Hermes Epice Marine : Perfume Review


When it comes to telling compelling stories, Hermès takes the prize. The house’s perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena, is the author of Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent and The Diary of a Nose, and he is a natural storyteller. Perfumes in the Hermessence collection are like pages from his personal journal, some inspired  by his travels, others by his native Provence. Epice Marine, introduced earlier this fall, was likewise inspired by Ellena’s adventures, but this time it’s also marked by a collaboration with another artisan.

epice marine

The fragrance came together as Ellena met and corresponded with chef Olivier Roellinger. Ellena travels the world in search of interesting scents, while Roellinger’s quest is for spices. Back in Brittany, a fog shrouded region along France’s northern shore, he composes spices into complex bouquets. If your idea of a spice blend is a Madras curry mix, then Roellinger’s delicate, harmonious blends will come as a surprise. When I sprinkle his Poudre Sérinissima over a tomato salad, I also want to dust my skin with this ginger and saffron accented powder. Who else could be a better collaborator and muse for a perfumer?

Epice Marine is in equal part a tribute to Brittany and to Roellinger’s spices. It’s a bright, juicy citrus wrapped around a piece of driftwood, an interplay between sparkling, fresh notes and smoky, toasty ones. The initial impression is of a salty lime and cardamom salad; you can smell as well as taste the tart bitterness of tough lime peel, the crisp bite of its pearly flesh and then the lemony shot of cardamom. It’s such a delicious, uplifting start that at first I kept spraying perfume on my skin again and again, as if replaying a favorite phrase of music.

Once the citrus mellows down, the spice and wood core of the perfume–the Epice (spice) part of Epice Marine–takes shape. In a series of interactions, the two creators exchanged ideas and one of the discoveries Ellena made was how different toasted cumin smelled from its raw counterpart. Raw cumin smells sweaty and musky, but when warmed over fire, the spice turns sweet, caramelized and loses its animalic punch. The toasted cumin essence is what gives Epice Marine its subtle savory twist, and in combination with soft cedarwood and earthy vetiver, it smells of hazelnuts.

Like other Hermessence perfumes, Epice Marine is delicate enough not to overdo any aspect, and from citrus to woods to marine notes, it’s elegantly blended and harmonious. In the same vein, if you’ve complained about Hermessences not lingering long enough, you won’t find Epice Marine different. While it doesn’t disappear completely from my skin, its presence is soft and muted. Others perceive it on me as “fresh” and “clean.” Think of it as a light cologne to give you an instant boost.

But Epice Marine won’t be a complete surprise, especially if you’re already familiar with Ellena’s perfumes for Hermès, Frédéric Malle and Cartier. The juicy bitter orange is not unlike Cologne Bigarade. The marine accord interspersed with cardamom makes me think of Un Jardin Après La Mousson. The dry woods and mild spice recall Déclaration. The sum total makes for a completely different effect, but I’m still left longing for Ellena taking a journey someplace new and unexpected.

As Ellena writes in The Diary of a Nose, “I’m quite simply following the trajectory of an artist, someone who seeks and, sometimes, finds.” Even as my own search for spices in a perfume bottle continues, I can’t help but admire Ellena’s precision and attention to quality. That alone is reason enough to smell his new creations.


Hermès Epice Marine includes notes of bergamot, roasted cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, seaweed, whiskey, and smoke. Available at Hermès, as a part of Hermèssence collection. $240/100ml, 3.3oz; also available as part of a gift set (4 0.5 oz perfumes of your choice), $152.

Images by Hermès



  • Anne of Green Gables: The collaboration and the perfume sound very interesteing (If I remember correctly, it was mentioned on your blog some time ago?). Since I’m quite fond of spicy perfumes, I should try this once. After reading your evocative description of the opening, I can’t wait to try it!

