………..GREY VELVET: POIVRE SAMARCANDE by Hermès (2004)

The Black Narcissus

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Recently we looked at Terre D’Hermès, the magically disappearing/reappearing masculine sensation by Hermès in-house alchemist Jean Claude Ellena.

This curious olfactory phenomenon, whereby a fragrance seems to have vanished entirely, only to sneak up behind you in great clouds of secrecy, and which I believe is unique to this perfumer alone, is not, however, limited to the ubiquitous Terre. It is even more impressive in the underrated, Houdini-esque Poivre Samarcande from the Hermessence Collection: a broody, peppery moss and spice scent that is invisible, almost, on first application, yet will suddenly surrender its dark grey velvet cloaks in the night like the Hooded Claw, revealing a troubling heart that can be smelled from the other side of the street – just not necessarily by the person that is wearing it.

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One of Duncan’s Holy Grails, Poivre Samarcande is almost too dastardly suave, dry and sexy for me ( I never…

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