Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver : New Fragrance

Hermès is presenting Bel Ami Vétiver, a reorchestration of the bold leather chypre from 1986. It’s already available at the Hermès boutiques in Europe and will be launching in the US early next year.


Created by Jean-Louis Sieuzac, the original Bel Ami featured notes of cardamom, elemi, basil, carnation, iris, patchouli, Russian leather, vetiver, amber, civet, styrax and vanilla.

Bel Ami Vétiver, on the other hand, is transparent and radiant, with the emphasis on vetiver and soft leather. It was created by the current Hermès perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena, who is also set to rework some other classics from Hermès’s archives.

The original Bel Ami will still be a part of the collection.

100 ml Eau de Toilette/€ 88. Via and press release.



  • Eric: Interesting! I can’t wait to try it. December 9, 2013 at 7:27am Reply

    • Victoria: It does sound interesting, as are the other perfumes Jean-Claude Ellena plans to rework. December 9, 2013 at 9:37am Reply

      • Tijana: Ooooh, what others? Do share 🙂 Did I miss a post on this? 😉 December 9, 2013 at 1:20pm Reply

        • Victoria: They’re planning to offer interpretations of classics like Rouge, Hiris, Rocabar, Equipage (but the originals will stay). Bel Ami is the first launch in this new Classics Collection.

          I’m curious about Hiris the most, since it’s already quite ethereal and I can’t imagine how it can be more streamlined. December 9, 2013 at 4:06pm Reply

          • Tijana: Great – I will look out for this! December 9, 2013 at 4:47pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: Rouge could do with some streamlining… but Equipage? Such a perfect masterpiece! December 9, 2013 at 5:20pm Reply

              • Victoria: I agree! I don’t think that it needs streamlining, although I’m still curious to smell Ellena’s take on it. December 10, 2013 at 11:32am Reply

  • Amer: Very interesting. I am curious as to how JCE has reworked this classic that I never quite fell in love with. My objection is on the name. Raw materials in the name is a dying trend. I had hoped that Hermes had caught up on that. December 9, 2013 at 8:23am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t know if it’s a dying trend so much as a stale one. But with the difficulty of finding an original name and trademarking, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, I love vetiver. 🙂 December 9, 2013 at 9:39am Reply

      • Amer: Of course you do and so do I, but a name like that is as banal as it gets. And so is the presentation with the watercolors I’m afraid. It is about time Hermes evolves stylistically a bit. It is a pity when quality products get hindered from designer-laziness. Have you seen their “festive” bottles this year? :S December 10, 2013 at 11:08am Reply

        • Victoria: No, I see completely what you mean and I agree.

          I haven’t seen the festive bottles yet. Now, I need to go google them. December 10, 2013 at 11:33am Reply

  • Mark: I never liked Bel Ami and found it old-fashioned, but I’d like to try this vetiver version. Hopefully it’s less sharp now. December 9, 2013 at 9:00am Reply

    • Victoria: I would imagine that it might be modernized a bit in the process. The heavy animalic notes are not something one finds in Ellena’s perfumes. December 9, 2013 at 9:39am Reply

  • rickyrebarco: This sounds wonderful. I can’t wait to see what JCE has done with this one. Really looking forward to the new Bel Ami. December 9, 2013 at 9:06am Reply

    • Victoria: Me too! I only hope that they maintain the original classics as well. December 9, 2013 at 9:40am Reply

  • george: I was trying to work out if you had tried this because you wrote “BAV is transparent and radiant” which suggested you had but now you have also written that it “does sound interesting”: I’m guessing the first quote is the copy (besides, it would be a curiously short take on any fragrance by yourself! :-)) It’ll be interesting to see if this ends up as being anything than Terre D’hermes 2, because if I was to compute a vetiver heavy version of Bel Ami done in a Ellena style, it would be TDH, esp as the leather and vanilla of the original are likely to be edited out. I’m also looking forward to a re-do of Amazone, just because of Ellena’s style being so unisex, a green floral of that nature would suit my selfish needs! December 9, 2013 at 9:52am Reply

