HM by Hanae Mori, not to be confused with the way inferior HiM, is for me hands down one of the most quality and most interesting cheapos ever. It screams fun, versatility, creativity and quality from every side. It is a really playful and quite unique blend of notes which smells at the same time complex and this close to messy, but completely compelling and solid like a really well engineered motor. The key notes which support the composition are citrus, lavender, vanilla and cocoa beans: the zesty freshness of citrus notes, the “masculine” touch of classic lavender, and a gourmand creamy warmth of chocolate and vanilla. There’s many other notes providing depth and “colour” (e.g. spices, something powdery, other herbs, musk), most of which I can’t detect further, but to me it seems these four notes stand out and provide the bone structure of HM. Which is totally brilliant and plain irresistible, as it is at the same time fresh, warm, sweet, creamy but “manly”, there’s dark mellow nuances perfectly balanced with playful fresh top notes and a touch of sweet creaminess.
“Fun” is the word that keeps coming to my head: HM smells happy, lively, fresh and sweet but in no way sweetish or childish, or tacky. It’s like a nice classy comedy movie (say, the funniest Woody Allen’s), which can be hilarious and witty but also totally solid and smart from the point of view of writing and direction (contrary to, say, “teen comedy movies” which may be fun, but technically pure cinematographic crap). HM is quite that, merry and carefree but really solid and “serious” composition/quality-wise. Plus anyway it smells just great, and I am sure I never smelled something so perfectly balancing freshness and warmth, sweet/creamy notes and darker/drier stuff (the kind of composition so many niche scents try to emulate on a regular basis, with half the success and three times the price). It changes a lot, continuously floating between sweet creaminess and freshness, slowly evolving from a more citrus-lavender centered blend, to a more prominent role of vanilla, then switching back to lavender as main character. Lasting crisp and clear for hours. More than just versatile it is purely eclectic. I can imagine anyone pulling this off in any situation, which is nearly the greatest achievement for a fragrance for me. A total steal for the price.
P.S.: review based on the EDT version.
EDP VERSION: Synthetic lemon open cools down to a dirty vanilla cloves that lasts. Someone told me it smells like Christmas. WTF? Great for fall and the great price makes it a 4 out of 5.
09th August, 2014 (last edited: 01st September, 2014)
These are my initial impressions after applying this fragrance (EDT) for the first time. In the first 5-10 minutes after 2 sprays to my torso, my nose picks up a blend of mentholated lemon and lavender. I'm guessing that the blackcurrant note also helps morph the fragrance so I smell what almost approaches a fruity/flowery tobacco accord! Over 20-30 minutes this effect transforms into a more floral heart. Throughout this transition I smell a light mossy vibe that makes me think of Animale Animal more than A-Men. Other reviewers were correct in that the lemon note is still present but balanced by the floral heart. At about 1 hour the base begins to raise it's head on my skin. As the florals fade and the Base Notes kick in I continue to get fleeting hints of the AA vibe most likely due to the moss. In it's favor, it doesn't become cloying whereas AA crosses that line towards the end (on me.) I don't get the sugar bomb some people have mentioned either. I'm keeping in mind that it is winter and dry here right now. Additionally my upper torso is mostly bare so my skin drinks up fragrances. That said, longevity is decent on me (I still smell it at 4.5 hours) as is sillage (about 2-3 feet). It's not exactly what I expected at least in my first impressions but I like it. 4.0 stars out of 5. As the seasons change and I've had more time with this fragrance I plan to update this review.
Edit #1: After three days the fragrance has changed. I get a better separation of the top notes as well as more movement from top to heart to base. I get less of the sweet tobacco accord upon spraying. Now it smells more like sweet camphorous lemon. Shortly after I get the great florals coming in with the vanilla. I still like it.
Final Take: This has become part of my "Office Fragrance" rotation. It's a great scent with good longevity and sillage My only complaint is that occasionally it builds a "Beeswax" vibe on my skin late in the drydown. Apparently only I perceive it as none of my co-workers detect it. This one garners lots of positive feedback from my "Work Wives". They readily give me feedback both positive and negative and they like HM.
Pros: Light, fresh unique take on lemon. Nice drydown. Good Longevity (3-5 hours on me) and heavenly sillage.
Cons: Occasional cloying Beeswax vibe on my skin that only I seem to smell.
