It's probably some sort of synthetic musk that you're adverse to.
OK, here's a weird one. I love, or at least appreciate virtually all Hermès fragrances I've tried, and own quite a few of them in full bottles (Terre d'Hermès Pure Parfum, Équipage, Bel Ami, Eau d'Hermès, Concentré D'Orange Verte, Eau d'Orange Verte, Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Eau de Gentiane Blanche, Poivre Samarcande, Santal Massoïa, Vétiver Tonka, and perhaps couple more).
However, every time I try Voyage - whether EDT or EDP - I have a very negative reaction to it. And I mean that quite literally, not as "not a great scent" or "ok but not for me" - but rather a stomach turning, nearly vomit inducing stench that I can only describe as the most vile cleaning chemical / radioactive lake from the Simpsons with three-eyed fish swimming in it. I've read reviews upon reviews of it and based on that as well as the notes, it sounds like it should smell great, but somehow, to me, it doesn't. It is literally the one and only scent, so far, that makes me gag. It's far worse than when I first tried Kouros (which started as a urinal cake - but after a few tries my nose finally came to recognize the 80's powerhouse flower bomb and now I totally appreciate it, even though I'd never wear it myself). I have Voyage samples of both EDT and EDP, and no, they are not spoiled, I've tried both many times at Sephora, Hermès stores, etc, with same results. After 20-25 tries now, it still makes me gag. I've tried to keep it on my skin for as long as one hour, hoping perhaps the initial blast will wear off and the base will get better, but no - it seems to stay very much linear and the same gag inducing smell, with absolutely no redeeming qualities whatsoever.
What is the ingredient in it that seems to be unique just to Voyage, since no other fragrance has ever done this to me, Hermès or otherwise? Does anyone else have a similar reaction when trying Voyage? I literally get the smallest amount of citrus in the EDT, then immediately that chemical stench that I can't stomach. EDP does not even have the citrus, to me, it just goes into concentrated version of the chemical bomb.
Please note I'm not trying to bash Voyage - it's got great reviews and there's probably something to it, and I realize it's definitely my nose not working with this particular scent - I'm just trying to see if I can identify the ingredient responsible for what I smell and hate so much.
It's probably some sort of synthetic musk that you're adverse to.
I've got a sample of the EDP and I think I know what part you mean, but I couldn't name the note.
I don't find it vomit inducing, but it always catches my attention and I find it a little jarring.
I own a big bottle of the Parfum and can't think of what it might be, but then I've never had the kind of reaction you're reporting to any fragrance.
I've heard from a few people here that they have adverse reactions to random fragrances and it certainly is strange.
I'm interested to find out just what it is that's causing you such chaos.
I get a smoky, but light, incense in both the EdT and EdP. Maybe that?
Luckily I don't have any adverse reactions to either the EDT or EDP of which I have both.
I love the juniper in the opening of the EDP, but there's that jarring note, almost like milk that has turned, that puts me off a larger purchase. Now that the weather is warming up I'll have to try it again and see if it still bugs me.
HORNS - it's definitely not incense - that is one of my favorite scents actually and I have plethora of fragrances that include this note.
Is there any heliotrope in Voyage, perhaps? I sort of sense something oddly similar between Voyage and Frederic Malle's L'Eau d'Hiver, though I do not get quite as strong reaction to d'Hiver. I thought perhaps it's heliotropin which d'Hiver supposedly has a bunch in its composition, but I'm not so sure - it's not my favorite, but not quite a gagging scent like Voyage is to me. Just something weirdly similar about these two. If d'Hiver has a lot of heliotropin and it didn't agree with me, I'd expect Voyage to be lighter on it, alas, it feels much, much stronger to my nose.
Viktor & Rolf Antidote also seems to have something similar going, though that one is a lot more metallic and just one big chemical mess trying way too hard with way too many ingredients, so I'm not sure if there's something in it that is also in Voyage that doesn't agree with me, or if Antidote is just one of those scents that I simply don't like (though without the gagging reaction).
Darjeeling - I love juniper and I wish I could smell that in Voyage - alas, it's lost on me.
