Perfume Directory

Équipage (1970)
by Hermès

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Équipage information

Year of Launch1970
GenderMasculine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 486 votes)

People and companies

HouseHermès
PerfumerGuy Robert

About Équipage

Équipage is a masculine fragrance by Hermès. The scent was launched in 1970 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Guy Robert

Équipage fragrance notes

Reviews of Équipage

The debut masculine fragrance from Hermès is no small matter. Hermès was a big player in designer fragrances at the time, right behind Chanel and Dior. In fact, they still are mostly right behind Chanel and Dior to this very day, perhaps because Hermès is just a bit more expensive and less universally-appealing thanks to their dedicated theme (whereas the other two are somewhat more amorphous stylistically), so you have to be the type to go looking for them rather than stumbling across their wares. In similar fashion, Hermès Équipage (1970) was a little less accessible and pricier than it's peers Chanel Pour Monsieur (1955) and Dior Eau Sauvage (1966), tying in a horseback riding leather theme into both the initial packaging and smell. Chanel had Henri Robert on retainer as house perfumer whilst Dior had almost exclusive use of Edmond Roudnitska (who had once also worked with Hermès previously), so without a preeminent perfumer to call their very own, Hermès did the next best thing and tapped Henri's son Guy Robert to create Équipage. Guy would develop a penchant for heavy indolic fragrances with varnish-like leather notes or animalic musks in their bases (sometimes both), and much of that style shows up here in Équipage, which outside that trait goes on to become a kitchen sink of things in the typical complex baroque style of late 60's through late 70's perfume. A lot of men still swear by this, and it's earned a latecoming flanker to boot, so Hermès must have gotten something right. Modern bottles have been streamlined into a collection of classics using the same homogeneous bottles as the eau de cologne range, so be on the lookout at Hermès counters.

The opening has sour bergamot and aldehydes mixed with orange and a little isobutyl quinoline, conjuring that varnish-like quality I mentioned, but unlike something such as Piguet Bandit (1944) or Grès Cabochard (1959), that tannery leather doesn't stick around much and is soon buried under clary sage which acts in the capacity of lavender to add a familiar barbershop aroma. Since sage is nowhere near the sweetness of lavender, Équipage dodges the bullet of being a dandy scent but things do get more like a fougère once rosewood, nutmeg, geranium, and carnation enter the heart. A hint of very dry cinnamon comes towards the dry down into the base, with muguet and jasmine indoles adding some floral funk alongside the emerging foundation of oakmoss. Flanked with patchouli and the more-earthen aspects of vetiver, this oakmoss is touched by a kiss of vanilla before becoming skin scent left behind late in the wear. Some note breakdowns list pine, and it may be here, but it doesn't leap out at me. With both oriental touches and leather touches to add nuance to what is otherwise a burly near-fougère structure, it's easy to see how men of the time might have gravitated towards Équipage as a versatile signature (by the standards of the day), with the only real component missing being anything sharp or uplifting to give it some hot weather pop. As is, Équipage smells good in almost all weather types but sweltering hot, and feels too overtly-masculine for 21st century standards but otherwise very even-keeled, giving good performance and longevity too. Équipage will go for over 10 hours and eventually dies to moderate projection with intense personal sillage. People will smell you and think you're going for a sneering Clint Eastwood a la Dirty Harry vibe, but you might be okay with that.