    I got to test Vetiver Tonka a few days ago and was really struck by the interplay between sweetness and smokiness. I also tried Voyage d’Hermes. It was pleasant and I enjoyed it but it seemed rather familiar – the cardamom note in the beginnning immediately reminded me of Un Jardin Après La Mousson. I do love Ellena’s style and from his creations I sampled so far, he has been remarkably consistent. Like you, I’m also longing for something new and different from Ellena. October 7, 2013 at 8:36am Reply

    • Ann: Vetiver Tonka is the best (IMHO, of course) and nothing like I’ve tried before. It also lasts well and I get compliments on it. October 7, 2013 at 9:29am Reply

      • Victoria: Same here. I also don’t have any complaints about the lasting power with Ambre Narguile. October 7, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

    • Victoria: The spicy part here is delicate, much more so than in Ambre Nargile, for instance, or even Santal Massoia. But the opening is absolutely fantastic. The sweaty cumin mixed into the bitter orange in Frederic Malle’s Cologne Bigarade occasionally bothered me, but there is nothing of a kind here. I only wish it were less familiar.

      Roellinger’s spice blends are extraordinary, on the other hand. I heard of them, but I was inspired to try them only after I read a story about a collaboration between Ellena and the chef. He has a beautiful store, and I loved smelling all of the mixtures. I swear, I imagine wearing many of them as perfume, that’s how complex they were. October 7, 2013 at 9:59am Reply

      • Jennifer C: I wonder how it would be if you were to take the spice mixture and tincture it in alcohol. Could be a fun experiment. 😀 October 7, 2013 at 4:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: It would be! I imagine that the resulting scent would be too weak to be worn as a perfume, but it could be an interesting way to add flavor to dishes where you don’t want the specks of spices. For instance, I recently made a flavored vodka by steeping saffron, vanilla and various other spices together, and it smells so much like L’Artisan’s Tea for Two, it’s uncanny. October 7, 2013 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Cheryl: How strong are the marine notes? They turned me off Jardin apres la Mousson and I’m worried about them in Epice Marine. October 7, 2013 at 8:51am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s as strong as in Apres la Mousson, so definitely try Epice Marine on your skin first. Marine notes don’t bother me in the slightest, but I know that some people have very negative associations with them. Of course, this is not an acquatic overkill like many of the perfumes in the 1990s. October 7, 2013 at 10:00am Reply

  • Ann: It sounds like Voyage, which is my favorite Hermes perfume. I love many Hermessences but I only have Vetiver Tonka. The rest are pretty but too fleeting. October 7, 2013 at 9:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, you’re right, it definitely has elements of Voyage, which in turn has elements of some other Ellena’s perfumes. You might enjoy Epice Marine then, although I’ll warn that it’s very much like other Hermessences in terms of its lasting power. At least, on my skin. I would be curious to hear what others who’ve tried it think. October 7, 2013 at 10:05am Reply

  • Marc: I can’t wait to try it! Thanks for a review. I know many people complain about Hermes perfumes smelling alike, but Ellena’s style is great. Only Kelly Caleche was a total dud for me. October 7, 2013 at 9:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Well, as much as I wish that he did branch out, I admire the coherence of Hermes’s collection and quality. Today very few brands do the kind of development that Hermes does, so Ellena is very lucky to be in this kind of partnership. October 7, 2013 at 10:14am Reply

      • Marc: I’m reading The Diary of a Nose right now. Did more brands in the past create perfumes this way or is it just the Hermes style? October 7, 2013 at 11:02am Reply

        • Victoria: In the past, the perfume development was slower, that’s true. The main difference today is that most big brands market test their creations first, which rules out anything truly groundbreaking. Some projects are still developed slowly, but few perfumers have the kind of luxuries Ellena does–decent budget for perfumes and creative freedom. October 7, 2013 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Nancy A.: There aren’t many JC Ellena fragrances that even if I have not worn that I dislike. There’s always a quality that compels you to return if just to test that maybe you “missed” something or as you aptly put it you found yourself smitten to placing it on again & again. I was a long time devotee of JCE’s First (Van Cleef & Arpels) unaware that he was the creator. His creation never failed to inspire compliments and it became at the time my signature scent. Good review! October 7, 2013 at 10:01am Reply

