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24 Nov 2011

Voyage d'Hermes - nicely done!

I briefly referred to this perfume a few posts ago and now I have time to give it a thorough and wordy review. Having said that, it's notes could just as easily be summarised in a few simple words: fresh, unisex, sophisticated, citrus, warm, balanced...okay now this is getting complicated.

Give me a few paragraphs - in which I will most likely sound very pretentious - to explain...

Voyage d'Hermes is a relatively recent creation by Hermes head perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. I read that he tries to create fragrances that effortlessly flow - never overpowering the wearer but elegantly enveloping them and softening as the notes mould to their body chemistry. If that's true then Voyage d'Hermes would be the personification of that aim.

It's certainly not overpowering - whether the wearer is male or female it fades to a complimentary citrus scent, stabilised by the use of some cedar. The notes are just so refreshing and almost shocking in their simplicity. I have heard it described as a "slap in the face with cold water" and akin to the initial sip of a gin and tonic on a scorching summer day.

Expect top notes of citrus, grapefruit, tea (! yes really!) and black pepper with a spicy dry down of cardamon and a little cedar.

It doesn't sound ground-breaking does it? And in truth it really isn't.

The notes themselves are almost generic and as soon as I tried it I thought of D&G Light Blue - that fresh lemon-pepper. The different with Voyage d'Hermes however, is that it's decades more sophisticated. It's still fresh, it's not too grown up but like all things Hermes it smells....expensively fresh - like you own a yacht and permanently live in the summer.

And whilst this does get a massive thumbs up I do have two major/minor criticisms:

1) The very nature of the notes makes the longevity a bit poor - yes you will smell expensive and fresh but wait a few hours and you will be back to your old plebby self :)
2) The bottle is in some ways really impressive - hinting at a classic Hermes purse design - and in others deeply, deeply annoying. I don't know. I am a big fan of a classic bottle and lid combo and all this requires is a spin to open and close. It's not difficult but it's not convention. I guess they have managed to de-sex the bottle though and that's very much in-line with the idea that this is a unisex creation.

It's a shame that this review comes in November because this is such a great Spring/Summer fragrance. If you are currently snuggled up in knits and need a flash of summer freshness to cling on to then head to the perfume counter and give yourself a little pick-me-up ;)

And breathe!

Blimey, that was quite a full-on review wasn't it? Once again, perfume passion took over and verboseness became the only way :)

Sorry about that!

Before I forget...

Here are some of the pictures taken at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. I know that the vote was split - some of you couldn't give a stuff and others are big F1/Jenson Button fans.

Ah Jenson.....

Yes there are lots of pictures of cars but there are also some amazing pictures of skies (I am obsessed with sunsets and skies FYI) and the Yas Island hotel which glows beautifully at night.

It is well worth the 3 day ticket price and fingers crossed I get to go next year :)  Of course these photos are weak because until you have heard an F1 race in real life you really have no idea of the noise - ear plugs are handed out as standard for a reason!

For these pictures I used my Canon 550d as always and alternated between a 50mm and 300mm Canon lenses.

Back to more important fashion related things next post - promise! :)

Getting my nails done and contemplating adding more highlight "flashes" this weekend so watch this space :)


  1. Mmmm that scent sounds good! That could get me out of my Jo Malone fragrance coma finally!

  2. @Crystal - ah i love a bit of Jo Malone! What is your favourite? :)

  3. That was quite a full on review but definitely informative. I'll probably go smell it myself and decide if it's for me. I always find perfume is so different to every individual.

    The photos from the Grand Prix are cool, glad you posted them!

    Amelia @ UGLY DUCKLING x

    HANDBAG GIVEAWAY! Enter here...

  4. hope i could find that perfume at the Duty Free shops in Dec. Thanks for the full review hehehhe xx

    The F1 photos are so cool to see. I know a bit about it bec. of the husband.

  5. Beautiful pictures Laura! Thanks for sharing :)

  6. Ohh nails and hair, have fun getting pampered! Do you still do HD brows Laura or just the once? x

  7. @Holly - i wish i could have kept that up but having trouble finging HD brows in Dubai. this makes me v.v sad! so i just get them tidied and then try and replicate the shape as much as possible.

  8. My boyfriend is obsessed with F1 and he makes me watch it. Brrummmm bruuummmm fast cars. I don't understand! It is fun to watch sometimes, but usually I fall asleep because it's not on until about 2am or 3am some nights.

