Bel Ami 1986 Eau de Toilette

Top 89 in Men's Perfume
8.4 / 10381 Ratings
Bel Ami (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Hermès for men and was released in 1986. The scent is leathery-spicy. The longevity is above-average. It is still available to purchase. Pronunciation

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamotBergamot
Mandarin orangeMandarin orange
SageSage
LemonLemon
Heart Notes Heart NotesBasilBasil
CarnationCarnation
Orris rootOrris root
JasmineJasmine
PatchouliPatchouli
CedarCedar
Base Notes Base NotesOakmossOakmoss
CoconutCoconut
LeatherLeather
StyraxStyrax
VanillaVanilla
VetiverVetiver

Ratings

Scent

8.4381 Ratings

Longevity

8.3293 Ratings

Sillage

7.5288 Ratings

Bottle

7.8279 Ratings

Value for money

7.733 Ratings
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 03.08.2021.
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Reviews

9
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
Salva
Translated Show originalShow translation
Salva
Salva
Top Review    27  
From novel to perfume - An extremely successful creation
Bel Ami - Beautiful Friend

How does a name like that come about?

The name is derived from Guy de Maupassant's novel of the same name, published in 1885, which recounts the professional and social rise of a non-commissioned officer in 19th century Paris.

An uneducated, egotistical, and nearly penniless gentleman named Duroy meets his former buddy Forestier, who works for a newspaper. Thanks to his friend, Duroy also gets a job at this newspaper editor's office. He quickly discovers, however, that he is less talented for writing, and so seeks his "fortune" in other ways.

Not only the job, but also the acquaintance with the higher society Paris' has to owe Duroy his friend. Soon he is called "Bel Ami"; his nickname by which he becomes known. Meanwhile, the fact that after Forestier's death he takes his widow as his wife and continues to have various affairs with other ladies reflects his mischievous and opportunistic character.

His second marriage to the newspaper editor's daughter finally opens up his rise to the top of society.

[...]

Well, what does one expect from a fragrance so named? Looking at the protagonist of the novel's one might think that this perfume is a v.a. very seductive fragrance. But I personally did not expect anything, to be honest. Because the testing of this fragrance I have put off very long before me, because the leather listed here always held me up; does it namely not belong to the notes that I prefer.

When I finally ordered a bottling here some time ago, I tested it extensively, of course. And he has surprised me quite, and in the positive sense.

He is classified here as leathery-spicy and leather is not necessarily one of my favorite notes, but fortunately it is integrated in this fragrance only as a supporting actor; at least I empfind it so.

For me, it starts very fresh-aromatic with hesperidic notes such as the bergamot and lemon as well as a first tart-spicy accord, which I attribute to the sage.

After a short time, more spices join them, which push back the initial citrus notes and take center stage. As it progresses, however, I find these to be gentler and more pleasant than at the start; not pungent or prickly on the nose.
The leather I perceive if, then only to the base, but there also only discreetly in the background. Here press namely green moss and vetiver out, which give the fragrance a slightly woody and chypre-like character, which I appreciate and like so much.

[...]

For the summer he is v.a. because of the spices mMn not so suitable, but I see him in all other seasons easily wearable. Preferably, however, perhaps in autumn and on cooler spring days.

The durability can be seen with about 7 h at 5-6 spritzers on my skin very, and a fragrance cloud I perceive on myself the first 2 h also.

[...]

Conclusion:

Even if for me personally still Terre d'Hermès EdT as the best fragrance of the house, I like the Bel Ami EdT also very much.

He is a masculine distinctive, classically influenced, spicy aromatic fragrance with light chyprean tones, in which, fortunately, the leather is not so much the focus.

In fact, it even radiates a slightly sensual seductive aura, which I perceived before I even dealt with the background regarding the naming. This seductive note, however, is very subtle and restrained in its overall appearance. It is not at all intrusive, but very polite and civilized.

And presumably Duroy probably conquered the ladies that way too...

[...]

