Tag Archives: Hermes

A Dozen Fragrant Reflections on Paris The Perfumed Dandy’s Picture Postcards

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Dearest Scented Ones

Before all memories of The City of Light slip from The Dandy‘s mind to be supplanted by other travels, some images, and aromas to recall the magical Gallic capital.

A Store Fit for a Distinguished Visitor

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Perfume for a (Naughty) Boy : Histoires de Parfums / 1740

Grand Green Interior

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Chartreuse Blast : Balmain / Vent Vert

Then We Talked Only of Red Clay

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Now It’s All Grass : Nez a Nez / Foret de Becharre

Stone Roses

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Slate Grey and Pink : Lyn Harris for M&S / La Rose

The Decadent Entrance

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That No One Forgets : Guerlain / Shalimar

Garden Square, Imperial Past

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Equatorial Imports : Coqui Coqui / Tobaco

The Stairway From So Many Scenes

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Old Romance In Black and White : Cartier / Baiser Vole

Arcade Contemplation

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Honey Coloured Thoughts : Maison Francis Kurkdjian / Absolue Pour le Soir

Exercise in Colour

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Sharp Lines : Jean Louis-Scherrer / Jean-Louis Scherrer

Extraordinary Procession

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All Human Life is Here : Etro / Royal Pavilion

Where Seurat’s Swimmers Swam

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Sadness in Blue : Hermes / Eau de Narcisse Bleu

An Inky Light

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As We Write, Longhand : Comme des Garcons / 2 Silver Words Comme des Garcons

That has set me trawling through the thoughts, more images will follow.

Then a puzzle… where did my voyages take me?

And what perfume, finally, did The Dandy purchase…?

Until tomorrow.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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Which ‘ladies’ scent’ will this gent wear come Christmas? The Perfumed Dandy’s Yuletide Hit Parade

Dearest Festive Fairies and Fellows

The Dandy adores Christmas.

I’m sorry, but I do, and over the next week or two I shall be devoting these pages to my own particular form of celebration… details of which to follow anon.

Apologies to the ‘bah humbugs’ among you, but The Dandy says ‘bah humbug’ to your ‘bah humbug’ and that’s enough humbugs to fill a sweet shop with. Now, to kick things off… A Very Special and Seasonal Hit Parade.

I have selected twelve perfumes, one for each day of Christmas, that have never made it to the top of our little chart (though they may appear on it currently).

You, my Santa’s elves, have between now and The Big Day to decide which scent will next my skin come 25th December 2013. So, all you have to do is pick from the sumptuous list below and cast your…

… wait for it…

… 12 Special Time of Year Votes for your favourite or favourites. Here goes, the big list…

French Can Can by Caron

Yresse (formerly known as Champagne) by Yves Saint Laurent

Phul-Nana by Grossmith

Visa by Robert Piguet

Joy by Jean Patou

Rouge (formerly known as Parfum d’Hermes) by Hermes

Diorling by Dior

Tom Ford Black Orchid by Estee Lauder

Chantilly by Houbigant

Louve by Serge Lutens

Parure by Guerlain

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

Well, twelve festive belles there if I may say so. Now The Dandy’s Noel aroma is in your hands… … do spread a little cheer in this direction!

Yours ever festively

The Perfumed Dandy. The Perfumed Dandy

Post Script

Don’t forget that’s 12 votes each, to be dispensed and dispersed as you see fit… use them wisely.

Voting closes at a moment before midnight GMT on Christmas Eve, the winner will be announced when The Dandy’s done opening presents!

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The last day of freedom… Jour d’Hermes by Hermes The Perfume Dandy’s Scent Today

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“Music is the space between the notes.”

So, they say, Claude Debussy said.

Scent is perhaps the art closest to music, sharing as it does the qualities of abstraction and the ephemeral.

The two forms existing as much, more, in fact, in the air and the senses than in the bottle or on the bow.

No perfume expresses this sentiment more precisely than Jean Claude Ellena’s Jour d’Hermes.

Weightless, amorphous, transparent, luminous and above all quite, quite beautiful.