    • Victoria: I also love that Ellena shares so freely how he creates, what he thinks about the current market, what materials he uses and why. At the Hermes counter there are always little booklets with his notes on perfumes and how they came to be, which is very refreshing. But back to the scents, I don’t love every single perfume he creates (some are a bit too wan for my taste), but I enjoy smelling all of them. Invariably, his ability to capture the most delicate and ethereal of effects grab my imagination. And now I want to visit Brittany to smell its sea breeze. October 7, 2013 at 10:19am Reply

  • Charlotte: I smelled it already and loved it. I’m surprised it didn’t last on you, because I could smell it the whole day. I’m adding it to my Christmas wishlist. October 7, 2013 at 10:25am Reply

    • Victoria: These things are so individual, so yes, best to try on one’s skin and decide. It’s not that Epice Marine disappears, because I can smell it in the evening when I take my shower, but unless I smell my skin directly, I’m not aware of it beyond the first hour or two. October 7, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Katherine H: I wish it were one of the colognes, not an Hermessence which is too expensive for me. But I love cardamom, so I’ll have to try it. October 7, 2013 at 10:54am Reply

    • Victoria: The cardamom lovers will enjoy it, especially the opening, which is downright addictive. October 7, 2013 at 12:13pm Reply

  • Lucas: Hi Victoria!
    You make Epice Marine sound very appealing and delicious.

    Anyway, I think I will be passing on this one because Ellena’s perfumes for Hermes never work for me. Plus I can’t sample it because I don’t have their boutique anywhere close and am not willing to spend money on samples.

    You can’t win them all, like we say… October 7, 2013 at 11:07am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a beautifully crafted perfume, that’s for sure. I think that Ellena fans will definitely enjoy it, while those who are looking for something more dramatic will find it wanting. As you say, we can’t win them all, which is for the best, anyway. October 7, 2013 at 12:16pm Reply

  • george: Got to admire Hermes for hiring Ellena and letting him do his own thing! Imagine if a few more houses had followed this model and had such a distinctive and consistent range. However, because his work for Hermes is completed under such a unique model, it becomes open to a unique form of criticism. Maybe I wish he would take me someplace new and unexpected, too; but I do also know that he took me somewhere new and unexpected once already, and that’s once more than most perfumers. October 7, 2013 at 11:10am Reply

    • Victoria: True! It’s a very distinctive style too, so if you don’t like it or want something entirely different, you won’t be satisfied with the new issues.
      But if one wants radiant, polished and luminous, it’s hard to find anything better than Ellena’s perfumes. October 7, 2013 at 5:52pm Reply

  • Figuier: I read about this a while ago and was totally enchanted by the concept of a culinary spice/perfume crossover project. And I’ve spent quite some time on the Roellinger site ogling the spice mixes for sale there – I want them all!

    I love the idea of marine wood, and can’t wait to try this. In fact, it’s ages since I had a proper go at the Hermessences and I’d really like to spend some time at the boutique reviewing old favourites and new arrivals. Next time I’m in London…

    Like you, I’ve become reconciled to the strong ‘house signature’ of Ellena’s Hermes; it used to bother me, but now I find myself focusing more on the incredible quality and unique luminosity of the perfumes. October 7, 2013 at 11:22am Reply

    • Victoria: The quality is superb, and I love how they wear on skin. Yes, I wish for more projection, for more potency, but I wonder if it would not ruin the delicacy I love about Epice Marine. Well, the cardamom-citrus part alone is worth smelling it. October 7, 2013 at 5:56pm Reply

