After reading the great reviews, I had to try this and was left feeling...perplexed. EQUIPAGE is very floral, almost feminine and overwhelming. There is a pine note, though mild. I also get a tannic resins/leather note that is fleeting and so light it doesn't seem to hold it's own...a leather note I would associate with women. I don't really get spice notes at all. Rather bland fragrance overall that lasts approximately 5 hours on skin and breaks down to even more purely floral design long before that.
One of the truly great scent creations for men, Equipage defies description. It tries to be everything all at once - spicy, fougere, floral, leather, chypre, tobacco, woods - and miraculously succeeds on all fronts. Whatever appeals to you, you will find it there.
Created at this writing 45 years ago, its note profile is much more complex than the few ingredients listed above:
Top notes: Rosewood, Bergamot, Orange, Clary Sage, Nutmeg, Cinnamon
Heart notes: Carnation, Jasmine, Muguet, Labdanum, Pine, Birch Tar
Base notes: Tonka, Vetiver, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Musk, Vanilla
The new formulation, which seemingly had to dispense with the oak moss due to those pesky new regulations, has a much more warm leather support to its spiciness than the true vintage, which in an equally warm manner presents its complex carnation/pine bouquet. Both are lovely, just slightly different to my nose.
The original is much more pungent in the warmth of summer than the newer version. Sillage for both is low in winter, clarion in summer.
A must-experience for every man interested in scent.
There is not much I can add to all of these glowing reviews. This fragrance is class in a bottle! An extremely warm and enveloping scent. This has to be how an old faculty lounge must smell like at Oxford or Cambridge! Leather, woods, tobacco, vetiver and carnation in perfect harmony. As much as I love it, I feel I might be a tad young to wear this yet. I can see this being my signature scent in 10 to 15 years. Superb! 10/10!
After Eau d’Hermès, Équipage is my favorite of the Hermès scents for men. In style it is a rich and substantial fragrance that combines elements of a tobacco fougère and a leather chypre. With its aromatic content, labdanum, woods, and animalic leather, it smells of well-worn club chairs, fine whiskey, and expensive cigars. In its weight, warmth, and nuanced complexity, it also smells like the work of the nose behind Amouage Gold, the original Calèche, and Monsieur Rochas. And well it should, having been composed by the very same Guy Robert.
In the way it straddles the fougère and leather genres, Équipage prefigures Jean Luis Sieuzac’s equally brilliant Or Black. Yet while the two share a reliance upon sage, labdanum, and birch tar, they are otherwise distinct in terms of content and character. Where Or Black can be grim – even forbidding - in aspect, Équipage, with its conspicuous floral middle notes, is essentially comforting and comfortable. Not, mind you, that it’s even remotely bland. The play of astringent aromatics and cool pine resin against the warmly animalic labdanum is proof enough against boredom.
Indeed, the depth and complexity on display in Équipage are worlds away from the elegant, but often flimsy structures that have since become the hallmark of the Hermès line. A scent like Équipage, traditional in style, original in content, enduring, and stimulating after forty years, demonstrates the creative potential inherent in classical French perfumery. I wonder if anybody will still be talking about Rose Ikebana, Vanille Galante, or Eau de Gentian Blanc forty years from now? Even if Équipage is extinct in forty years, it’s liable to be a fond memory.
Citrus, cloves, tobacco, vetiver, spices and leather. An austere, noble, terribly pleasant and versatile milestone in masculine perfumery - and more broadly, a pillar of masculine class. Hundreds of reviews about this one, nothing more to add about it. Superb!
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 23rd June, 2014)