Jour is a refined fragrance in the same sense that a passage of the finest poetry has the sensation of the best prose distilled.

Its sparseness is that of the poet’s words upon a page, the length and conclusion of each line the result of deliberation, the start and end of every stanza as concious an artistic act as a painter’s brush stroke pulled across canvas.

Poetry, perhaps, is the places between the words.

In a world where so much perfume is mere cheaply drawn literal prose: scents called ‘Candy’ that smell of sweets, endles gourmands that succeed only in smelling exactly like confectioners’ kitchens, Jour is writ in verse.

Jour is poetry.

Elusive, sly, metaphorical, mischievous and quite, quite beautiful.

The words, the ideas, the notes seem so simple: citric, floral, dry.

Lemon, lily of the valley, orange flower.

It is in their deployment that the artistry lies.

Some people have termed the perfume ’empty’, I find it to be expansive.

An uncontained scent large enough to accept one’s own interpretation.

A fragrance of freedom.

“Loneliness clarifies. Here silence stands
Like heat. Here leaves unnoticed thicken,
Hidden weeds flower, neglected waters quicken,
Luminously-peopled air ascends;
And past the poppies bluish neutral distance
Ends the land suddenly beyond a beach
Of shapes and shingle. Here is unfenced existence:
Facing the sun, untalkative, out of reach.”

from ‘Here’ by Philip Larkin

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Jour d’Hermes was The Dandy‘s final self-picked weekday scent for a while.

Tomorrow, after a Summer turned “Indian Summer” of laid-back liberty, The Hit Parade returns, and The Dandy will once more be your ever faithful servant, taking his scented commands from you… why not choose what perfume I will wear next and join in the vote.

Please be gentle with me…

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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All the fun of the fair… Last of the Summer Scents Part II An Essay in Fragrances and Photographs

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A public holiday in London today… the last one of the Summer.

The last one in fact until Winter is with us and we celebrate Christmas.

So what better way to go out than with a bang, a whoop, a scream, a whirl and a whoosh of steam?

The whoosh in fact of Carter’s Steam Fair which took up it’s customary place on ‘the East End’s lungs’: Victoria Park today.

Do enjoy the colours, and a few perfumed proposals, some serious, some just fragrant fun… just like the fair itself.

The Swing Carousel

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The Spitfire

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The Motorcycle Carousel

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The Dodgems

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Ice Cream Van

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The Octopus

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Candy Floss?

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The Shooting Gallery

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The Motorcar Carousel

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Cuddly Toy Prizes

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The Coconut Shy

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The Grand Carousel

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So there we have it… a few scented snaps.

I wonder whether all the connections are evident?

Perhaps some are a little puzzling.

But then The Dandy does like a riddle…

“Why is a raven like a writing desk?”

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Perfumed Dandy’s Day Out….. Photographs of A Rendez Vous with The Craftspeople of Hermes

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They say a picture says more than a thousand words…. The Dandy does hope so, as he has practically no time to write today!

The only thing that must be said is “it was a splendid day”.

Thank you to Hermes and most especially the charming, patient and apparently implacable Craftspeople of The House.

Oh and if you are in London Town over the weekend find out how you can Rendez Vous with Hermes too.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Perfumed Dandy’s own scent….. Un Jardin En Mediterranee by Hermes

All Hail My Dear Fellows!!

As The Perfumed Dandy is almost officially on his holidays (of which more to follow) and by way of tribute to the wonderful craftspeople of Hermes (again more words and pictures to come on these delightful folks) I have selected my own perfume today.

Sadly, this wonderful aromatic slice of Mediterranean “woodland by the sea” life is unisex.

So Jean-Claude Ellena‘s masterpiece is unfortunately exempt from normal competition.

Fortunately, its beautiful composition of evocative fig leaf sun-bleached cypresss and elegant cedar underscored with florals, citrus and a simply stunning smokey nut note, is a personal favourite.

Indeed for a while a few years ago, this came about as close as anything ever does to being The Dandy’s signature scent in Summer.

High praise indeed.

