Current Eau d'Hermes - what is it like ?

incense+heliotrope

Well-known member
Nov 20, 2017
I've been thinking about this for a while, read many reviews, and not much wiser what this might be like.
No opportunity to sample, but could blind buy at reasonable price.

I like other Hermes classics; I enjoy leather; animalics are OK.
I do not want to smell of BO, but fresh sweat is fine.
How prominent is the jasmine, and is it indolic ?
Should I sample Cartier Declaration EdT first, as being similar ? How alike is it really ?

What is Eau d'Hermes like, by reference to the following with which I am acquainted :
Hermes Bel Ami (citrus, leather, musk)
Knize Ten (leather, florals)
Bianchi The Lover's Tale (musk, animalics)
Anatole Lebreton Grimoire (cumin)
Mona di Orio Cuir (leather, cumin)

Are there any other relevant points of reference in either my Wardrobe or Samples ?

What say you ? other than don't blind buy, obvs
 

Starblind

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
I LOVE Eau d'Hermes, but have only owned the vintage version, so I can't really comment on the latest iteration. However, the "Eau" aspect is the thing with this scent. It is a gorgeous citrus combination that is more refreshing and less leathery than any of the other scents you mention. The cumin definitely has a presence, so it you are in any way bothered by that note, stay far away. I find it amazingly sexy, but some people are negatively reminded of body odor and can't tolerate it.

Spraying on clothing makes the cumin-y aspect a bit more intense, so if that's a problem, spray your skin only.

(I find Declaration far less enticing than the Hermes.)
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
As Bonnette was saying, recent iterations (I have a bottle from 5 years ago) are not leather, nowhere near the leathers you mention. Nothing musky animalic either. More like a very soft warm citrus with a prominent cumin note. But it doesn't feel like body odor. If you don't like cumin, this will be a no for you.

cacio
 

GoldWineMemories

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
I'd encourage a buy. It's not really a leather perfume, and the spices are conjoined in a totally different way than what Declaration does. I like Declaration, but it doesn't hold a candle to the Hermes. I'm not going to really be able to paint a picture of what it actually smells like -- the opening however is a nice citrus & cardamom combo that is stunning. What I will say is Eau d'Hermes is one of the most sensual perfumes in existence. It's not stinky it's not animalic, it's human. I also disagree with Tania Sanchez's review of the scent calling it something a middle aged man with embossed slippers would wear - implying it's trying much too hard. Eau is a beautifully flawed person who doesn't have to try at all, and doesn't, because there's no reason to. Eau doesn't scream LOOK AT ME! like say Musc Ravaguer -- you just can't take your eyes (nose) off it naturally.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
I've been thinking about this for a while, read many reviews, and not much wiser what this might be like.
No opportunity to sample, but could blind buy at reasonable price.

I like other Hermes classics; I enjoy leather; animalics are OK.
I do not want to smell of BO, but fresh sweat is fine.
How prominent is the jasmine, and is it indolic ?
Should I sample Cartier Declaration EdT first, as being similar ? How alike is it really ?

What is Eau d'Hermes like, by reference to the following with which I am acquainted :
Hermes Bel Ami (citrus, leather, musk)
Knize Ten (leather, florals)
Bianchi The Lover's Tale (musk, animalics)
Anatole Lebreton Grimoire (cumin)
Mona di Orio Cuir (leather, cumin)

Are there any other relevant points of reference in either my Wardrobe or Samples ?

What say you ? other than don't blind buy, obvs

Eau d'Hermes shares noticeable similarities with Cartier Declaration, Diptyque L'Autre and Houbigant Cologne Intense.
It's not a carbon copy of Cartier Declaration, but Declaration is clearly a tribute to Eau d'Hermes. If you like one, it's likely you'll like the other, but that is also valid for the dislike side of things. Roughly, this is what I get:
Top: moderate citrus
Heart: moderate caraway, and a hint of florals
Base: soft leather, and a hint of amber (not sweet)

Declaration is:
Top: strong citrus
Heart: strong cardamom, moderate caraway
Base: soft woods

L'Autre is:
Top: moderate cardamom
Heart: strong caraway and other spices
Base: soft patchouli and a hint of incense


Honestly, it doesn;t come close to any of the 5 frags you listed, nor do I see any in your wardrobe or samples that do so. Maybe Grimoire is the closest, but still far from it.