30th January, 2014 (last edited: 21st February, 2014)
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Amazing! The cologne that got me into the fragrance "game". Huge citrus/lemony blast of an opening that settles into this delicious vanilla/chocolaty bomb. I love it, there's nothing else to say. Lots of compliments, this simply doesn't smell like anything I've ever smelt before. This is not your "everyday" smell, it's your "I'm making a statement" smell. Wouldn't wear this at work, female colleagues might be too distracted. Awesome longevity...only gripe would be the sillage, it stays pretty close to the skin. This is such a sexy scent that you want to be wearing it in close quarters anyway [dates, dancing, whatever] and whoever you're with will love it. Seriously, awesome for the price. I own the EDP and prefer it to the toilette. 9.5/10
Complex and classy, sophisticated and sharp. Extraordinary.
08th April, 2013 (last edited: 11th April, 2013)
A non-typical, linear and chronological review for Hanae Mori HM, EdT. I wrote this as I took this out of the box and first applied.
First - a nice, tall proud flacon. Classy and chic.
I put two sprays on my inner wrists and 2 shots to the back of my hand, lightly rubbed in - I want to really get this. The tester bottle lists all the notes in French and English down the back of the bottle (here it is as written):
Lily of the Valley
NOT FOR SALE - on the bottom
Okay, definitely a wonderful fresh and vibrant lemony opening that integrates with the spearmint and lavender within 5-7 minutes. I love this opening, being totally honest! I can smell a freshness that is clean, yet breathing through is a slight touch of the florals to come and a bit of the oriental base (I smell vanilla, tonka bean and a touch of amber) - at 15 minutes or so. This is the pastry smell some mention - "a lemon creme puff pastry", or something to that effect. I can grasp that, but to me...this stays a bit lighter and not edible. It could be because I am not in a full wearing, so the effect could be more like that if this was on my neck, chest/shirt, etc.
While it is somewhat sweet and the brilliantly fresh and citrus, mint, lavender opening has mellowed - it doesn't get cloying. I have to say that the Blackcurrants come in somewhere around the notes of Jasmine and Iris at the top of the heart (right at the end of the opening). This isn't too sweet, but there is a noticeable near-gourmand quality at this stage, but the florals come in and really show the heart of this fragrance (fresh, yet powdery - very natural; organic & beautiful). It offers (as the French word is 'Cassis') a deep, rich earthy fruit note. Cassis is a note I know to the nose, ironically, from wine. It is not overly done here - this stays light in texture, "color" and aroma. I am not finding myself in the camp of pastry here - although the Jasmine and Iris both have powdery qualities, the Bulgarian Rose is not too loud (but smooth and harmonious), but a key note here along with the Lily of the Valley (earthy). Very nice bouquet! The moss is not really a key note in this. To me, it is more like a green accord/undertone that comes with the florals (a splash of green in the bouquet to 'fill it out') - a little damp and something that helps bring the heart together. More of a "feel" than an actual note.
Vanilla showed first, but at this point (30-35 minutes), I actually get a bit more amber and tonka bean. The vanilla is there - but what I like is that it was used in moderation. As I've discussed before - vanilla, amber and even tonka bean can radiate through a scent (breathing up from the basenotes to the top even...a feeling of warmth throughout) - what I find interesting is that the floral heart really lasts well with these notes in a nice synergy (also all fixatives, in the oriental realm).
Last, and certainly not least - the key to why this composition does not get cloying in the base (45-50 minutes in) - the Sandalwood note! It is very well-defined and offers that creamy, smooth woodiness that only sandalwood can offer. I am getting a very nice warm, well-integrated base with the florals still wafting their scent through the base. I have to say that the moderate use of the amber, vanilla and tonka bean (and not too much of any one of those) allows the sandalwood to be more dominant. This is seriously good stuff.
No rating - just admiration. There was a point where I thought it may overly-sweeten and go into gourmand territory, but on my skin...I get a nice oriental base (no chocolate for me) with nice woods and singing light florals. The rose actually peeks through and blooms even more at the 1 hour mark.
