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Friday, June 6, 2014

Refresh Yourself With a Dash (or Two) of Hermès

   Back in 2006, Hermès debuted Terre d'Hermès, a crisp, flinty, masculine fragrance created by the label's celebrated in-house perfumer, Jean-Claude Ellena. We here at Fashion As a 2nd Language were practically present at the birth of Terre (you can read our account of it here), so we perked up our ears when Hermès announced the arrival of a sibling with a strapping big name: Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche. Translated loosely from the fullsome language of French perfumery, that simply means "refreshing water from the realm of Hermès." Refreshing water, indeed –– with a delicious smell.

   Having written about fragrance ad nauseum for many years (including the general cheapening of many formulas, and the lamentable rise of so-called "celebrity" perfumes), we now make it standard practice to discount press materials that attempt to conjure olfactory poetry. Instead, we apply the simplest and most basic of criteria: Does a perfume (or cologne, or eau de quelquechose) smell good? In the case of Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche, the answer is, yes, it smells very good. Even better, it smells distinctive –– a bit like its brother, Terre d'Hermès, but with bursts of grapefruit, orange, something woodsy, and, best of all, something salty, like the warm skin of a man at the beach. If you still need a Father's Day gift, this would make a nice one. And, if a bottle happens to find its way onto your bathroom vanity, so much the better. As always, we suggest visiting your nearest fragrance shop and trying it for yourself. Happy spritzing!

Photograph by Mark Grischke