I tend to think of high quality floral perfumes, especially the ones containing iris-hyacinth-orange blossom, as very French. It's that classic perfumy vibe that says well-dressed and very pretty. The thing is, Hermès 24 Faubourg isn't really Dovima in Dior or a 1970s heroine of a melancholy French film that is not about to end well. 24 Faubourg is spring at Luxembourg Gardens, a picnic for two and an exuberant laughter on a balmy night.
It's Hermes, true, but 24 Faubourg never feels haughty. The perfumer behind it is Maurice Roucel who is master of the sensual, tactile and sweet (Musc Ravageur, Dans tes Bras, New Haarlem, Insolence, Le Labo Labdanum and many others). 24 Faubourg is all warmth and femininity, the silk lining of an exquisite coat and the space between the white blouse and the collarbones.
I wear the EDP (not a fan of the EDT, at least in its current formulation) and enjoy every minute of it. It's happy without goofiness and sweet without a trace of being foody or juvenile. The flowers are mostly white ones- lots of sweet orange blossom and jasmine, and the base is a smooth amber. 24 Faubourg is not really cuddly but radiating warmth. There's a chypre feeling there, but it's about patchouli and not oakmoss, so the impression is more modern (it is a 1995 creation and not a 1960s one), while still maintaining a classic posture. And, yes, it's very French and very Hermes.
This review is for the eau de parfum version of 24 Faubourg ($165, 3.3oz) on hermes.com
Photo: Catherine Deneuve for Vogue UK by David Bailey, 1966