Definitely a very, very good buy. Nothing like it in my collection. I asked my wife what she thought of it - she really liked it! "A bit sweet, but that's really nice!" And, because human body chemistry is different - I sprayed two shots on my younger son's neck (who loves fragrance). It smells deeper and yet, more floral and spicier on him. I applied it just 15-20 minutes after I sprayed my wrists and hand. I do notice that the inside of my wrists are deeper too - the back of my hand is taking longer to develop and evolve (which is why I always wear scent there). Plus, the projection from the backs of your hands really radiates and shows the scent...
Very good, indeed! Invigorating. A beam of radiant sunshine in a bottle. Recommended for those who want to add a splash of decadent light into their wardrobe.
**Please note - that this was written in real-time as a "virtual review" - typing, sniffing, pausing, and typing more as I went.
17th January, 2013 (last edited: 22nd March, 2013)
Definetely a must have! Great smell, reasonable price and very distinctive. Smells like vanilla and lemons mostly. Sillage, lasting power and projection are high. Very sweet. Can be cloying sometimes. Thumbs up!
nice gourmand...citrus sugar open, chocolate vanilla dry-down. smells good on paper, I must try it on skin.
Cotton candy in a bottle, baby!
If you like sweet fragrances you will love this. It is sweet and turns dark as time goes by. It reminds me of other sweet fragrances like Body Kouros and Angel Men, but all are different. If u own the others then u may not want this one as they are similar in ways. But if sweet is your choice of fragrance then it's a must buy. It's very affordable too.
The opening is a lemon blast that I'm not crazy about, however after about 15 minutes it dies down and a yummy vanilla sugar takes over. Some describe it as cotton candy and I did have that thought initially.
Great fragrance! Opens up with a sweet lemon note that is to be respected. Almost as if you sprinkled a pinch of sugar on a fresh lemon wedge. Drys down with a deeper, clean smell. Doesn't get much better than this for the price :).
Of the 4 fragrences I tested today this is the sweetest. People keep saying it smells like lemon. Maybe it does, but to me it smells sweet like sugar. Maybe it's lemon, think pink lemonade without the bitterness, just sweet lemonade.
You ever try Aqualina's Sugar? Neither have I, but this might be what it smells like, a sweet sugar bordering on girly. But still I think it's a decent scent. Test before you buy.
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Very fresh citrus scent, with sweet undercurrents of gourmand notes. Overall, among the 100 fresh fragrances I've tried, this one impressed me. At a very low price point of $30 for a 100ml, there are not much better deals out there.
Frank Sinatra's fragrance, as it turns out. And on the day I found that out, I fell head over heals for Old-Blue-Eyes because this divine scent is enchanting! Pure Sexy!!
I have sampled and worn this several times (both the edt and the edp) and I now feel like I know this well enough to review this.
I love the top notes, which initially seem to be lemon and some sort of wood to my nose (inexperience here), but it must be the mint and black current that modifies the lemon because it does not smell that lemony to me. A lovely start that lasts quite some time for me.
As this fragrance dries down it become lusciously complex. The top notes do not disappear for me completely but are complemented by lily of the valley, jasmine and rose. Very floral. As this progresses over the hours more notes are added but the top notes never really leave, they just become weaker and remain in the composition. In the end this adds vanilla, tonka bean and musk. Sorry, I don't smell chocolate at all!
I personally find that the edt is just fine and my preference between the two. The silage is great and longevity is at least 8 hours for me, and to be honest more like 10-12 hours. If you need a little spray to add to a weaker scent after 10 hours, what's the big deal? Excellent. The edp had about the same smell for me but seems a lot closer to the skin with less silage. I choose the edt which is rare for me.
This can be had very cheaply online if you do a quick search. Just buy it if you like floral scents for men. You will not regret this at a low price, that's for sure.
Oh, women can use this too. Why this is marketed to men and why Tom Ford's Black Orchid is marketed to women is a mystery to me. Both are unisex.
Starts off very lemony with a creamy vanilla and very gourmandish. Has a lemony, woody dry down. A nice gourmand for summer. It does not smell loli-popish or like cotton candy, contrary to some previous reviewers beliefs. However, I do sort of see a very very slight resemblance to Dior Homme as someone else pointed out (sort of). I believe this could be unisex. I love it. (This is for the EDP)
When I first tried it, seemed a bit strange. After the while, I started to like this "strangeness". Next day, I felt in love. Its' light, but powerful, seductive, animalic and relaxing. Something like lighter version of Rochas Man, but more seductive.
