Perfume Directory

Hermèssence Poivre Samarcande (2004)
by Hermès

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Hermèssence Poivre Samarcande information

Year of Launch2004
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 232 votes)

People and companies

HouseHermès
PerfumerJean-Claude Ellena

About Hermèssence Poivre Samarcande

Jean-Claude Ellena:

A massive, beautiful oak tree once grew in front of my house, blocking our view of the Mediterranean. Eventually, it grew ill and was felled. The peppery, musky, slightly smoky scent of the cut wood etched itself in my memory. The soul of the old oak, mixed with pepper, lives on in this fragrance. The name Samarcande is an homage to the city through which spice caravans once passed on their way from East to West.

Hermèssence Poivre Samarcande fragrance notes

Reviews of Hermèssence Poivre Samarcande

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening starts with a nondescript brightness, which soon develops into a more defined brightness: A nice peppery note, black peppers but not dark and harsh; it is black peppers in the sunlight so to speak.

The drydown develops the oak, but on a slow burner over a couple of hours, with touch of cumin also present.

I get soft sillage, adequate projection and five hours of longevity on my skin.

A scent for warmer spring days that raises an interesting issue: is it minimalist Zen brilliance or synthetic blandness. The ingredients are few, but not of superb quality, and here laboratory tries to outdo nature - it does not succeed I am afraid to say. This is a synthetic simpleton. Not bad though. Just generic. The performance leaves a lot to be desired. 2.75/5
02nd August, 2020
Utterly distasteful and pointless.

I guess you could say that this is a competent blend of wood and spice, but I find nothing to enjoy about it. It's very linear, and I smell a very dry oak, cumin, and black pepper. The result of this is that it smells very similar to some of the Indian takeout places I sometimes order food from in "Curry Hill" when I'm in NYC.

You could put cumin and black pepper into a bowl, mix them up and get pretty much the same effect. And in my opinion, that bowl of spices is exactly as wearable as this fragrance is. Ellena has tons of ideas that are unique and creative, and this is certainly that, but it's one of those fragrances that should have been abandoned at the beginning.

This might stimulate your appetite (it doesn't for me), but I doubt it would stimulate anything else. If I were to get wafts of this on a person, I would mistake it for body odor, and I'm not being hyperbolic.

Thumbs down, for sure.
20th November, 2019 (last edited: 21st November, 2019)
Rocks in the Forest by Paul Cézanne 1868
30th October, 2019
Surprisingly lovely! The burst of pepper with the soft rounded cushion of the oak, but still quite sheer. Shame it seems to be difficult to get a hold of at a decent price.
25th October, 2019
PS made me give up looking for a pepper-focused fragrance. It offers a great snapshot of pepper and initially I was wowed. But a few more wears revealed a quite muddied structure and this same queasy drydown I get from Poivre 23, Piper Nigrum and to a lesser extent Poivre Piquant. Oh well.
29th April, 2019
Brilliant fragrance! I remember as a child I would curiously wander into my grandfather’s bedroom and look at all the amazing things that seemed filled with so much history, as though everything held a story. He was a pianist and on his antique dresser there was always a loose assortment of coins, various bills, $1’s $5’s $10’s etc..I even remember a $2 bill that was so odd yet so utterly unique. Along with those were a small container of “tics”, thin black, almost peppery, mentholated, licorice lozengers. These were so thin they looked like those colorful sprinkles you’d put on cupcakes, except that they were as black as coal. And finally, an old Rolex watch with a white face, black Roman Numerals, and a black leather band. The combination of those three things is what Poivre Samarcande smells like to me. Old money, a smoky, leathery sweaty watchband from years of playing the piano in clubs, and peppery, licorice mentholated tics. My god what a fragrance. When you get transported to another time and your head spins in nostalgia, that is the direct result of a true master at work!
09th December, 2017

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