I do hope you will forgive me this straying away from normal practice just on this occasion!

Meanwhile another opportunity to place a new perfume on The Dandy‘s skin is available though, in the current edition of The Perfumed Dandy’s Hit Parade.

As ever if you would like to thrust forward a fragrance for future fame on the hit parade simply visit ‘Suggest and old scent or recommend a new one’ and leave your suggestion there.

Have an especially fragrant day.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy



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A Question… Which Hermes craftspeople would you most like to meet? The Perfumed Dandy’s Afternoon Out

My Dear Scented Saddlebags

I’m sure you may have noticed something of a trend in The Perfumed Dandy‘s reviews this last week…

A certain leaning towards the House of Hermes?

Well, the reason is now revealed, for all this week Hermes and its Craftspeople have set up store at London’s Saatchi Galllery for their Festival des Metiers.

If you happen to be in “The Old Smoke” between now and the 27th of May you can catch the artists and artisans of this most estimable of brands at work.

This is just what The Perfumed Dandy is off to do today!

If you are not able to attend, perhaps you’d let me know….

Which Hermes craftspeople would you most like to meet?

Of course I’m sure a rendez-vous with Jean-Claude Ellena would be top of all our lists, but beyond the master parfumeur, would you like to see the watchmakers, the saddle sowers, the seamstresses, the designers or the silk printers? Or indeed anyone else…

Do tell!?! The Dandy would be ever so curious to hear your thoughts!!!

For more inspiration, why not take a peek at the exhibition website.

You never know… I may even have a snap or two of jolly folks to share afterwards!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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The Gods’ winged messenger… Kelly Caleche by Hermes The Perfumed Dandy

“Those horses are so spoilt I swear they sleep on straw strewn with rose petals”.

With an equine huff of a laugh, he rears his head back and raises a riding crop from aside his muscular calf to tap a glowing forehead.

He breaks a large-toothed smile and with a click of the heals of his long brown leather riding boots turns to leave.

A self-conscious flick of the head to show off his golden mane to its best effect and he is gone.

He smells of early Summer roses, thoroughbreds and animal hides.

He smells exactly as you do.

He had come, as a messenger from “The Gods”: the judges.

Venerated men and women, with scores of Olympian accolades between them, in whose hands your equestrian fate now resides.

He came to ready you for the off and remind you of “The Immortals” marking schemes.

You reflect on how much easier the fates of others are.

How much simpler for the show-jumpers?

The powerhouses, projecting into the air with flair and barely controlled strength.

Their task is merely to dazzle, to defy sense with their penetration and precision.

They can be judged objectively:

All they need to do is fly high, make no errors and achieve the required time.

And the masculine three day eventers?

As long as they stay the course and come up reeking of earth and animal and grass, well, who cares?

Yours is the more difficult labour.

You must harness horse with gleaming equipage into a wholly pleasing whole.

Your task no less than to combine film star glamour and princessly grace into three minutes of four legged ballet.

The final preparation for your moments in the ring.

Exchanging whispers with the beast, he acknowledges you with a swish of his tail that throws a shower of fine white powder into the air.

You adjust the saddle, a practical ornament of the finest French leather, cured and scented so that not even an allusion to the abattoir might upset the ride.

You mount and breathe in deeply, the breeze brings the hint of wild yellow irises from the meadows lying fallow beyond the Chateau.

The same wind brings your name made tinny by Tannoys.

You bridle for a moment.

Your desire to perform, the urge bring pleasure and win points makes an anxious knot of your insides.

Walk on.

The Arena.

The illustrated sports photographers’ flashing bulbs, the hubbub, the crowd, the swell and the excitement.

First silence.

The smell of his perfume, the rose aroma of your own scent, fragrant riding leathers, the horse.

Then music.

The dance begins.

Kelly Caleche by Hermes is, like the pursuit of dressage, more aesthetic sport than art.

It is a physical perfume that exists above all to bring pleasure with its presence.

It strikes elegant turns, makes graceful moves and possesses the essential Hermes quality of unwaivering poise.

And what if it does not challenge or unsettle or push back boundaries?

