Reviews of Eau d'Hermès 
Hermès (1951)

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Eau d'Hermès by Hermès

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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)


Eau d'Her
Mès she
Set yer
Nez free





Terre d's

Spray on

Way of
Thing of




Ne'er do



Eau d'

Kin of

On Ol'
Fac' tree



Time two
Wrap up
This here

From this
Ol' fac'

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.

woman in a boat by pekka halonen 1924

I am a big fan of the Hermès label. I have enjoyed several of their scents, going back to Bel Ami all the way up to Terre d'Hermès. I always look forward to exploring their endless array of flankers and classic outings yet unseen.

I really tried to like Eau d'Hermès. The bottle came with some neat literature and even some souvenirs that were fun. But as for the scent...

...the cumin got me. I recall responding in a similar manner to Declaration by Cartier with its cumin dominating note: Cloying and too animalic. I avoided all things Declaration for over a decade until last year, when I tested it with an open mind and actually came around to it.

But Eau d'Hermès is a chypre scent that I still can't get myself to like. The animalic cumin vibe feels too naked, even amid the other notes surrounding it. I ended up selling my bottle over a decade ago not too long after purchasing it.

Who knows, maybe it'll grab me afresh the next time I test it (although it is not easily found in the niche department store counters in my area - those tend to focus on the "Eau d'Orange Verte" flankers mostly).

Eau d'Hermès launched a long-held luxury saddle and accessories brand into the word of fragrance, doing so at the hand of the now-legendary late perfumer Edmond Roudnitska, a name responsible for helping establish the male aromatic citrus chypre mid-century, and designing many a renown fragrance for Christian Dior as well. Hermès must have tread lightly with Roudnitska, allowing him to have pretty much free reign to capture the aesthetic of their establishment in a perfume, which he ultimately chose to be unisex, even if it does heavily veer in the male direction. The scent is famous for it's note that tries to replicate the scent of Human skin, which is akin to what Kouros tries to pull off with a slight "sweaty" vibe, except much more carnal as the skin note in Eau d'Hermès is meant to directly imply sexual tension. Roudnitska worked off of his own memories and experiences in crafting this, his experiences with Hermès handbags when he was young playing a large part of that design, which is why this was chosen to be enjoyed by anyone rather than be a hard-line gendered perfume. Time has proven it more favored by men or women who reminisce about the men in their lives who wore it, so it tends to be ranked highly among enthusiasts of male perfumery. Overall, this can also be seen as something of a missing link between what Roudnitska did for Rochas and Dior prior to working with Hermès, and what he would do after primarily for Dior once again, as it combines ideas developed from Moustache and Diorama (both 1949) with some ideas he would later put to use in Eau Sauvage (1966).

Eau d'Hermès opens with much the same citrus fizz found in the later Eau Sauvage, but quickly submerges that sweet lemon top with the civet (officially unlisted by Hermès) that transitions into the infamous skank of stiff cumin, leather, and birch tar, which also end up being the base of this later on. Cinnamon, clove, cardamon, vanilla, tonka, and all these other spices typical of orientals, fougères, or even bay rum start richly and sweetly dancing around this swanky base, keeping it from being too raunchy; the end result of this interplay is a complicated multi-faceted scent experience that is gentlemanly on one hand, but pent up for action on the other. It's a scent right at home on a biker's leather vest, or an erstwhile equestrian enthusiast's saddle as was the original inspiration source, but in most modern contexts sees use in neither of these situations as most Hermès clientele neither ride Harleys nor set foot often outside of luxury saloons, except to run into another air-conditioned environment. Eau d'Hermès deserves much more than that; it deserves to be experienced in the heat of a day trip, in the proximity of an intimate dance, in the bedroom, and then on the shirt left behind. Edmond Roudnitska may have designed this to encapsulate his own experience with Hermès, but he also knew what purpose he had in mind for it's use, and it wasn't a day at the horse races.

