I bought this new and yet-unsong scent purely out of curiousity, thinking that being an Hermes the risk would be well worth it. Many have preliminarily compared it with Cartier's Declaration and Mugler Cologne. On first wearing it did smell like the aforementioned scents, but only just, to my nose. Rather, it reminded me MORE of another scent which i could not remember. This bothered me for quite a bit, till my wife fortuitously wore "our" Bulgari Eau de The Vert Extreme. Bam! That was it! Vd'H reminded me strongly of the Bulgari. Further research yielded the following commonalities they shared:
Nose - JC Ellena
Common Notes - Tea, Pepper, Cardamom and White Woods (Whatever it means)
The woody floral musk scent that is Vd'H goes on skin with an almost nose-tingling blast of citrus. Shortly after (or when my nose recovers, i am not sure which), the distinct cardamom and pepper comes into play. This is where the Declaration and Mugler Cologne associations start. After about 30 minutes when the tart citrus top-notes are less strident, the tea note take prominence, the pepper and spices still singing their harmonious chorus, but with voices slightly lower in volume. Much later (i have no good idea of the timeline) V'dH settles into a rather beautiful but linear white musk drydown. This is the part of Vd'H that won me over completely. It may just be me, but there is something ever so slightly animalic about the musky drydown.
Various posts in the Forum threads alluded to lack of longevity and not much sillage. I am far from being a JC Ellena authority, but i would have thought that would be par for the course about the scent made from a nose noted for minimalist constructions. However, i no longer judge the performance of scents from the back of my hands but from full wearings. This is how my experience has been: Two healthy shots to my chest and two to my neck gave me 9 hours of full-on whiffs off my chest even, at one time, after changing shirts 4 hours after application (actually removing any chance of perceived longevity due to attachment to fabric). Initial back-of-the-hand tests almost had me believing the no-longevity reviewers. I think significant shots are needed on application in order to attain critical "mass" for the long-lasting musk drydown. The sillage, however, is close to the skin most of the time, yet not insignificant. Vd'H will not be a popular scent for clubs or the like, nor was it created to be, i want to believe.
In my opinion, this scent will do better in the heat and with some slight skin moisture. It actually does bloom when there is ambient heat. I have worn this scent enough times going in and out of air-conditioned environments to know it is one of those "bloomers". But then, most scents are like that.
Does the scent evoke travel or journeys for me? I would just say i know it smells lovely. That's what i bought it for. I now know i took a good risk buying it blind (note: do not try this at home ;o).
Voyage d'Hermes is a beautiful fragrance. A winner in my books.