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Appears to be an extremely well blended fragrance with top notes of very ripe citrus and balmy shiso leaf, paired with fizzy flint hovering above a slightly damp and mossy woody heart. The citrus in the parfum isn't as sharp as in the EdT, which in my opinion is a good thing. Instead of smelling like a freshly sliced orange on a breezy, sunny day, it smells more of a glass of grapefruit juice, left sitting out in the sun, slightly warmed. Don't be put off by the sound of that, it's a beautiful citrus opening, one of Hermès's specialties. The fragrance overall almost feels damp, as if it were rising from cold, moist, store-bought soil (not deep, earthy, wild soil). Works beautifully on rainy spring days, or mild summer evenings.
The reason I'm giving this a neutral: the main component here, making up 55% of the fragrance, is a very cheap, highly debated synthetic: Iso-E Super. It's a trendy ingredient amongst perfumers at the moment, it adds a sheer woody accord to the body of any fragrance, softening the fragrance without necessarily weighing it down, making it very appealing to your average light-and-fresh-loving young male consumer. It adapts well to the other notes it's being blended with, making it quite the chameleon, it can sometimes smell ambery, and other times earthy. Anyway, after learning how to identify Iso-E Super, all I smell in Terre d'Hermès is a big fat log of it, wrapped in warm grapefruit peels, on a bed of damp soil. It bothers me that the incredible complex base I was smelling, is in fact only one (synthetic) ingredient... seems lazy. It has completely lost its appeal.
03rd August, 2012