Thanks for reading!
23 Replies
WildGardener

189 Reviews
WildGardener
WildGardener
   0  
Influential friend
Bel Ami is one of the better leathers. Its radiance is supple and sweet but it has a woody and bitter core.
Leather is a power scent, but unlike the biker jacket with its black toughness Bel Ami is more sedate. It’s a soft brown leather which feels rather complacent, all monogrammed slippers and dressing gown. If you compare Bel Ami to Fahrenheit (which the same perfumer wrote two years later) you can see how staid this is. Bel Ami: the boon companion of rich old white men.
(This is about the vintage, not the Jean-Claude Ellena version.)
Pepdal

222 Reviews
Pepdal
Pepdal
   2  
Bel Ami Amour
Just to add a new angle to perfume that has been reviewed many times previously, here i do a little comparison between current and previous formulation. Unfortunately i cannot assess this against the original cocktail-shaker vintage. Hope you enjoy and thank you for watching.


7.5
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
7
Bottle
Chizza
Translated Show originalShow translation
Chizza
Chizza
Top Review    23  
You are not a Philistine, you are a fragrance of life
At the beginning I would like to start with a Heinrich Heine quote, which seems to me somehow appropriate:

"The Philistines, the limited,
these mentally retarded,
you must never, ever tease.
But wide open wise hearts
always know in our jokes
Love and friendship
to discover."
You are such a fragrance, not intended for any wearer who cares what others think about him or her and whether they may mock your age and the older-looking fragrance that goes with it. Whoever wears you, who wants to make a statement, wears you because he appreciates you and doesn't care what the environment says. Maybe he also carries you because your fragrance comes from a time of the perfume trade, where fragrances had charisma and character and were not so much a room fragrance.
You belong in line with the classics like an egoist. You stand for that era of masculine, explosive head notes. The mixture of citrus fruits and sage can hardly be described otherwise. This lasts for quite a while and you have to be able to accept it or leave it alone. It doesn't matter whether you're wearing a suit or a rocker, whether it's the 30 or the 60 year old. It's all about the appearance of your wearer.
You stay wild, this is ensured by your spiciness, which you get from your other ingredients. Nothing dominates, although individual notes shimmer through and the oakmoss gives you a certain cool serenity. Leather, too, is not found in you, but none of the things that are often found nowadays. It's not about intensity but about improving your scent, it's more of an alcohol-soaked leather.

In short: you are a friend you can rely on, who stays and is there when you need him/her after many years. You radiate the essence and character of a handshake fragmentality.

This - in scented form of course - is Bel Ami.
6 Replies
8.5
Scent
8
Longevity
6
Sillage
8
Bottle
Konsalik
Translated Show originalShow translation
Konsalik
Konsalik
Top Review    19  
Sultanas of Swing, or: The melancholic ceiling fan
Several reviewers on these pages have contributed with their descriptions to the fact that Bel Ami presents himself to me in my mind as a slightly frivolous, but heart-felt, tobacco-tanned wrinkled face from the beat of a Lino Ieluzzi or Peter Heinrich. What could be more obvious than to make a comparison with Davidoff's Zino (which is also not far-fetched in view of the year of publication), at least as a heuristic and frame of reference?

But while the light-steamy, walk-in humidor at Zino houses not only decent longfillers but also a whole battery of simple economic miracle herb wraps like "trade gold", Bel Ami's is rounder, more select and of higher quality. The tobacco association is rather comparable with very dark, slowly fermented leaves, dark chocolate and oily shiny. But, wait: what are the white speckles on the leaf? Mildew? No! Sugar crystals, as they can also form on the leaves of pipe tobacco that have been stored for a long time (so-called "geageten"). For despite all the serious, dark green-brown roundness, the entire fragrance is accompanied by a very natural sweetness, which - in view of the listed notes - does not give off a particularly vanilla-like note. After the soft, citric top note had faded away, I was instead accompanied deep into the base by a reminder of a freshly opened bag of sultanas, which with their specific, withdrawn fruit sweetness provide an excellent accompaniment for heavy tobaccos. Like, what, rum? Yeah, it's kind of available here too, but without a hint of molasses. But something ethereal, almost alcoholic is still found. I guess the oakmoss in connection with the listed coconut, but my analytical apparatus fails at this point.