    • george: Or am I confusing Equipage with Bel Ami. You know what, I think I am!!! December 9, 2013 at 9:56am Reply

      • Victoria: I much prefer Equipage to Bel Ami! December 9, 2013 at 10:02am Reply

    • Victoria: The current Amazone has already been reworked by Jean-Claude Ellena, to put it in line with the regulations, but if he will do something else to it, I would be curious.
      But I have to say that Ellena’s rework of Caleche, Kelly Caleche, was one of my least favorite fragrances by him. Same with Elixir des Merveilles. I much prefer his fragrances when he starts from his own ideas. December 9, 2013 at 10:01am Reply

      • Patricia: And I thought I was the only person on the planet who didn’t love Kelly Caleche!

        Elixir des Merveilles wasn’t a favorite either, but I don’t actively dislike it. December 9, 2013 at 10:52am Reply

        • Victoria: I had such high expectations, but it’s this wan, pale thing. I still try it time to time, but it just doesn’t work for me. December 9, 2013 at 1:22pm Reply

          • Courant: I love Kelly Caleche, but own many others. I took it to Las Vegas where it was plus 100s (mid June) Everybody wearing their regular perfume smelt awful, sickly, gourmandish and gluttonous. Kelly sailed through it all and I loved having her with me. I am a Kiwi, not an Aussie, but a perfume that behaves in the heat is bonza! December 9, 2013 at 9:38pm Reply

            • Victoria: I can see how it would work well in hot weather, because it’s so green, sheer, mossy. December 10, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

        • Courant: Elixir makes me want to heave LOL December 9, 2013 at 9:40pm Reply

          • Victoria: Strange that Ellena went down the sickly sweet route for a perfume that’s salty and ambery. December 10, 2013 at 11:34am Reply

      • Tijana: Me too! I have a small refill of Kelly Caleche extrait, sitting there unloved… Will have to swap it, but no one seems to be crazy about it! December 9, 2013 at 1:22pm Reply

        • Victoria: I thought the extrait was a little bit more interesting, but it’s still too grey and sad for me. December 9, 2013 at 4:08pm Reply

          • Tijana: I agree! December 9, 2013 at 4:47pm Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: I agree on the Edt, grey, shy, not very interesting. But I like the Kelly Caleche Edp, soft leather with a charming grapefruit note. December 9, 2013 at 5:27pm Reply

  • Fabrice: How Strange!
    1) I repeatedly heard that Hermes is loosing money on BA because the of the high price of teh formulingredients are expensive and the sales are low
    2) I was desperately arriving at the end of my Bel Ami bottle
    3) I’m thus fearing the discontinuation

    So: I went to two Hermes boutiques and Sephora to buy it but according to the sales assistants, it was out of stock at the factory. I insisted and asked if it was by misfortune, discontinued, and they sworn it is not and this is due to a change in the bottle design.

    Now you present to us this flanker, and I have serious doubts. Would my fear be justified ? December 9, 2013 at 10:21am Reply

    • Victoria: Bel Ami is available online at the Hermes website, and I saw it at the boutique here in Brussels. But it might have received a flanker because the sales are low; that’s usually what’s done to boost the original brand. December 9, 2013 at 10:28am Reply

    • Isis: In a Hemès store here in Holland they had both Bel Ami Vetiver AND the original Bel Ami in a brand new bottle. It smelled the same as always, so I think you’ll be safe! February 1, 2014 at 4:53pm Reply

  • Steve L.: I love Bel Ami…this sounds very promising. Thanks for the heads up! December 9, 2013 at 6:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: Hope to read your thoughts on it soon, Steve! December 10, 2013 at 11:36am Reply

  • Andre Moreau: Just curious about it. The old Bel Ami (the “shaker” bottle) was undescribable, the new version is very similar -although not identical- but a step lower.
    Wonder to see how this new “Vetiver” version performs. December 10, 2013 at 2:51am Reply

    • Victoria: I only hope that it lasts, because some of Ellena’s fragrance while beautiful have performance of about 30 minutes on me. 🙂 December 10, 2013 at 11:37am Reply

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