Lasts over 8 hours and projection is more than satisfied.
Two tums up!
Beautifully designed fragrance; a pleasure to add to my collection.
I bought the EDT and am definitely going to go get the EDP now.
This fragrance is marketed towards men but a woman could easily wear this also.
I would describe it as Bond's New Harlem meets JPG's Le Male.
It's an oriental, floral, fruity fresh with gourmand undertones.
It works out quite nicely in the end and has excellent longevity as well.
Some people think HM is a little too powerful, but for all the complaints I see about fragrances that smell great and have decent projection, yet disappear in 2-4 hours; it's definitely a plus for me -- bring it on! You will not be wondering what happened to your scent halfway through the day when you wear HM!
Review is for the EDP:
The opening smells like a nice sweet lemon skittle/lemon head candy. The opening lasts for a very long time, quite surprised, but I quite enjoy the opening so I welcome it. I get a little Paco Rabanne Black XS working in the background, quite faintly. The florals give it a kind of brightness to the fragrance. Dries down to be a mellow lemon skittle/lemon head candy with a bit more of a faint gourmand quality of vanilla and chocolate, smooth and smell blended. To me the entire scent smells like the bright lemon brother of Rochas Man. I find it interesting and it's a keeper. The projection is decent, longevity is excellent. Great!
A very sneaky gourmand. Has a very lemony sweet opening which will remain for the life of the fragrance. On my skin this strong candy open stays for about 2 hours and then dries down to a very close to the skin vanilla scent with the candy lemon relaxing in the background. Enjoyable from start to finish.
This review is for the EDT.
H.M. is kind of unique in that it is a gourmand that is also highly suitable for warmer temperatures. This is due to the nice lemony citrus that remains present for the life of the scent as well as the moderately transparent nature of the fragrance.
H.M. opens with lavender and a citrus that I would describe as a sweet, candied lemon. It is accompanied by a light, though noticeable, blackcurrant note, which wafts in and out of the citrus, and some vanilla. I find the middle stage fantastic as the floral notes develop and compliment the opening very well. While H.M. is a gourmand fragrance, the floral aspect balances it, detracting from its 'foodiness.' The flowers are soft and unimposing, used to embellish rather than dominate. The final stage of H.M. exudes a heavier quality than was present in the opening and mid. Though the lemon persists, what you are basically left with is vanilla, chocolate, amber, and possibly some oakmoss. The lemon-chocolate combination is delicious, and reminds me of a lemon cake with chocolate icing.
I believe this is a very well-done fragrance. I found it immediately likeable. It is never clumsy, boring, or thin, and all the ingredients compliment each other very well. There are distinct stages throughout its development and they occur by way of the smoothest transitions. However, if over-applied, H.M. can become too sweet and cloying. I recommend a light application--two sprays and you're good to go. Don't worry, sillage and longevity are excellent.
The biggest complaint I've noticed with H.M. is that it's too sweet, or too effeminate, or both. Well,it IS sweet. But, with a light application it is not as sweet and does not become cloying. As far as its feminine quality is concerned, I'm not so sure. It is definitely not a 'manly' fragrance, but I wouldn't necessarily say that its feminine. I think it could be easily classified as unisex. I wouldn't mind if my girlfriend wore it because I think it smells so good, and at the same time, I don't mind wearing it myself.
H.M. is a casual gourmand fragrance that gives off something of a youthful vibe. It seems most appropriate for laid back dates or just hanging out. It can be worn in cold and warm weather, though I recommend not using it on really hot or humid days as the vanilla and chocolate will become cloying.
Relatively inexpensive, H.M. is definitely worth the money if you are in the market for this type of scent.
Make no mistake, this is not the most masculine fragrance out there. It's so sweet, floral, and fruity that it would definitely be unisex and probably should be a perfume for women... that said, it is a wonderfully simple scent that blends together the sweetness of slightly acidic fruit notes with smooth florals and a hint of rich chocolate. As a guy, I really like sweet scents such as this, but it doesn't wear all that well on me. I'm far from being the androgynous type, no offense. Not my thing.
I have noticed it does last a very long time, since I can still smell it and get a lot of the middle notes with a little of the dry-down, which is very impressive seeing as I am sick and congested. This is a remarkably long lasting (and strong) scent in that respect.
