Perfume Directory

Terre d'Hermès (2006)
by Hermès

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Terre d'Hermès information

Year of Launch2006
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 2462 votes)

People and companies

HouseHermès
PerfumerJean-Claude Ellena
PackagingPhilippe Mouquet

About Terre d'Hermès

Terre d'Hermès – meaning 'Earth of Hermès' – was launched in March 2006. Perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena was inspired in the creation of the fragrance by the works of author, Jean Giono.

The fragrance features notes of orange, gunflint, flint, vetiver and benzoin. The bottle was designed by Hermès designer, Philippe Mouquet, and features an 'H' cut into the base of the bottle.

The fragrance was joined by a Parfum version in 2009, and more recently Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche in 2014.

Hermès say:

The history of an alchemic journey through the elements: earth, air and water. A woody, vegetal and mineral eau de toilette

Terre d'Hermès fragrance notes

Reviews of Terre d'Hermès

Terre d'Hermès (2008) is one of those fragrances that makes me wonder how it became popular when it did, as it has very little modern going on with it outside some clever aromachemical usage in place of the typical oakmoss, labadanum, tonka, or leather note that typically anchors a masculine of such aromatic green stride, but maybe that's just it. Jean-Claude Ellena cites inspiration from earth, air, and water for Terre d'Hermès, but if you peel the veneer of olfactory metaphor away, what you have here is a hesperidic patchouli scent with an interesting mineralic note in it's heart, and heaps of Iso E Super in the base. In fact, there is so much Iso E in the foundation of Terre d'Hermès that people always worry that it will be stripped out, thus weakening the scent. It's kind of funny to me because the same people who stridently hate on reformulations of anything made before 1990 share a common accord with more modern designer fans that worry their favorite aromachemicals will be reduced to meet regulations, but I digress. However it happens, the reassuringly old-school vibe of the citrus, patchouli, and woods trifecta in Terre d'Hermès is married to a bag of rocks and some synthetic aeration via dihydromyrcenol to make an accord perfect for the strait men who hate being told what to wear by the women who love them, and any other guy who wants to stand apart without diving into vintage or niche juices that cost copious amounts of cash and sorrow to find. I don't have a beef with it, although I admit Terre d'Hermès really just smells like an apologetic Givenchy Gentleman (1974) to me, at least until it was succeeded with the even more apologetic Gentleman Givenchy (2017), so while I give it a thumbs up for pleasantness and originality, it's much further down my list of things to seek out.

The opening of Terre d'Hermès is grapefruit and mandarin orange, taking a play from the Kenneth Cole stable of masculines from right around this time period, but with a focus on hesperides instead of sweet hedione like the KC often uses. The gun flint element rushes in pretty quickly, and it's gray steely personage gives this a link back to the "metallic" colognes of the early 70's. when soapy orris vibes hadn't yet come into vogue. The patchouli, geranium, and pepper introduce the green aspects of the later drydown, while pink peppercorn gives the whole thing a bit of piquant dryness that keeps the citrus top from being too juicy. Terre d'Hermès isn't all time machine however, and the green base of benzoin is met with cedar, that intensely bright "MSG for the nose" Iso E Super (that basically enhances the accords of whatever it's in), and the dihydromyrcenol aqueous/arid note making the scent breathe on skin or shirt. A lil' dab o' science and a lil' dab o' artistry, which is just what a designer scent needs to stand out from the overly-developed crowd of demographics-lead designers of the 21st century. I like the way citrus and patchouli play off each other anyway, hence why I own a bottle of Karma by Lush (1995), but with Terre d'Hermès, the mineralic and "vegetal" elements make it drier and more gentlemanly than bohemian, although there is zero sensuality to this whatsoever (like most Hermès masculines), and zero fun, which is why I stay my hand on it so much. The "vegetal" term I feel here is also just another nod to heritage, since the term really hasn't seen much mainstream application since Ed Pinaud began slapping it on bottles of Lilac Vegetal (1880) well over a century ago.

Terre d'Hermès was groundbreaking in it's day, and a decade plus afterward, has since become about as ubiquitous as Cool Water by Davidoff (1988) was twenty years before it, with that ubiquity challenged only by Dior Sauvage (2015) in recent years. I can instantly spot the pathchouli/citrus/Iso E woods trail on this when somebody walks past, and it narrowly evades the scratchy smell many modern woody scents have because it doesn't use a norlimbanol "karmawood" note, but the stuff still fits into the modern mold because of it's gunflint note acting like a desiccant in the stead of said synthetic woods. Terre d'Hermès is also the first mainstream masculine scent from the house without a leather note or some tie-in to leather, like everything else since Equipage (1970). The only other bit of interesting minutiae about Terre d'Hermès is the fact that most strait guys who love it wear it for themselves, as almost universally every important woman in their lives from spouses to coworkers or date prospects seem to have negative feedback wearing this around them, yet other guys seem to like it. Maybe we have the making of sleeper version of Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Mâle (1995), in a scent that subversively attracts men to each other but repels women from them? Hard to say. It's obviously not working for me as when I smell it on another guy, the last thing I want to do is strike up a conversation with them, since it's literally on every Tom, Dick, and Harry that cruises through Pike Place Market on my way to work. Still, I give Jean-Claude Ellena props for avoiding the aquatic or gourmand trap by making a modern mainstream patchouli scent that works, even if I have no desire to really wear it. Safe for the office or casual use, and a perfect beginner's introduction to green masculines.
03rd September, 2018
Stardate 20180529:

Orange bitters, pepper and IsoE.
Liked it a lot when I was new but I find that I don't wear it anymore. It reminds me a the roach spray and that sort of killed it for me.
A nice fragrance otherwise and lasts long.
29th May, 2018
I'm not a fan of fragrance but I really like design of the bottle.

So, kudos to the bottle designer from me.
27th May, 2018
Let me in a chemistry lab and i'll do my best to produce a fragrance close to this one. I'll randomly mix some substances and then i'll add benzoin and some orange+lime juices on this cocktail.

On the top of my "masterpiece" i'll add some Raid spray foam against crawling insects.

So my perfume is done and i can name it Terre d'Hermès Clone.

How in the world Terre d'Hermès is classified as a perfume?
23rd May, 2018
This is a really nice dirty orange fragrance with main notes of orange, black pepper and vetiver. Unfortunately it only lasts a memory on my skin due to the Iso-e-Super in it (a note which I'm anosmic to). But not everyone is anosmic to Iso-e so it may work better on you. I will try the EDP version and see if it fares better for me, or perhaps one of its clones like Yardley Citrus and Wood or D.R. Harris Windsor. Overall incredible scent, not so great performance on me.

4/5
06th May, 2018 (last edited: 08th May, 2018)
10is Show all reviews
United States
Without a doubt a modern classic! Terre opens with wet vetiver and citrus, before hitting you with pepper and drying down to a woody and ever-so-slightly sweet base. I cannot count the number of times I have smelt this walking down the street in a crowded city like New York (on other people), so I can only assume this is what it would project like on myself.

Rating: 10/10
02nd May, 2018

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