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Eau d'Hermès (1951)
by Hermès

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Eau d'Hermès information

Year of Launch1951
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 358 votes)

People and companies

HouseHermès
PerfumerEdmond Roudnitska

About Eau d'Hermès

Conceived by Edmond Roudnitska in 1951 on the basis of a citrus, spicy, floral theme, Eau d’Hermès is the first perfume of the house. It draws its inspiration from the idea of a magical smell, full of sensuality: “The inside of an Hermès bag where the scent of a perfume lingered… A note of fine leather wrapped in fresh trails of citrus fruit and seasoned with spices,” the composer described it at the time. A historical novel inspired by in-house customs and traditions, it is intended for men as well as women. A powerful, sensual writing style.

Reviews of Eau d'Hermès

TL;DR (19th April, 2021, inspired by coppertop 2001 vintage)

Sheep on wind-swept peak
Beauty vast to ev'ry side
Foiling ev'ry fall

2nd TL;DR (20th April, 2021, inspired by clear-cap 2008 vintage)

What is clarity?
Lenses fore and aft in time
Correcting themselves.

Original (17th April, 2021)

Pretty
Dirty
Shitty
Purty

Eau d'Her
Mès she
Set yer
Nez free

Classy
Freshie
Brassy
Fleshy

Saddle
Subtle
Buttly
Scuttle

Jekyll
Hydin'
Carriage
Ridin'

Mary
Wanna
Polly
Gonna

Terre d's
Mama's
Merdous
Dramas

Spray on
Clothing
Merdure
Loathing

Way of
Roudy
Thing of
Beauty

Spacy
Spicy
Lacy
Lysy

Copper
Capper
Topper
Tapper

Dipper
Sprayer
Dapper
Stayer

Better
Modder
Ne'er do
Weller

Clearer
Capper
Caster
Speller

Newer
Liker
Redder
Fumer

Eau d'
Cook.bot
Frag.com
Sumer

Clean'n'
Dirty
Kin of
Kouros

Fire'n'
On Ol'
Fac' tree
Neuros

Classic
Boutiq'
Stick-a
Rounder

Classy
'Questry
Clique-a
Stounder

Time two
Wrap up
This here
Present

From this
Ol' fac'
Tory
Peasant

Like it
Love it
Leave it
Spray it

So damn
Good I
Had to
Say it.
17th April, 2021 (last edited: 20th April, 2021)
One of the greatest olfactive achievements in perfume history, Eau d'Hermes, Eau Sauvage, Kouros, etc..
A few years into the hobby I realize my favourite genre is "sweaty, pissy, furry, dirty". Now looking for the most indolic, indolent, filthily narcotic Jasmine...
11th March, 2020 (last edited: 08th May, 2020)
woman in a boat by pekka halonen 1924
20th May, 2019
I am a big fan of the Hermès label. I have enjoyed several of their scents, going back to Bel Ami all the way up to Terre d'Hermès. I always look forward to exploring their endless array of flankers and classic outings yet unseen.

I really tried to like Eau d'Hermès. The bottle came with some neat literature and even some souvenirs that were fun. But as for the scent...

...the cumin got me. I recall responding in a similar manner to Declaration by Cartier with its cumin dominating note: Cloying and too animalic. I avoided all things Declaration for over a decade until last year, when I tested it with an open mind and actually came around to it.

But Eau d'Hermès is a chypre scent that I still can't get myself to like. The animalic cumin vibe feels too naked, even amid the other notes surrounding it. I ended up selling my bottle over a decade ago not too long after purchasing it.