I too like most of the Hermes range but Voyage is the only one I really don't like. I blind bought a 35ml bottle of the pure perfume but I simply can't wear it.
Hard work never killed anyone, but why risk it?
MonkeyBars - you may be on to something... I just checked the composition of Voyage and it lists hedione:
"Hedione / Methyl dihydrojasmonate is an ester and a diffusive aroma compound, with the smell vaguely similar to jasmine. In racemic mixtures the odor is floral and citrus while epimerized mixtures exhibit a dense fatty floral odor with odor recognition thresholds of 15 parts per billion."
While I quite like jasmine, and night blooming jasmine in particular (got some growing in the back yard), it is quite strong on its own. Just smelling the flowers can make you sneeze, or at least get a strong reaction. I can totally see how a highly concentrated version of this could be extremely unpleasant, and thinking about it - what I smell in Voyage is indeed a very very strong, very synthetic and overpowering chemical smell that I think might just be hedione.
A quick search for hedione came up with this description from another basenoter:
"Wow! Powerful, fruity stuff, it resembles ethyl acetate (paint & household solvent) and the other acetates used in gunpowder solvents. Lots and lots and lots of volume. Maybe a bit jasminy, but not really. It's totally unlike the naturals, and has major penetration."
Yup, BINGO!! I think this is it - it's very concentrated synthetic floral (jasmin-like) with that chemical paint thinner/solvent vibe and definitely that same nasty strength. I think we have a winner. Or loser, depending on how you look at it.
I've heard people say they get a "bar-b-que'd" meat smell from it. Personally, it works very well on me, and is an amazing simple, natural smelling sporty fragrance. Love it.
My 3 Signature Scents:
Rive Gauche Light (2004)
Paul Smith Man (2009)
I get a linseed oil note in it, which is used for oil painting, and storing brushes in, its very unusual and a little off putting. Your reaction may be from the synthetic jasmine, I'm not sure but it may be in The Different Company's Nuit du Jasmine as that has a weird unpleasant chemical like smell to me as well.
Wow, there's some really interesting things you guys pick up in Voyage.
I know what you mean -- there must be some sort of indole in it. I have tested about 5 times and each time the same. It doesn't make me feel sick, but has definitely put me off buying.
Strange -- I had nearly the same reaction. I tried Voyage only once, in my mall's Sephora about a year ago. Sprayed it on my wrist, waited a few seconds, sniffed, and thought it had a definite rancid meat, almost fecal undertone. Never smelled it again. I thought it was just me.
Current Top Ten:
1. Creed Millesime Imperial
2. Serge Lutens Chergui
3. Hermes Concentre d'Orange Verte
4. Creed Virgin Island Water
5. Chanel Eau de Cologne
6. Thierry Mugler Pure Havane
7. Van Cleef & Arpels Pour Homme
8. Bulgari Blu
9. Bond No. 9 New Haarlem
10. YSL Kouros
Are you sure it's not the cardamom?
We're all in the same game; just different levels. Dealing with the same hell; just different devils.
I've never sensed this note. But then again, I only tested the two versions (albeit extensively and frequently), yet never got to wear them longer over time, as to notice in depth how the various notes develop.
See my post about hedione a few messages up. It's one of the ingredients listed on both Voyage EDT and EDP, and which gets described as heavy paint thinner or solvent chemical scent, with sort of heavy, very concentrated jasmin-like aromatic. I totally get the association of these two when I smell Voyage, so I think this is it... hedione... it's like paint thinner straight up my nose.
Last edited by remik; 12th April 2013 at 10:37 PM.
I know the exact feeling you're describing. I don't have that reaction to Voyage, I in fact love the fragrance - but I do have a similar allergic reaction to Issey Miyake. It's one of the few fragrances that I can detect on someone in a room.
I get a new car smell vibe from Voyage.
Tom Ford Splits Oud Wood / Tobacco Vanille / Tobacco Oud / Neroli Portofino / Noir de Noir / Tuscan Leather / Plum Japonais/ Oud Fleur / Italian Cypress HERE