A slightly melancholic gentlemen's evening in Caracas, in which the ceiling fan hums slowly, half-closed blinds shut out the sharpest rays of the already low sun and the friends present are offered pleasures that must seem strange and provocative to our Jochen Schweizer society.
Let us hope, with all our sympathy for the friendly gentlemen, that in the fields behind the house only tobacco is actually cultivated.
9 Replies
9.5
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage
8
Bottle
Siebenkäs
Translated Show originalShow translation
Siebenkäs
Siebenkäs
Top Review    22  
Friendship
Amp busted, remote lost, no tea in the house.
So I grab the jacket, and I go to Richie's.
But first, the big Bel Ami sample.
Ding-a-ling.
"What do you want?"
"Do you good, you loser..." "And with what?"
I wave' with the clearly marked Bel Ami sample
rum.
"Honestly, if this is the vintage version. which is'
so fucking "awesome..."
"Uh, Richie, could you... i mean, you're live right now
on perfume, I can't find that adjective straight..."
"What are you like? But ok, so then different:
the vintage in the shaker bottle '
is' like playing Yahtzee the double..."
"All right, Richie, we all get it, but trust me on this eternal vintage swarms or lamentations is not
particularly original or entertaining. Try
without reservation this version..."
So I spray him with a couple of charges from the 2019 to the
And let him have a few moments of your time... (Sniff,
sniffing, skeptical-looking...) I'll try
to advance cautiously:
"There's nothin I'd rather do with Ellena than this to screw up an icon...?"
"Nope, not that, but... what's he supposed to do? The ifra,
the regulations..."
"What he does best - a perfume that goes all around
works..."
"That sounds cold, doesn't it?"
"Bullshit. Does that smell like ice cold?"
"Well, no... rather warm... the citric is at first
not so violent anymore, the wood-leathery seems already
to come earlier, it doesn't rub between sour
and leather... tamer somehow..."
"But worse? Seriously? "
(Sniff, brood, ponder...)
"Definitely different..."
"OK, but does that automatically mean less good?"
"Yes, no... not exactly... let me think about it..."
"Just think... all you want..."
We actually let a few minutes pass.
Silently. Believe it or not.
"Well, let me tell you, he's... also... who sails around
all the cliffs so elegant... hardly any ashtrays,
but still a little smoke, softer, sweeter smoke, maybe some cigar ash..."
"Exactly there I see some points of contact to Antaeus, but a little bit different, at Antaeus there is more cigar box..."
"That's right, the cigar stays out at Chanel, at Bel Ami
...it's lit on fire for a minute... dry journeymen they both are, despite all differences."
"I agree... it's nice how we understand each other." "And there's some leather after the kind of club chairs you get but not crude, but sophisticated... and again and again clouds of discreet sweetness, but taken on the curb..."
"If that doesn't fit... the curb comes out of the
Horse world, that is Hermès ancestral land..."
"...and of course there's a spice mixture in there, too...
she's almost 80s..."
"Well, that's a compliment, isn't it?"
"Yes, in itself..."
"And he's still got strength, hasn't he?"
"Already..."
"So not a power row house?"
"More like a powerhouse with solar panels on the roof..."
"Well said, Richie! There's sunshine in there somehow no wonder, Ellena works in the south of France..."
"Reminiscent of a dignified English club you can
into the mountains above St-Tropez..."
"Exactly ...and the projection?"
"Not directly loud, but noticeable..."
"A hummer with soundproofing, so..."
"It's like a totally gutted old building..." "...even with air conditioning..."
"That's right, there's something fresh, too..." "And yet also flattering... Vanilla?"
"Report obediently: present!"
"But there's nothing snappy here..." "Nope, not that, rather dreamy..." "But a dream with power..."
"No fucking way!" "That word gets on my nerves so bad..." You and I are going to have a little silence again Des amis n'ont pas peur du silence.
Then I remember something else.. "You, Riechie, my friend, don't you want to give people say something else, so at the end of the year, something reflective...?
"Nope, you can do better..."
"Come on, they want to hear from you!"
"But I know nothing. Except I'm quoting..."
"Please, feel free..."
Now, this is' from New Order, from the song "Game",
gei... uh strong number..."
"Shoot...!"
"Really...?"
"Yeah, man!"
"All right:
It's so clear, but we can't see it It's in the air that we breathe in It's so close, but we can't touch it.. But it is here, and we love it..." "You, Richie..." "What?"
"Goose bumps!"
16 Replies
7
Scent
7
Longevity
6
Sillage
7
Bottle
K1