  • iodine: Brittany and spices, two loves of mine!
    I had the chance to dine at Roellinger’s restaurant in Cancale before it closed and I loved the way he dealt with spices. I’ve also recently visited one of his shops, in Paris, a true spice-lover dreamland, from which I’ve emerged with little treasures- tonka beans, vanillas, strange piments…
    Now, I should brace myself and finally visit the super posh Hermès boutique and give the line a proper sniff! (I’m afraid Ellena’s works aren’t much in my chords, anyway..).
    Thanks for the beautiful review 🙂 October 7, 2013 at 12:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: How lucky! I heard from those who dined at Roellinger’s restaurant that it was an incredible experience. I have his book on spices, and just reading the recipes is enough to make my mouth water. I love that he uses spices with a light hand to add new twists, and his blends smell nothing like traditional spice blends I know. October 7, 2013 at 5:58pm Reply

  • nikki: How lovely! Just perfect for a hot morning (it is 96 Fahrenheit here). I am in love with his Jardin series! So, I will try this one!

    Victoria, I have recently started buying fragrances by my favorite perfumers like Ellena and Kurkdijan that they made for other companies, i.e. Elie Saab. I have the feeling that these fragrances are in the same family and much less expensive than the bespoke house fragrances, i.e. APOM.

    What is your take on that? Is the perfume nose making fragrances just for the house or do they create what they love, orange blossoms and cedar for example as in Elie Saab Le Parfum and APOM. While Saab can be had for under $100, APOM is close to $200. October 7, 2013 at 12:18pm Reply

    • Victoria: I find MFK own perfumes terribly overpriced, to be honest, even though they are very good. So, I hear you on the prices. Your question is very interesting, and I think that it really depends on a brand and what they ask of a perfumer. When a perfumer works on his own projects or has the freedom like Ellena does at Hermes, he can explore any ideas he likes. But for a brand project, he has to work within the established guidelines. In some cases, his perfume has to be market tested to be sure that it fits with the current likes and trends. Also, a perfume made for a larger brand will invariably have fingerprints by lots of different players, not just the perfumer–the evaluators, marketing, sales, creative managers, etc. As a result, the initial idea may change drastically. But some perfumers definitely have their own fingerprints. For instance, Kurkdjian’s luminous floral-woody accords are exceptional, and he does that really well in many of his perfumes.

      I have a feeling that he worked on that cedarwood-orange blossom accord for a while, so you can see it in two compositions. I didn’t care for the original Elie Saab, but Le Parfum is an interesting one. October 7, 2013 at 6:04pm Reply

      • nikki: Yes, I see what you mean…I just received the other perfumes made by him (MFK) which are Vanderbilt’s Reverie (together with C. Nagel) and Van Cleef and Arpels Automne and Bebe. I think I was lucky to find the Saab as these other perfumes are just not up to par with MFK’s perfumes. Alas!

        So, I will have to smell them first from now on, instead of relying on a gifted perfumer’s creations with other brands. They are not bad, but not exceptional, actually jut run of the mill perfumes.

        However, Ellena made Miss Arpels which is a great scent and very inexpensive… October 7, 2013 at 6:55pm Reply

        • Victoria: I haven’t tried those myself. The only Vanderbilt perfume I know is the original, which was great. Not something I would wear myself, but at the time it made quite a splash. October 7, 2013 at 7:46pm Reply

  • Austenfan: Lovely photo ( as always) and a good way to wet my appetite for this fragrance. I so need to overcome my pudeur and enter a Hermès shop.

    I don’t know whether it was on here or over on NST that a link was posted to the French Vanity Fair article on the collaboration of these two men. They both seem to really love their craft, which makes it a very enjoyable read. It also makes me want to revisit Cancale and spend some time in the spice shop and all the “associated” restaurants. I believe there is also a patisserie belonging to M.Roellinger there.
    I am assuming you went to the Paris shop? It must have been a great experience. Still a visit to Cancale seems to be in order! October 7, 2013 at 12:34pm Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Dear Austenfan, you can go into the Hermes shop in De Bijenkorf in Amsterdam. without pudeur! nobody is looking at you, all the Hermes bottles are laying there for testing, as much as you want.
      You can even admire the Hermes shoes and take them in your hand. And the handbags, although they have not a Kelleybag, of course. October 7, 2013 at 1:22pm Reply

