Perfume Directory

H.M. (1997)
by Hanae Mori


H.M. information

Year of Launch1997
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 719 votes)

People and companies

HouseHanae Mori
Parent CompanyCosmetique et Parfum International

About H.M.

A rich edible oriental fragrance with notes of, amongst other things, Chocolate. One for Homer Simpson then!

Reviews of H.M.

Better than its somewhat condescending reputation as a "good value" would suggest, this is a tremendously creative fragrance that would go on to influence such darlings as Invasion Barbare (which borrows HM's opening, minus the zesty lime, and goes in for a niche-y odd version of the creamy-sweet dry4).

This is a fresh-fruity-floral-fougere-gourmand, which is to say it's a bit of everything, and in the best way. HM is the life of the party.

The EDT is the more exuberant, refreshing, and floral concentration. The EDP skews more into the musk-and-white-chocolate direction, but is satisfying in its own way.

The worst thing you can say about HM is that it's synthetic (but, outside of the artisanal circuit, what isn't these days?), but that's hardly damning; it's never scratchy or harsh, just creamy-smooth and invigoratingly zesty.

Thumbs way up.
03rd May, 2021 (last edited: 09th May, 2021)
WOW! I finally picked up Hanae Mori 'HM' Eau de Toilette after having it on my wish list for at least a decade. I didn't know what to expect, but I knew it was supposedly a great performing, unique scent. I got all of this and more, plus a pleasant surprise towards the dry down which I'll explain below.

The initial blast is fresh citrus, lemon notes, soft woods and heavy tonka bean and vanilla, which I've never smelled anything like before. The unlikely combination of lemon and tonka bean in the opening is both weird and gorgeous at the same time. Nothing else smells like this in my 200+ bottle collection. It's amazing.

As it settles down, so many notes come through. Chocolate, rose, jasmine, berries, and subtle amber in the low end come together like nothing you've ever smelled. To be honest, this could be unisex, as it comes across as a citrus, floral fragrance with a sweet vanilla and amber base that smells gorgeous on either a man or a woman. In some parts, which was surprising to me, its smells like Calvin Klein's 'Eternity For Women' perfume, but with a heavy tonka bean and amber base for a masculine edge. And for some reason, it smells wonderful.

Many hours later, it becomes a sweet vanilla and floral skin scent that sticks in and becomes you. Like an expensive hotel soap or shampoo, this smells very classy and sophisticated and will have people asking you what it is because it is so unique. If you like Issey Miyake 'Leau d'Issey' or Calvin Klein 'CK One', this can be described as somewhat similar to those on the top end, but with added base notes of amber, tonka bean and jasmine.

With eight sprays (neck, shoulders, chest and forearms), I get a very impressive 7-10+ hours of longevity, with excellent projection and heavy sillage for at least five or six hours. This is actually very strong, is easily detected at arms length and can fill a room. It holds onto skin, digs in and becomes your skin scent. It stays on clothes and fabrics for several days and can extend your longevity and projection to 12-15+ hours if applied over clothes. Performance is fantastic on this.

If you are a mature gentlemen with style who dresses preppy or fashionable, this is an absolute must. It can work on a man or a woman, smells gorgeous and lasts a very long time. It is NOT a safe blind buy, so you may want to order a sample first unless you are an experienced collector and know what these notes smell like. I absolutely love this scent, and ordered some backup bottles as well as the EDP version. Highly recommended.
20th October, 2020
Creamy lemon curd. Sweet. Listed as a masculine, but this is feminine to my nose. I'm not a fan of creamy, not a fan of sweet, so this was bound to miss the mark. Feels kind of 70 percent gourmand, 30 percent womens perfume. It does last, and doesn't smell cheap, though it is quite affordable. Thumbs down, I would not recommend this, and will blissfully never wear it again.
16th November, 2019
Hanae Mori is one of the oldest and longest-running couture houses from Asia, and Hanae herself is one of only two female fashion designers from Asia to present her collections on the runways of Paris and New York. Additionally, she is the first female Asian designer to have her work designated as haute couture by Fédération Française de la Couture. With all that being said, the efforts of this house in the field of perfumery were modest to nonexistent until the 1990's, with just one perfume under the name of Mori herself issued as Hanae Mori (1968) 17 years after her house was established in 1951. By the mid 90's that scent would be rebooted under an entirely new composition as Hanae Mori (1995) once again in most markets, but as Hanae Mori Butterfly in others. Following Thierry Mugler's lead with Angel (1992), this new eponymous perfume was a gourmand composed by Bernard Ellena (brother to Jean-Claude) and was released to some acclaim. The men's version was manifest two years later by an unknown perfumer for Hanae Mori, released as both and eau de toilette and eau de parfum - a rare move at the time, under the name Hanae Mori HM (1997). The funny thing about about Hanae Mori HM is it seems chock full of floral and gourmand notes, blending in a "graying" effect similar to Calvin Klein cK One (1994), but with much richer effect, yet isn't marketed as a unisex scent even if it really is in appeal. Once the subject of much hype for its performance, complexity, versatility, and mass-appeal, the stuff lives quite a peaceful life decades on in discount stores like Nordstrom Rack or in perfume shops, but is still a pleasant and impressive wear even so many years after its release.