Who knows, maybe it'll grab me afresh the next time I test it (although it is not easily found in the niche department store counters in my area - those tend to focus on the "Eau d'Orange Verte" flankers mostly).
19th August, 2018
Eau d'Hermès launched a long-held luxury saddle and accessories brand into the word of fragrance, doing so at the hand of the now-legendary late perfumer Edmond Roudnitska, a name responsible for helping establish the male aromatic citrus chypre mid-century, and designing many a renown fragrance for Christian Dior as well. Hermès must have tread lightly with Roudnitska, allowing him to have pretty much free reign to capture the aesthetic of their establishment in a perfume, which he ultimately chose to be unisex, even if it does heavily veer in the male direction. The scent is famous for it's note that tries to replicate the scent of Human skin, which is akin to what Kouros tries to pull off with a slight "sweaty" vibe, except much more carnal as the skin note in Eau d'Hermès is meant to directly imply sexual tension. Roudnitska worked off of his own memories and experiences in crafting this, his experiences with Hermès handbags when he was young playing a large part of that design, which is why this was chosen to be enjoyed by anyone rather than be a hard-line gendered perfume. Time has proven it more favored by men or women who reminisce about the men in their lives who wore it, so it tends to be ranked highly among enthusiasts of male perfumery. Overall, this can also be seen as something of a missing link between what Roudnitska did for Rochas and Dior prior to working with Hermès, and what he would do after primarily for Dior once again, as it combines ideas developed from Moustache and Diorama (both 1949) with some ideas he would later put to use in Eau Sauvage (1966).

Eau d'Hermès opens with much the same citrus fizz found in the later Eau Sauvage, but quickly submerges that sweet lemon top with the civet (officially unlisted by Hermès) that transitions into the infamous skank of stiff cumin, leather, and birch tar, which also end up being the base of this later on. Cinnamon, clove, cardamon, vanilla, tonka, and all these other spices typical of orientals, fougères, or even bay rum start richly and sweetly dancing around this swanky base, keeping it from being too raunchy; the end result of this interplay is a complicated multi-faceted scent experience that is gentlemanly on one hand, but pent up for action on the other. It's a scent right at home on a biker's leather vest, or an erstwhile equestrian enthusiast's saddle as was the original inspiration source, but in most modern contexts sees use in neither of these situations as most Hermès clientele neither ride Harleys nor set foot often outside of luxury saloons, except to run into another air-conditioned environment. Eau d'Hermès deserves much more than that; it deserves to be experienced in the heat of a day trip, in the proximity of an intimate dance, in the bedroom, and then on the shirt left behind. Edmond Roudnitska may have designed this to encapsulate his own experience with Hermès, but he also knew what purpose he had in mind for it's use, and it wasn't a day at the horse races.

Eau d'Hermès is certainly dated now, as it follows the aromatic citrus chypre model that had it's last gasps with the Yves Saint Laurent Pour Homme line of the early 70's, but it does something strikingly different than any chypre before or since, in that it wraps itself in spices, which alongside that aforementioned civet note, are part of what make it such an undeniably sensual aroma that is anything but casual. Hobbyist-level perfume fans are undoubtedly already all over this, but for the average Joe (or Jane), this is best approached by somebody with an appreciation for the classics that also loves heady spices and a healthy helping of risque. It takes a special breed of person to really love that cumin/civet/leather accord, and almost everything else in this stuff is present just to blend it down and make it workable rather than lead the scent. It's a legend in a bottle, much like most things made under Roudnitska's nose, but it's not for everyone, as it's barely tamed, much like a stallion during his breaking in. For reference, my version is the copper top spray, which was the last version to contain a considerably noticeable civet note, so if a more-domesticated version seems safer (but not as fun for the die-hards), seek out the newest black-topped version with the sticker on the bottle in place of screen-printed lettering; it's the same experience without as much of the "holy s**t" factor in the base. If you're going for the full monty, you want the copper top or older.
31st December, 2017 (last edited: 01st January, 2018)
Coppertop.

Think eau sauvage with notable cumin-like spice. Tight sillage and weak longevity at a distance, but it lasts plenty long as a 'second skin' depending on weather and/or what you're doing while wearing it. One of the standards in masculine citrus scents.
08th November, 2017

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