      • Austenfan: But do they have the Hermessences? October 7, 2013 at 1:35pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: Yes, they do! October 7, 2013 at 3:29pm Reply

          • Austenfan: Well a visit to Amsterdam clearly is in order then. I rarely go there these days. It takes me more than 2 hours and the parking is prohibitive. Still I have to visit the new Rijksmuseum so might as well combine the two. October 8, 2013 at 3:11am Reply

            • Isis: Why don’t they have the Hermessences in the bijenkorf in Eindhoven. Life would be so much easier… October 8, 2013 at 4:13am Reply

      • Victoria: The way I handle purses, I can’t possibly justify anything overly luxurious, but years ago I spotted Kelly at a reputable secondhand shop. The feel of that leather was amazing as was the attention to detail. Definitely not a bag for me, but I’m glad that artisanal work like this still continues. October 7, 2013 at 6:24pm Reply

        • Cornelia Blimber: I once saw a real Kellybag in Germany. The SA let me admire that bag at my ease, and this was one of the rare occasions I wished to be rich.
          Also the bags by Fendi, Lanvin and Céline are amazing, to be seen in De Bijenkorf. October 8, 2013 at 5:15am Reply

          • Victoria: I can just imagine! The feel of great leather is just so sensual. Handbags don’t tempt me much, but a nice pair of shoes…. October 8, 2013 at 8:57am Reply

      • Marieke: I live in Rotterdam and visit Amsterdam often to see family. De Bijenkorf’s perfume shops are unpretentious. I always stop by to smell the latest and nobody bothered me. It’s almost like Sephora, you can help yourself when smelling. October 7, 2013 at 6:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t find Hermes shops all that intimidating, and most places are staffed by people who really know their collection. And anyway, the perfumes are worth exploring them.

      Here is a link to the article:
      I think that the story is terrific, and it inspired me to visit Roellinger’s boutique in Paris. The quality of his spices is impressive. For instance, the sales staff showed me a very small kernel pepper, explaining that usually pepper is graded by size (the bigger the better), but in fact, some of the small kernel peppers have a powerful flavor. He also has a collection of great blends, and I was tempted to get all of them but since blends stay fresh only for a short while, I ended up picking two. Might have to return and try more.

      The photo was posted by Hermes online, so I can’t take credit, but like you I loved it. It doesn’t fit the image of the perfume all that well, though, since Epice Marine is gauzy and ethereal. October 7, 2013 at 6:22pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Looking at the Roellinger spices online sort of made me want to order everything at random and hit the buy button. So I can fully understand the temptation once in the actual shop.

        I like Ellena’s style, although my favourites of his, tend to be the older ones. ( First, Thé Vert, La Haie Fleurie). I think one of the reasons I have been so hesitant about entering the Hermès shops is that chances are small that I will actually buy something there. October 8, 2013 at 3:10am Reply

        • Austenfan: I loved that article as their enthusiasm and skill just shone through. They must have had so many interesting conversations. There is also a small mention in I believe Le Monde with some stunning photographs. October 8, 2013 at 3:13am Reply

          • Victoria: At the boutique they had a little brochure which was almost like an excerpt from Jean-Claude Ellena’s diary, describing how the collaboration came about it. It definitely seem like both creators were very much involved and passionate about their work. October 8, 2013 at 8:53am Reply

        • Victoria: The explanations and descriptions are excellent, and I like the way he pairs spices with food. For instance, the addition of Sichuan peppercorn to chocolate is not just a novelty, but it actually makes sense.

          Out of the recent Ellena perfumes, I have succumbed to Jour d’Hermes and Eau de Narcisse Bleu. The two previous Hermessences didn’t strike a chord with me, but I’m enjoying Epice Marine. Now that my husband took over Eau de Narcisse Bleu though, I will probably move onto something else. October 8, 2013 at 8:50am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you!
          Time Magazine has a nice article about Roellinger called “Spice of Life” (should be available online). I imagine that a perfumer and a chef is already a great match, but Ellena and Roellinger seem to have a particularly good affinity. October 8, 2013 at 8:52am Reply

          • Austenfan: Listening to that interview, ( which I haven’t yet heard completely), it just seems to me that they share a similar attitude to their work. Also there just seems to be a lot of mutual respect.

