"My Terre d'Hermes is no longer the same as before!
...the scent seems different!"
TERRE d' HERMES, EdT: reformulated or not?
Many loyal followers asked for a comparating-review of "TERRE d'HERMES" EdT, since apparently there are many differences between years. If you read something about it (on websites such as Fragrantica, Basenotes, Parfumo, etc.), you will find plenty of arguments in favor and against a reformulation, and differences apparently due to amounts of "Iso E Super" contained in the mixture.
So, what about "reformulations"?
Well, thanks to great friend Gianni (owner of a perfume shop and generous scents provider) and extra help provided by Donato and Claudia, there are nine different samples of Terre d'Hermes EdT available for testing (since 2009), plus the "PARFUM" and the "EAU TRES FRAICHE" bottles.
Here we have 9 different samples, tested in the same moment and in the same room.
TERRE d'HERMES, Eau de Toilette
Nine different Batches from years 2009 - 2011- 2012 - 2013 - 2014, and precisely:
1 batch from year 2009
1 batch from year 2011
2 batches from year 2012
2 batches from year 2013
3 batches from year 2014
(TERRE d'HERMES EdT arrived on the shelves in 2006, so nothing can be affirmed about the period 2006-2008, since tests begin with the "year 2009" bottle)
Here are the pictures:
|Batch 9ACBY = year 2009|
|Batch 1ACCS = year 2011|
|Batch 2FAAX = year 2012|
|Batch 2HAAD =year 2012|
|Batch 3LCAI = Year 2013|
|Batch 3FBAI = year 2013|
|Batch 4FADC = year 2014|
|Batch 4EAPC = year 2014|
|Batch 4ECAL = year 2014|
And here is the whole group of nine paper strips, for "open" and "blind" trials.
RESULTS: interestingly, there aren't "notable" differences between samples. The only relatively small difference is between the bottle "year 2009" and the others. But it's a minor difference, you have to stay focused to detect it.
|Only a small difference between year 2009 and other samples.|
The other eight batches from 2011 to 2014 smell exactly the same (PARFUM and EAU TRES FRAICHE apart) when tested in the same time and conditions.
So, why so many people affirm there are "notable differences" between different bottles? Well, it took a bit of time and several experiments and discussions, but maybe an answer exists. Apparently, TERRE d'HERMES is a very temperature-dependent scent. I found some "notable differences" in the same TERRE d'HERMES sample, when tested at different temperatures.
Look at thes two picture below.
In the first one, I tested TERRE d'HERMES outside, at cold temperature, sprayed on paper and on the back of the hand: (temperature 10 °C , or 45 °F). Wait a few minutes. Scent is very crisp and the "orange" note literally shines.
|TERRE d'HERMES on both paper strip and skin.|
Temperature 10°C = 45°F
And then I tested exactly the same batch inside home, at warm temperature ( 24 °C, 75°F). Again, wait a few minutes.Well, differences are quite noticeable. At warmer temperature, notes are softer and more balanced.
So, the scent "appears" different, without being different at all (actually, it's the same).
|TERRE d'HERMES on both paper strip and skin.|
Temperature 24°C = 75°F
Since a scientific comparison is almost impossible unless you have proper equipment, I put (quickly!) "cold" and "warm" paper strip aside to verify this assessment. And yes, it's true. The same sample has "notable differences". The "cold" strip is brightier and sharper, on the contrary, the "warm" one is softer.
|"Cold" and "warm" stripes.|
Conclusion: TERRE d'HERMES has not suffered any "heavy reformulation" (batches tested under the same conditions). Most likely, a light reformulation happened after 2009, but it's negligible, and you can forget it.
What we call "post-2011 reformulations", are probably only a consequence of temperature. Under the same conditions, all batches since year 2011 smell exactly the same.
But, smelling a single batch and varying the temperature, you could think to deal with "reformulated" scents.
In a nutshell, if you wear TERRE d'HERMES outside, in the streets, you will smell a definite scent. On the contrary, if you wear TERRE d'HERMES inside home, or in the office, it will appear a different ("reformulated") scent.
Personally I like TERRE d'HERMES and, in this case, I would not pay much attention to different years and batches, unless for collection purpose.
All differences do not depend on the chemical composition, but only by external conditions.
A final word for the two flankers: what about "PARFUM"? Well, it is not a stronger, more concentrate version of EdT. It basically shares the same top notes with the EdT. The real difference is the strongly "woody" heart- and base-notes. If you like a "woody" TERRE d'HERMES scent, you could prefer the PARFUM over the EdT.
About the EAU TRES FRAICHE, it's very fresh and light (and a short-longevity scent indeed...), but it's not the classic "TERRE d'HERMES" anymore. If you like fresh scents, you could give it a try, but keep in mind, it has only little resemblance with the original EdT.