Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

Eau de Gentiane Blanche

Hermès, 2009

Nose: Jean-Claude Ellena

Eau de gentiane blanche by Hermes

Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermes

Verrrry! Intriguing, bitter… Amaro, if I may, for there is a delightful nuance of full-bodied matté texture sensation in this cologne. Just like that exquisite sensation on your tongue, left by rich and mature red wine… Velvety is the word that sometimes is used to describe that feeling; although to me, it is too soft a descriptor (which is not to say that Eau de Gentiane Blanche is ‘hard’ or ‘rough’). The fragrance has that scent and taste of repugnantly bitter, yet alluring Artemisia (a family name to numerous plants, incl. wormwood, mugwort). The perfume is dry, but not astringent; still, when inhaled, it gives me that heady sensation of imploding, airless moment, as if it was consuming all the air around, giving the heart that uncontrollable extra kick of the heartbeat, subconsciously prepping for something yet to come. Definitely keeps me on toes.

As a linear cologne, this eau formula has simple (but not simplistic) structure, from the beginning, throughout the day, late into the evening, and the closing dry-down. Surprising, Eau de Gentiane Blanche is long-lived on my skin!, unlike all other Hermès Les Colognes, to which I do have a certain weakness, I admit. Surprising, for this cologne wears much more like eau de toilette rather than a short-lived colognes, all charmingly capricious and quick to scent away, as lovely as they appear…

I absolutely love that tart take on cologne formula…  It is unwilted and very much ‘fresh’ (hey, it’s a cologne!), although in a rather arresting and finger-pointing manner. Consequently, I can see why Eau de Gentiane Blanche may not be a first choice to wear by somebody, who wants tired / tiresome / and tiring ‘clean and fresh’ mainstream descriptor of abuse… (Quite to the contrary of the ‘classic’ Eau d’Orange Verte (1979, Françoise Caron), which is one of my favourites!)

Anyway, the perfume almost forces you to grapple with it, to pull some muscle. And to me, that imaginary exercise is exactly what gets me focused, on the toes, sharp minded and ‘in the moment’. I find it a wonderful achievement for the eau de cologne. and I think it wil lsoon become

Notes: gentian root, iris, incense, white musk


Other perfume reviews of Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès:


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2 thoughts on “Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès

    • Yes, that soft, yet dry layer of bitterness speaking through some of these colognes is what got me ‘hooked’ when I first came across L’Orange Vert, and so appealingly realised with Gentiane. I also often think of Epice Marine here, and wonder if ‘Les Cologne’ rather than Hermenessence, would be a better ‘place’ for that one? Just imagining how that wonderful cardamom (on me it’s pure, yet light cardamom, lifted by that marine molecules, but without the sicking ‘ozonic’ effect) could have been played with, within the cologne genre… It speaks so nicely to Gentiane.
      (Btw: As much as I can gather form reading your impressions on perfumes, guess it’s not surprise that Ellena’s take may not be particularly resonating with yours… 🙂 Which is all the more interesting to hear that you liked this one!

      Like

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