Reviews of Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé by Hermès

I love the taste and I love the aroma of cinnamon & raisin pastries. But never on my skin. This is an amber-inspired scent strictly for gourmand fans only.
25th August 2010
Oatmeal raisin cookies. This is an easy way of describing it. Though it's more complex; with nutmeg, cinnamon, hazelnut, apple, honey, vanilla. This stuff is so awesome, and it never gets too cloying like a lot of gourmands do. If I had to pick something to compare this to, I'd say the closest would be Banderas Spirit and Spirit VIP, but other than that, it's pretty much in a league by itself, at least for now that is. As its popularity grows, so will knockoffs of this product, which hopefully a few will succeed, because I'm not too thrilled with paying 250 a bottle. As with all the Hermes frags, you can expect that Hermes appeal that brings a lot of people back to them.. longevity - excellent, projection/sillage - perfect, and of course that natural smell/feel that you get from most Hermes frags.
12th August 2010

Wearing this lovely scent is like wrapping myself in an olfactory purr. I just love it, it makes me feel pampered, polished, and affirmed on all levels of being. And that is a lot to get from a perfume!
7th May 2010
This is a very comforting, yet delicate spice, caramel and amber combination, but I find the mid-notes to be a bit hollow (what Asha describes as “tart dry baby powder” is about as close as a description as I can come up with). My son smelled me at this stage and said to me, “dad, you smell like applesauce!” I did not get that vibe myself, but when I see the reviews talking about “apple pie” accords, it all fits together. I don't think it is bad, but I give it a neutral rating, as it is a bit disappointing in the mid-notes.
22nd November 2009
Hermes Hermessence Ambre NarguileSince taking over as head perfumer at Hermes Jean-Claude Ellena's Hermessence line has been one of the consistently most interesting aspects of his stewardship. Not all of them succeed on me but thay have all been interesting. One of the more interesting members of the Hermessence line, for me, was Ambre Narguile. Amber is easily one of my three favorite notes so to paraphrase Dorothy from "Jerry Maguire" M. Ellena had me at Ambre. Ambre Narguile for all that it eventually gets to the amber comes off at the beginning like a full throated gourmand. The top starts off very vanillic but as caramel and honey join the fray the beginning of Ambre Narguile feels like a wonderful gingerbread accord on me. This is eventually contrasted with the lightest touch of incense underneath as the fragrance becomes less gourmand and more amber-centric. The gingerbread aspect never goes away it just becomes secondary to the amber which finishes Ambre Narguile in a swirl of warmth. Ambre Narguile is a fun fragrance to wear as it develops through the three distinct phases from gourmand to resinous to warm amber; all have their moment during Ambre Narguile's development. Ambre Narguile has outstanding longevity and average sillage. Ambre Narguile is one of my favorite cold-weather ambers from one of my favorite perfumers. I told you he had me at ambre.
31st October 2009
Well, I'm addicted to this already. How sad that it is so pricey, but I will save until next fall just so that I can envelope myself in its tasty goodness. Not "sexy" as I think of most ambers, just yummy. I think it will be a great scent for dieting, because I literally feel satified and content just wearing this scent. On me, it lasts FOREVER. I put it on before work, and I could still smell it while I was driving home. I think I am in love with Gourmands if they are anything close to this. I did not like the idea initially, but this fragrance has opened my eyes. Bring on some ideas of other gourmands I should try!
21st March 2009
This is what Liquid Karl tried to be. (And failed.)Warm, rich, sweet and gooey gourmand layered over leather and powder (and, of course) oodles of amber.The benzoin can be a bit sweet for my tastes in the first two hours, but that's just me.Expensive as hell. Masterfully blended. Still not my favorite amber, no, but a damn good one.A must-try for every Hermès fan and amber aficionado alike.
