digging (into) vintage: Hermès Eau d’Hermès, 1951

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(Image Jan Martens Grip)

Perfumer Edmond Roudnitska

I suppose I wear Eau de Cologne for different reasons than most people. If I want simple, fresh and bracing (what I think most people want or expect from a cologne) I’ll rub on a little tea tree or lavender oil out of the shower. I turn to my colognes for a timeframe and a progression that grabs your attention when you pour it on, excites you as it fills the air around you for a few moments, then quickly quiets down to Something Else. The something else is the key for me. A classic eau de cologne settles down to practically nothing.

Mugler Cologne’s something else is that odd nose equivalent of a tuning fork crossed with a dog whistle. CdG’s Anbar’s something else is that hint of amber that would take you 4 hours to reach in an amber-oriental but you find 15 minutes after applying Anbar. Eau d’Hermes’s something else is funk. Most eaux de cologne show the strained smile of trying to stay fresh as the scent of skin pushes through the veneer of cologne like spring bulbs pushing past Spring soil. Eau d’Hermès doesn’t even feign freshness. It is decadence in a bottle. Stepping clean from the shower and splashing it on gives that wonderful animalic scent that might otherwise take some sweat and a good few hours of ripening.

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