cedarwood: 2 posts

Hermes Cedre Sambac : Perfume Review


The moment I set my foot in lands where jasmine blooms, I find a flower to smell–a single blossom, a sprig, a garland. I think that I know exactly what jasmine smells like, but every soil makes for a different scent. Jasmine in Provence has an apricot nuance. Indian jasmine smells leathery. Spanish jasmine has a cinnamon inflection in the afternoon and a simmering musky warmth in the evening. Indonesian jasmine is green and sweet, the most unexpected combination. Smelling Hermès’s Cèdre Sambac, I wonder where the perfumer Christine Nagel found an inspiration for such a creamy yet transparent impression.

Nagel says that the inspiration for the five new Hermessences came from the Middle East. Jasmine attars from that part of the world have a certain richness that can be either opulent or smothering, depending on the attar-blender’s skill and the perfume lover’s capacity for jasmine. Cèdre Sambac, however, is all glow.

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Building Perfume Wardrobe Guide Part 7 : All About Woods

Part 1: Florals ~ Rose
Part 2: Florals ~ Jasmine and White Florals
Part 3: Florals ~ Lily of the Valley and Violet
Part 4: Florals ~ Blends
Part 5: Essentials
Part 6 : Orientals

Autumn is the time of year when I reach for woods fragrances from my collection, hoping to recall memories of crisp leaves, curls of wood smoke, and the bracing green of pine. Woods fragrances may include sandalwood, cedar, oak, pine, and cypress (plus more), and also include for classification’s sake patchouli and vetiver.  Some woods fragrances smell like the outdoors, while others smell like an antique treasure chest and still more use wood as a basenote, skipping the ambient quality and using wood as a background support.


Wood notes are used in both male and female fragrances and may be interpreted differently.  In male fragrances, woods can suggest rugged masculinity (Coty Wild Woods) or they can be smoothed over with elegance (Chanel Égoïste).  A large amount of sandalwood in Samsara enhances the seductive nature of this Guerlain classic.  I enjoy the dryness and sharpness that wood notes can bring to fragrances, and their combination of elegance and sensuality.

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From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Hamamelis in Recommend Me a Perfume : June 2019: My reply for Matty ended up at a bit further down! June 24, 2019 at 2:27pm

  • Hamamelis in Recommend Me a Perfume : June 2019: I suggest various Chanels: no 19 and Cristalle for chypres, all versions are good. Or Mitsouko, same. Or Annick Goutal Heure Exquise. These classics are the backbone of any collection! June 24, 2019 at 2:25pm

  • Cassieflower in Recommend Me a Perfume : June 2019: Lancôme O d’zur has a nice sparkling citrus opening with bergamot and a gently floral heart. Medium sillage and longevity. Lalique Encre Noire is a refreshing vetiver which gives the… June 24, 2019 at 2:21pm

  • Neva in Recommend Me a Perfume : June 2019: Maybe something from Patricia de Nicolai? Her perfumes are classy and have a decent longevity. Try Neroli Intense or Patchouli Intense, or the fresh Eau Mixte… June 24, 2019 at 2:08pm

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