10th March 2009
I read somewhere that Ambre Narguile is an amber for amber haters. I've tried three amber scents now and I have to say that it's true, in my case. It is sweet. It smells like gingerbread, honey, pumpkin pie spices, all things warm and delicious about fall. The amber keeps me from wanting to classify it as a gourmand because it contributes something that makes it not quite edible. And about that amber....It mingles just beautifully with the sweetness and the spices, a seamless ensemble where you are just enough aware of its biggest star. There were no longevity problems here, either. Lucky me, no? Its phases are distinct and each one quieter than the one before, winding down from the business of a sunny autumn day into a relaxing evening eating something delicious and drinking something warm, to falling into softly perfumed sheets into a peaceful slumber. This last phase was surprising and delightful-- soft flowers gently wrapped in the delicate creaminess of the amber. That, I think, is what separates this amber from others that I've tried-- the soft creaminess from something I had since known to be spicy and sharp.Ambre Narguile is just beautiful.
17th February 2009
Folks, this is it. This is the ultimate comfort scent -- the scent of sweet baked goods garnished with spices, fresh from the oven.
29th November 2008
Autumn dance has begun.When red and golden leaves start falling I always get particolarly homesick. I miss walking through the woods collecting leaves in all colours, baking apples in the oven and sitting by the fire telling stories.Ambre Nargiulé gave me that welcoming feeling of home from the first time I smelled it.It is as warm and protecting as the open arms of Your Mum when You come from outside in Winter and she is already at the door with a cosy cashmere plaid to wrap You up tightly.I get the same soft gourmand fond as in Shalimar, the same tonkabean and amber-vanillic mix.Deliciously woven into this thick liquor I get raisins, dry plum, apple and candied apricot , all sugared and spiced up with a touch of cinnamon.Sweet, yet not overly edible; dense yet lightweight.One of the few comforting fragrances which dont lack character.smooth as catpaws
29th October 2008
The reviews I've read tend to focus on the first phase of its development where the gourmand aspect dominates. The honeyed cinnamon and vanilla, teaming-up with the roasted sesame seed notes in the opening have resulted in all sorts of olfactory associations with buns, cakes, and pastries.The magic in this fragrance is how it improves over the course of hours. Much of the sweetness of the opening fades. The heart is about the warm spices playing against a sweet tobacco accord that I can only describe as totally enveloping. When compared with other ambers I've tried, or own, it occurs that there is nothing sharp, resinous, or amber dominant about it.As Ambre Narguile dries down that velvety spice lingers over a base of sweet-smoky-amber. I would assume that this is the labdanum, which is used in perfumery as a substitute to ambergris. It is said to have a smell that is described as sweet, woody, ambergris, dry musk, or leathery; according to wikipedia.Normally when a fragrance is this well blended I can't detect individual notes, but I happily identify the transitions. With Ambre Narguile I can enjoy each phase of its journey and also pick a few of the individual accords. I get very good longevity, a liberal application lasts all day on me.Ambre Narguile is not an edgy composition that I appreciate as an artistic endeavour. If this was priced and distributed as a regular designer fragrance my view is that it would enjoy record sales. I feel lucky and privileged that I can own this gem; I'll never be without it.
