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citrus

A new year of ventures and aspirations deserves to be inaugurated with the right fragrance. My choice was Voyage d’Hermès for my first day at work in 2012. 

Voyage d’Hermès is a recent creation (2010) from Jean-Claude Ellena. Voyages are a re-occuring theme at Hermès. If you look at the ambitious catalogues and films that Hermès create, as well as their website, you will see that there is often a feeling of expedition in the story. The logo itself with the calèche evokes the feeling of travelling and the saddles are also a part of ventures.

Voyage is unisex, or as Hermès say ”shared”. Ellena belongs to the perfumers who call gender labels for perfumes a commercial construction. If you have read my post on pour homme and pour femme you already know how I feel about the matter.

Voyage is a woody fragrance with musk and carries a kind of undefined feeling. When you apply it, the first impression is very fresh but dry, vital, the citrus is strong but has a slight coarsness. It definitely awakens you, like a kiss in the neck from a freshly shaved man. But after a moment it softens and the woody stability appears as well as the cardamom.

Some Ellena-experts say that this is a typical Ellena perfume. I agree. It has that rare combination of depth and simplicity that Ellena creates.


The bottle is designed by Philippe Mouquet, an in-house designer at Hermès, and inspired by a magnifying glass.

The launch of Voyage was accompanied by ambitious films, according to Hermès tradition. You find  this one on Hermès web site and then there was a beautiful commercial. This is the long version.

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In Stockholm there is a place for yoga called Yogayama. If
you ever come here, and are a yogi, I recommend you drop in for a class or just
stop by for lunch upstairs. In the winter there is an open fire and the whole
place smells of beautiful soothing incense and chai. During a recent visit I
lingered for a while around the shelves with candles, incense and fragrances. I
discovered a brand called Jimmy Boyd (sounds like a friend of the Rat Pack
rather than a nose doesn’t he?). Unpretentious clear bottles of soft
breezy fragrances that made me think of washed bed linen swaying on a cord to dry in the sun. I left with a ”water”, Limón y rosa. On the bottle it is
written, ”Produced with love”. I like that… The fragrance is an
aromatherapeutical mix of citrus and rose that can be used for the body or
spaces.

This fragrance really stands out in my collection
which, as you might suspect by now, has several orientals and very few florals or citrus fragrances. The
closest, and actually very close, is my summer favorite Escale a Portofino. In
fact, this breezy thing feels like a virgin version of that one.
My agua fresca de limón y rosa soothes me, and I find it an
excellent option for times when I don’t feel like making an advanced perfume
choice or in a situation where a heavy scent is not appropriate. This fills a
void for me as I have been inclined to go all or nothing and felt an emptiness
of the olfactory soul on the days when it was nothing. I have used Rain from Demeter on such days, but we suddenly started to disagree.
But back to Jimmy Boyd. His real name is James Joseph Boyd
(and now he starts to sound like a writer friend of Henry James, doesn’t he?)
and he was born in Barcelona. His career as a perfumer started with studies in
Grasse under the tutorship of Marcel Carles. (Bonus fact: Marcel Carles’ father
was a mentor to Jacques Polge). I look forward to getting to know the nose of
Mr Boyd better.