Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Hermès Amazone (Original 1974 Version)

I have a tiny bottle of Hermès Amazone in its original 1974 version. It's the parfum extrait and it's glorious. Of course it is- hyacinth, cassis, bergamot, geranium, rose and jasmine over a wood-vetiver-oakmoss base. Amazone used to be a very well-mannered fruity chypre. Less wildness and raw feeling than the vintage ads would let you believe, but still a lot of fun and depth.

Those of us who think of fruity scents in terms of BBW body sprays and other typical mall pink juices are often surprised when discovering how beautiful a fruit notes used to be when they were treated right and paired with oakmoss instead of vanilla. All of a sudden, cassis is just pulpy and sweet enough to make the rose more red and the other floral notes come alive and sparkle.

Was the perfume supposed to evoke the rain forest jungles or the fearless women warriors? The latter if to judge by the ads, but to be honest I get neither. It might be the hyacinth, but I find Amazone to be very romantic, well-dressed and coiffed and every bit as one would expect a vintage Hermes to smell- an elegant woman in a pencil skirt, good jewelry and a Kelly bag, her heels clicking on the pavement as she hurries to meet her lover in the afternoon. There's just a hint of naughty thoughts, a glimpse of lace under the silk blouse and a careful waft of the delicious perfume following her.

Don't blame me. It's the oakmoss. Maybe that's why the stupid bureaucrats banned it.

Today's version of Hermès Amazone is much more fruity, watery and altogether pointless. The vintage has become nearly impossible to find, especially in parfum, though it sometimes pops on eBay. Take note that sellers who use stock photos of the old bottles are often utterly unaware that they're actually selling the new version in the modern bottle.

Notes: hyacinth, galbanum, bergamot, jasmine, cassis, muguet, orris, rose, oakmoss, cedarwood, vetiver, amber.

Vintage Amazone ads:


  1. the original version still looks so classic and stylish

  2. I'm a big fan of oakmoss too. The Hermes fragrance sounds beautiful.

  3. That stock photo usage annoys me to the nth degree - I once sent a message to a seller asking what the bottle of Jolie Madame actually looked like, and the reply was something like, "We don't do that until you buy." Nuts to THAT - I found my prereformulation JM elsewhere.

  4. The original is my favorite winter scent. It's crisp and citrusy just perfect for right now, winters with lots of snow. I was running low and wanted to find more but now am worried that I won't be able to find it.....

  5. Hi Gaia,
    I finally got gas-chromatography on Vintage Amazone EdT, with results, analysis and discussion.
    What a find, to discover real rose, jasmine, narcissus in one of my favourite perfumes!
    cheers, Andre


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