23rd October 2008
Hermessence Ambre Narguile and Ava Luxe Ambra Tibet ComparisonLeft arm: Hermes Hermessence Ambre NarguileNotes: benzoin, labdanum, musk, vanilla, caramel, honey, sugared tonka bean, grilled sesame seeds, cinnamon, rum, coumarine and white orchids (from NowSmellThis)Right arm: Ava Luxe Ambra Tibet (thanks to Pebbles!!!!)Notes: Tibetan amber, cardamon, Madagascar vanilla, ambergris, civet (from Ava Luxe web site)Both started similarly--light spice, vanilla, a touch of leather and powder. The opening of each was really enjoyable, and different from most things out there. Unfortunately, neither stayed in this sweet spot.As I have mentioned many times before, my skin dries scents out. Both of these are supposed to be very sweet, I am sure. Reviews of AN in the directory talk about its foody, sweet, sometimes cloying qualities. Well, on me, the sweet is gone, and all I have left now is tart, dry baby powder. The top notes were gone in a flash, and the middle was bypassed, going straight to the powder. This happened within 1 hour. I applied liberally since the Hermessences are known to have poor longevity, but it did not seem to matter. For most of the rest of the drydown, I have something that smells very similar to a baby's butt. I can see how this would work with the right skin chemistry--it reminds me of Bond Chinatown and Montale Sweet Oriental Dream. It may be worth looking into it if those other fragrances are appealing.This is the first time I have tried the Ava Luxe, and I had no idea what to expect. I applied liberally with this one also, since it didn't seem very strong right out of the vial. The opening was beautiful, and I actually prefer it to the Hermes. It is a bit less "staunch" in its minimalism, and yet retains so much charm and perhaps some innocence (if a scent can have such a quality). AT has a bit of a modern leather note similar to the sharp leather found in Ambre Russe and some of the new Parfumerie General leather scents. That seems to be just the nudge needed in the top notes to give it a bit more balance than the Hermes. I sure wish this stage lasted longer, but given the affordable price of Ava Luxe frags, maybe needing to refresh a couple times a day is not all that bad. The dry down is very straightforward--mostly a simple vanilla skinscent. But I must say it is lovely, not pretentious, and not a caricature of vanilla (which is often the case with strong vanilla scents).Neither of these really compare to my "go to" ambers for complexity or longevity. Of what I have tried in the Hermessence line, I must question the price, given the behavior of some of the compositions. I think it is normal to expect better performance out of a high end frag, and I just have not been getting it with Hermes. For the Ava Luxe, I am reminded of Comme des Garcons--very straightforward, affordable, modern, and most important--not FUSSY. This is a line I will enjoy exploring more!
20th October 2008
Definitely sweet! Only got this in the last couple of days so can't tell you the effect it's had on others as yet but I have enjoyed the bakery smell to it. Reminds me of when my mum used to cook the christmas cake every year!
5th October 2008
Baked cookies, gingerbread, honeydrops... I can list a whole bakery minus any chocolate confections and it would smell like Ambre Narguile. If you are looking for an overly sweet and linear yet refined and elegant gourmand fragrance, look no further than this! There's really nothing wholly special, unique or daring, just simple, succinct and very nice smelling.
30th September 2008
thick, doughy, sweet spicy. Ambery ? I don't know.. to «pleasent» to be a real amber fragrance. I mean no comparaison with ambre sultan which is THE amber reference on the market imo. Although very aprochable and positively gourmand indeed. Ambre narguilé is more of a fresh-outta-the-oven raisin bread loaf (I don't know if it is raisin bread in english; pain au raisin) with sweet dough, cinnamon and raisins than some sort of «real» amber.thumbs up for the fragrance , thums up for the name
6th September 2008
Top note smells exactly like black walnut cookies my father would share with us. Cools down to a well behaved but conventional amber warmth. The good news: seems to last longer than other scents on the Hermessence line. The bad news: seems too juvenile and laboratory concocted for the price tag.
1st September 2008
The reviews of the fragrance below are simply too good to improve upon, especially buzzlepuff's description and floatingpoint's analysis that this a fragrance better suited to wearing than sniffing on a wrist. I will therefore relate my experience with Ambre Narguile.I like gourmands and was made a special trip to a Hermes boutique while traveling just to try this. I made the horrible mistake of zapping the back of my hand with two full sprays. I almost choked it was so strong and overpowering, and therefore I wasn't that taken with it. I ended up buying the Hermessence 4-pack of travel bottles, which includes this. Playing with Ambre at home, I came to learn that a fine mist - one spray from a distance - is the correct dosage for this fragrance to appreciate it. It must be diffusely applied and not concentrated in one area on the skin. One such spray on the chest/lower neck area, and perhaps one misty spray on each arm, allows the wearer to be enveloped in the most wonderful aroma of spicy-vanilla-amber-cake for hours and hours. Unlike the other Hermessences, this is not minimalist, it throws significant sillage, and lasts forever.If I were to spend $210 on a 100ml bottle of one Hermessence, I'd be hard pressed to decide between this and Vetiver Tonka.Thumbs way UP!
