April 21, 2018
Hermes Eau de Citron Noir by Robert H
Learning of a new fragrance release from Hermes makes me jump for joy, and the past month or so has seen a veritable blitzkrieg of new perfumes from the house; the very latest being Eau De Citron Noir. In its deep sapphire blue bottle, Citron Noir is built around an accord using Middle Eastern Black Lime as its base, a smoked and preserved citrus used in cooking and food preparation. It’s a common staple throughout the Middle East kitchens; “Noomi Basra” in Persia, (or most commonly “Loomi”) and it can be a challenging and a hard love for many Westerners. Its pungent/fermented sun-dried presence can overwhelm and a little goes a long way. Fortunately Christine Nagel has used a light touch in Hermes Eau De Citron Noir, and the dry smoky bitter note adds something deep and interesting to the composition as a whole.
Christine Nagel of Hermes©
“Following a path through the olfactory universe of hesperidia led me into a vast world, dotted with surprises, with citrus fruits. Finger lime, Buddha's hand fruit, Eureka lemon… So many unusual varieties of citrus appealed to me, but it was the smoky and distinguished black lime that finally stood out as the key note." -Christine Nagel
Buddha's hand fruit via flickr
Hermes Eau De Citron Noir is akin to bottled umami, that elusive fifth savory taste that chefs strive for in their culinary pursuits. Opening with an almost floral blast of citrus, the black lime accord very quickly adds a smoky and pungent depth to the perfume which lasts throughout the drydown to the very end. The tea note adds to the overall astringency and the guiac wood, although slightly synthetic smelling, manages to help smooth out any rough edges
Crack seed/ Li Hing Mui via tumblr
This is a scent that I find personally comforting; it takes me right back to my winter childhoods on Maui in the 60’s. It is the scent of that Hawaiian “crack seed” that keiki (children) and Aunties snack on while gossiping, playing cards or just hanging around. Crack seed, originating in Asia as way to preserve fruit and seeds through drying, salting, and sugaring, is a long-time tradition in the islands that kids are raised on. My favorite was always the dried salty/sweet/sour red plums called Li Hing Mui, and the scent of Eau De Citron Noir is just that. Hermes Eau De Citron Noir (like crack seed) may not appeal to everyone, but when we bought our bottle in Paris at the flagship Nocibé store on Champs Élysées last week, the SA informed us that it had been flying off the shelf, and was a huge hit with the BCBG (Bon Chic Bon Genre) crowd, and I can see why. For them it may be something exotic and different, but for me it is a part of my childhood bottled.
Disclosure: The bottles and opinions are my own.
-Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Thanks to Senior Editor Robert Herrmann, we have a 50 ml. bottle of Hermes Eau De Citron Noir for one registered reader In the USA, so be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s review of Hermes Eau De Citron Noir and what taste do you crave…savory, salty, sweet, sour, bitter or umami. Draw closes on 4/25/2018.