  9. "expensively fresh - like you own a yacht and permanently live in the summer". Ah, you have a way with words that I absolutely love, Laura!!

    And thanks for the F1/Jenson pics, they're beautiful!

  10. @Kirsten - haha i know what you mean! i was like that too and then i went to watch one live and it was all change :)

    @Musing on Beauty - haha thank you Mariella. wouldn't it be nice to live like that? I need to get some Serge Lutens...what would be your one recommendation based on your experience?

  11. wowe, sounds like something i need to check out :-) fresh in a perfume.. any day.

  12. @Laura: well it depends on what kind of scent you're after. You may know I love Five O'Clock Au Gingembre for tea and smoke, and Un Bois Vanille for .. well, vanilla. They're both complex but lighter than say, Tom Ford juices. Chergui is also beautiful, kind of 'hot wind of the desert' on a musky base. And I heard Filles en Aiguille was a nice wooody spicy juice with a bit of sugar, so I need to try out :)

  13. I adore Hermes scents. I must admit tho, Guerlain always seem to win, you should check Guerlain My insolence, it's the perfect sophisticated fragrance for people who cannot wear Miss Dior Cherie and mademoiselle coco (they tend to smell like rotten apricots on me)

  14. @Musing on Beauty - jeeez i love the sound of all of them. I have tried Un Bois Vanille before and loved the mix of caramel, coffee and smoke...but the others sound lush. Definite xmas pressie :)

    @EllysMakeupbag - ah i love the heritage associated with Guerlain. Will check out your recommendations :)

  15. These pictures made me miss the UAE so much, Im not gonna be back in time for creamfields urgh!! Met jenson a few years back and he is just divine. x

  16. I love fresh scents like this! Will have to see if i can get a sample! XX

  17. I enjoy your perfume reviews! I know you love perfume and I need some recommendations on new ones to check out. Sometimes going to a counter can be overwhelming with so many scents. Your camera takes great pictures by the way!

  18. Not checked out that perfume yet, might give it a sniff next time I see it haha

    - Allie x

    Allie UK Blog

  19. Golly, that stadium looks like something out of Tron. Or is that the hotel? Either way, very otherworldly.

  20. I love the idea of scents enveloping and flowing. It sounds silly but I always talk about a rhythm of perfume and I can never explain properly what I mean. I think maybe it is the 'flow' I've being trying to get at.
    This scent sounds great but I don't mind more car pics and suchlike as I need to put some money aside for this dslr that I want and I'm never going to be putting enough aside if you keep reviewing all these gorgeous perfumes and garments! ;)

  21. Have to find this perfume and give it a smell. It sounds delightful!

  22. @Laura I'm crazy about Jo Malone Orange Blossom, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, and I got the Wild Bluebell!

  23. sounds so tempting, but im so so obsessed with guerlain idylle nowadays, cant imagine myself smelling anything else! for few weeks at least:))

  24. great post!! great pics!


  25. Great pics Laura , I missed the F1 this year, my sister works for Etihad airways, great post btw. Cheers..

  26. I am absolutely beyond jealous!! I hope you had a good time :). That's such a great picture of Vettel. Jenson is so bloody hot!! Xx

  27. The bottle is beautiful, but the fact that it doesn't last long is a no go for me. LOVE the post!



  28. Mmm that perfume sounds great and the bottle's really nice too :) Lucky you got to go to F1! xx

  29. You write beautifully.
    I wish I was as gifted with using words in such an pleasure-provoking way. Citrus perfume disgusts me, but you have made me want to buy it! I'm not going to buy it though...

  30. Sorry but I cannot shutup, I really honestly cannot get away with how beautifully you write. I expect (or hope) that writing forms part of your career. In fact, there are writers not even half as good as you churning out mediocre predictable "writing" for magazines such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan - I suspect you write for Vogue or something!!

  31. Ok so somehow I know that i should be focused on the wonderfully smelling fragrance but i cannot seem to shake off the F1/Jenson fever...

    Lucky Jessica Michiabata! ;)

    Anywho, thanks for posting Laura!


    My Style Snapshot

  32. Was wondering in Shanghai airport today with my last local currency in hand and desperate to spend - All of a sudden i remembered this post and got the perfume. love it. Thanks L!

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