            Neither of them really cares for sweet, and they both find bitter more interesting to play with.

            Thanks for the Time Online tip. I will look for that tonight. October 8, 2013 at 10:15am Reply

            • Victoria: Maybe that’s why I like when Ellena plays with sweet notes. In his rendition, they often end up being given completely new twists. October 8, 2013 at 11:59am Reply

          • Austenfan: Just read the article. You know, I vaguely remember his name being mentioned because of the fact he gave back his 3 Michelin stars. It takes courage to do so,as it is such a competitive world.
            He seems such a nice person, apart from his obvious talent. October 8, 2013 at 4:39pm Reply

            • Victoria: I’ve never met him, but from all of the stories and interviews, he really does seem very genuine and nice.

              There is also an article in Telegraph this week called “First look at Epice Marine, the new fragrance from Hermès.” There is a great part in it about Roellinger saying to Ellena during the course of development that his perfume was missing the scent of mist. And Ellena tried to translate it into fragrance. Yes, they were the dream team. 🙂 October 9, 2013 at 5:00pm Reply

  • allison: Similar to Nancy A I love most of the Hermessence fragrances and find they each suit different moods. I dislike Cologne Bigarad however, as I find it too masculine, too much a riff on traditional Cologne. I was so looking forward to another of his spice fragrances, and this does not sound up my alley! October 7, 2013 at 3:41pm Reply

    • Victoria: You might find it too masculine as well. It’s less of a traditional cologne than Cologne Bigarade, though. October 7, 2013 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Marieke: Victoria (or anyone else), I’m looking for a perfume for my boyfriend. He finally agreed to try something other than CK Eternity for Men. What could be a good fit for him? I was thinking of something woody and marine. Epice Marine sounds like something he would like, but it’s outside of my budget. October 7, 2013 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Marieke: If it helps, he also wore Cool Water and CK One. He’s not the most adventurous kind but he promised to be open-minded. 😀 October 7, 2013 at 6:46pm Reply

      • Victoria: He has classical tastes! 🙂

        Ok, another one is Chanel Egoiste Platinum or even Bleu de Chanel. Not the most adventurous choices, but they are really well-crafted. October 7, 2013 at 7:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: You might want to introduce him to KenzoAir, Marc Jacobs Bang or Tom Ford for Men. They are not identical to Eternity for Men, but they offer different riffs on the woody theme. Plus, they are available at most perfumeries, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find them. I also love Eau de Cartier and Declaration. October 7, 2013 at 7:42pm Reply

  • Aisha: I had to open my spice cabinet just now to kind of get a sense of what this might smell like. The only thing I don’t have is the seaweed smell in the house. Coincidentally, I have smoke smell in the house. I accidentally burned some food to the bottom of one of my pots while cooking dinner. The kitchen got smokey. LOL!

    Anyway, the fragrance sounds really, really good. October 7, 2013 at 6:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: Do you use toasted cumin in your cooking? My mother-in-law always keeps a jar of roasted cumin powder to sprinkle over salads and yogurt drinks. It’s especially delicious over tomatoes or grapefruit + lemon juice and chili powder. October 7, 2013 at 7:44pm Reply

      • Aisha: I don’t usually cook anything that requires cumin. But when I do, I toast the spice first. I’ve never tried it over fruit. Sounds delicious. October 7, 2013 at 10:09pm Reply

        • Victoria: My husband doesn’t like grapefruit with sugar. Instead, he puts salt and cumin on it, and interestingly enough, it tastes sweeter. If you’re in a mood to experiment, do try it! October 8, 2013 at 8:43am Reply

  • Annikky: I’ve been looking forward to this one since it was announced and your review has done nothing to curb my enthusiasm. The notes sound fantastic (cardamom! saltiness! whiskey!), but I’m pretty sure the staying power will frustrate me. No matter, if I love it enough, I can just keep spraying. October 7, 2013 at 8:50pm Reply