What say me? It is my #1 fragrance in my wardrobe (I have 300 bottles). Any other question? haha
As for versions, honestly, I have a current bottle (black cap, 2016) and a slightly older one (clear cap, 2009), and honestly I would probably fail the blind test. If you can find a clear cap one for, let's say, 10-20% more than the black cap, go for it. But don't pay ridiculous amounts for a vintage, it's not worth it, the difference are anectodical. (If you watch the video just under my post, you'll see that Thomas - the proud owner of 800ml of Eau d'Hermes in 4 different versions - agrees that it's not worth spending big bucks, and the 'vintage' thing is often exaggerated by many, biased by the huge amounts one spend on those). Eau d'Hermes was already my favourite fragrance for life when I only owned the current bottle.

I won;t say don't blind buy... at the opposite, I will say buy it now!!!
If you want to learn more, here's a nice funny chat on that frag:

 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
I'd say that there's a noticeable difference between current (well, coppertop) and vintage. The original perfume (by the great Roudnitska) was reworked by Ellena in the mid-noughties. That said, I wear both with pleasure, and the last time I tried the current juice I had the impression that the cumin had been toned down, bringing it more into line with the original.

Of the perfumes you mentioned, Grimoire is the closest, but Eau d'Hermes is brighter, more citric, more transparent. I think you'll like it ;)
 

Emanuel76

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2018
I'm glad you started this thread.

It's not really a leather perfume
Is the leather suggested by spices and slightly helped/enhanced by birch tar? Sort of smooth suede-like musky-powdery spice-centered type of leather, with hints of sweat (body odor)?
Any other (easily detectable) leather aroma chemicals?

Eau d'Hermes
[...]
Top: moderate citrus
Good news... For me, at least. :laugh:
 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
Is the leather suggested by spices and slightly helped/enhanced by birch tar? Sort of smooth suede-like musky-powdery spice-centered type of leather, with hints of sweat (body odor)?
Any other (easily detectable) leather aroma chemicals?

Thinking of it as a leather fragrance is misleading. Really, there's no detectable leather or suede in it these days.
 

incense+heliotrope

Well-known member
Nov 20, 2017
Firstly, thank you all for taking time and thought to reply.

@starblind : so I need to think of EdH as an eau de cologne style with a spiced mid/base ?
@cacio : I have no objection to cumin - I greatly enjoy Grimoire, though a FB seems unnecessary and rather costly (being practical). If money were no object, otoh.... so it sounds like EdH would be OK.
@hednic : good to know you also like it, and that it has good performance
@GoldWineMemories : great description.
@Andy the frenchy : thank you; very detailed and helpful, especially the comparisons of top/mid/bases. I have not tried Declaration, L'Autre, Houbigant Cologne, hence this thread. I'd already watched that video, and agree with Red that it is vastly entertaining, but less informative than its length might lead one to hope.
@saminlondon : the only version under consideration is current black top. Again, good to know that Grimoire is a vaguely useful reference point but
Thinking of it as a leather fragrance is misleading. Really, there's no detectable leather or suede in it these days.
Dommage.
However,
Grimoire is the closest, but Eau d'Hermes is brighter, more citric, more transparent. I think you'll like it
sounds promising.
@Emanuel76 :
Is the leather suggested by spices and slightly helped/enhanced by birch tar? Sort of smooth suede-like musky-powdery spice-centered type of leather, with hints of sweat (body odor)?
that was what I was hoping for too.

As for the use of spice notes to describe scents :
I'm wearing Grimoire on one arm this morning, and I've been in my spice cupboard for a huff - have to say my jar of cumin seed smells different (more curry house) from the cumin note in Grimoire; and the whole green cardamom jar smells camphoraceous, almost eucalyptus-y aromatic; and the caraway seed jar has anisic top notes as well as being earthy-brown.

