Voyage D’Hermes Perfume (Review): A detour on the journey.
When Voyage d’Hermes Perfume arrived as a follow-up to the original EDT formulation in 2012, it raised the following questions for me:
- What did it offer that was new or innovative?
- Or was it simply a flanker to the original with stronger concentration?
Answering these required a comparison against the baseline of that original. As my own disclaimer, I’m lukewarm on Voyage d’Hermes EDT (2010) as it struck me as a very sharp, light, and fleeting experience. At best, it’s described as innocuous. It pleases the general crowd, isn’t terribly offensive, and is an overall different experience than other notable fragrances such as Terre d’Hermes. In a word, it is ‘sheer’. So what’s notable about the Perfume rendition?
Fragrance: Terre d’Hermes Pure Perfume
- Release Date: 2012
- Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
- Concentration: Eau de Parfum
- Notes: Top – cardamom, lemon, varied spices; Heart – varied florals, green notes, rose, tea; Base – blonde woods, amber, musk
- Availability: Hermes boutiques, many department stores, Internet retailers
At its core, Voyage d’Hermes Perfume is cut from the same cloth as the eau de toilette version and it shares most of the same notes. The core differences are in what’s added versus simply enhanced. In the heart of Voyage d’Hermes Perfume sits a rose note that adds some depth as compared to the otherwise lackluster eau de toilette version. It also adds a bit more warmth to what would otherwise have been a very cool experience marked by spices, green accords and a very light tea. To the base, amber is added, which further enhances the warmth and depth of the experience, and it augments the musk dry-down resulting in a less powdery experience overall. Where the original seemed a very light, superficial treatment, Voyage d’Hermes Perfume is a somewhat richer and deeper journey. Somewhat, though not entirely.
The development is nice but remains very light. If you were seeking the darker, deeper opposition to the eau de toilette, please refer back to my mention that the two fragrances are cut largely from the same cloth. The differences are subtle as a result, so we’re comparing degrees versus very wide changes. It’s a flanker to the original, the key difference in appearance being the color of the glass flacon, which is black in the EDP versus clear in the EDT version. The black color, in this case, denoting that this was to be the deeper of the two scents.
Transition from top through heart notes to base is typically Jean-Claude Ellena: subtle. Almost linear. Light. If you enjoyed this at first spray, the transformation will do little to change that impression. Dark is simply a comparative term to the original, not an overall description compared to very deep fragrances overall (a la deep Ouds, incenses, dark woods, leather). This is still very much the original fragrance made to seem slightly deeper, albeit not meant to alienate the core audience. If you liked the EDT original but found it a bit sharp and lacking substance, you’ll probably enjoy Voyage d’Hermes Perfume even more.
Longevity is about 6 to 8 hours, not long in my view for an EDP concentration and a disappointment. Projection is extremely mild. This is a fragrance that tries diligently to not offend and largely succeeds. It’s barely perceived on the wearer, making it a near-perfect scent for the office. It’s brilliantly unisex in nature. But the one thing that I found lacking in Voyage d’Hermes Perfume that remains from the original EDT? A strong sense of character. Not to say this is a poor outcome, but it is much like the original in leaving you wondering what Ellena wanted the wearer to derive as an overall impression. It’s a journey, but to where?
So back to my original questions:
- What did it offer that was new or innovative? Again, if you weren’t in love with the sharp, bright, lightness of the original, this enhances and adds warmth and depth.
- Or was it simply a flanker to the original with stronger concentration? Yes and no. It is a flanker, it has a stronger concentration, but I still struggled to find that much of a difference to the original. Which probably makes this an excellent example of a flanker in that it remains true enough to the original composition with some variance.
Bottom-Line: If you are seeking a light, fresh experience with some depth, Voyage d’Hermes Perfume is a very good choice. While longevity and projection could have been enhanced without sacrificing the traits of its namesake, this is a welcome enough change for those who didn’t feel convinced by the sheerness of the EDT and wanted more substance.