Hermèssence Épice Marine 
Hermès (2013)

Average Rating:  15 User Reviews

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Hermèssence Épice Marine by Hermès

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About Hermèssence Épice Marine by Hermès

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Jean-Claude Ellena:

A fragrance from a meeting between a man who lives by taste and one who lives by his nose. I wanted to invite you to discover smells of spices, rum, waxed wooden floors and smoked woods. A sort of escape inspired by the invigorating, stimulating smell of the Brittany coast. A pirate Hermessence.

Fragrance notes.

Reviews of Hermèssence Épice Marine by Hermès

There are 15 reviews of Hermèssence Épice Marine by Hermès.

Has Jean-Claude Ellena ever visited Cape Cod? I imagine not, but Épice Marine gives me that "dunes of the cape" sensation, sans piña coladas. This has the ozone of the shores first and foremost, reminiscent of jaunts to Chatham or P-Town in the summertime. Of course, peel that layer away and we do have the cumin and cardamom that we all know and love from Cartier's Declaration, but it's more refined and mingling with the other moving parts here.

A savory, toasted sesame seed quality, almost reminding me a bit of freshly baked bread (I believe this might've been intentional from what I read regarding the concept), contrasting with this mineral-like quality in the heart, a bit salty and cool. It's sort of like lime and vetiver combined together creating this effect. It was certainly a courageous move on Ellena to endeavor such combinations that would in less disciplined hands (see Beaufort London with Lingum Vitae, review coming soon) resulting in something jarring, even nauseating. Here, it is so round, smooth, and makes sense to my nose.

Of course some may think that this is too similar to Declaration or even more so to Roudnitska's masterpiece Eau d'Hermes, but I would hazard to say that maybe these are cursory conclusions, as Épice Marine pushes the template into new and compelling territory with the edition of maritime and vaguely gourmand elements. I wouldn't blame one for not going full bottle (as with all from the Hermessence line) unless they find an eye-catching discount as I had with my own. Be that as it may, I am sure lucky to have a good quantity of this delicious juice with which to lavish myself.

Salty sweaty marine. It really reminds you of salty sea water, mainly due to the cumin note. This amps up the cumin note to the point of making some people sick or repulsed. It stands out from the Hermessence line and I respect it for its composition. Unfortunately, I find it difficult to wear. You'll definitely get points for smelling like the sea, but the smell of seaweed-like saltiness isn't considered "mass appealing".

This isn't like Acqua Di Gio Profumo where it smells likable and fresh. This is seaweed saltiness, that you find on the coast after the water recedes and the seaweed starts to stink. This is a fun fragrance to test in public with your friends. See how their faces turn.

Most of the Hermessence fragrances are fascinating and artistic, but I wouldn't necessarily wear it. If you want to wear it, it's mainly for yourself. Thumbs up for creativity, but a neutral for practicality.

A light spiciness greets me in the opening, which has sone cumin in it and is fairly pleasant.

A light woodsy undertone develops soon, but the bright overall chapter remains, as it does until the end. A lightly ozonic touch is present, with a touch of saltiness. With time a slight booziness indicates a rum impression; a rather dull and shy rum this is indeed. There is certainly not good pot still rum in this.

I get soft sillage, good projection and five hours in longevity on my skin, which is very close to my skin for the last couple of hours.

An interesting summery concept that appears like an attempt to blend the coast of Normandy with the Caribbean, but the overly simplistic execution as well as the generic natures lets it down, which is compounded by the fact the the performance leave a lot to be desired. 2.75/5.

Sunset by Felix Vallotton

white = cumin

blue room p.p

Starts off with marine and bergamot notes as well as a large dose of cumin. Very interesting fragrance and unique. Resembles a pirate ship with spices inside it. However, the aquatic scents don't last long and it immediately becomes intense cumin for the rest of its duration. Sillage and longevity are both weak. Good for uniqueness but way too pricey for a cumin fragrance.

Epice Marine has the blueprint of Declaration written all over it, not to mention that they are by the same perfumer. This could easily pass as a Declaration flanker, albeit cut from slightly finer cloth. The 'epice' part of it is an approximation of the spices in Declaration - cumin and cardamom. The woody aspects of Declaration are toned down, and Ellena shows his imagination by fusing a slug of 'marine' notes, nothing 'aquatic' but ever so salty-briny that lend a strange freshness. The smoked woods aspect comes alive late in the development when the freshness and the spicy aspects have subsided. This is around the four hour mark, when it is also subdued and the presence starts to disappear.

I find Epice Marine to be one of the more interesting Hermessence compositions. Declaration is a personal favourite, and while Epice Marine doesn't charm, it still keeps me interested. Also, it's hard for me to pick Epice Marine when one can get hold of Declaration and its flankers at one-eighth the price. Epice Marine presents a case of perfumery with a curious juxtaposition of notes, but something that is surprisingly concordant and engaging. I am having a hard time imagining for whom this perfume would be an ideal fit. It keeps one guessing, which is always a positive sign.


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