It's very effeminate and would make a better gift for women than for men. It projects well, lasts a long time, and is rather strong, so easy on the sprays. The development of the notes are very gradual and smooth; no fast transitions or jumps across the gap. Overall I did not find its sweet, fruity nature to be too cloying or nauseating. A good spring/summer fragrance.
This is for the EDP (haven't tried the EDT yet):
Other reviewers have described this fragrance better than I could ever do, so I will concentrate on the longevity:
It may be that I am sensitive to some ingredients, but I never ever encountered such staying power in a male fragrance before. It even puts Kouros to shame in this respect. This fragrance will never go away :)
For me, two puffs are too much. One will make you be noticed throughout the day. But it is too heavy to be used for office or casual wear. It is strange, it is potent, it is not common, it makes a statement. It is to be tried before buying, some may not like it. I love it.
On paper, this is something I wouldn't expect to like, but this is surprisingly well constructed.
Don't be under any illusion; this is sweet and rich and verging on edible from the very beginning. This is iris chocolate from from the very beginning, but at the start it is cut beautifully by an acidic but not screechy or cleaning-product-like lemon. And in the heart, make no mistake, those flowers come out. I expect the lily of the valley in the heart will be the thing that turns most guys off this. In fact, the way I smell it, they're starting to get a little rowdy from 10 minutes in. But the top-heart green (I get fleeting hints of geranium leaf and violet leaf) lavender transition tempers the thick floral/iris notes and the woody moss tempers the tonka-vanilla sweetness of the drydown.
Like Angel (and you could draw many similarities), this verges on but never touches the edible throughout, but to me, what makes this a more popular move than Angel is that it doesn't scream patchouli at you, which tends to be a polariser. This is one of the only sweet/gourmand fragrances I wear (the other mainstay being New Haarlem) and, while not my favourite thing in the world, it definitely gets a thumbs-up.
Pros: To me this is a versatile almost fresh gourmand. The scent is a candy lemon/citrus type of smell. It reminds me of the trix cereal. I find this to project in waves so it never gets overly cloying to my nose. this is a very versatile gourmand, and I enjoy it.
Cons: Can smell cloying if smelled directly from the skin. A little feminine in the opening.
This one is special, but I do think the EdP is too much for me. The EdT has the "transparency" that makes it work for me. It allows the notes to spread their wings and engage in the kind of dynamism I need if I'm going to really enjoy a fragrance. There is a unified accord here that just smells great, along with being dynamic, unlike so many others of this kind, which often smell "synthetic" or "heavy." However, you also get teased by the hint of specific notes now and then. Longevity and sillage are just right for me. This represents the apogee of "designer" fragrances, and the EdT is selling at very reasonable prices at "discounters." Unless you don't like this kind of blended fragrance, you need to try this.
Eau de Toilette.
H.M. to me is actually an okay gourmand, an area of fragrances that I'm no fan of (except for a few good fragrances). My only problem with this fragrance is that the opening is marred by an annoying lemon note that does not fit at all. Everything else is trying to be warm, herbal and sweet and here's this annoying lemon note that shouldn't be there. After 10 minutes or so when the lemon gets kicked out by his constituents, the amazing lavender/green top over the floral and gourmand bed shows and just lasts for a while - a unique and pleasant take on the gourmand, in my opinion. This is one of the few fragrances I can tolerate with chocolate. The moss in the base is also done well. Great longevity and sillage, and I can't wait to try the Eau de Parfum.
10th February, 2009 (last edited: 06th January, 2011)
This is the scent that got me excited about fragrances. It's multifaceted, and highly nuanced. This is one that definitely changes depending on your personal chemistry. On me, I never smell the gourmand properties as strongly as others have complained about. I smell the lemon and black currant, which is extremely warm and luxurious. My absolute favorite part is the base notes, especially the moss and amber. The base notes are dirty and musky, but in the most fantastic kind of way. This scent is extremely hard to explain, it's a complex enigma that I keeps me coming back to try and solve.
I've noticed that the EDT has stronger base notes, so it's my favorite choice. Bonus: It lasts as long as the EDP and is cheaper per oz. Who knew?
A flowerly/lemony/vanilla-y (?) smell. Very pleaent. This is nowhere near A*Men, its not as carmely or as strong. Just use it sparingly.