Bel Ami (1986)
    by Hermès




    Average Rating: 4

    Based on 380 ratings
    Your Rating:
    You need to log in or register to rate

    Bel Ami Fragrance Notes

    Bel Ami information

    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

    Shop for Bel Ami products online


    $158.76
    100ml EdT
    $152.65
    100ml EdT
    $119.99
    100ml EdT
    $125.00
    100ml EdT

    Reviews of Bel Ami


    + Add your Review

    Showing 1 to 6 of 86 reviews.

    deadidol's avatar



    Show all reviews

    rating


     

    Bel Ami does stand out in the suspiciously overcrowded leather genre but in ways that are more subtle than overt.

    For one thing, it’s more complicated and daring than most contemporary leathers. There’s an iris that’s chilly and bitter, merged with a cardamom note that spins the scent into musty, somewhat raunchy, animal territories. You can almost feel the texture and deep grain of the leather as the result—as though it still carries a pulse. Furthermore, it’s a bold, confident kind of scent with some forceful cedar/coniferous notes jutting out, only slightly tempered by a bilge-like lactonic effect. In other words, there’s a lot going on here aside from just leather, and it’s all stereotypically "manly."

    But more than anything, it smells like an old leather sofa to me—a heavily used one at that. It’s had drinks spilled all over its surface, and entirely too many cigarettes have been smoked in its presence. Furthermore, it’s a bit ratty and worn down now; its filling and frame have succumbed to age, emitting a characterful stink that sits somewhere between mildew and dust.

    Yet that’s what makes it interesting: it’s unapologetically characterful and totally brazen in its demeanor. And I think it’s designed for a wearer who would like to view themselves in a similarly egotistic light. However, it doesn’t just smell old and worn, it smells dated as well. This is big-gold-chain-over-unbuttoned-polyester kind of perfumery, and I’m going to assume it was something made popular in the 1970s or the 1980s with the “refined gentleman of the disco" in mind.

    Consequently, despite it being complex and evocative, it’s bit of an anachronism these days. It underscores a paradox from that period of fragrance's history when men would wear perfume in order to supposedly bolster masculinity. Today, there are better options on the table. This feels too costumey now; too much of a throwback to a moment that wasn't very good to begin with.

    17th October, 2014

    Aether33's avatar



    Show all reviews

    rating


     

    This is for the new formulation which doesn't seem to get a lot of love in comparison to the original (understandibly if you have smelled both.)

    Since i have only smelled the new version...

    This is a fantastic fragrance! It shot to the top of my list, nothing compares or even comes close in my opinion. (granted i haven't taken the time to go out and experience perfumes left and right, yet.)

    The fragrance smells of lemon, leather, some tobacco and smoke. Incrediby smooth and velvety. It turns a tid bit sweet a the end but nothing unpleasant.

    Bel Ami reminds me of smooth and expensive leather, it reminds me of those incredibly beautiful and elegant show horses in Spain I used to go watch with my dad. Its Hermes after all. Bel Ami is rich, elegant, sophisticated... as I said, top of my list.

    19th August, 2014

    jumpfrog's avatar



    Show all reviews

    rating


     

    I don't get all the positive reviews on this one. My wrist smells so oily/plasticky . Its so cloying too.

    13th August, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

    Show all reviews

    rating


     

    Bel Ami (vintage) opens with a breathtaking accord of soft, rich leather, more on the suede side if compared to other more dry and austere fougères, then beautiful fizzy herbal notes (thyme, sage... ?), bergamot, spices (cloves), fruity-plummy notes, all rounded in a classic accord of aldehydes and balsamic-mossy notes with woods (warm sandalwood and vetiver among all) and finally a smoky tobacco breeze. On the very base it's also detectable a thin but rich animalic note. Here's where Cuir Ottoman, Fetish pour Homme, Puredistance M have their roots – the mossy-leather scent à la Moschino pour Homme, in a more modern, linear, gentle version softened and sweetened by herbs and fruity notes, less "heavy", more playful and somehow younger and brighter. Refined, dandy, androgynous contemporary elegance, impressively ahead of its time. Effortlessly elegant, versatile, rich, irresistible: one of the very few rare vintage scents which are worth the chase and the cost.

    9/10

    11th July, 2014

    jtd's avatar

    United States United States

    Show all reviews

    rating


     

    In retrospect, Hermès Bel Ami marks the midway point between the dry woods of Chanel Antaeus and the gasoline slap of Dior Fahrenheit. The connection is leather, which both the Chanel and the Dior hint at, but the Hermès wraps itself in.

    An intermediate species can by definition only be identified after the fact. So, here we are, after the fact, and Bel Ami deserves its niche, its genre. The woody petro-cuir.

