This year alone Unpacked EIC, Carlo Ople, and I have gone through the crazy process of acquiring almost 100 perfumes for the sake of, well, I really have no idea. The process started late last year when we started taking serious note of fragrances and the fragrance industry. While most perfume try to be “original” (if there ever really is such a thing on the art space) fragrances tend to bounce of each other every so often. There’s a lot of “this smells like that” in the perfume business and we here at Unpacked will try to pit similar scents together and see which ones deserve your hard earned money.
Since we’re still experiencing some freakishly hot weather out there we’re going to start with a summer favorite of ours: famed Terre d’Hermes by Hermes versus little known competitor L’Eau Boisee from the house of Guerlain.
While the two are different, they share some (if not a lot) of uncanny similarities. For one, they both exhibit a citrus and very dry vetiver, uh, dry down; and while L’Eau Boisee does not list any peppers as its ingredients, it does give off a faint peppery vibe similar to Terre d’Hermes. However, after this intersection, the two scents go very separate paths.
Terre d’Hermes, feels warmer than L’Eau Boisee and this is in part due to the (actual) peppers included. The usage of orange creates a rounder overall scent as well – not as clean and linear as Boisee’s lime. The Grapefruit gives Terre the opening sting it needs to shock you into acceptance.
L’eau Boisee on the other hand operates on a different front. It’s not abrasive and forceful. Like a cool mojito on a warm sunny afternoon, Boisee seeps into you – cooling you before revealing the soft warmth of the vetiver and rum. Boisee is a sleeper scent wherein it opens very faint and almost disappointingly non-existent but after 15-20 minutes it makes its presence felt and he does so for a long, looooong time.
We tested Terre d’Hermes and L’Eau Boisee in terms of longevity and we found out that when Terre decides to subside and stay calm, that’s when Boisee starts his number.
Price-wise, L’eau Boisee comes off php 2200.00 cheaper than Hermes as well.
However, that’s not to say that Terre D’Hermes is on the losing front. While more expensive, Terre d’Hermes is slightly more versatile than L’Eau Boisee. It’s an excellent scent that can be worn all year-round because it doesn’t come across too fresh or too woody. It’s a scent that can be worn during the day and can also be worn on some nights. The peppers and wood make Terre D’Hermes suitable for an early evening affair while the sharp and rounded citrus makes it perfect for day wear. In contrast, L’Eau Boisee is a marvel at day time but is hard to pair with during night (unless you’re in Havana having a margarita or mojito). The freshness of Lime & Mint of Boisee lends itself just a bit too linear, clean and uber fresh.
Aside from versatility, Terre d’Hermes also got us more compliments than Boisee. In fact, to this day, I have yet to get a compliment from wearing L’Eau Boisee. This could probably be due to the fact that Boisee’ scent sits a little bit too close to the skin versus Hermes that announces its presence to the room immediately. So, for an additional 2200 pesos, you have a scent that’s a bit more versatile and garners better compliments which also happens to be part of the uber luxurious fashion house of Hermes.
With better versatility and compliment-getting factor, Jean Claude-Ellena’s seminal Terre d’Hermes emerges as this round’s winner. We do have to note that both fragrances are amazing on their own right and we urge you to still go out and test both of these. You can try Guerlain L’Eau Boisee at Rustan’s Beauty Section and Terre d’Hermes at Hermes boutiques, Rustan’s or Art of Scent stores.