Hermès never really seemed to care as much about mass appeal as its main competitors, as evidenced by their slightly more-exclusive marketing and limited availability overall. They're by no means niche in the context of what we consider such in the perfume world (unless their Hermèssence line counts), but Hermès shows here as they would again with Bel Ami (1986), Rocabar (1998) and Terre d'Hermès (2006), that they only care to reflect their own dedicated aesthetic through the prism of the period, rather than capitulate to the styles of the day 100%. For that reason, Équipage fans, like fans of any Hermès masculine, are fierce and loyal, since being a man of the times but also a man apart from trend speaks to certain aspects of conventional masculinity that instill a kind of stubbornness that implies integrity, without being too individualistic. Some compare Balenciaga Ho Hang (1971) to this and I can see where they are coming from, but that scent swaps lavender back into its proper role (in place of sage), has absolutely no leather, aldehydes, or carnation, and mixes labdanum-based chypre with fougère instead, plus was initially marketed unisex. This review was based on deep 1970's vintage but I've also smelled the current edition and remembered liking it, I just don't fully remember the differences so test and compare to my notes if you go that route. If you're a fan of that "rich brown" aromatic smell so many 70's masculines carry, one that implies well-worn leather jackets, a bit of perspiration, and cigarette smoke, you've got a real winner on your hands with Équipage. If your tastes veer a bit more socially-conscious and genteel, this one may not fit your bill. Thumbs up.
27th June, 2020
Euipage - Hermes (vintage)
Best use of cinnamon in a perfume ever? A quiet, dry and almost cool one that interlinks the anisic note of clary sage, the warm spices, herbs and soft-balsamic smoky wood together. Equipage maintains an evenly and perfectly balanced reserved warm-soft yet dry-bitter tonality throughout its duration that has a kind of meditative tonality, like the monotone singing of boedhist monks. And while it radiates a natural 'in nature' warmth and softness it somehow 'feels' like the coldness of steel. I wonder how Guy Robert managed to evoke this effect but for me this is just pure magical olfactory poetry.
25th June, 2019
I have 90's bottle and i feel nutmeg ,good nutmeg with pine,vetiver ,tonka and patchouli . It' s a good parfum but not my prefer.
18th March, 2019
What a majestic cologne. Completely refined! Although this puppy came out in the 1970's, it has no loud, brash, arrogant or "MeMeMe" aspects. I found Equipage quite by accident, thus showing my true ignorance of historic colognes. I was looking into testing Van Cleef and Arpels pour Homme, and saw folks mentioning this cologne as it's considered by some to be an 80's powerhouse-type. So, I thought why not, I'll test this too.

I disliked VC&A; I loved this! Equipage is a subtle mans cologne filled with distinction, white collars, restraint and the highest of class. I found this scent to have a perfected balance of rose, vetiver, barbershop powders and musk. Nothing overtly manly either, in that this is not what you'd wear if you're trying to pick up a random stranger at a club. Quite the opposite: this is meant for a loved one, a special date or most definitely the office/formal event. Sillage is moderate, projection closer to the chest.

What I really like about Equipage is that it's so nice to smell. That sounds weird, but I literally get a kick out of smelling my wrist and arm when I wear it. Quality ingredients are apparent, and the pricepoint is manageable without being pretentious. One cologne I have to relate this to is Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver, especially in the basenotes and after 2 hours of wear.

Would I recommend this - absolutely! This is a masterpiece of a cologne.
15th February, 2018
Stardate 20170124:

I have tried vintage and as recent as late 2016 version. I like them all and find them fairly similar.
I find it similar to aromatic fougeres though a lot more delicate. The anisic note,spices and soapiness reminds me of Azzaro PH.
I would buy it and no need to pay premium for vintage
24th January, 2017 (last edited: 14th February, 2017)
Being number 3 in a series of 16 reviews on critically acclaimed and noteworthy scents.

I find this to be comparable to the Spanish leather conceits of GF Trumper and Truefitt & Hill, especially the former, but a step or two up in quality. Given that I really like the Spanish leathers, Equipage is an instant hit for me. It provides the same warm, hazy, sensual waves of scent, highlighting patchouli, leather, and spices. I get very good longevity, and now, at the end of the day, the florals come through a bit more. A superbly accessible take on leather - or at least the materials used on leather - and an instant addition to the wish list. This one well and truly lives up to its reputation. Little more to say.

It is worth noting that my sample was designated as a vintage decant. This means I will have to try the more recent formulation - the hardship.
31st August, 2016

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