Perfume Directory

Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka (2004)
by Hermès


Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka information

Year of Launch2004
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 306 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJean-Claude Ellena

About Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka

Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka is a shared / unisex perfume by Hermès. The scent was launched in 2004 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena

Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka fragrance notes

Reviews of Hermèssence Vétiver Tonka

Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
"Lift not the painted veil which those who live call life"

These words of Shelley's perfectly describe the Hermessence line and Vetiver Tonka in particular. It is a potentially great scent seen--or sniffed--through a veil. Unreal shapes are pictured there, mimicking life with colours idly spread. This is less about vetiver and more about a light, ephemeral nutty tonka with a little tobacco thrown in. I am not a big fan of Ellena's Hermes offerings although this one is not bad. That said, is it an improvement on any of the other vetiver or tonka focused scents out there? Not really. When you consider these two notes as used in the hands of a master (Guerlain), this does seem like a filtered, obscured offering. While there may be splendor among the shadows, is it worth the effort to look? And if so, will you find anything? I strove for truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
26th May, 2015
Another winner from the masterful mind of Jean-Claude Ellena. I'm not a fan of most other fragrances in the Hermessence range (I find Santal Massoia to be one of Ellena's worst pieces of work) but Vetiver Tonka is stunning. It's like a great big hug!

Strangely, I don't get a lot of vetiver from this one, despite the name. Instead, it's rich, sweet and nutty, a little bit like a hazelnut caramel latte. It can definitely be worn by both sexes but I'd say it's more of an autumnal/wintry scent, and not something I'd wear in the summer. A (female) colleague is a fragrance hound like myself so I took my bottle of Vetiver Tonka in to work and when she tried it she broke out in a big grin and said "OMG THAT'S MY NEW SIGNATURE SCENT!"

It's by no means a cheap fragrance - I got mine from the Hermes boutique in LAX International (Tom Bradley terminal) with some decent samples thrown in - but it's a very nice luxury item. The packaging is wonderful and the leather-capped bottle comes in its own special fabric bag. I also got a lovely brochure with mine, full of scent notes and arty photographs of the Hermessence range.

Worth a try if you can afford it.
17th December, 2014
Vetiver Tonka is an interesting, quasi-gourmand take on vetiver. The opening is impressive – a very dry, nutty vetiver paired with tannic tobacco leaves that create a very rich, almost mouth-watering effect. The tonka, caramel, and hazelnut notes swirl in from underneath to soften and sweeten the earthy vetiver. The juxtaposition of earthy/dry/bitter elements with sweet/creamy gourmand notes is a familiar one, and used to great effect and in slightly similar proportions in Parfumerie Generale’s wonderful Aomassai and Serge Lutens’ Bois de Vanille. However, I am not as fond of Vetiver Tonka as I feel I should be. Something about the deliberate dissonance of notes turns my stomach if I put it on in the morning before my breakfast. There is something too intense in here, something too roasted in feel or smell, like coffee spilled and sizzling on a hot stove. I do appreciate it, but I have to be in the right mood to wear this comfortably.
28th November, 2014
The "Sweet" Vetiver

This is a good one. It's also a good contender for the best performing out of the Hermessence line. A sweet Vetiver fragrance that combines a nutty, almost edible like smoothness with the dry, earthy Vetiver root in the background. I really like it.

I feel that what is different here is Ellena's use of Tonka, Caramel and especially Praline to give the standard vetiver a nice "twist", and make it likeable to many people. It almost reminds me of a marriage between Lolita Lempicka au Masculin and Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver. The Vetiver itself here is dry and earthy, but is balanced perfectly well with the almost gourmand like sweetness of the Hazelnut, Tonka and Praline notes.

That being said, Vetiver Tonka is definitely not a gourmand type of scent. It has the balance just right between sweet and sour. I also notice the Lilly of the Valley note which gives a soft floral touch in the dry down, which slightly reminds me of Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance.

Highly recommended, especially as a very unique and different take on a vetiver perfume.
29th June, 2014
very dry vetiver and tonka to take the dry edge off, a rifened vetiver....Encre Noir rich uncle!
21st March, 2014
A very different type of vetiver based fragrance or actually I prefer calling it a fragrance with vetiver in it!
If you're looking for a vetiver dominated fragrance go somewhere else because you can't find it here!
The opening is warm and sweet tonka bean scent with slight dirty and smoky aroma.
That dirty and smoky smell definitely is not from vetiver. it's from tobacco but it doesn't smell like a strong tobacco note either! it's there to give the scent just a smoky and dirty feeling!
The sweetness is strong with caramel smell in it.
In the dry down that dirty smoky smell almost faded away completely and now you can smell vetiver note beside that sweet tonka bean caramely smell.
The vetiver note does not have that wild and earthy smell.
It's there and you can smell it but because of the strong tonka and caramel combo it's muted!
In the base you have the mid smell with slight changes.
You can smell some soapy aroma too. not too much but it's there and I can feel it.
Projection is above average but longevity is average to poor on my skin.
It's very simple and linear and it doesn't worth the price in my opinion.
I'm happy with my sample because it's something new to my nose but when I'm done with my sample, I will forget it easily.
16th February, 2014

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