Eau d'Hermès is certainly dated now, as it follows the aromatic citrus chypre model that had it's last gasps with the Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme line of the early 70's, but it does something strikingly different than any chypre before or since, in that it wraps itself in spices, which alongside that aforementioned civet note, are part of what make it such an undeniably sensual aroma that is anything but casual. Hobbyist-level perfume fans are undoubtedly already all over this, but for the average Joe (or Jane), this is best approached by somebody with an appreciation for the classics that also loves heady spices and a healthy helping of risque. It takes a special breed of person to really love that cumin/civet/leather accord, and almost everything else in this stuff is present just to blend it down and make it workable rather than lead the scent. It's a legend in a bottle, much like most things made under Roudnitska's nose, but it's not for everyone, as it's barely tamed, much like a stallion during his breaking in. For reference, my version is the copper top spray, which was the last version to contain a considerably noticeable civet note, so if a more-domesticated version seems safer (but not as fun for the die-hards), seek out the newest black-topped version with the sticker on the bottle in place of screen-printed lettering; it's the same experience without as much of the "holy s**t" factor in the base. If you're going for the full monty, you want the copper top or older.


Think eau sauvage with notable cumin-like spice. Tight sillage and weak longevity at a distance, but it lasts plenty long as a 'second skin' depending on weather and/or what you're doing while wearing it. One of the standards in masculine citrus scents.

If I could smell just one fragrance on the opposite sex, it would be this. In vintage form, Eau d'Hermes does something to me that no other scent does. We don't need to discuss this at length, suffice it to say that citrus and cumin is a provocative combination.

I wear this myself if I'm feeling, um...lonely.

Edit: This has now become one of my all time favorites, even though I know most people think it's only for males. I simply adore the skin-like and extremely sexy nature of this scent.

Edit part deux: I've now invested in an extremely vintage bottle that smells even more heavenly (and a bit less cumin-y) than the copper cap version. I think I may have found--eeek!--a so called signature scent.

I've tried to like this one for years and years... but I just can't get over the sharp cumin note. It smells like unwashed armpits, to be honest. The rest of the fragrance is lovely with nice structure and a classic feel. But the cumin is a deal-breaker for me.

Imagine that someone bought a 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa - and proceeded to bolt on a chrome "whale tail" spoiler on the rear. The addition is disconcertingly out-of-place and it spoils the lines of this classic car.

That is what I think of Eau d-Hermes.

Copper top:

This is really interesting! Not sure about buying and wearing it though.

I definitely get the sweaty and spicy cumin, citrus, and slight anamalic notes, but to me, the cumin gets in the way of me getting the other more dirtier aspects. It dries down to a nice cumin and musk. It's pretty light and not as dense as I thought it would be.

This is a lighter, citrus fragrance, but with nice supporting structure that has something such as cumin adding a lovely dose of character.

Old school spicy citrus combo that does smell dated or "mature" if you will. I find that this leans slightly more masculine with the opening combination and the leather accord. Not sure what spices are in here... cinnamon? cumin? cardamom? For as "moist" as Bel Ami Vetiver smells this is a bit dry IMO. I do like it and will adjust my review after a few more wearings. Enjoy!

I deliberately didn't look up the notes in this before I tried it, as I wanted to see what I could pick out. Straight up I got the leather, the sandalwood, the lavender and the cardamom – sharp and smoky and spicy. Then once it warmed up, I got a beautiful tang from the bergamot. This seems very cool initially, but after an hour or two, the vanilla and sandalwood start to show through, which warms it and gives it a lovely creamy note. I also got a slight BO smell from this – not an offensive BO, but more a clean sweat, like you've showered and put on deodorant and then gotten really sweaty. It's weird, our last cat HATED perfume – he'd duck his head away and glare at me every time I went to pat him after I put some on. Our new cat seems to like them, as he spent a good ten seconds giving this one a damn good sniffing after I put it on, then gave me the lovey eyes. He is a weirdo though and he loves human smells (especially BO), so maybe it was that note that caught his attention. Me, I really love the lavender and leather in this – it's a beautiful combination and the slightly animalic, dirty edge to this just makes it even more intriguing. I only put a dab of this on my arm initially, then after a couple of hours, I put a dab on my neck and between the girls. Aaaaaaand now I get why people are saying sweaty sex – holy heck, it's gotten rather smutty here all of a sudden! I totally get why people are calling this a classic, so purecaramel, thanks very much for the sample. It's a beaut!

