110911

9 Nov

“This deep, green, woody scent is an ‘80’s powerhouse of natural fragrance. A green, earthy, boozy floral, it has a musty retro feel that turns back the grandfather clock and never stops. One moment, you’re in a freshly mowed field after a rainstorm on a summer’s day, with wet, cut, wild grasses all over your boots. The next moment, you’re lost in the stacks in an old library, carrying a brandy snifter. And it wears differently every time. This is natural perfumery that doesn’t blink, doesn’t run, and doesn’t compromise.”
–Neil Sternberg for Ca Fleure Bon, regarding Hermes EDP

“The vividly mossy stain of the fragrance does not bely the scent itself: it’s rather mossy and quite animalic all right; musty, tart, very dry and earthy, but with a floral depth opening soon.”
–Elena of the Perfume Shrine, also regarding Hermes
 John Reasinger’s Hermes review:
“How happy was I that Adam took my patron god (if I had to pick one) and made a fragrance (and an EDP, at that) inspired by him?? Hermes was the child of Zeus (king of the gods) and Maia (a daughter of Atlas). He was born in a cave, on Mount Cyllene, as Maia (though immortal and a goddess herself) sought to keep the child a secret from Hera (Zeus’ eternally jealous wife and queen). On his very first day of life, he crept out of the cave he shared with his mother and created the lyre (from a tortoise shell and innard strings), stole his brother Apollo’s sacred cattle, hid his tracks and the cattle…lied about it (to Zeus) when questioned and then made Apollo trade the caduceus (and all it represented) to get them back! He presented the lyre to Apollo as a gift.
 “My kinda guy; Hermes was sly, clever, inventive and a real “go getter”. He was the patron and protector of travelers, messengers, gymnasts, athletes, shepherds, liars and thieves. Not only did he do all these things, but when a person died he was their guide to the gates of Hades (the underworld). He was married to Chloris (goddess of flowers) and was the lover of the youth Hyacinthus. He was androgynous, handsome, eternally youthful and the voice of Zeus himself to mortals. He figures in many myths (from early myths to the Trojan War and even after in the Aeneid and Odyssey), had many lovers (both male and female) and a multitude of children and offspring.
 “He loved mankind and man’s curiosity and ingenuity. He lived in Heaven, had run of the Earth and the keys to the Underworld. Few gods had his far reaching power or his energy! He wore winged sandals (the talaria) that allowed him to move as quick as thought itself. His symbol was his staff and his sacred plant was myrtle. Hermes was a gentle god and more of a lover than a fighter, and his essence (in all of its aspects) was caught well, here in this scent…
 “A thick moist wind bowls you over, right out of the sprayer, with fresh dense linden flowers and buckets of lime juice and their zesty peels. Though Hermes is all natural (as are all Lord’s Jester scents), there is something beguilingly harsh and at the same time fresh and sparkling; not unlike the newborn god himself who was at once innocent, yet devious. The citruses in the opening fade in their fury, somewhat, and a sunny sweet orange and dry woody marigold peek out. The heart of this magnificent perfume is like the heart of the god himself: sweet, yet masculine, and sensual. Rose bourbon (climbing roses from the Reunion Isle, off the coast of Madagascar, believed to be a hybrid of turkish Damask and “Old China” roses) adds a unique warm floral fullness to this, along with two types of thick jasmine (sambac and golden jasmine) and boronia (a wild climbing flower from Australia, with very intense smelling blossoms) that result is the epitome of genderless beauty and an edgy androgynous sexiness.
 “The components of this perfume are from the four corners of the globe, symbolizing (maybe even without the perfumer’s knowing it) the god’s travels and worldwide duties. Hints of woody green balsam develop after a while, adding yet another facet to this crafty and complex character. The heart notes, to me, smell of a drier green wind; heavy with the scent of mysterious flowers and exotic, far way places. The dry down on Hermes is as fascinating and as elegant as the two stages that came before it. Still green with a thicker linden blossom absolute and the essence of green cognac-it is enchanting, only now it is nigh on intoxicating with its vapory warmth and smoothness. Ambrette (hibiscus seeds or musk mallow) is combined, and balanced perfectly, with hyrax (or Africa stone) to create something altogether musky and deeply sexual while never smelling too aniamlic (or “pissy”).
 “Where most fragrances (on the mass market) tend to end in woods, resins or vetiver; Hermes is, yet again, original in the addition of flouve (also called “buffalo” or vanilla grass) which keeps it “green” but adds a dry, rather sweet grassiness to the overall composition without ever getting too earthy or “dirty” smelling. Hermes is, indeed, one of a kind. He is, from start to finish, an enigma…yet strangely familiar. He is precocious, beguiling and each successive wear reveals more of his charms and subtle magic to me. Hermes is NOT for those who would rather smell like spices, woods and musk; but for those who crave something a bit different, something unique and something strong…but not oppressive. He is now running a close second to my beloved Heracles.

“Sillage: great
Longevity: excellent
Overall: 4.75/5

“Hermes first concentration was a bit lighter than this one; I vastly prefer this heavier one. My mother, on the other hand, likes the lighter one and is not all that fond of this one. To each their own…I always say. What strikes me most about this particular version of Hermes is that it is actually much more in your face in the beginning, with an uncannily thick concentration of citruses, and then it matures and mellows as its softer (but nowhere near weaker) side appears. In the final drydown, it is essentially the same scent it always was just more earthy, almost dark, while keeping its strength and youthful exuberance but reigning them in a bit. He is now more “laid back”, but just as strong and every bit as beautiful as he was at first.
 “Some words that came to mind as I tested Hermes: WOW!, weird, green, enthralling…and most of all–unique! Hermes was Adam’s contribution to the Natural Perfumer’s Guild 2011 project: Brave New Scents. It is indeed brave in its use of little known aromatics, new in how it is blended and balanced (I have NEVER smelled anything like this one) and man…WHAT A SCENT! Some may not care for it, and some may find it artful yet not all that appealing. Me? I think I am in love…”

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