121 Reviews
K1
K1
Helpful Review    3  
Woody - soil - green leathery
Initiates a distinct sombre green vinegar'ish smell that conjures up impression of petrichor after acidic rain. With a hint of barbershop leathers it actually stays miles away from barbershop leathery frags, and while smells mossed woody and wet soil, Bel Ami remains so much higher than a natural or nature-inclined fragrance.

A never-showing-up-entirely leather envelops whole sharp astringent mossy top and warm woody base and gives it a frown animalic twist. It's a heavy macho masculine with kinky preferences! Strong longevity, medium sillage yet 4/5
9
Scent
9
Longevity
9
Sillage
9
Bottle
Rickbr

190 Reviews
Rickbr
Rickbr
Very helpful Review    5  
Classic Leather with a Fougere hint
An interesting aspect about the fragrances before the nineties and its simplification of the formulations is the richness in aroma details. Even perfumes that are even being adapted to current regulations continue to offer more complexity and nuances in aromas than many recent releases (provided they are properly reformulated, of course).

I remember a few years ago experiencing Bel Ami and being charmed with its leather, dense, classic, surrounded by aromatic resins and woods but with a sweet coconut nuance that appears at the end of its evolution and surprised by its lactonic creamy impression. The modernization made by Jean Claude Ellena which resulted in Bel Ami Vetiver left me apprehensive perhaps that the brand had also made the classic one a simple perfume, more transparent and more similar to some of the other Ellena creations.

My concerns proved not to materialize once i had the chance to use Bel Ami again in the skin. The reformulation that resulted in the current version seems to me to have a dry and serious aura and brought the fragrance more into a fougère than chypre direction, making it come closer to other perfumes of the its time, the eighties. The current Bel Ami still has the classic smell of drier leather, but not very smoked and without the sweet coconut nuance. I notice in most evidence the smell of spices and a combination of herbs and astringent citrus aromas, which are what shape my perception into a Fougere perfume.

But as I said at the beginning, Bel Ami still has a lot to offer and even at the end of its evolution is possible to see the perfume win ambery oriental nuances. There is a combination of amber with a velvety musk and a slight hint of vanilla that perhaps curiously brings me the aura of some current compositions that explore these elements within the oud theme. I do not remember if this aspect was present in the original, but it shows an interesting addition and matches with the composition as a whole. Bel Ami is like the perfume evaluated yesterday, Rocabar, a more mature and sophisticated creation and a scent that seems to focus on a very specific audience rather than trying to please everyone. Even reformulated easily beats many current releases.
jtd

484 Reviews
jtd
jtd
Top Review    11  
petro leather
In retrospect, Hermès Bel Ami marks the midway point between the dry woods of Chanel Antaeus and the gasoline slap of Dior Fahrenheit. The connection is leather, which both the Chanel and the Dior hint at, but the Hermès wraps itself in.

An intermediate species can by definition only be identified after the fact. So, here we are, after the fact, and Bel Ami deserves its niche, its genre. The woody petro-cuir.