So be it, it never intended to.

At the commencement gorgeously groomed citrus, in the shape of an ever so subtly bitter grapefruit, starts the proceedings.

The fruit yields almost instantly to early June roses and then the perfume widens and deepens to include the unmistakable hue of the most luxuriously scented leather.

This leather, the distinctive Hermes note, is floral, high, transparent, and has about it a refined fragility.

It has a haunting, or perhaps more precisely a yearning quality.

It is this sense of searching and the sparseness of the relatively simple composition that raises this rose perfume above the thorny crowd.

This is a fragrance that seeks to fulfill desire.

To give and receive pleasure.

Are not both men and women capable of reciprocation in love?

I believe so, and that this is an especially suitable scent for men as well as women.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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No holding the horses… Caleche by Hermes The Perfumed Dandy’s Scented Letter

The other women of the court no matter how grand, or close to the King, had always to call for their carriages.

She need only look up, or smile, or tilt her head and the servants come running to gather together her party and fetch her coach and four.

Hers is a dignity not available for sale.

An elegance to be bought only by self possession and unassailable poise.

She saw out the terror and has seen Europe wrenched apart.

So a little jostling at court now cannot not unsettle her.

It is 1837 after all and the world apart from her is still a grimy place.

She begins her exit of the crumbling grand salon where military officers still smell of battles fought years ago, Barons of theirs wars with excess and the hems of the dresses of all the other women from dowagers to debutantes are frayed and greyed with dust.

She is luminous in spotless ivory. Her laundry is impeccable. Her linens the envy of France.

In the air behind her she trails citrus cologne higher and fresher and cleaner than even that worn by the Empress herself.

On her left wrist a corsage of miniature mandarin roses, the most fragrant colour, is woven together with jasmine and a single purple iris, its mouth open to show a fleshy yellow interior.

At the threshold, she turns and the train of her dress swirls through the air with a stage whisper.

In a wave the other courtiers wane from her swell.

Her presence is a calm ocean be-stilling their turbulent waters.

She curtseys deeply to the empty throne and departs leaving them in silence.

On the steps, she takes leave of her family, who have elected to see what remains of the ball through to its conclusion.

She ascends her conveyance and is comforted by the knowledge she will travel home alone.

The horses hooves rattle over the cobble stones and the wheels jolt now and again.

Even for her, the dark streets of Paris at a little after midnight seem a dangerous place.

The poor, the disaffected, the cholera.

She inhales and, above a trace of the horses’ aroma: animal and honest, feels the warm fragrance of the transparent soap from London that keeps her and her clothes bright, radiating around her.

She is enrapt in concocted cleanliness.

In a rapture of pretended purity.

It is 1837 and, after all, the world apart from her is still a grimy place.

This is how she has survived.

As other perfumes are to detergent, so Caleche by Hermes is to the finest thrice milled soap.

From the very start this scent exudes an almost ethereal brilliance.

Whiter than white aldehydes support sweet and soaring citruses to form a counter-intuitively robust opening that never departs the perfume through its stately but complex development.

This structure, so light and airy and yet so strong, is a work of engineering magic.

It is a Paxton’s Crystal Palace of perfume design, enabling all the contents of this olfactory exhibition to be viewed in clear and yet flattering light.

The floral accord which is the centrepiece of this aromatic expo, comprises chiefly of iris, rose and jasmine with other blossoms.

It is so beautifully blended that it could be perceived as a single translucent form.

But alongside it comes a darker object, shaped perhaps by an indolic quality to the flowers, or the bitterness of oakmoss, which is a presence throughout or even a horses’ hay and smokiness from the vetiver.

Wherever this deeper counter melody comes from it is welcome.

It creates an internal tension within the fragrance that takes it from the realms of a good perfume to a great one.

Caleche is an expertly simple song of spring clean freshness and summer flowers set in opposition to an aromatic and animalic choral accompaniment.

It is a ride through dangerous streets at the dead of night in a beautifully appointed carriage.

Both men and women may ride in this coach, but neither for very long, it only takes short journeys.

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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