19th August 2008
It boggles the mind that something so sweet doesn't grow cloying, but there you go--the transparency saves it from that fate. Others have noted that there's very little amber here, and I would have to agree. The best description, to my mind, is Turkish Hookah Dancer's. I really can't better it, so I'll do the next best thing and cut and paste it: "a delicious, yeasty raw dough swirled with black raisins and sweet cinnamon. The amber in this fragrance anchors it, acting as a warm, skin-scent undertone throughout, and emerges on the drydown to meld with a sweet and dry, woody cinnamon stick and cedar."Hear, hear! I would only add this: the important thing to remember about the Hermèssence fragrances is that they may not always be that interesting to sniff on your wrist (no pyrotechnics here), but they are FANTASTIC to smell like, beautiful with an understated yet persistent radiance. I think perfume connoisseurs get so caught up in identifying notes and in pursuing new horizons of complexity that sometimes they forget it's nice just to smell GOOD in a quiet, classy, almost ambient way. Ambre Narguilé is no exception to that rule.
14th July 2008
This is a perfectly nice fragrance that starts off as amber and vanilla and ends up as spice cake and vanilla. It's a very simple scent from start to finish. Like that unmarried friend with a great face, figure and personality who never seems to go out, this is, for no discernible reason, monumentally unsexy. I think it's just too simple - there are no hidden depths to catch the attention and fire the imagination. I am SO giving a bottle of this to my teenaged daughter! :-)
9th May 2008
I'm probably the wrong person to review this. I dislike foody,vanillan, sweet, ambery scents. Yet a friend gave me this, so I thought I'd give it a try. It has some very interesting top notes which are slightly dry and smokey. Hence the "narguile" (water pipe). Ayala has a very apt description below, when she talks of dry, leathery notes which morph into round, sweet, fatty amber. Plenty of vanilla here. If you like a uber-opulent oriental, try this. It's just not my style. Very persistant, very sweet.
11th April 2008
Ambre Narguile is good enough to eat. It is a very gourmand fragrance with cinnamon really reinforcing this impression. Like a cinnamon syrup one might top vanilla ice cream with... yes that's it! I was trying to think of what kind of food impression it was giving me and this is it, though the texture and weight are not at at all syrupy. As it develops my food impression changes to something more of the moist holiday spice cake variety, but in its entire progression I never lose this gourmand impression. It's hard to go into great detail about Ambre Narguile because it's not very complex and I guess that's part of its charm: it's rich and delicious, by in a simple way.
10th January 2008
Ambre Narguile is the most immediately likeable fragrance from the Hermessence series. Smells like warm pipe tobacco +raisen nut cake + old leather bound books + kitchen smells. Lots of great warm scent memories tied to this one. All the scents are mellow and in a low baritone kind of register with a warm masculine feel. No one notes stands alone and there is not too much sweetness. A warm tapestry of fragrance. The amber never takes over the scent, unlike almost every other amber scent that has amber in its name. In fact this could easily be named something else because I don't think amber is the primary story at all. . . A winning combination.
29th July 2007
I can not say enough about Ambre Narguile. I keep sending people into the Hermes store to score samples for me....I am a junkie. I told my two teenage daughters, when we were in the Hermes boutique recently and as I completely doused myself in AN, that when I die I want to be embalmed with Ambre Narguile and then set on fire. They REALLY think I am crazy now but that is what this fragrance has done to me....I will never be able to get enough of it.
17th July 2007
Ambre Narguile has become one of the most important fragrances of my acquaintance – an immediate, welcoming attraction, like "I'm home."The crazy thing is, I got a small Hermes bottle as a blind buy, something I'd never normally do, especially given the high cost. But the descriptions I'd read told me AN was the sweet, deep, dried-fruit-and-amber entity I'd craved and never found elsewhere. I've read others complain it has an apple-pie quality. My dears, it's much darker than that. It's like fine, sweet, melt-in-your mouth dates. I'm happy to report my husband likes my wearing it. And AN can play well with others layering-wise – from my wardrobe that's Guerlain's With Love (which has a blond amber base) and that crazy spice girl Black Cashmere (the dark-on-black cloud makes me feel like an all-powerful, fear-my-sillage witch).My fragrance "key signature" is contralto, and this sings down around middle C perfectly.
15th June 2007