An interesting fragrance, fresh but spicy. But it is rather odd at the same time and hard to describe, clean but with leather scent and slighty sour smell. Supposed to be unisex but really to masculine and striking for a woman unless your daring with your scents.
Nirvana. Oh my God this is just gorgeous and has no equal. I actually find Lutens MKK rather juvenile and mild mannered compared to this. Don't get me wrong, this beauty has manners, breeding, complexity and absolute confidence, but is blatantly sexual and come hither. Opens with a sharp blast of lemon, then a hint of lavender, then comes the cinnamon which I don't ordinarily care for, but in this, it's delicate and inviting rather than foody. Next and best of all an unapologetic cumin note that says sex, sex, sex and more sex. All of this blends beautifully and it has no equal in my mind. Tried Declaration, but it pales in comparison with this. Roudnitska I believe formulated this for women, when fragrances were womanly, not eau de cookie dough for tweens. It wears a bit light, but I get more oomph by applying over a light layer of glycerin which really makes it come alive on skin, also wears well on fabric. Of course packaging is top notch as in all things Hermes. My fingers shake as I type this because I fear it may have been disco'd, not on their website anymore. Say it isn't so!!!!
What an absolutely gorgeous fragrance this is. This is perfume as wearable art. Dirty and skank are a cultural thing, and for me as a scandinavian, this is just rich, deep and "humanlike." I do smell and understand the dirtyness but when I wear Eau d'Hermès I really just think it smells beautiful. As for citrusy scents, I don't know anything that comes even close.
Here's the life cycle of this EdT on my scent sucking skin -
7am - Fresh from the shower generous spray all over (inc spritzing over shirt).
7.05am - Wow a huge blast of citrus (and I'm not keen on citrus...) that reminds me of 'O' de Lancome.
7.10am - Citrus going and I get lavender and something warmer and slightly spicy (gentle cumin, leather? Hard to say).
7.45am - On the way to school/work. I ask DD what she thinks. She leans in and says 'yuck, cinnamon'. I sniff and agree. Then I realise this stage reminds me of a weak Musc Ravageur with similarities of Kenzo L'elephant.
9.30am - Sniffing my arm I get a trace of scent. Fleeting warmth that's so close to the skin it's virtually undetectable.
An interesting scent but too similar to others these days that have far better lasting power and sillage. £60 is too expensive for a pleasant smell that I'll have to reapply every couple of hours.
On me this doesn't have the skanky note that I love and crave in L'air de Rien, Kingdom or L'A Al Oudh. Overall I was very disappointed. I'm going to spray this on DH and see what it smells like on him.
King of the Beasts. AKA "Hold On I'm Cumin." Edmond Roudnitska said he was inspired by the smell of the inside of an Hermes leather hand bag when he was creating it. Well, maybe. If the handbag had come from a hard workout at the gym and then took part in a menage a trois. This is the unabashed smell of body odor and the smell of post-coital skin. The sharp smell of clean but sweaty anus (no, I'm not kidding or trying to be gross) is astonishing. When it first goes on, it's like sniffing a jar of cumin. But that's a misleading overture. The cumin soon undergoes a transformation and becomes the smell of a healthy, virile, and sweaty man's armpits accompanied by the smell of clean anus and crotch, as if a sweaty body builder right out of an orgy tried to freshen up by slapping on Eau Sauvage. I thought I was crazy until I read, in "The Perfect Scent," Chandler Burr's account of how perfumers often use materials that in fact smell like "the rich, thick scent of the anus of a clean man." Well, Roudnitska must have used some of those molecules here. I wonder whether women would find a man wearing this to smell unbearably sexy or repulsive. That Hermes, a vibrant but staid house, is the home of this frag is surprising. That Hermes launched this frag in 1950, astounding. I admire this frag. I'd be afraid to wear it for fear that people would think I hadn't showered--it's entirely realistic. I found myself thinking "Gee, I better wash my hands before I get home." I also am unsure what occasions would suit this. Not the office. Probably not a first date. This is very much a scent one wears for oneself and for a lover who happens to like it. It's BO and sex in a bottle and very French and so unlike any frag I've smelled I wish I had the nerve to wear it. UPDATE: 29 April 2009. Haunted by this assy fragrance, I bought a bottle of it today. Who cares if they think I wear my pheromones on my sleeve? Would give it five lippies but it has very little staying power. Two hours after even a heavy application it's gone unless I press my nose to my skin.
UPDATE: 8 May 2009. I now smell the cinnamon that's in here as well as the other notes. So far I'm the only one who loves this frag of everyone I've tested it on. One twenty-something opined that it "smells like Brut." I don't think she has actually smelled Brut. Or maybe she really meant "Brute." Which would be true. Another person I tested it on said it smells like baby powder scented with cardamom. She's sort of right. It does acquire a powdery drydown that's a bit like J&J with a dash of cumin, a pinch of cardamom. What a gal.