Hanae Mori HM opens powerfully with a blast of creamy lemon, lavender, and what the company describes as "green notes", ringing an all-too familiar bell just like cK One, but adds a juicy blackcurrant contingent that gives a teeny bit of presage to the future luxury masculine perfume king Creed Aventus (2010). While I won't say Hanae Mori HM has any niche qualities or even niche aspirations in the same way snooty colognoisseurs might define it, but the overall opening of Hanae Mori HM is niche in design if nothing else, since blackcurrant was far from a common note in the mainstream nadir of 90's masculines. The comparisons to cK One don't necessarily stop with the top, but they do diminish as a beautifully sweet jasmine comes into the forefront when the heart emerges, flanked by muguet, rose, and a soapy iris note which also reminds me of Versace The Dreamer (1996) or a less-intense version of Dior Homme (2005). The base is full of white musk, calling direct ties to cK One once again, but the scent's gourmand facets really shine through upon dry down with vanilla and cacao layered on a fougère base of amber, oakmoss, and coumarin. If anything, this is cK One reinterpreted through the lens of Thierry Mugler with dashes of oriental heft for good measure. Hanae Mori HM is complex, sweet, not too cloying, compliment-getting, and borderline romantic. The eau de toilette focuses more on floral and citric aspects, while the eau de parfum is all about that base, but both versions give mighty longevity and sillage, so go light in warmer weather. I'd say this is a generalist just like cK One as well, but not quite as versatile in the hottest of days, and not fresh enough for sporty activities.

Hanae Mori flies way under the radar now that gourmands have all but become of niche interest themselves, but can be found for relative pennies compared to the level of sophistication and performance it sports by checking online or local discounter shops. Anyone liking Dior Homme and cK One can get a taste of what they would be like smashed together with a huge hit of jasmine on top, infused with knockout performance to boot. It might not be every CIS-gendered straight guy's cup of tea, because Hanae Mori HM is not very "butch" for a masculine-marketed fragramce, but for everyone else outside that sector (which dominates perception of said fragrances in mainstream circles), Hanae Mori is a surprising option that avoids the many minimalist-inspired pitfalls of the decade in which it was conceived. Hanae Mori HM is anything but a boring 90's fragrance, despite hailing from a decade known for some of the most snooze-inducing exercises in apology ever conceived in the fragrance industry, especially at the market level Hanae Mori perfumes usually sit. I can see why it was praised for so long until age and trend caught up with the hype and quieted it down in favor of other styles seemingly better-suited to the online reviewer hype machine. I see this as more than the sum of its many parts, and deserved of its sleeper hit status, but you have to be okay with blended musky floral gourmands like Rochas Man (1999) or Yohji Homme (1999) to even be in the right headspace for the way this finishes on skin. Hanae Mori HM is definitely worth a sniff and if bought, I recommend the eau de parfum over the eau de toilette for a greater "fullness", especially if this is to be used as a daily driver in any capacity at all. Thumbs up!
08th April, 2019
A powerful citrus opening, very sweet and creamy. Amazed this is strictly listed as a cologne and not a unisex fragrance. As it starts to dry down, you call smell the lavender and light vanilla come to the forefront. The lemon is a bit overpowering but calms down rather quickly to a quirky, upbeat spring-summer scent. Likely too sugary for some but it's well-blended. The drydown is the best part: cedar-woody notes come out and balance out the notes, as well as touches of chocolate to make an offbeat gourmand.

Projection is average after the aggressive opening, and longevity is good (4-5 hours) on my skin for the price: very affordable and with surprising depth.

13th March, 2019
Is that Cotton Candy? H.M. Smells so sweet, even hours into the dry down. Lemony citrus zing, and sweet vanilla. I smell like a snack, and I cannot complain. (Neither can the noses in the office around me). A little bit different and may not be the most trendy, but I don't find it emasculating or feminine to wear such a heavily sweet scent. It is still deep in its own way and has an air of manly sophistication; could be attributed to that chocolatey-wood base note. So much happening, I smell like cotton candy in the best way.
06th August, 2018

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