favourite genre is "sweaty, pissy, furry, dirty". Now looking for the most indolic, indolent, filthily narcotic Jasmine...


Balanced between vibrant citrus and sweet & sour leather, Eau d’Hermès is a strange minor key chypre.
Roudnitska was not content to make pretty – or even beautiful – scents, he was something of a surrealist, and liked to give his works an unsettling ambience: see Francis Bacon, who was painting his screaming popes around the same time as Roudnitska did this.
It was his only perfume for Hermès, their first release.
I wonder how happy they were with this; they did release it - but didn’t come back for more.

It’s a development of the citrus and woods theme of Moustache, which appeared in 1949, the year Wikipedia gives for the release of Eau d’Hermès - which would coincide with the first of their famous silk scarves, the carrés de soie.
The philosophy of Hermès is craft skills; top quality materials worked to the highest standards, something that would have resonated with Roudnitska. The subtlety of his compositions is second to none, but I am left with the feeling that his taste was somewhat thrawn.
Wearing Eau d’Hermès is a bit like having a surrealist painting on the wall, maybe not as disturbing as a Bacon, but one that subtly challenges nonetheless.

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