I recently discovered that I love Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan. It’s dark, skanky, decadent – a scent that transports me instantly to stepping off the plane in India, where one is assaulted all at once by that unique scent of flowers, sweat, feces, decaying matter, and burning smoke. It is a smell that is at once deeply disturbing and intoxicating. As it is hard to get a hold of, however, I had quietly resigned myself to rationing it out drop by drop from my small decant.
Enter Eau D’Hermès, created by Edmond Roudnitzka in the 1950s. While nominally part of the eau de cologne genre, Roudnitzka has loaded the basic structure up with spices (especially cumin), smoky woods, and a huge dose of civet, thereby creating for me a handy SL MKK dupe. There’s definitely citrus and a little floral on top that doesn’t exist in MKK, so shall we call it MKK Sport? MKK Fraîche? (ok, just kidding).
I find the scent unapologetically skanky, but a very civilized skank, like the skin scent of a self-assured, powerful, financially-independent man who is old enough to have grown out of any boyish qualities, but is at the height of his virility and potency. Interesting, then, that it is marketed as a unisex scent, but I think I would be intrigued to smell a woman who felt comfortable wearing it.
You have got to like cumin to get on board with this one, Assuming you do, like me, you might choose to forgo that trip to Paris for the elusive Mongol and his musk (at least for the moment).
This fragrance is both sophisticated and down to earth. When I read all the notes, I was afraid it was trying too hard, but it actually works. Opening with a citrus accord, I then discerned a distinct cardamom note that I love. It then moves into more of a skin scent with a leather and spice base. I do detect the cumin note that other reviewers have noted, but I don’t find it overpowering. I imagine a woman with long straight hair tied back in a black ribbon, no makeup, glowing pink cheeks horse back riding at her family’s New England estate. A choker with a single pearl, tailored clothes and a button down white shirt complete the look! Perfect for outdoor autumn outings, or shopping along Newbury Street in Boston!
This is a somewhat shocking scent, and you do have to give it time to dry down before developing an opinion. When I first sprayed a little on, it disgusted me! Strong BO .. how could this be sold as perfume??? I left the counter immediately and went about shopping. I actually felt worried that someone would think that stink was me!!!! I looked for the restroom so I could wash it off. Just before the soap hit it, I took another sniff. What a transformation. I loved it!
Dry with citrus and leather notes with cumin and musk melded beautifully with my own skin scent. Hard to believe it was the same scent I wrinkled my nose at. I have since tried it a number of times and finally purchased an EDP of my own. It's still shocking at first spray, but worth waiting for.
My boyfriend bought this for me after hearing me express a slight intertest in it (as in "ooh, wonder what that one smells like, it's got cumin it it!"). Bless his heart, he tried. But all I smell is a lemony scent upon initial spray, then cumin, cumin, and more cumin (with MAYBE a little bit of the other spices thrown in). A citrusy version of Kingdom, for those of you who can get nothing out of Kingdom but the cumin like I do. I let my coworker try it and she liked it, remarking on the cinnamon she smelled in it. Sorry, no cinnamon detected in this nose. I'm beginning to think I should eat Mexican food more to get rid of my hypersensitivity to the cumin/BO notes in this and Kingdom. Well, at least these two make my mouth water!
When I wear this fragrance, I feel VERY chic, elegant, very classy, but at the same time warm, approachable, down to earth. Few fragrances manage to transmit this sense of understated refinement / elegance, mysterious sobriety. It's composition is artistic, the way the many notes come together...a very original scent. Recommended for the discriminating nose.
It really is a combination scent: citrusy, but also woody, with a very subtle leather accord, and a sober hint of spices.
The perfume comes with a little booklet that says it is defined as a CITRUS SPICY FLORAL fragrance and that it has 7 accords: freshness of citrus fruits, sparkling presence of aromatic herbs, bold spices, subtle flowery notes, gentle amber harmony, woodsy notes, leather accord.
The booklet also says :"Eau d'Hermes is a true and original work of art, rich with emotions, intense and discreet. To reflect the sumptuous sobreity of Hermes, Edmond Roudnitska found inspiration in a personal memory: the fragrance wafting from the interioir of a Hermes bag (it smells in my opinion much less leathery than its inspiration, which for me is good because I find leather too intense)...a note of delicate leather coated with the fresh scents of citrus fruits and flavoured with spices". Described by Hermes as a "skin fragrance with a subtle tencaity and distinct trail" (very much agree).
I am a huge fan of Frederic Malle's Cologne Bigarade, and this scent is slightly reminiscent of it -- they both have that elegantly constructed citrus notes that feels "skin-like". If you like Eau D'Hadrien, another of my favorites, you might find this interesting too. Please note that Eau d'Hermes is a bit more "serious" and "grown-up" than Cologne Bigarade and Eau D'Hadrien, which I find a bit more casual, so it depends on the occasion, or how you are feeling.