Copper Top. As others have said a historical piece in the world of perfume.
The new edition of this is presented Ellena style. The basic structure of the perfume is kept. First there is a more vibrant picture of the Citrus. Then the picture is set back against the canvas, so it appears in the distance. Each note comes forward to present it's story and steps back remaining in view and allowing the next to shine. It is a very pretty and interesting study of the original. I like it!!

1989 Black Top
Quite frankly, this seems very much, what I would imagine, Roudnitska's original recipe.
Opening is Citronellel Roudnitska dewy Lily of the Valley. I suspect a High Quality possibly Synthetic Civet Mothballs that beautifully blooms beneath top notes of Lemon Drops. In comparison to the Coppertop spicing is a Masala, of balanced,blended Cardamom, Cumin and Coriander.
Hums on the surface of my skin, much like a Vintage perfume, however longevity and sillage is more akin to an Eau de Cologne. Lovely stuff.

animalic leather, the vintage version a pure cutting edge classic....

OMG. Filth, just pure filth. Get yo'self a copper topped dude and this will see you right for 100 years. One drop at a time, I kid you not. It's excruciatingly dense and animalic, don't try this at home unless the kids are out. But Wowzers it delivers. Vile, vile, fecal notes. I bloody love it!

I'm told there are differences in formulations, and the version that I'm writing about here is from the “Copper Top EdT” (whatever that means). From what I can gather, that's the vintage and the version to go after.

It stinks; like seriously stinks. Extremely dated and intensely sweaty. Lime and leather in a predictable old-school kind of way with some soapy lavender and tonka bean floating around. Very textbook retro creeper-mustache type stuff, only it comes with bonus filth–and that's its saving grace, really. I try to avoid the “old man” descriptor, but sometimes it's necessary as the sweatier parts of this fragrance remind me quite literally of the scent of my grandfather–a man who never actually wore fragrance. The best way I could describe this would be a not-unpleasant BO note followed by a supple leather, some backgrounded woods, and an herbal-citric infusion. It smells impressive, but utterly anachronistic. This is the kind of thing a perfume fan should at least have a decant of, but it's reference material only–not because of the stinky aspects per se (there are more gnarly scents than this knocking about), but because it's like something lifted from a post-war museum and so wearing it would be akin to wearing a costume. Rad.

I love Terre d'Hermes and wanted to investigate the classics of this house, so I procured a decant of this from Perfumed Court. As I've become more interested and deeply involved with fragrances, I've found my tastes moving toward more animalic notes, so I thought Eau would be a great fit. Having now tested the fragrance several times, here are my notes:

The initial smell is citrus and a strong waft of manure--horse manure I guess to keep with the theme of the house. It's not completely stinky fresh manure, but more of "the smell of the country" so to speak. The citrus is soon replaced by floral notes, but the dominant scent is manure. As it starts to dry down, the manure smell eases up some, and one can possibly construe the notes as leather and certainly sandalwood, but even here it's impossible for me to get past the smell of poop--highly structured and caeefully articulated, but poop nonetheless.

Some have compared this to the smell of sex. I don't know what sort of sex these people are having, but this is no smell that I'm familiar with as deriving from that process. I assume this note is civet. I've encountered civet before in Kouros, which I like very much, and in others. This is no civet smell I've ever encountered.

