The first thought I had last summer when I heard about the new version of Terre d'Hermes, an extrait de parfum (pure perfume concentration), was: "Why"?
It's not that I don't like the original EDT. On the contrary- while it didn't work for the husband, I wear it myself and enjoy it a lot. But as anyone familiar with Hermès masculine bestseller will tell you, this stuff is very strong and tenacious. Terre d'Hermes is hardly the first candidate for a richer, deeper formula. Had anyone asked me which Hermes fragrance I'd like to see as a pure perfume I'd beg for Hiris. Obviously, they didn't request my input.
Jean-Claude Elena , Hermès in-house perfumer and the nose behind Terre in both formulas didn't think, either, that the world needed a stronger version of the original. Honestly, I cannot imagine such a beast- the EDT is indestructible and survives 24 hours and a shower when I wear it. Monsieur Elena decided wisely to fine-tune the notes and elements of his creation. The best way I can explain the difference between the two is by talking about a certain texture they evoke. Terre d'Hermès in EDT can feel a bit coarse, like a very grainy sand (it's the earthy mineral note). The pure perfume feels more finely-milled. It's smoother and a little more suave. The citrus notes are surprisingly darker, longer lasting and retain a lot of the orange rind.
The parfum stays closer to the skin and has a touch of sweetness that doesn't appear in the EDT. The wood is a little mellow, polished and would probably appeal to more women who found the original too masculine to wear comfortably without compromising the core masculinity of the scent.
Terre d'Hermes Pure Perfume ($112, 2.5 oz) is available from select department stores and Hermes boutiques all over the world.
Photo: the construction of Hermes Manhattan men's store on Madison and 62nd from therealdeal.com