Monday, March 16, 2009
Eau d'Orange Verte, My New "Everyday Scent"
If Terre d’Hermes was love at first sniff, then Eau d’Orange Verte, the next Hermes sample I tried, was love at third or fourth sniff. This juice smells wonderful in the vial, but for its first few seconds on my skin it always bears a disconcerting resemblance to Lemon Pledge®. Happily, that impression passes quickly enough, as the bright, welcoming citrus notes at the top of this scent fill out and envelop me more completely.
After a short while, patchouli comes to the forefront, but avoids straying into dirty hippie territory. Instead, the patchouli is restrained by the crisp tangy citrus, mint, and cedar smells. The overall effect is as affable as it is elegant. Eau d’Orange Verte is uncluttered and self-possessed, with an inviting warmth of character and a sense of wit that never stoops to pretension.
I absolutely adore Eau d’Orange Verte. Where Terre d’Hermes is comfortable and rugged and woodsy, with a depth that feels almost meditative, Eau d’Orange Verte is pure sensual delight. It's the feel of sunlight on your skin on a breezy spring day.
My partner really likes Eau d’Orange Verte, too, both on me and for herself. Shortly after trying it for the first time, I managed to track down an inexpensive splash bottle on eBay. With a little looking, this fragrance can be found at dirt-cheap prices. Because of its affordability and casual, feel-good personality, this has become my "everyday scent." It's the thing I splash on when I don't feel like thinking about it. Though it's generally thought of as a "summer fragrance," I find it adds a little cheer to the sometimes oppressive drear of a Maine winter day.
Most of the complaints I’ve read about Eau d’Orange Verte go something like this: “It smells amazing, but fades too quickly, leaving me heartbroken.” I know this is a common complaint about eau de colognes in general, though I haven’t personally noticed this problem with Eau d’Orange Verte. I apply it before work in the morning and can usually still smell it long past lunchtime. This is also a scent that works well on fabric. I like to let a few drops soak into the collar of my shirt, which not only allows the fragrance to hang on all day, but also brings out the cedar notes more strongly. I haven’t yet tried Concentré d’Orange Verte, which is supposed to be a decent approximation of the original, but with better staying power.
UPDATE: I'm wearing Concentré d'Orange Verte right now and, while it does smell very nice, it's nothing like the original. The concentre is more of a green, linear scent that, even for its similarities to Eau d'Orange Verte, doesn't capture the latter's swirling, sparkling brightness. Yes, it does last longer, but the tradeoff isn't worth it, for me. Eau d'Orange Verte is inexpensive enough that it's no problem to buy a large bottle of the stuff and reapply liberally throughout the day. That said, if I don't compare Concentré to the cologne, it stands on its own as a very good fragrance. It's another triumph for Mr. Ellena, but Hermes should have named it something else. These are two very distinct fragrances.
Image note: Like the name of the cologne, this image is orange and green. I chose the tie dye as a tongue in cheek reference to the strong patchouli at the heart, though, as I said above, Eau d’Orange Verte doesn’t smell like a head shop.