I suppose this is a classic, and it is certainly far more interesting and challenging than the run of the mill mall fragrance. I suspect that my skin chemistry must be all wrong for this frag since others write about the non-poop notes while occasionally referencing the skanky elements. For me, the "animal" elements dominate everything else. It's curious that I get nothing similar from Kourosh, which smells fresh and interesting on my skin with only a hint of the animalic. I wish I liked this more since I feel like a bozo giving it a thumbs down, but I cannot, in good conscience, see it as anything other than a fail.

I'm sure to a more acculturated nose, this stuff smells divine. But it doesn't work for me at all. Perhaps that is my failing but, even so, I cannot imagine ever wearing this stuff, even if I did, somehow, convince myself that it is gorgeous. I would worry that others would conclude that, quite literally, I had my head up my a$$.

I don't get this one at all.

Genre: Leather

Complex, sophisticated, and suggestive all at once, Eau d'Hermès richly deserves its status as a classic. Others here before me have analyzed this scent and described its development better than I ever could. I think the genius of Eau d'Hermès lies in the way it combines frank animal notes, spices, and tobacco into something that's at once rich and “dirty.” It's the smell of a living animal; none in particular, but clearly one with power, grace, and an element of danger about it. In this respect it's much like Ungaro II, though the two fragrances have hardly a note in common.

The much-discussed cumin note is certainly detectable, but never discordant. It's only one component of the racy, animal accord that gives Eau d'Hermès so much of its punch. The scent is lasting, with good projection and quite a bit of sillage. After a solid eight hours it dries down to a slightly sweet leathery base that persists for hours more as a skin scent. I find it quite “masculine” (whatever that means) though no less appropriate for women than that other classic leather, Tabac Blond. Eau d'Hermès is a great fragrance, and while it's certainly not for everyone, it is something anyone who enjoys fragrance should try at least once.

A classic still going strong more than six decades after the release of Roudnitska's original formulation, current-version Eau d'Hermès is an elegant floral citrus cologne with woody elements and a pronounced spiciness. Opening with a delightful blast of bergamot, the complex composition soon unfolds in a double track; on the one side, a smooth profusion of warm exotic spices: I pick up mostly cardamom, the infamous cumin, some cinnamon, and a hint of tonka bean. Concurrently, on the other side, an intriguing bitter floweriness of primarily jasmine and geranium. Underpinning the structure is a discrete, very slightly leathery, base of sandalwood and conifers.

Despite its reputation for being extremely dirty and animalic, Eau d'Hermès is actually rather well-behaved and sort of playfully controlled, even civilized in a classic dandified sense. Confident and luxurious, the scent sits close to the skin, suggestively projecting spicy-sweet impressions of physicality and carefree decadence. To me, Eau d'Hermès is old-fashioned in the very best (and most wearable) sense – a remarkably “happy” and delightful relic of a very different age. Highly recommended.

Totally daring for 1951 - to create a "dirty" animalic scent and call it "eau."

It smells like sex pure and simple. It's the scent of the nethermost of our regions, clean but sweaty. Cumin is very similar to the natural perspiration glands in those regions and for some it's an erotic turn on. For others, it's repulsive. Can't imagine the latter actually enjoying leisurely love-making. For those that do, this attracts like a magnet.

A blast of cumin, followed by a mixture of sharp cardamom and pungent coriander, softened by cinammon. It's actually amazing how many ingredients in this begin with the letter "c." Clove and civet are added to the above to make six. Also in the mix are lemon, lavender and geranium leaf.

Best worn when cruising for a date or actually on one. NOT for work or the board room - you'll be too distracting - to both sexes - and they won't have a clue as to why you've suddenly become more interesting than the blather that's coming out of the CEO's mouth. Could cost you your job.

This is a masterpiece. Without it YSL could not have dared his Kouros many decades later. Another misfire by Turin who gives it only 4 stars, instead of 5.

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