Perfume Directory

Bel Ami (1986)
by Hermès


Bel Ami information

Year of Launch1986
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 476 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

"Try this French saddle,"
I said, smelling lemon oil.
She had no regrets.
07th August, 2017
The Eighties... So many great things saw the world for the first time in that decade; Fahrenheit, Égoïste, me, and Bel Ami.

When I first fell in love with it, it was actually not really Bel Ami, it was Puredistance M. I got a decant of it, and I was instantly seduced by the rich leather, the alluring spices, the light but brilliant citrus dancing with the florals, and the warm and deep, woody base.
M was classy, but a bit over the top at times, as the intensity of the extrait concentration is immense.

After discovering that M (and another of Dove's "creations") was merely a facsimile, a clone, an hommage to Bel Ami, I decided to get my hands on this rare eighties icon.

Crazy thing is... It's true. The balance... The beauty... All of it. It's all true. Every single thing I heard and read about the original Bel Ami was never an exaggeration, but the unrefutable truth.

This fragrance is one the best leathers, if not THE best, I have EVER put my nose on. Cozy, charming, deep, warm and enveloping, yet toned down and with more citrus than Puredistance M, making it very easy to wear in the heat, without having to worry about the number of sprays. It has this inherent balance, that could only have been achieved by some arcane, dark and foul magic, because it is so unreal.

Perhaps that is why Sieuzac did not pen more fragrances? He might have sold his soul, so as he could burn as bright as a thousand suns to make only a few, yet immense, fragrances.

It is a funny thought, and if it has even a grain of truth in it, I and the rest of the fragrance community thank Mr. Sieuzac for his sacrifice.

This is one that touches the heart.
12th July, 2017
Some say Cool Water is the fragrance of the 80s. I believe this is the business fragrance of the 80s. Masculine and powerful, this fragrance evokes the sense of "Roaring 80s". I bought this fragrance across the street from the World Trade Center as my memento to New York and Wall Street.

Oak Moss, Vetiver are the main players that I can sense. I find it more wearable and inoffensive than Terre, so I wear this to work most days. Extraordinary fragrance that will always be in my collection.
28th April, 2017
Zowiee Show all reviews
United States
Love this one for its "strength of character". Beautifully masculine from start to finish with longer than average performance. I have a bottle each of the vintage and non- vintage, with the newer version a bit sharper in a good way. Imagine that!
26th March, 2017
A famous rendition of the patchouli and leather riff that I am fond of - perhaps the most famous. Bel Ami distinguishes itself by being dry in tone, and although incorporating minimal spicy and fresh notes, manages to showcase the leather in a non-aggressive manner, while remaining unremittingly masculine. The impression I get from Bel Ami is that it's all about a few good quality accords put together sympathetically and without ostentation: a bit like a simply-cooked meal with the best ingredients; you don't need to do too much with them. I also find it flattering to wear, and it would be terrific paired with any kind of formal attire. I don't find it to have potent performance, but somehow it's not a problem. Another point is that the best of it, for me, comes well into the drydown. Its continued popularity is no mystery.
02nd February, 2017
NASTY GATEKEEPER: Halt! Who would cross into the Realm of Contentment must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
DNDB: I have paid great sums in coin and effort in my journey to this point. I am not afraid. Ask away!
NASTY GATEKEEPER: What is your name?
DNDB: My name is Buzier, humble fragrance enthusiast from the Land of Lincoln.
NASTY GATEKEEPER: What is your journey's quest?
DNDB: Unsure at times, it ended up that I was searching for the Holy Grail of spicy, masculine, leather chypres.
NASTY GATEKEEPER: What did you find that has so satisfied your notion of the ideal?
DNDB: Bel Ami, in it's earlier iterations, of course! Now quit taking up my valuable time and allow me to pass!
NASTY GATEKEEPER: Right. Off you go.
DNDZ: Oh... well thank you. Thank you very much!
20th December, 2016

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