hermessence: 12 posts

Hermes Hermessence Ambre Narguile : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Sweet, warm and delicately animalic aroma of amber is not the only reason why this note is such a popular presence in the modern perfumery. It has an ability to round out other notes, smoothing the progression from one accord to another and fixing more delicate aspects of the composition in place. Its sensuality has a soft quality, which means that amber laden fragrances have a seductive subtlety.

The most beautiful aspects of amber shine in Hermès Ambre Narguilé, which was created in 2004 by Jean-Claude Ellena as a part of Hermèssence range. Like his other amber focused L’Artisan L’Eau d’Ambre, Ambre Narguilé does not merely hint at the idea of amber, but develops it fully. Yet, while being a rich voluptuous note, amber in Ambre Narguilé does not obscure other notes layered over it. It provides a beautiful backdrop against which the radiant and smoky facets of the composition unfold. It is strong, yet delicate, like carved marble screens of Mogul palaces.  …

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Hermes Hermessence Poivre Samarcande : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Black pepper is one of those multifaceted smells that create one expectation but suddenly emerge as something else. Expecting the rush of spice and heat, I took one whiff of Hermes Poivre Samarcande and immediately envisioned a scent of hot stones heated by the sun. It is a scent of a Japanese garden, capturing its simplicity of weathered stones amid the rippling sea of sand. The pepper vacillates between assuming woody and floral forms, all the while creating a sensation of dark, yet transparent warmth. Its initial rough edges are smoothed by undulating movements of warm dry cedarwood, slowly leading one from the sun and into the shade. The breath of vetiver, oakmoss and a whisper of cumin envelop the warmth of the composition further polishing the hot stones into the vision of radiant perfection.

Created for Hermèssence collection in 2005, Jean Claude Ellena’s signature is unmistakable, in the quiet opalescence of the composition and a warm skin undertone one finds in his other fragrances (Cartier Declaration and Frédéric Malle Cologne Bigarade, in particular, come to mind). On a man, Poivre Samarcande would be a clean, elegant scent, with a subtle sensual edge. It could definitely be worn by a woman, who enjoys dry fragrances, exploiting the affinity between woods and somber spices. Poivre Samarcande is one of my favorite fragrances for when I would like to take a break from the overt sensuality of white florals.

Photo: Japanese stone garden, from

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