VOYAGE D'HERMÈS EDT
photo credit and art: Hermès
Voyage d'Hermès EDT - review
Perfumer: Jean Claude Ellena (The one and only!)
Bottle design: Philippe Mouquet
Olfactive family: Woody floral musk.
Olfactive Notes: lemony notes, cardamom, tea, floral and green notes, hedione, lavender, ginger, ambrette, woody notes, musk.
Description by the Brand:"
✬✬✬✬✬ - Holy Grail is less holy than this creation!
✬✬✬✬ - a king's perfume!
✬✬✬ - it escapes like mist evaporating.
✬✬ - my senses are foggy on this one.
✬ - so transparent you can barely notice it exists!
You can find this fragrance at HERMÈS website.
2010 is the year of green-y, clean, transparent/fluid perfumes. Untitled by Margiela, Eau de Campagne by Sisley, Ninfeo by Annick Goutal, L'Eau by Serge Lutens, Eau de Fleur de Capucine by Chloé, A Scent by Issey Miyake, Eternity Men Aqua by Calvin Klein, L'Eau au Masculin by Lolita Lempicka...and the list goes on and on. We have been seeing a lot of green notes, labdadum, galbanum, fresh cut grass, verbenas, cardamoms, crushed leaves, mints, green teas, pale jasmine, transparent musks, water-y notes, citrusy, pale anises and delicate wood-y finishings. VERT, FRAÎCHE, TENDRE, AQUA has been very common words while naming perfumes this year. Predicted by famous trend setter and published here, Li Edelkoort brought the water element to fashion and architecture. Water was the main concern at the end of 2009.
When I first tried Margiela's Untitled I found it very interesting. The super green note of galbanum combined with boxwood, toned down by cacau tenderness was really special. It bothered me thou the final fatty - cigarette ashtray combination.
As I recall, I compared it to Prada's Infusion d'Iris, also green-y and woody, but too soapy for my taste.
Than I found Voyage d'Hermès: Pure Perfection.
If I could rename olfactive families and reorganize them, I would diplay these three fragrances on the same shelf, from Prada to Hermès, in a scale of delicacy (from less delicate and stronger, to softer and more delicate).
I will not compare Ellena's previous Voyages as my fellows perfume blogers did. It would be just one more repetition of what has been said about this fragrance. Or either if it is disappointing or not to Ellena's fans. I am a fan, never disappointed!
What I would mention is that Hermès did follow a trend like any big massive production company. So what? Niche Perfumes such as Margiela and Serge Lutens also did! The difference is that Ellena has mastered this idea of transparency-green combination much better than anyone else.
Voyage d'Hermès EDT has a fresh opening of citrusy-lemmony notes, combined with spicy-peppery notes of ginger and cardamom. You are not trimming the grass of your garden on a Sunday morning, you are not in a sauna or sucking air while skiing.
You are in a dream on top of a mountain, at early hours before sunrise...A foggy, misty humid dream of searching for something that it is not clear.
The little droplets suspended on the air, bringing a fresh bluish aura to your dream came bottled in a fragrance.
The freshness of ginger suggests it is a daydream, and not an obscure voyage into darkness, (another trend pointing out - but to be commented soon, in another article).
Notes of ambrette seed comes along, but it vanishes into the foggy clouds. The fragrance of ambrette reminds me of wet pavements drying out on a hot day - the smell of cement with a mineral hint. Also a hint that this could be a urban dream. Someone could also get lost in a mist foggy trail in a dream, trapped by buildings.
Lavander notes brings the aromatic, fresh, clean roundup, and announce that flowers will be blooming. Like a reflection and a refraction of the tinny water drops, the flowery notes of this perfume do not come directly, exploding outwards the skin. It mirrors Ellena's sensitivity. It is implicit and intimate. Combined with tea (a combo that I love and it is found in many fragrances) the flowers receive an aura of nobleness knighthood.
photo credit: profumo.it
Transparent musks with a slightly creamy-powedery under layered is wrapped into dry woody notes. I have seen this before in his work for L'Artisan Parfumeur, Bois de Farine. A very delicate version already experimented in the past of a pencil note, slightly powdery and slightly flowery.
What I love about musk is the fact that it can be very sexy, animal and glandular. Or very transparent clean. Animal source bringing the notion of cleanness is not new, but always amazes me! It is just the final touch for the misty delicacy of the fragrance.
Voyage d'Hermès EDT is a jewel. To me, it is as simple and as perfect and as chic as the Trinity Cartier ring. Three different metals rings, three different colors (pink, yellow and white gold) representing three concepts: love, friendship and fidelity.
As in Cartier's, Voyage d'Hermès EDT brings 03 concepts perfectly intertwined: transparency, delicacy and nobility.
Comparing Ellena's creation to Serge Luten's L'Eau, Voyage d'Hermès EDT represents the concept of water with more reality. L'Eau has aldehydes, magnolias, mint, clary sage, ozonic notes, musks and citrusy notes. The flower bouquet is too strong to be related to water. It has some transparency but not enough. At some point it reminds me of a combination presented by L'Ocitanne with jasmine and green tea. While Ellena's creations are round and perfectly finished, as Trinity rings; most Luten's always lack the polish that every jewel gets before displayed for sale. But this is another issue...
To enter to foggy journeys to the land of mystical Grails, kings, witchcraft and quests:
Excalibur - Click HERE
Monty Python The Holy Grail - 3 questions - click HERE