Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose

...a smart olfactory slap to the face.

Lately, I've been binging on a solid diet of high-calorie perfumes: Frédéric Malle Portrait of a Lady, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue Pour le Soir, Chanel Coromandel. I could cite winter's chill as an excuse for my wanton consumption of these thick orientals, but only if I can cite summer's chill for wearing the same fattening fragrances in the dog days of July. Bottom line is, I like bottom-heavy scents, whether I'm in a snowstorm or sunshine. In order not to end up with a case of perfume-induced gout, from time to time I will wear the equivalent of a between-course sorbet. Something to provide a break from all the incense and animals and patchouli. And Hermès Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is a lovely sorbet of a scent. Pamplemousse Rose's zesty, invigorating grapefruit is butched up with a teeny bit of wood, and lashed up with a lace or two of leather. It's an elegant way to deliver a couple of smart olfactory slaps to the face, especially if like me, you're dazed from winter's -- and summer's -- rosy-amber overload.
Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is available from, starting at $50 for 100 ml


  1. Grapefruit? Pink grapefruit? mmmm, think I'll pass on this one. I've tried to appreciate Ellena's 'transparent' fragrances, but I'm just not a sheer type of gal, I guess.

    I'm with ya on the lovely heady heavy frags, and to give myself a break and keep the nose in good sniffing condition, I turn to lovely Sous le Vent, those trade winds fit my need for invigorating lighter scents :)

  2. I always enjoy your choice of words :) almost like a tongue dance through the world of perfume.

    I, too, am a caloric glutton when it comes to perfume but 2010 was the year I came to appreciate many 'slap in the face' sheer, tart and refreshing scents. I liked Eau de Pamplemousse Rose more than I thought and would also recommend Un Jardin Sur La Nil, Atelier Orange Sanguinne or Diptyque Oyedo for a similar bracing zestfulness.

    I've never been a lover of anything citrus but some of the great one's are truly fab.

  3. Kathy,

    Know what you mean - for me, wearing sheer perfume sometimes feels like taking my medicine.


    "Tongue dance"! Is that 1st base or 2nd?

    Oh yeah, that Atelier Orange Sanguine is one I can get behind, too.

  4. While I love the grapefruit in Pamplemousse Rose once it fades I lose all interest. On me it becomes nearly indistinguishable from Terre d'Hermes, of which I'm not a fan.

    When I'm craving light, tart and refreshing I go for Guerlain Acqua Allegoria Pamplelune. It maintains the grapefruit effect for a pretty long time before it fades into a really light floral/vanilla base. I wore it a lot this past summer and really grew to love it.

  5. Spike,

    I've got to admit that I also tune out when Pamplemousse Rose turns into Terre d'Hermes.

    But I can't say I've warmed to Guerlain Pamplelune yet. That cat pee thang it does...

  6. Hi Kathy, I am following your blog after having seen your comments at PerfumeSmellingThings. I love grapefruit, the citric scent and smell is so appealing. Pamplemousse and the big one, chadeque, that has a bit different smell. They all are very invigorating. Lovely blog, Happy New Year!

  7. This scent is perfect if you want simplicity and freshness!
    Ellena is actually playing with words in these Hermes colognes: Eau de Pamplemousse Rose stands for Pamplemousse+Rose, and Eau de Gentiane Blanche for Gentiane+White musc.

  8. Great review, Katie. Eau de Pamplemousse Rose is a real "slap on the face" grapefruit, and one of the fragrances that preserve better the "zestyness"of citric notes during the drydown. To be completely honest, I don't like leather on my fragrances (I prefer it on my handbags), but this one doesn't really bother me. It's simple and very refined at the same time. But from this Hermès series, I still prefer Eau de Gentiane Blanche, just seems more wearable to me:)



  9. Hmmmm. I thought I wanted to try this one - perhaps I'll just layer (ack! I cannot believe I just said that) the Guerlain AAP with a rose instead.

  10. Vintage Lady, thanks for directing me to Kathy's blog, Gracewood Stitches. Kathy, I'm intrigued by your applying the concept of perfume top/heart/basenotes to your cross stitch creations. From synesthesia to stitch-e-thesia.

    Federico, not just regular ol' simplicity, either. A rather clever-clogs simplicity that's no accident.

    Sabrina, Hermès is one-stop-shopping for every flavor of sheer, it would seem. But in perfume, not handbags. Those are solid.

    Bloody F - as for your perfume math, I don't smell a rose in PR, but that's not to say your equation wouldn't smell appealing...

  11. Happy New Year Katie!

    I am really interested in the idea of having a perfume "palette cleanser" once in a while. January is also the best time as everyone is detoxing.

    However I'm craving incense frags right now and am trying hard not to order a bottle of L'Artisan's Dzongkha unsniffed. Ill admit it - I'm a Fat Bottomed Fragrance Girl too, they are just too comforting.

    I don't think its any coincidence that my fave Ellena is Ambre Narguile, which isn't exactly in his typical minimalist style.

    BTW, sounds like you got your full bottle of Portrait of a Lady for Christmas,fabulous!

  12. tara - Happy New Year to you, too! Haha, I didn't make the perfume detox connection, darn! Good one.

    Wearing my fat-bottomed Portrait of a Lady right this very moment, in fact!

  13. Hey Katie, glad you made it to Gracewood Stitches. I'm afraid fragrance permeates my life! And true to form, I didn't really 'see' any 'transparent' fumes when creating Heart Note Alley, lol

  14. Right Katie! You hit the spot! Nothing is left to the case in Hermes fragrances...

  15. Ouch Katie! I had to laugh on your remark on solid Hermès handbags. They are literally solid! I had an accident with mine during Christmas and almost lost the tip of my right little finger, by accidentally hitting my very cold hand on the metal lock, LOL. This will teach me about not going out without gloves during winter (or to stop showing off in family events with my Birkin, LOL).

    But back to fragrances, I shall admit that the last Hermès creation that really impressed me was Hiris. Not that I dislike the others, quite the contrary, but sometimes their fear of leaving their "comfort zone" annoys me a little. Voyage, for example, smells great but SO familiar! I can't put my finger on what it is, but seems all the lastest Hermès drydowns converge to the same point...

  16. With all your comments about the woodiness in Eau Pamp Rose, this Monty Python sketch came to mind :
    One can never have enough wood, apparently. I wonder if this was the inspiration for CdG Wonderwood?

  17. hahahaha Scott! I've never seen that Monty Python sketch before! Thanks for the alert.

    Sabrina, yep, there does indeed seem to be a convergence going on with Voyage, Pamplemousse Rose and Terre d'Hermes' drydowns...