What The Husband Smells Like – Review: Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver

I cunningly managed to get the husband inside the Vienna Hermès boutique recently, because I needed him to try the new re-orchestration by Jean-Claude Ellena of Hermès’s classic men’s scent, Bel Ami (created in 1986 by Jean-Louis Sieuzac) called Bel Ami Vétiver.

Luckily the husband was -quite predictibly, I know the man – enamoured enough to buy himself an bottle and obviously befuddled enough from all the sniffing that he wanted to buy me a new scarf. Well, who am I to deny him his wish? 🙂 Both of us strolled out happily half an hour later, clutching our respective orange bags in our respective hands, buoyed by a feeling of happiness and lightness (the latter obviously thanks to the considerably lighter wallet).


Bel Ami Vétiver was created by Jean-Claude Ellena in 2014 and includes notes of cardamom, elemi, basil, carnation, iris, patchouli, Russian leather, vetiver, amber, civet, styrax and vanilla.

Bel Ami Vétiver is a beautiful leather scent, starting out spicy. rolling into a gorgeous floral bouquet and ending in an ambered leather lightened and freshened throughout by a smooth vetiver note.

The perfume reminds me very much of a sadly discontinued gem, Cuir de Lancome. That I compare Bel Ami Vétiver to a “women’s” scent, only goes to show that both are perfectly genderless and to be worn equally by men and women (see, how that makes my Hermès scoop even more cunning? This is a bottle for both of us, hehehehe.)

Longevity is very good, Bel Ami Vétiver stays with me for at least eight hours before fading slowly out of existence.

I was reluctant to wear my bottle of Cuir de Lancome regularly although it is my favorite leather scent, always painfully aware of its staturs of irreplacability. I worry no more. Bel Ami Vétiver is a very adequate, if less sweet, replacement and it comes in a gorgeous bottle to boot.

The New Scarf - Carré Cube by Henry d'Origny

The New Scarf – Carré Cube by Henry d’Origny

hermes carre cube cw 04I can say once more: Jean -Claude to the rescue!


About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Amber, Fragrance Reviews, Hermès, Leather, Spicy, Vetiver and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to What The Husband Smells Like – Review: Hermès Bel Ami Vétiver

  1. Cheri says:

    I love my dwindling bottle of Lancome Cuir.
    I stumbled upon my current bottle about three year’s ago.
    Just how “vetivery” (is that a word, haha) is the Hermes Bel Ami Vetiver? Is it more on the “green” side or earthier?
    It sounds like your mini shopping trip with the husband was quite pleasant. I can’t drag my husband anywhere near a fragrance counter. 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      I don’t find it very vetivery. 🙂 The vetiver adds an additional smoky facet to the leather and the perfume is less sweet than Cuir de Lancome, but all in all I am happy with this as a replacement.

      It was a very unusual behaviour for the husband to actually enter a boutique without protestations, a very lovely exception. 😉

  2. lucasai says:

    I need to try that new interpretation of Bel Ami, as well as the remake of Hiris. The “old” Hiris doesn’t smell really good on me, maybe the new one will?

  3. Sandra says:

    What a wonderful weekend! Enjoy your beautiful perfume and scarf.

  4. Tara says:

    Well played B! This was definitely a win-win 🙂

    A good replacement for Lancome’s Cuir is a great compliment. Excited to try the new Hiris too after your comment above.

    Your new scarf is just beautiful. That design is positively 3D.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Ha, yes, well played. 🙂 I’m not sure Hiris is different, but my sample is very old so that could be the reason the new version is smoother… must investigate.

  5. poodle says:

    Bravo to you for getting him in the store and getting him to buy not just the perfume but the scarf too. I’m sure you both smell and look fabulous!

  6. Figuier says:

    What a gorgeous scarf – orange and red are two of my favourite colours, and the grey is just perfec, toning them down and giving them a properly chic edge. I’m also fascinated to hear that Bel Ami Vetiver resembles Cuir d L; makes me very keen to try it.

    From what Lucas wrote, it sounds like Hiris is being reorchestrated? Since when, and by whom, & …? I do like Hiris, although I sold my bottle a few years ago because I hardly ever wore it. Curious to hear more about this new verions…

  7. Asali says:

    Mmm, I like the sound of that perfume. And what a beautiful scarf., congrats on both. Do you think Hiris was reformulated? I thought it was just a new bottle. I suppose a little visit to the local Hermes shop could be planned 🙂

  8. On every level you are a lucky girl Birgit. If Jin was to duck me into an Hermes and shop I’d keel over dead on the spot.
    Nice one husband.
    Portia xx

  9. Lynne says:

    What a beauty Bel-Ami vetiver is! From my sample I got Vetiver Tonka meets Bel-Ami. A lovely combo. (with a little leather) Hope it comes to the states soon. Love your scarf, too! 🙂

  10. Kandice says:

    Lucky you – a beautiful new scarf and a new scent to borrow shamelessly! Good for you 🙂

  11. cj says:

    ooh, I love your new scarf! Bel Ami Vetiver sounds wonderful. I’ll definitely have to try it, even though I have enough of the gorgeous Cuir de Lancome stockpiled to last me for years. It sounds like this might be different enough to justify having both;)

  12. Vanessa says:

    Like cj, I have Cuir de Lancome all stockpiled up – wasn’t taking any chances when a bottle recently came up on Amazon. But much as I love it, I am also curious to try something in the same ballpark, and I am not familiar with even the old Bel Ami. The scarf is lovely – do you have a special display rack for them all, or do they live in a drawer?

  13. Undina says:

    It’s a beautiful scarf! And now I feel curious about the perfume as well (I still might buy a bottle of Cuir de Lancome though).

  14. anitathepianist says:

    Ah, how nice – both the fragrance and the new scarf I too have a treasured bottle of Cuir de Lancome, and use it sparingly because it can’t be replaced. Thank goodness that Amber de Merveilles is still with us. I hope it never leaves. I’ll try the new one and share it with my darling husband. He wears only what I give him, since he never wore fragrance before we were married. I have expanded his world..(-:

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is great! He is a lucky guy. Maybe he likes this one too… I’m sure Ambre des Merveilles will be around for a long time, Hermès does not believe in discontinuing things.

  15. hajusuuri says:

    Nice scarf pattern…like an updated M.C. Escher drawing in color! I’m now curious to try Bel Ami and Hiris — I believe Macy’s Herald Square already carries these.

  16. nemo says:

    What beautiful colors in the scarf! Bel Ami also sounds great, and I love your story to go with it 🙂 I have been trying to get my bf to try putting on some perfumes for a few months now, but he stubbornly refuses to have anything to do with it. If only he’d try a dab or two of Vetiver Tonka!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thanks! 🙂

      If it is any consolation, it took me years to get the husband where he is now. He used to be just as stubborn and uninterested as your bf. Vetiver Tonka is fabulous, maybe one day he’ll buy a bottle… 🙂

  17. That is a beautiful new scarf! The perfect accompaniment for a bottle of Bel Ami 🙂

  18. Pingback: Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Vetiver Perfume? | Olfactoria's Travels

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