Perfume Directory

Bel Ami (1986)
by Hermès


Bel Ami information

Year of Launch1986
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 418 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJean-Louis Sieuzac
PerfumerJean-Claude Ellena

About Bel Ami

Bel Ami was launched in 1986 by Hermès. The fragrance was originally created by Jean-Louis Sieuzac. The scent was updated by Jean-Claude Ellena in recent years.

The company say:

Irresistibly charming and masculine. An audacious mix of cardamom, amber, patchouli and leather

Bel Ami fragrance notes

  1. Top Notes
  2. Heart Notes
  3. Base notes

Reviews of Bel Ami

My first purchase of Bel Ami EDT spray was from a Hermes Boutique in the early 90s. I still have that bottle, about 25ml remains. Date of manufacture 1991.The heart and basenotes are intact. A few of the notes missing from the pyramid above are Cumin, Clary Sage and the Absinthe of Wormwood, possibly Caraway. A purchase of 1987 Aftershave recently, confirms.
The topnotes have faded particularily the lemon.
The charm for me was, although it was a BIG 80s fragrance for Hermes, it carried an elegant, restrained Leather heart, reminiscent of Knize Ten.It was ahead of its time in that it pointed to this direction of restraint at a time when bombast was King.
A few have said that it is Old Fashioned, dated.
I can agree in that it suggests an elegant, seasoned Masculinity.
The colour it evokes with me is Caramel its palette that of sweet butter. Brought to the door, led through, to the transcendence that is Meditative Mysore.

The current formulation suggests a contemporary Masculinity. It is brighter, cleaner,leaner, drier and carries the bold incense needed to compete. I find it luxurious, vibrant.
It's colour is Conifer Green and palette is Dry White. Brought to a door, to the transcendence that is Meditative Fir.

Ellena has brilliantly brought Bel Ami into the present while still paying homage to the original. Brief sniff to the BA Vetiver leads me to believe that Ellena has done further masterful work and perhaps, leads us through the door.
The Vintage remains as the Masterpiece to this old man. Today's,well not really, but certainly close.
05th September, 2015 (last edited: 23rd November, 2015)
Great fragrance, Bel Ami. I believe my sample is the current formulation. It reminds me of Egoiste and Antaeus, meaning I like it.
08th July, 2015
It is not a bad leather. It is very good but it smells old somehow. I own Chanel Cuir de russie and Knize ten, which are actually older creations than Bel amis, but those perfumes smell very present. I don't know which fragrance component makes me perceive Bel amis smelling old but that is how I feel of this one. I use Bel amis when I need to project quiet authority and look organized in formal setting.I used this in my recent job interview that was successful.
02nd April, 2015
Nice. Retro type fragrance with heavy spice and pepper. This stuff is strong. Not a bad thing though. Perfect for cooler days. The leather note in Bel Ami is great. Received a half bottle of this and will purchase another when done. 7.5/10
22nd February, 2015
leather, leather and more leather!

Bel Ami smells expensive and elegant but slightly old fashioned to my nose. Goes on with lots of leather which becomes a herbal spicy sage and cardamom smell - like spicy black pepper and suede leather, with an almost apricot-like note to the soft and fuzzy suede. There's also a suggestion of cypress pine in here too (which i love)

I get 6-8 hours performance from the new version - after 6 hours the leather is mostly gone leaving a light but very pleasant vetiver and sandalwood that hangs on my clothes for the rest of the day. Right at the end there's a dated bit of oakmoss that clings on.

Whilst being a warm and inviting scent it is also somewhat formal and is the kind of thing that would go well with a tweed suit and overcoat in autumn and winter.

Very nice smell, Reminds me strongly of Molton & Brown Black Pepper body wash...
02nd February, 2015 (last edited: 03rd February, 2015)
Tried the current version. Very nice. In style it reminds me a lot of Equipage. The spice takes a lead here. In addition to cardamon, I also suggest pepper and perhaps nutmeg. Not sweet, despite the amber and vanilla. In fact, the vanilla is so muted here that I can completely endorse the scent. Leather here is not a problem. Very nice. My only caveat is that I find it so similar to Equipage that I can't see having both. But if you want a gentle but classy spice scent, this is a good one.
18th January, 2015

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