    Chanel Antaeus is classified as a woody fragrance. But it hasn’t been given the typical Chanel face-lift of aldehydes, iris and velvet (Bois des Iles, Cuir de Russie). Antaeus is woody by virtue of the range of its notes, not for any affiliation with nature. This is a wood product in the same way that turpentine is. Where most woody perfumes emulate botanical woods, Antaeus reminds me of touching my tongue to a frozen chain-link fence at an outdoor skating rink.  Antaeus feels chilled by virtue of an extreme dryness that conjures freeze-drying. Dior Fahrenheit matches Antaeus dryness with a cool hiss. The chill is the feeling left behind on your skin as gasoline evaporates, leaving only a brisk whiff as memory.

    I recently came across two bottles of vintage Bel Ami, the cocktail shaker model.  They were boxed testers that had been well stored and were perfectly preserved.  I never smelled it at the time of its release but I wish I had. The combination of botanical and proudly synthetic notes make Bel Ami a large-scale fairy-tale of a perfume. No Disney back-pedal for a G rating, though. Bel Ami is an olfactory history in the school of historical oral history. Fairy tales were principally a means of reinforcing the super-ego, were deliberately frightening and worked by reinforcing irrational thought. Fairy tales told you, “don’t go outside the boundaries of tribe and kin, or monsters will destroy you.” Less specific, but equally promissory of harm, Bel Ami taunts with a smile: ”Go ahead. Fuck with me.”  

    Bel Ami plays with a gasoline note that Fahrenheit would eventually take to maximum expression. The top notes are a big opening and grab your attention, settling pretty quickly into the heart. The leather note in Bel Ami is irresistable. The wood and the gasoline notes set the tone for the fragrance and the leather is dry and crackly-stiff. It has the quality of an imagined leather object like a leather blanket.  I've never heard of one, but I'd love to have one.

    I've never tried the current model of Bel Ami, and I'm leery too.  Vintage Bel Ami reminds me of everything that I loved about the early men's power fragrances.  Vintage Bel Ami is not the shaved steroid gym queen of this millennium.  It precedes the contempo-masculine poodle-tailored facial hair , and it certainly precedes topiary pubic styling.  Bel Ami has honest-to-goodness chest hair, the kind you want to run your fingers through.

    Fucking hot.

    19th June, 2014

    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

    Show all reviews

    rating


     

    Genre: Leather

    Bel Ami is a big, spicy leather scent with a heaping dose of dark woods in its base. It’s neither so lithe nor so risqué as its lascivious oldest brother Eau d’Hermès, and it doesn’t share middle brother Equipage’s taste for tobacco. This leaves it the most staid – stolid, even – of the Hermès leather brethren. Bel Ami is a guy you can depend on, even he’s not the most charismatic one in the room. When I'm looking for a leather scent in this general style, I'm more apt to reach for the more challenging Knize Ten or Parfum d'Habit, but Bel Ami works just fine if you're after something more congenial.

    09th June, 2014

    Add your review of Bel Ami

    You need to be logged in to add a review

    Search for on eBay United States

    HERMES BEL AMI POUR HOMME MEN PERFUME EDT 100 ML SPRAY 3.3 OZ VINTAGE BELAMI TST
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 28 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from Canada)
    Hermes Bel Ami Eau de Toilette 3.3 oz Spray
    • Listing Type: Auction with Buy it Now
    • 0 Bid(s)
    • Time Left:
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    BEL AMI by Hermes Eau De Toilette Spray (Tester) 3.4 oz For Men
    • Listing Type: Buy it Now
    • Time Left: 28 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    Bel Ami by Hermes TESTER Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 / 3.4 oz for Men
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 26 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    Belami By Hermes Parfums Eau De Toilette Spray 3.3 Fl Oz/100 ml Men VINTAGE
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 11 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    BELAMI EAU DE TOILETTE BY HERMES NATURAL SPRAY 100ML/3.3oz NEW;UNBOXED
    • Listing Type: Buy it Now
    • Time Left: 28 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    ROCABAR HERMES EAU DE TOILETTE 3.3 OZ / 100 ML SPRAY NEW IN BOX
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 28 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    VINTAGE ROCABAR BY HERMES FOR MEN 3.3 OZ(100ML)EAU DE TOILETTE SPRAY
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 8 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    HERMES BEL AMI EAU DE TOILETTE SPRAY 100 ML / 3.4 FL OZ (T)
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 15 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)
    BEL AMI for Men 3.4 Oz Eau de Toilette Spray By Hermes
    • Listing Type: eBay Store
    • Time Left: 12 days
    Ebay United States
    (Shipping from United States)




Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000