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  1. #1
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    Default Terre "Family" breakdown

    When I first tried Terre d'Hermes last year, I recognized the quality but felt it was too safe. It just seemed to lack that bold something that makes juice bottle-worthy for me. And yet, I did find that its character was special. Considering the main theme is green and animalic, my interest in the family won't surprise those of you familiar with my tastes.

    To me, the Terre family consists of variations on this basic theme:

    • citrus
    • vetiver
    • cedar (including Iso E probably)
    • musk

    Here are my comparisons of the fragrances I've encountered in this family. If you feel more fragrances are in this family (not just related! I mean really close to these five), feel free to reply. I did find that this basic theme makes for frags that have unusually high olfactory fatigue. It's generally an experience of them coming in and out over the course of a wearing across the whole family.

    • Terre d'Hermes EDT: I never got that "flint" accord they make such a big deal out of. Smells like cedar and vetiver to me. The benzoin and geranium soften/sweeten it up too much for me though. The edge of the cedar and vetiver is overly blunted. Nevertheless, I find this one has the clearest composition conceptually and the smoothest transitions.
    • Terre d'Hermes Parfum: I didn't enjoy the heavy amber in the drydown -- distracts from the delicious main theme of vetiver and musk.
    • Byredo Fantastic Man: This one is even smoother. The cardamom is excellent, but the anise, geranium, and lavender distract too much from the main theme . . . sweet and spicy. However, in sillage, this one may be the best of the bunch. It really wafts nicely. Good longevity too.
    • Montale Red Vetyver: Here we have the opposite issue. I definitely tend toward dry, aromatic frags, but Montale's contribution is just too harsh. The sharp peppery spices and patchouli are definitely a bit much. Big projection and good longevity however.
    • Yardley Citrus & Wood: The budget entry to the family. This is the one I ended up buying -- blind, actually. It's cheap enough so I don't mind that it's not perfect. In fact, the basic ingredients of the theme are cheap in general and I think all of the above are a bit overpriced. The drydown of the Yardley little brother is basically perfect for my taste in this family. But the opening has a strange nutty character that I don't enjoy -- possibly some off overtones due to the lack of good-quality citrus oils. Or it could be the elemi or birch that they list in the notes. So the first 45 minutes or so don't really satisfy me completely. Nevertheless, it might just be my favorite of the bunch.

    In a way, I'm still looking for the best one in the family, since none of them really satisfies me completely. Someday I hope to find the perfect member ...
    Last edited by MonkeyBars; 13th October 2012 at 03:21 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Green and animalic? Lauder for Men !

  3. #3
    mr. reasonable's Avatar
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    If you get the chance try Declaration (Cartier) & Bigarade Concentree (EDP Frederic Malle) for some context on how Ellena arrived at TdH. I think Roudnitska's original Eau d'Hermes has a place in that story as well.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 13th October 2012 at 08:55 AM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Terre d'Hermes Parfum & Montale Red Vetyver are good representatives within that family IMO.

  5. #5
    Trauerkraut's Avatar
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Try Guerlain Homme l'Eau Boisée; it's great!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post
    Try Guerlain Homme l'Eau Boisée; it's great!
    Agreed.
    ointments and perfume delight the heart....

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    If you get the chance try Declaration (Cartier) & Bigarade Concentree (EDP Frederic Malle) for some context on how Ellena arrived at TdH. I think Roudnitska's original Eau d'Hermes has a place in that story as well.
    Plus pamlemouse rose by Hermes, even closer to TdH.

    One family member you forgot is vetyver incenso. It is not identical, for me as a woman it seems more wearable, less sharp, less nulear sillage, more subtle, smells like better ingredients to me. Very expensive though...

  8. #8
    Dependent Akahina's Avatar
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Elixir des Merveilles is in the same family too I think. A bit gourmond but a unisex version of TdH.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Thanks for your responses dudes and mädls.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Green and animalic? Lauder for Men !
    Somehow I got a violet-ish note from this... didn't like it.

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    If you get the chance try Declaration (Cartier) & Bigarade Concentree (EDP Frederic Malle) for some context on how Ellena arrived at TdH. I think Roudnitska's original Eau d'Hermes has a place in that story as well.
    Have tried both and agree they're cousins to the Terre Family. Declaration's brown cumin -- while very well handled and thoughtfully constructed -- was not quite fresh and "alive" enough for me. Declaration Essence has the same problem for me, though I have major respect for its brash bilge note.

    Bigarade is lovely. I found it a bit understated for my taste last year, but I need to try a wear some time. I do find the related Bois d'Orage's raw angelica accord a little harsh which means BC may be a good call.

    I think I tried Eau d'Hermes at the boutique in Beverly Hills. I vaguely remember its smoky leather being all birch tar, my nemesis.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post
    Try Guerlain Homme l'Eau Boisée; it's great!
    Vielen dank für deine Empfehlung! I think I might have tried this at the Guerlain boutique but will make a note of it next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by DieNase View Post
    Plus pamlemouse rose by Hermes, even closer to TdH.
    Another cousin I'd say.

