Post by Portia
Hey there Hermès fans,
I know there are a bunch of you out there. There’s something ultra lux, a feeling of family and extra care, about Hermès that none of the other multinationals have retained. That’s my personal take on them anyway, the company is probably as money hungry and paracious as the rest but with better marketing, who of us will ever really know?
Poivre Samarcande by Hermès 2004
Poivre Samarcande by Jean-Claude Ellena
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Virginia cedar, patchouli, paprika, oakmoss, caraway, green notes, oak, pepper
Released as part of the original Hermessence range in 2004. I tried it around then but was overwhelmed by the incredibly over the top grandeur of Ambre Narguile and for the longest time felt no need to even bother with the others. It’s funny, both reviews that I have linked below write of similar experiences but with different of the five first scents. Clearly JCE had his bases covered, but then if we bypassed Poivre Samarcande then did the rest of the world too? Now 12 years on and we still find Poivre Samarcande in the Hermessence range and both Birgit and Clayton have come around to its charms.
Three years ago while in London with Michael, Val, Tara and the London crew our last stop of the evening was Selfridge & Co. We were all dog tired and emotionally exhausted from a super fun day shopping, eating, sniffing, laughing and generally being mayhem. Tara and I scooted off to Hermès to try the newest in the range at that time Epice Marine and were given some samples, including Poivre Samarcande. The samples were drained and I bought Poivre Samarcande in a Travel Set, yet I’ve never written of my love for this quietly elegant stunner, so here goes……
How does Poivre Samarcande smell and make me feel?
Well, it opens wet and spicy, An unusual green that is cut through with fresh cracked black pepper and the taste of cutting into a capsicum (bell pepper). Then the green turns a different shade and I’m smelling a cross between electric sawing green wood and the sting of a pickled caper. None of these describe the scent accurately but Poivre Samarcande is hard to pin down. It has the sheer, wet, metallic, oily signature of Jean Claude Ellena yet the nuance is so subverted from the note list that I can only give my impressions.
How does it make me feel? Well, I enjoy smelling like this. Actually, it’s more than that I LOVE smelling of a JCE creation. They are clever and classy, never over the top but weird enough that I enjoy the fun of the fragrance, the mad whimsy that seems so buttoned up until you lavishly overspritz and suddenly they fragrance becomes a thick, ropey, cage of scent. You can see through it but you are captured, overwhelmed and must live the scent story alone.
Which of the Hermès line do you love?