Perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena says:

During a visit to the Forbidden City in Beijing, I was captivated by an exquisite smell that led me by the tip of my nose to the Imperial Palace, where osmanthus bushes were in bloom. In November, despite their tiny size, the flowers exuded a strong scent of apricot and freesia. I imagined combining these blossoms with a tea from Yunnan, the most beautiful province in China… and the idea for the fragrance was born.

Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan fragrance notes

    • tea, orange, freesia, osmanthus, apricot

Where to buy

Latest Reviews of Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan

The pellucid beauty of Osmanthe Yunnan may elude those who favor bravado to that of nuance in their fragrance. The notes of osmanthus and tea, by their very nature, cannot be bold and highly diffusive. I truly believe any perfumer worth their grain of salt knows that any attempt to give either muscle would collapse the limpid beauty of each, rendering them into something harsh or even grotesque, or, depending upon opposing forces, buried and indiscernible.

Be that as it may, Ellena's creation here is full of presence, and his minimalism works to his benefit here. The osmanthus uses the natural absolute with other materials to broaden and exalt the accord, and the tea is a natural pairing—I do love to sip osmanthus tea, with its bittersweet, floral, apricot flavor. There are citrus and herbal facets that come through as well, and hints of that smoky undertone that we come to expect from black tea.

I also praise Ellena's restraint with the leather as this transitions into the heart, seamlessly, appearing to use Suederal or something similar in a way that I can appreciate, nuanced and clear. This is a perfect fragrance for a space of reflection or introspection. Apply some of this, write in a journal, read some poetry, or just let your mind meander. If worn for others, having intimate company and your willingness for others to lean in will result in others potentially appreciating it as well.
19th April 2023
I don't understand. I grow osmanthus in my garden; the scent of the flowers (which bloom in cold weather here) is both tropically luscious and fresh. I was hoping for the same from this perfume, but what I get is a weird cleaning-fluid-like overtone that doesn't fade at all.

It also happens that my favorite black tea is from Yunnan province. The perfume doesn't smell like that, either.
21st December 2021

Strong, fruity tea. Muddled, yet pleasant, flowers in the background. Brief, 4.5 hours on my skin. Hardly any sillage. Neutral rating, because of its fleeting wear.

I expected more of an apricot flair...
3rd September 2021
I love osmanthus, and this is one of the best. It's elegant and not too sweet, while still get the essence of the real flower.

Since osmanthus is an autumn flower, I always apply this in autumn, but recently I realized it projects better in warm weather. So this is going to be my late summer fragrance.
11th November 2019
This review is from 2017:

I have to put my foot down here and call a spade a spade as I just wasted $250 on a blind buy of Osmanthe Yunnan. First of all, take all the high praise this has received and push it to the side, because none of it matters when YOU CAN'T EVEN SMELL THE SCENT 10 MINUTES AFTER APPLYING IT! This is one of the worst examples "transparency" I've come across in perfumery. It is so light as to basically be imperceptible. Even as a skin scent it is extremely light. And it's BORING. It's highlight is a 2 minute flash of a juicy orange and apricot smell, and that's the extent of anything remotely interesting about this scent. The juicy orange quickly dies down, and now, barely breathing, emanating about 1 millimeter off of your skin you may smell a vague, floral apricot smell. It gets even quieter and then Osmanthe Yunnan turns into what smells like a dull piece of suede leather or very bland, unremarkable "tea." As I've mentioned, all of this occurs on the skin, but not a millimeter beyond it. Well, it's a personal scent. NO, It's not. I can't even smell it for my own personal enjoyment. And when I can smell it it's all so unremarkable. Really, this was a huge let down. If you absolutely need to get your nose on this, make sure to sample it. It is not a safe blind buy. I've heard so many euphemisms used to describe OY: 'sheer,' 'transparent,' 'gossamer,' 'like silk' and I have to shake my head and ask "why?" Just be honest with yourselves and the public--this stuff is WEAK. No way around it. Thumbs down.
13th August 2019
It is a flush of a quiet, smooth earthy floral on my skin; in character, smelling like the remnant of a scented bath product when stepping out of a shower. It is as easy to dismiss Osmanthe Yunnan, as the post-bath fragrance. I like having a skin ambiance at times, as opposed to a perfume. It exists with my aura and thoughts better than fragrances that demand attention; more a fragrance for living in.
What becomes important, then, is whether it's a match for my skin and living space. Osmanthe Yunnan is nice, it's easy-going. But at this level it's competing with natural blends designed specifically for the energy body at better prices. Some of those, healthy and supportive of the skin/aura, also have fantastic subtle fragrances, like a spa treatment. And they feel great.
I like OY, but because of the niche it inhabits, it's almost subliminal presence, I might often prefer a more aura-oriented fragrance. But I still like it, though not FBW.
11th March 2019
Osmanthe Yunnan floats in the air like a gentle memory of floral tea; a dry scent that tantalizes with hints and bits of flavor and aroma that while incomplete individually, form a composition of harmonic hues assembled into a satisfying completeness. This is a tea ceremony with that rare tea aroma of soft woods, sueded leather, osmanthus flower, bitter steam over white tea leaves, apricot skin, mist off the mountains from Yunnan province. This perfume is a creation that resonates a subtle beauty, the impressionistic mastery from an artist of aromas - the maestro, Jean Claude Ellena.
27th July 2017

Heavenly Attraction by Farshchian
16th June 2017
The fruitiness that greets me in the opening stage has some orangey undertone, but is in its core if a peachy apricot nature. Very discreet.

Soon the ismanthus develops, and whist is is in the foreground for a while, the initial impression is weakened by the fact that the the osmanthus weakens soon, and from then on stays in the background.

A fruity tea note, a very gentle white floral tea note develops and merges with the fruity notes. This is a tea note that is not very exciting in itself, but it provides a lovely counterpoint as well as a complimentary aroma that blends in well.

I get soft sillage initially, adequate projection - initially - and an unexpectedly excellent longevity of eight hours on my skin - albeit very close to it.

This is a very restrained, at times weak spring scent, which after the first couple of hours is basically a skin scent. So is it too weak? Well, whilst it is a skin scent for most of its duration, it is well structured and the components, and especially the eponymous osmanthus remains with admirable persistency present until the end.

Is this sheer and simple diluted weakness or an array subtle impressionist touches on a pastel
canvas? On my skin it is the latter. A few extra sprays are, however, definitely needed.

A weak fruit tea in a very thin bow with just enough aroma after a long brew. 3.25/5.
14th March 2017
I'm 5 starring this for one and only one reason: osmanthus is probably my favourite scent in the world, and so far this is the only fragrance that got close to the real thing. I like osmanthus so much I remember most of the places where I smelt it - last time was next to a Franco-Japanese fusion restaurant in a Harajuku street corner with hand drawn cats on the menu and it was around 9pm.

However, the osmanthus disappears within 20 seconds and leaves behind a very soft, dry peach tea, specifically white tea. A delicate watercolour fragrance suitable for days where you don't want to stand out too much. It's pleasant and well realised, but it's not osmanthus anymore. Alas.
3rd August 2016
This delicate tea scent has fragrant Osmanthus flowers, fruit (peach?) and a slightly smoky tea note that drifts in and out like a breeze blowing through a Chinese summer garden. Typical of Jean-Claude Elléna's ephemeral offerings, it is delicate and elusive. This one is particularly feminine with its sweet, milky floral note. Like most delicate Chinese tea, this leaves me feeling vaguely dissatisfied and longing for something more substantial, like a cup of strong Darjeeling. A good first scent, perhaps, for a young woman or--as the sales assistant at the Hermes boutique suggested--for layering with other, more masculine Hermèssence scents like Poive Samarcande or Vetiver Tonka.
3rd June 2015