Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan 
Hermès (2005)

Average Rating:  42 User Reviews

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Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès

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About Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès

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Hermès
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Part of the Hermessence collection.

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.

Fragrance notes.

Reviews of Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès

There are 42 reviews of Hermèssence Osmanthe Yunnan by Hermès.


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.


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...


No other fragrance represents me more faithfully than Osmanthe Yunnan. In my opinion Jean-Claude Ellena captures feminine whisper so in touch with classical Asian aesthetics I can't think of a more elegant scent to imbue my skin with that never overtakes or overstates. The memory Osmanthe Yunnan represents for me and my significant other is a multi-course lunch set in a misty mountain temple with fragrant native tropical flora in bloom and countryside tea farms. We were there to escape the city (and family) for the day.

Heavily romanticized with individual context it is easy to hold those two thumbs up high. Objectively? Not worth the price tag for most because unless the nose of those around you REALLY dialed in to this specific aesthetic and will be extremely close, as in physical contact, Osmanthe Yunnan is nearly devoid of projection, sillage, or longevity.

My recommendation for those seeking a lasting, radiating tea scent with a similar profile is to look towards Nishane Wulong Cha or Ormonde Jayne Qi Intensivo. Show restraint applying the Nishane because it has the horsepower to yank anyone within reach up by their collar. Qi Intensivo will more demurely radiate but you also might give off olfactory sensations to others of rolling through clean hay on a sunny summer afternoon. That might be too soft with a power suit you're wearing for hard negotiations.

The best cocktail emulation I've found to memorialize that tropical tea garden or courtyard aesthetic with increased projection and longevity is Qi Intensivo layered over Philosykos EDP.


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.


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.


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.

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