    • Victoria: I imagine that on a hot day it’s going to be even better. It’s really such a refreshing, uplifting scent. But even now I’m very happy to wear it for an instant pick-me-up effect (helpful as I’m feeling permanently jetlagged these days!) October 8, 2013 at 8:36am Reply

  • nozknoz: This is fascinating – I’m acutely tantalized by the Roellinger spice blends, which seem not to be available in the U.S. or by mail order. Sigh! October 7, 2013 at 9:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: I just checked at his website directly (, and it seems that they do mail order to the US and Canada (Asia and all of the European countries too). I have no idea how much the cost of shipping would be and whether it would be justified, but it’s an option. If anyone wants to try something special, I highly recommend his Poudre des Bulgares, which is a blend of coconut sugar, cardamom, vanilla, saffron, rose, orange peel, toasted sesame and flax seeds. I really want it in a perfume form, because it smells heavenly. October 8, 2013 at 8:42am Reply

      • nozknoz: Thank you, Victoria, I saw the site, but the English version was confusing. Now I won’t be deterred! And thanks for the suggestion – I tend to be paralyzed by indecision when faced with so many amazing choices. October 8, 2013 at 11:22am Reply

      • nozknoz: I did it! What confused me initially – aside from the clunkiness of the English version – was that I was looking for a heading in the banner for the sales section of the site, or the cart icon, and since there was none, but rather only a heading to find stores, I assumed one could not buy from the site.

        The way it works, though, is that you go to the description of the spice first, and there is a button to click to put it in the basket. Then your basket appears along the side as you shop. I ordered Ras el Hanout and Gallo as well as des Bulgares. I can’t wait! October 8, 2013 at 11:49am Reply

        • Victoria: This seems to be a feature in most French retail websites. I have no idea why French refined sense of aesthetics has not pervaded the virtual realm yet. The English version of their site is awkward at best. Anyway, glad that you’ve figured it out.

          Ras el Hanout and Gallo are on my to-buy list for when I return to the boutique. Both smelled amazing in the jar. I would love to hear what you think when you receive them, especially how you find La Poudre des Bulgares. October 8, 2013 at 11:55am Reply

  • allison: I stopped by the Madison Ave Hemes in NYC and they had no idea of this fragrance or when it would be coming to the US. Do you? Bummer because my husband was just on London and cold have picked up a sample… October 21, 2013 at 1:48pm Reply

    • Victoria: I read that it was supposed to be in the US in October-November, so probably it’s coming out very soon. Interestingly enough, I’ve spotted it at a couple of duty free stores months before it launched in Europe, which was a surprise. October 21, 2013 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Anne of Green Gables: I stopped by the Hermès boutique during the weekend to try it. It’s a sea breeze in a bottle! It’s the closest to the actual sea smell I’ve come across in a perfume. I lived on the seaside for 5 years so I know exactly how sea smells like. I could almost taste saltiness on my tongue (I don’t know if I was imagining but I could taste something!) and I was especially surprised (in a good way) by the algae note. Before I tried it, I was worried that the spices were going to be too strong but they were pleasantly delicate and matched very well with the marine/algae note. This is classical JCE and I really like it! November 4, 2013 at 8:30am Reply

  • JulienFromDijon: I made a first try on a blotter. And I like it quite a lot.
    I spotted the nod to “Declaration”. I never grown into “Declaration”, it pisses me off.
    You answered the riddle about the other influence : yeah that must be “un jardin après la mousson”, which I found too dull or to vegetable-like to wear.

    Here is a Declaration I could love. I love the peperry top note, its glittering property, and the unobstrusive airy feel of it all. Pepper is often use as a luxe innuendo in perfume (n°5, “poivre piquant”). Here it’s better, its half glittering quality, half an adventurous feeling.

    Now I have to try it on skin and on fabric. Wish me good luck! December 21, 2013 at 9:17am Reply

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