I'm glad no-one has mentioned Chanel pour Monsieur EdT, which I have never liked. Been a long time since I nosed Eau Sauvage EdT too, and not keen on the more recent EdPs. It was Armani Eau pH that won the day out of those three when I was looking for a citrus-prominent EdT several decades ago, back in the days of oakmoss etc.

I wore Terre d'Hermes EdT last night and was reminded how it does little for me. Hoping there is not too much similarity with EdH.

It's looking like there's only one way to find out ......
 

cacio

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Nov 5, 2010
The Eau d'Hermes I have is really more about the cumin and spices than the citrus, so that's why it doesn't feel like the more standard citruses you mention. It's soft rather than zingy fresh.
 

Kaern

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 2, 2008
Can't help as haven't tested it for about 10 years

Then it reminded me of a hybrid of the old Bel-Ami and Puredistance M

It's good that Hermes still stick by it --- I suspect Creed would have had it vaulted a long time ago!
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
Is the leather suggested by spices and slightly helped/enhanced by birch tar? Sort of smooth suede-like musky-powdery spice-centered type of leather, with hints of sweat (body odor)?
Any other (easily detectable) leather aroma chemicals?
Thinking of it as a leather fragrance is misleading. Really, there's no detectable leather or suede in it these days.

I'd respectfully disagree. There is a noticeable birch tar like leather note in the base, but I would agree that it is on the softer side not the star of the show. Spices are. I see Eau d'Hermes as a spicy-leather for hot days.

The Eau d'Hermes I have is really more about the cumin and spices than the citrus, so that's why it doesn't feel like the more standard citruses you mention. It's soft rather than zingy fresh.

I agree with that. It's nothing like the fresh lemon in Chanel Pour Monsieur or Armani Eau pour Homme. The citrus is soften by spices right off the bat.

[...]
@saminlondon : the only version under consideration is current black top. [...]

It's looking like there's only one way to find out ......

I recently got my back up bottle with clear cap (produced from ~2007 until 2014 according to 'experts') for ~$110 on ebay, so it's not impossible.
The guy in the video (Thomas) states it's on the same level as the previous copper cap one (seen as the hooly grail of Eau d'Hermes). But again, differences are minor, if you have to shell out much more money than that, get the black top, it's still amazing.
 

GoldWineMemories

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
I recently got my back up bottle with clear cap (produced from ~2007 until 2014 according to 'experts') for ~$110 on ebay, so it's not impossible. The guy in the video (Thomas) states it's on the same level as the previous copper cap one (seen as the hooly grail of Eau d'Hermes). But again, differences are minor, if you have to shell out much more money than that, get the black top, it's still amazing.

This is why I don't enjoy reformulation talk. The clear cap Eau d'Hermes used to be always talked about as utter garbage, and now it's on par with copper, and the black is bad. The truth is that all of them (copper, clear, black) are basically the same. If you really really dug your nose into the scent you'd find a slight slight nuance in the texture of the scent, but not the actual scent itself -- I have no idea about the pewter cap, or anything that old. Ellena talks about how he sees Eau d'Hermes as the masterpiece of not just Hermes, but Roudnitska, and one of if not the best perfume ever crafted. He's not going to change it and make it his own. I have no doubt in order to keep it on the market that slight updates have been made, but not to the smell itself on purpose. That's what Declaration, Epice Marine, and Bigarade Concentree are for -- Ellena playing around with the best perfume ever crafted.