    Quote Originally Posted by DieNase View Post
    One family member you forgot is vetyver incenso. It is not identical, for me as a woman it seems more wearable, less sharp, less nulear sillage, more subtle, smells like better ingredients to me. Very expensive though...
    Frankincense and ambergris sound like a totally unique spin on the theme! I was not aware of this juice. Thanks very much for the heads up. It's a must-try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Akahina View Post
    Elixir des Merveilles is in the same family too I think. A bit gourmond but a unisex version of TdH.
    I have a hard time with sweet gourmands. EdM wasn't up my alley...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    "I wanted to create a masculine scent that actually smelled of human tenderness instead of soap." Jean Claude Ellena on Terre d'Hermes

    "I do not cultivate mystery, complication. I prefer the clarity, the understanding......"
    Jean Claude Ellena

    Might as well smell Poivre Samarcande (2004) as well. It's a pleasant though super-minimalist chypre that smells like the interiors of many Hermes boutiques. One of his first major experiments with Iso E Super. It made up 71% of the composition. That was two years before Terre d'Hermes (2006) which is made up of 55% Iso E Super. I'm not big on Iso E Super but for the most part it's ok in Terre d'Hermes.

    Great fragrance as far as I'm concerned. Like it in warmer temps mixed with a little sweat. Much rather wear the edt. The parfum in many ways just feels like an IFRA attenuated edt in a stronger concentration.
    Last edited by pluran; 13th October 2012 at 08:19 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    "I wanted to create a masculine scent that actually smelled of human tenderness instead of soap." Jean Claude Ellena on Terre d'Hermes

    "I do not cultivate mystery, complication. I prefer the clarity, the understanding......"
    Jean Claude Ellena

    Might as well smell Poivre Samarcande (2004) as well. It's a pleasant though super-minimalist chypre that smells like the interiors of many Hermes boutiques. One of his first major experiments with Iso E Super. It made up 71% of the composition. That was two years before Terre d'Hermes (2006) which is made up of 55% Iso E Super. I'm not big on Iso E Super but for the most part it's ok in Terre d'Hermes.
    Thanks for the excellent quotes! Sometimes Ellena's "clarity" feels more like stasis but his mastery is undeniable.

    I seem to recall Poivre being very aldehydic? Agh! It burns! It burns!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Thanks for the excellent quotes! Sometimes Ellena's "clarity" feels more like stasis but his mastery is undeniable.

    I seem to recall Poivre being very aldehydic? Agh! It burns! It burns!
    I feel the same way.

    I liked what Poivre Samarcande was trying to do but it got boring pretty fast. Probably a good one to spray on clothes, in drawers, etc, give em a little woody smell or whatever

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    I second many of the above suggestions. Here are a few more you might want to check (if you haven't already)...

    Farmacia Santissima Annunziata Vetiver Incenso
    Ramon Monegal Umbra
    Kinski
    Citrus and Woods by Yardley


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  14. #14

    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    No violet leaf in Lauder for Men but if you got the sample from me, that's the formulation I'm talking about. I'm surprised the iso e super in TdH doesn't revolt you.

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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    No violet leaf in Lauder for Men but if you got the sample from me, that's the formulation I'm talking about. I'm surprised the iso e super in TdH doesn't revolt you.
    Actually I love violet leaf. Just not violet ... those soapy ionones. Sometimes other florals add together to make a soapy accord I don't enjoy.

    Iso E, when I can even smell it, is sort of a mild round bland wood... tbh I can barely detect it in compositions.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    You can add Cereus No. 5 to this family. In fact it is a little more green or citrus version of TdH EDT and Red Vetyver. More subtle and restrained. I really enjoyed it.
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by ToughCool View Post
    You can add Cereus No. 5 to this family. In fact it is a little more green or citrus version of TdH EDT and Red Vetyver. More subtle and restrained. I really enjoyed it.
    Hm, I found TdH a little too restrained. Odysseusm mentions a cookie-like drydown which usually means vanilla/amber . . . but thanks for chiming in.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    I second many of the above suggestions. Here are a few more you might want to check (if you haven't already)...

    Farmacia Santissima Annunziata Vetiver Incenso
    Ramon Monegal Umbra
    Kinski
    Citrus and Woods by Yardley
    Kinski is pretty far off from the family to my nose . . . much more dense.

    Own C&W as stated above! Umbra was a bit sweet for my taste; I don't find the Terre accord meshes well with balsamic notes. Will definitely give the FSA scent a try!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Kinski is pretty far off from the family to my nose . . . much more dense.
    It is far off but, somewhat, it fits the woody-musky-vetiver bill. On a side note, I've always wondered if it includes costus in the composition. There's a wet-hair vibe going on during the opening that immediately made me think about costus. Any comment, MB?


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    Default Re: Terre "Family" breakdown

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    It is far off but, somewhat, it fits the woody-musky-vetiver bill. On a side note, I've always wondered if it includes costus in the composition. There's a wet-hair vibe going on during the opening that immediately made me think about costus. Any comment, MB?
    Hm, I'd have to try it again, but it seems very plausible. Tbh, Kinski's sweet florals were just a bit too thick and rich for me. I could see the Terre backbone being in there. But with another four or five frag families piled on top

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