Chanel Antaeus is classified as a woody fragrance. But it hasn’t been given the typical Chanel face-lift of aldehydes, iris and velvet (Bois des Iles, Cuir de Russie). Antaeus is woody by virtue of the range of its notes, not for any affiliation with nature. This is a wood product in the same way that turpentine is. Where most woody perfumes emulate botanical woods, Antaeus reminds me of touching my tongue to a frozen chain-link fence at an outdoor skating rink.  Antaeus feels chilled by virtue of an extreme dryness that conjures freeze-drying. Dior Fahrenheit matches Antaeus dryness with a cool hiss. The chill is the feeling left behind on your skin as gasoline evaporates, leaving only a brisk whiff as memory.

I recently came across two bottles of vintage Bel Ami, the cocktail shaker model.  They were boxed testers that had been well stored and were perfectly preserved.  I never smelled it at the time of its release but I wish I had. The combination of botanical and proudly synthetic notes make Bel Ami a large-scale fairy-tale of a perfume. No Disney back-pedal for a G rating, though. Bel Ami is an olfactory history in the school of historical oral history. Fairy tales were principally a means of reinforcing the super-ego, were deliberately frightening and worked by reinforcing irrational thought. Fairy tales told you, “don’t go outside the boundaries of tribe and kin, or monsters will destroy you.” Less specific, but equally promissory of harm, Bel Ami taunts with a smile: ”Go ahead. Fuck with me.”  

Bel Ami plays with a gasoline note that Fahrenheit would eventually take to maximum expression. The top notes are a big opening and grab your attention, settling pretty quickly into the heart. The leather note in Bel Ami is irresistable. The wood and the gasoline notes set the tone for the fragrance and the leather is dry and crackly-stiff. It has the quality of an imagined leather object like a leather blanket.  I've never heard of one, but I'd love to have one.

I've never tried the current model of Bel Ami, and I'm leery too.  Vintage Bel Ami reminds me of everything that I loved about the early men's power fragrances.  Vintage Bel Ami is not the shaved steroid gym queen of this millennium.  It precedes the contempo-masculine poodle-tailored facial hair , and it certainly precedes topiary pubic styling.  Bel Ami has honest-to-goodness chest hair, the kind you want to run your fingers through.

Fucking hot.

from scenthurdle.com
6
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
Missk

1165 Reviews
Missk
Missk
Very helpful Review    5  
Leather for the men
Now this is the kind of masculine I like. The moment I put this on and inhaled deeply, I thought to myself, all men should smell like this.

A ruggedly masculine man makes my heart skip a beat and this is the essential fragrance for such a man. Rich, leathery and clean. Bel Ami is the scent of those 1950's Hollywood cowboys. It's a fierce fragrance, not for the shy.

You need to like leather in order to enjoy this fragrance. For some, the leather note may be too strong, however I find it fascinating. There's a hint of sweet incense mixed in there somewhere too, that gives this fragrance a rather luxurious feel.

The heart is mostly leather, pepper, herbs and earthy patchouli. This combination is strangely clean yet a tad dirty. Bel Ami has an almost dizzying effect on my senses. To be honest, I'd much rather smell this on a man than on myself. The mystifying masculinity of Bel Ami goes to waste on my feminine skin.

The longevity of Bel Ami is very impressive, as is the sillage which will leave the air around you beautifully scented for all to enjoy. A true classic in my opinion. A fragrance that separates the men from the boys.
Show all reviews (11)

Statements

BertolucciKBertolucciK 3 months ago
7.5
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage
7
Bottle
Masculine scent. The opening is fresh, spicy and leathery. In the drydown, green, earthy, woody, smoky oakmoss, patchouli and more leather.
HugoMontezHugoMontez 2 years ago
Along with Fahrenheit, the best leather fragrance out there. Mossy-green-floral scent with a hint of coconut on a classy leather base.

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Männer..
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Gute Freunde kann niemand trennen ... die Kamera wollte lieber das Moos als den Hermès scharf haben, dafür zauberte sie dieses Bokeh durch die Linse auf den Sensor
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