Agarwood and fir wood - the dyad defines this creation. Overall the oud is prominent, but it is so much less lash and bitingly intrusive than the avalanche of synthetic oud products that has inundated the perfumery shelves over the last years.
The fir is even more discreet and definitely more a background than a frontline star.
I get soft sillage, quite weak projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.
A scent for warmer autumn days, the fact that the agar is pleasantly restrained does not hide the fact that it is synthetic and not particularly enticing. The fir impression is too anemic to compensate for that. 2.75/5.
I love it. I purchased it for my wife after we both sampled it. She was on the hunt for something with fir. We also sampled a bunch of CDG (incense and monocle series) which are great, but the way this stuff performs and envelopes you puts it on another level for me. It feels like being hugged by a velvet painting of a campfire in northern pine forest.
I think I read somewhere that uninfected agar wood is used so I guess it isnt truly an oud note, but simply an agarwood note? To my nose this is quite alright as it does still impart a little funky bitterness which plays very well against the mild sweetness of the fir. The incense almost feels like a product of the fir and agar rather than a separate note.
Like cedre sambac I find it to be very well blended, such that it is difficult to tell where one note ends and the next begins. Extremely smooth. Polite? Yes I suppose it is, but not entirely tame. Like it could be rough if it wanted to be, but right now its just resting, secure enough in itself to be calm. Like it was a hell raiser when it was younger, but has been mellowed by the years, still strong but no longer needing to prove itself at every turn.
Although I got it for her I think I will likely be sneaking some sprays when I can (such as the one currently on my wrist that Ive been enjoying for the last couple of hours) I find it to be perfectly unisex, unlike cedre sambac which I adore, but am unlikely to wear myself. I like that one better on my wife than myself. Although as with any fragrance I think its much more about the personality than the gender.
I agree that projection is subtle but very solid. Longevity on my skin is on the good side of average. Its expensive, but I think its worth it.
I often think about how much Ive spent on nice dinners which I could only enjoy briefly. In that context it doesnt seem as crazy to spend money on something which brings me joy for years.
I'm in love with this. It's not oud, per se, but it does have that slight bandaid note, although done in an Hermes, timid way.
This is basically a leather, but a different kind. Not miles from the style of Cuir d'Ange, although fruitier, easier to wear, and more interesting. This might be the first leather accord I've smelled that smells like actual animal skin, where the others are just bitter (Piguet), floral (Chanel), or amber (Knize).
Unlike anything I've ever smelled. Another marvel from Christine Nagel, who is quickly becoming my favourite person in the world.
A soft, warm, polite incensey woods. Warm and gentle with no bold exclamations or quick moves. A subtle and quiet powdered incense stick slowly smolders in the background . . . while I sit on the cushion. That's all I get, but sometimes that is all I need. Is this Hermes or is this Unum?
I agree with the other review that said this smells like a Le Labo. It is very bare wood smell. No complexity, clean and bitter almost. It fits into the Hermes aesthetic. If one were to imagine an Oud scent for Hermes I think this is a good effort. However I dont find it particularly enjoyable.
Edit: I have upgraded my review to thumbs up. When the fir shows up in the dry down, an alchemy occurs and now I keep sniffing it. I will admit this is the first Oud scent I have enjoyed. Polite and unobtrusive but refined with character. Tastefully done.
There's a particular kind of fragrance nerd who is very afraid that someone will think they're wearing a feminine fragrance (the horror!). Such people are in an aesthetic cage of their own making, wearing only fragrances with a very small and constrained set of notes, all of which are along the woody/smoky axis. It's for these people that Hermes has created the sad and generic niche-by-numbers Agar Ebène, which barely qualifies as a smell let alone a fragrance - and one that costs about $250 per bottle at that. If I had smelled this blind I would have thought it was a Le Labo, which is never a good look. Between this and the equally bad Cèdre Sambac it appears that something dreadful is happening with masculine fragrances at Hermes. (By contrast, the new floral Hermessences are quite good, especially Musc Pallida.)