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  1. #1

    Default Hermés Bel Ami review

    Today I bought a bottle of Hermés Bel Ami blind. It's the newer style bottle (which is the reformulated version--Luca Turin suspects that it was tinkered with by JC Ellena, as he mentions in his perfume guide). Today was an extremely hot and muggy day, so I don't know what possessed me to run out and get a leather powerhouse, but I've been really liking Hermés stuff lately.

    My first thought was that it smelled like Helmut Lang's Cuiron, but then later there was another sense of deja vu... I couldn't believe it, but yes, it smells A LOT like the child of Creed Acier Aluminium and Cuiron. I'm totally stunned at the Acier Aluminium comparison, but that's what I get in the topnotes. A JuicyFruit/ orange note with some amber and pepper up against a saddle of fine leather. A similar frequency range as Comme des Garçons 2MAN, but stripped of it's sibilant characteristics-- this one's much more mellifluous, to borrow a musical adjective. As it dries down it goes away from AA and more into Cuiron territory.

    I'm kind of ticked off at myself for buying a cool weather scent at this time in the year--so I guess I'll have to wait and see if I wear it in Fall/Winter. I don't know which I like better, this or Cuiron. I do remember reading a review that compared Bel Ami to Eau D'Hermes, but I don't see that at all. This one doesn't seem dirty to me, though it's nice and sufficiently musky. I would think that for anyone that already owns Cuiron, this would be redundant, but maybe in time I'll get more differences out of it.
    Last edited by Indie_Guy; 8th June 2008 at 06:26 AM. Reason: typo

  2. #2

    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    I just acquired a bottle of Cuiron and have been a big fan of Bel Ami. I've only sprayed Cuiron on my wrist but I do notice some similarities. Mostly it's in the leather and an almost citrus topnote. I think Bel Ami is more complex and adds a different demension with the addition of some spices. I don't see too many similarities in the drydown, Cuiron is more powdery and sweet than Bel Ami which is much more herbal to my nose in the drydown.

    I have not smelled Acier Aluminium but I would like to.

    I've frequently worn this scent when in "close proximity" (dates, clubbing, etc...) with women and have had nothing but overwhelmingly positive responses to it. I have the newer version as well, from all reports the original formulation was much better, if that's the case it must be amazing.

    I haven't worn it since it's gotten warm, but I wear this one a lot in the cool weather. I'm glad I got a large sized bottle and this is probably one of the few frags I would buy reserves for.

    EDIT: I did wear this last summer in Vegas, 95 degrees+ at night, and it worked rather well. I think I also wore it a couple times here in the Pacific Northwest summers last year. It's probably best as a cold weather scent, but I think it can work just as well in warmer weather.
    Last edited by Aaron01; 8th June 2008 at 07:12 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    The Bel Ami I have (an older bottle) is a touchstone Russian leather with warm notes and birch wood in the base. Very classy! I haven't smelled the "reformulated" one yet.
    Last edited by JaimeB; 8th June 2008 at 07:08 AM.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Bel Ami was my "holy grail" fragrance right after joining BN. The citrus component in it, along with the not-too-sweet drydown, make it very wearable in the heat. It's a timeless chypre that garners many, many compliments. I think it's time to acquire another bottle.
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  5. #5
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    It's been softened up considerably. No more dynamic topnotes, flatter and more bread-like overall, leans toward the tiresome affability of spices, drydown is still good. Might actually be more wearable for some people but I prefer the original. Basically they've removed the edge but it still smells pretty good.
    Last edited by pluran; 8th June 2008 at 02:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    I do remember reading a review that compared Bel Ami to Eau D'Hermes, but I don't see that at all. This one doesn't seem dirty to me, though it's nice and sufficiently musky.
    The similarity between Bel Ami (the new one) and Eau de Hermes is the spices. The spices are very similar. That's it. EdH has much cumin which of course gives it that animalic, body odor 'edge' while BA just has those complex, dazzling spices.

    I only smelled Acier Aluminum once (and I've never smelled Cuiron), so honestly I can't comment about the connection to these.

    Um...I'm glad you pointed it out Indie - but buying BA in the heat of the Summer is kinda weird. Maybe you should just turn the A/C down REALLY COLD and wear it at home for now?
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Do you think the older Bel Ami is different enough to dish out $60 if I already own (and love) the new one?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    I suppose one could argue that Ellena does his watercolor scent schtick well enough, but he should certainly know that he is out of his element working on powerhouse masculine scents like Bel Ami. I haven't smelled the re-work, as I have a decent stock of the vintage juice, but this news is disappointing for sure. As JaimeB mentioned, this is a true Russian leather, of which there are few currently being made. Perhaps Ellena can next turn his attention to screwing up Equipage.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    Do you think the older Bel Ami is different enough to dish out $60 if I already own (and love) the new one?
    Yes
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Its on its way, Mike! :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Yes

  11. #11

    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    I do prefer original Bel Ami to the new juice as well, and am especially fond of crisp and dry vetiver which is paired with leather in heart-base.
    For me - vetiver, leather, iris and oud lover - there`re not so much perfumes which combined my favourite notes.

    I could recall Baladin de Nicolai for the same pair of notes.
    Vetiver The Great!!!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    I can only recall cuiron from memory, as I sold my bottle. I think there is a similarity in the leather note to vintage Bel Ami, but the perfume as a whole is quite distinct. If Bel Ami is a rich new, well greased gentleman's riding boot, Cuiron is that boot after it got wet in the rain, dried next to the radiator and is now dry, shriveled up and showing the first cracks.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    Its on its way, Mike! :-)
    Where did you find vintage Bel Ami?

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    the 'newer' Bel Ami shares a lot of the spices from Eau D'Hermes....in fact, i didn't like the 'new' Bel Ami very much.......might as well keep using the ultra interesting Eau D'Hermes.

    I was the one who had posted the similarities last month....

    later on, i DID smell the 'older' Bel Ami, which is far smoother, more leathery, and different than the 'new' version...

    i don't think the 'new' Bel Ami smells like Cuiron AT ALL...Cuiron is sweeter, smoother, and far more interesting IMO...

    the 'old' Bel Ami, however, does share some similarity to Cuiron, however i still think Cuiron is a more complex and interesting scent....

    I still do wanna pick up a bottle of 'old' Bel Ami though...

  15. #15
    Mudassir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    I found a store in Houston that had it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron01 View Post
    Where did you find vintage Bel Ami?

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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Quote Originally Posted by mudassir View Post
    I found a store in Houston that had it.
    there is a shop around here that has tons of 'old' Bel Ami, HOWEVER it is in splash format only...no sprays...

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Is it around broadway and 23rd? I've found many a good deals in the shops in that area before.

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    there is a shop around here that has tons of 'old' Bel Ami, HOWEVER it is in splash format only...no sprays...

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hermés Bel Ami review

    Quote Originally Posted by everso View Post
    there is a shop around here that has tons of 'old' Bel Ami, HOWEVER it is in splash format only...no sprays...
    So just buy it in a splash and decant it into an atomizer.

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