Hermes Pamplemousse Rose: More than just another rose & grapefruit perfume

It's September now, and I am trying Hermes Pamplemousse Rose again after several months of it laying forgotten (but organized) in my large perfume sample stash. I received a spray sample of it as a birthday gift from my mother, and I liked it enough when I tried it initially, but it paled in comparison to Rose Ikebana (which had inspired me to seek out the other rose and grapefruit fragrances created by Jean Claude Ellena).

But now, after several months of letting it sit idle, I am sampling it once again. Why? Because Pamplemousse Rose just hit the discounters, just 4 mere months after it's initial launch, and I wanted to see how that could happen. Plus, there's an additional 20% off sale through Labor Day, meaning that I could score a 3.4oz bottle for just $50. That's roughly half what it initially sold for at Hermes boutiques.

It's an eau de cologne which comes in a large splash bottle, and according to JCE, is meant to be splashed and not sprayed. Rather than a true rose and grapefruit scent, on me, Pamplemousse Rose is a tart sparkling pink grapefruit scent, with hints of orangle, grapefruit pulp, orange rind, and a slightly sweet floral touch. It's labeled unisex, and I would agree-- much more so than the other Hermes which I enjoy. However, like other Hermes fragrances, I find that "unisex" means something different than with other houses: on a woman, I would find this feminine. On a man, I would find it crisp and clean. And the smell of it reminds me of my grandfather, who ate a pink grapefruit nearly every morning of his life, along with a large cup of tea.

Grapefruit is a tough note. On many people, and in many compositions, you'll get the dreaded "cat pee" smell. Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Pamplelune did this on me. I found it completely unwearable.

But the Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is quite different. It never veers towards cat pee. It reminds me slightly of the Frederick Malle Bigarade Concentree. There's something slightly... sexualized... in this perfume. I would estimate that comes from the ingredients creating the "orange" accords. But it's cleaner and less softer than Bigarade Concentree, and more feminine.

Where before, I felt I could live without it, I've spent the entire day today with my nose glued to my wrist, sniffing and reapplying.

Perfume Review: Eau de Pamplemousse Rose
Perfume House: Hermes
Creator / Nose: Jean Claude Ellena
Year: 2009
Classification: Citrus Aromatic
Perfume Notes: Grapefruit pulp, orange rind, lemon, pink grapefruit and rhubofix
What you mostly smell: Mouth water, tart grapefruit (with a hint of not-yet melted sugar dusting the top)
Lasting Power: Sadly Short (it's an eau de cologne) but a joy to reaply
Similar to: Distant cousin of Bigarade Concentree, with a cleaner and more metrosexual happy tartness
Overall impression: A refreshing, tart fragrance that would work equally well on either gender. True pink grapefruit.


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