On a quest for Earth !

Cornerstone of masculine’s perfumery, Terre d’Hermès has stood as a timeless bestseller. Portrait of a groundbreaking elixir.

Modified on
May 18th 2022

Bertille Jamin, Samuel Fillon


The strength of nature encapsulated in a bottle, the balance between Man and Earth, the clash between citrus and the roughness of wood. A little over 15 years ago, Jean-Claude Ellena achieved complete unanimity among the male audience thanks to this Eau de Toilette. With its influential presence, Terre d'Hermès glows with understated elegance and charm throughout the House of Saddlery's fragrance collections. Enjoy a 360° overview of a telluric masterpiece. 

The origins of Terre d'Hermès 

The Hermes house had been quiet on its men's fragrance collection since 1998. In fact, the launch of Rocabar by Gilles Romay - which Jean Claude Ellena described as "a fragrance for wanderers attracted by wide open spaces" - secured its place as the signature fragrance of the Homme d'Hermès for eight years. 

The House of Hermès finally decided to bring out a new embodiement of L'Homme Hermès in 2006, a little less than ten years later. Since its debut, Terre d'Hermès has topped the sales charts for men's fragrances, earning the title of second best-selling fragrance in France in 2010 according to NPD. This outstanding success is rooted in a well-managed launch and a fragrance designed with the utmost finesse. Sophistication is Hermès' universe. 

Jean-Claude Ellena, the official perfumer of the House of Hermès since 2004, has played on the concept of "Earth" to create this upright woody note. Il raconte sa création avec un imaginaire très poussé : « He described his creation with a strong imagination: "I am a watercolorist. My wife, Susannah, whom I met when we were 17, is Irish... I recalled an Irish moorland landscape with just a stick in the ground, hammered by man. The stick symbolizes a human intervention. I set out from this idea of a man standing on the earth. I sought a wooden vertical smell". 

What does Terre d’Hermès smell like ? 

Head notes : Orange, Peppercorn and grapefruit

Heart notes : Pelargonium

Basis notes : Vetiver, Cedar, Patchouli and Benzoin

Cedar, then. Here they are, these vertical wood notes. Ellena has not stopped in his exploration: "Sandalwood is too languid, too flat. I selected cedar, very vigorous, rounded out by a flinty scent. For a menswear, I needed some freshness, so I included grapefruit."

An explosive cocktail combining freshness and edginess for our greatest pleasure. 

Moderate but long-lasting, Terre d'Hermès is a versatile fragrance that can easily be worn at the office or in the evening, all year round. Its subtle - but distinctive - elegance makes it an easy-to-wear fragrance.

How does Terre d'Hermès look like? 


Advertising campaign banner featuring the Terre d'Hermès perfume bottle

Its geometric shape, amber-colored fragrance, and ergonomic cap are the hallmarks of a refined perfume, far from the glitzy fragrances of the early 20th century. The design emphasizes the use of orange and brown shades, reflecting the earthy and citrus color as well as paying a tribute to the famous Orange d'Hermès, the House's iconic and recognizable signature.The bottom of the bottle shapes an H in the glass, providing the only truly distinctive trademark of the House of Hermès. 

Brand ambassador and advertisement

Calm and cryptic, he blends into the landscape, enjoying his surroundings, feeling alive. Suddenly, Mother Nature reveals a stretch of water mirroring the sky and the earth, a new environment for him to dive into, shattering the mirror in a combination of earthy dust and darkness, before rising towards the sun and vanishing:the time has come for him to pursue his wanderings towards another uncharted land. 

By directing, Laurence Dunmore managed to perfectly grasp the spirit of Terre d'Hermès by giving a sense of the harmony between the wild, the nature, the humans, and the large landscapes through a slow but rhythmic motion, well-placed slow-motion, and a tailored symmetry. 


Advertisement clip from the Terre d'Hermès ad, 2016 - L'Homme Hermès, standing vertical on the earth.

The House of Hermès, although unaccustomed to work with ambassadors, still selected the French actor Clément Sibony three times to feature in the Terre d'Hermès advertising campaign. Not only an accomplished film actor, but also a performer in theater, music videos and commercials, Clément Sibony embodies a tenebrous Hermes man, imbued with mystery and charm. At the age of 14, he was cast in a TV movie entitled Des cornichons au chocolat, which fueled the boy's ambition to enroll in the Atelier international de théâtre. Thereafter, he adopted diversified career paths, going from the small to the silver screen, performing roles as a womanizer or second-rate actor.  

At whom is Terre d’Hermès addressed ? 

Given the advertising campaign previously mentioned, one might think that Terre is rather focused on a younger audience. However most of the sales come from people aged 45-50: no age limit for good taste. 

Some women also wear Terre d'Hermès with confidence. Even though the target audience is not primarily women, gendering the fragrance is becoming more and more outdated and irrelevant, as young women tend to wear Terre d'Hermès with self-assurance as well. 

From Terre d’Hermès to H24

Terre d'Hermès was the men's fragrance that everyone was hoping for. After six years of expectation from the previous fragrance Rocabar, Terre d'Hermès was the perfect answer, the obvious, and logical outcome of the house's men's fragrance collection.

The saddler seems to be repeating the same pattern. After waiting for 15 years and having released almost as many interpretations of its favorite : Terre d’Hermès, a brand new men's fragrance burst onto the olfactory scene on the 24th of February. It was developed by Christine Nagel, the house's new "nose". The product's is definitely green and its name is enigmatic, H24, a reminder of the modern man's animosity, in a rush, and master of his time. The H is also a tribute to the "H" of Hermès, and to the number "24" of 24 Boulevard, home of the saddler's very first boutique. 

"[The modern man] is connecting with his origins and has a strong foundation to build his life on. A style defying time: of its time but also timeless," shares Christine. It's up to you to consider whether H24 will stand the test of time as well as Earth and, as its namesake, fill the gap of a decade ahead until a new Homme d’Hermès arrives.