I can say from experience the copper cap & the black cap are the same perfume. If you really must have the copper rarely they pop up for sale. Get the black while you can. It's been taken off the USA market, and it could be years if we ever get lots of grey market stock in again. This is one perfume always worth buying, and give it time to get to know what it is you're smelling. You'll notice everyone who talks about Eau d'Hermes either doesn't like it because of the sweaty notes, or throws lavish praise its way. It truly is a masterpiece.
 

saminlondon

Well-known member
Aug 25, 2011
This is why I don't enjoy reformulation talk. The clear cap Eau d'Hermes used to be always talked about as utter garbage, and now it's on par with copper, and the black is bad. The truth is that all of them (copper, clear, black) are basically the same. If you really really dug your nose into the scent you'd find a slight slight nuance in the texture of the scent, but not the actual scent itself -- I have no idea about the pewter cap, or anything that old. Ellena talks about how he sees Eau d'Hermes as the masterpiece of not just Hermes, but Roudnitska, and one of if not the best perfume ever crafted. He's not going to change it and make it his own. I have no doubt in order to keep it on the market that slight updates have been made, but not to the smell itself on purpose. That's what Declaration, Epice Marine, and Bigarade Concentree are for -- Ellena playing around with the best perfume ever crafted.


I can say from experience the copper cap & the black cap are the same perfume. If you really must have the copper rarely they pop up for sale. Get the black while you can. It's been taken off the USA market, and it could be years if we ever get lots of grey market stock in again. This is one perfume always worth buying, and give it time to get to know what it is you're smelling. You'll notice everyone who talks about Eau d'Hermes either doesn't like it because of the sweaty notes, or throws lavish praise its way. It truly is a masterpiece.

I'm sure you're right about recent versions. They're still excellent iterations of a true classic.

Just for clarification, when I say 'vintage' I'm talking about the old pewter-coloured caps, and anything produced before the early 2000s. Here there really is a difference.
 

GoldWineMemories

Well-known member
Nov 22, 2019
I'm sure you're right about recent versions. They're still excellent iterations of a true classic.

Just for clarification, when I say 'vintage' I'm talking about the old pewter-coloured caps, and anything produced before the early 2000s. Here there really is a difference.

And that I have no experience with, so I defer to your expertise.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
This is why I don't enjoy reformulation talk. The clear cap Eau d'Hermes used to be always talked about as utter garbage, and now it's on par with copper, and the black is bad. The truth is that all of them (copper, clear, black) are basically the same. If you really really dug your nose into the scent you'd find a slight slight nuance in the texture of the scent, but not the actual scent itself [...]

I can say from experience the copper cap & the black cap are the same perfume. If you really must have the copper rarely they pop up for sale. Get the black while you can. It's been taken off the USA market, and it could be years if we ever get lots of grey market stock in again. [...]
I fully agree with you. Now that I own both the clear and black cap, I could do a few side-by-side wearings: the clear cap appears very slightly 'rounder'. In my opinion, it is just because the top citrus notes have faded (a bit) more than any reformulation. Anyways, it'ss barely noticeable, and I think that even the most refined noses would fail that blind test.
I just bought a 2.5oz refill bottle from 2001 (copper cap time), I'll report back here when I'll receive it, but I don;t expect any difference, except for the citrus top to be softer, like the clear cap one.
 

Andy the frenchy

Well-known member
Sep 16, 2018
This is why I don't enjoy reformulation talk. [...]
[...] I just bought a 2.5oz refill bottle from 2001 (copper cap time), I'll report back here when I'll receive it, but I don;t expect any difference, except for the citrus top to be softer, like the clear cap one.
Received it. Interestingly enough, I paid 25% less for a non-boxed bottle, and received the boxed one: happy. That said, the sprayer sucks (sprays little, and most of the juice leaks around the sprayer... does your refill bottle have the same problem, GWM?

Now doing my 1st wearing of the 2001 refill bottle (copper top area), in side-by-side wearing with clear cap and black cap:
I get a tiny bit more lemon and leathery (basically a bit sharper - not sure that 'sharp' is a compliment in perfumery), but a very tiny bit. Should see how it evolves in the next 2 to 4 hours, but as of now, it would be absolutely impossible to discriminate one from the other in blind test. Unless it might take a tight curve in the next hour, I confirm that spending big bucks on vintage bottles would is a total waste of money, in my book. (at just $45 for 75ml, that's more than ok though haha)
 
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