Eau de Gentiane Blanche (2009)

Eau de Gentiane Blanche by Hermès
7.6 / 10     222 RatingsRatingsRatings
Eau de Gentiane Blanche is a popular perfume by Hermès for women and men and was released in 2009. The scent is green-fresh. It is still in production.

Fragrance Notes

Gentian, Iris, Musk, Frankincense

Ratings

Scent

7.6 (222 Ratings)

Longevity

6.5 (163 Ratings)

Sillage

5.5 (148 Ratings)

Bottle

7.5 (154 Ratings)
Submitted by Sani, last update on 09.08.2020.
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Reviews

9.5
Scent
6
Longevity
6
Sillage
8
Bottle
Pinkdawn
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Pinkdawn
Pinkdawn
Top Review    26  
Going to the firs
When the days get hotter, you long for a perfume that brings freshness and cooling.
Mostly this is found in citric scents. But as sparkling and invigorating as they are, one also wishes for a change from the lemon grove. At least I felt this way. In my search for a summer scent that refreshes without citrus, I came across Eau de gentiane blanche, a cologne by Hermès, created by Grandmaster Jean-Claude Ellena. I can't really speak of coincidence here. My last summer scent, Concentré de Pamplemousse Rose, was also created by Ellena, as was Un jardin sur le Toit, which I've been enjoying wearing for months. For this reason, and according to the descriptions, I'm prepared to make a blind purchase. On ebay for a good price € 58,82.

I admit it: I am not a fan of bottlings where you never know exactly what you are going to get and which - extrapolated - are usually more expensive than the original. I also love the moment when I open the cellophane wrapper of a perfume - even if it's a blind purchase - and I experience the fragrance for the first time. Maybe I need that kick, the surprise, the new. Fortunately, I've been able to trust my feelings so far, and I haven't been disappointed except for one time (Oud al Misk).

EdGb has long been on my wish list. What I have read about this fragrance so far has made me curious. I like scents that bring new impressions. At EdGb I hoped to find that - for once no citrus scent, but still refreshing, and no flowery sweetness. The scent is usually associated with mountain landscapes and mountain streams. Purity, clarity and calmness are attributed to it.

What experiences will I have with it?
First of all, the flacon - as so often in Hermès' work, the famous carriage lantern is reproduced, and its dark colour distinguishes it from most others in the Cologne series. In its mixture of dark green and smoky grey, it already looks very awe-inspiring.

I spray the scent. Cool, dry freshness. "I'm going to go to the pines," is my first association. Not because EdGb smells like pine needles. It is rather the feeling of being catapulted into a - I say - wild and romantic mountain landscape. The mixed forest here has already given way to a coniferous forest. This forest can stand it even at high altitudes where other trees are respectfully left behind.

It is not a realistic alpine landscape. More like these Japanese pictures in shades of grey of high forests and mountains, where you never know if they are photos or watercolours.
Coniferous trees, which become more and more sparse the further up it goes. Rugged, steep cliffs with wafts of mist hanging from them.

Into the pines. Yeah, that's it. I'm thinking of the video "Without You." You can find everything there: the clear mountain stream, the rugged rocks in which Lindemann & Co., in very picturesque retro mountaineering gear, climb the rope to face the hardships of the ascent. Rammstein love it heroically. They play with pathos. And what could be more pathetic than a mountain drama with a snowstorm, wordless, meaningful glances and the inevitable misfortune. Till Lindemann falls into the deep, remains lying badly injured and is dragged to the summit the next day by his comrades - no, of course not to the hospital. One last look at the imposing mountain panorama, then he closes his eyes forever in this little film.

The deliberately pompous text corresponds to the pictures. I have always wondered where Lindemann takes these old-fashioned phrases and expressions from. As a Germanist, I naturally see references to the language of the Romantic period. Perhaps he reads in "Des Knaben Wunderhorn" every day (or has a busy assistant - although he can also be an assistant who does that for him). As the child of a journalist and an author he will also have internalized the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm as well.

Especially the lyrics to "Ohne dich" were interpreted in numerous ways. There are the most abstruse interpretations - from environmental protection to suicide and cocaine to soldiers (?!) and murder of the companion ... I had to smile at how seriously the text was taken. And that nobody seems to realize how much romantic irony and winking is behind it - as so often, if not always, with Rammstein.

No, I haven't strayed from the subject. On the contrary. Because EdGb also plays with pathetic set pieces. Even the name "Water of the White Gentian" evokes alpine associations, although it is actually the famous blue gentian you meet in the mountains.

It is possible that the yellow gentian, from whose root the popular gentian brandy is distilled, is called white gentian in France. Or is it an albino gentian? In any case, the white is better suited to the mood of the fragrance than this outrageously radiant blue of the Gentiana.

The scent really has something of the atmosphere of the "Without you" video. It transports us into a mountainous landscape that, perhaps apart from the rustle of the wind, is quiet - at least the birds don't sing anymore - but by no means sweet. We find ourselves in high mountains, which are per se an area of latent danger, as the author of these lines has experienced herself on various mountain tours.

The landscape that is suggested here has something sublime, majestic, wild.
Even the completely unsweet scent has an elitist effect, radiating puristic austerity.
The dry coolness of the top note is reminiscent of papyrus. But it wouldn't be Jean-Claude Ellena if a certain grassy note didn't appear. Or rather, hay nuance. The valley must have been mowed today. The scent of hay penetrates right up to the borders of the vegetation zone. Admittedly, this is not an intense hay scent, but only a breeze that blows by like the tinkling of bells on a Sunday morning.

You can feel the clean, clear air. Something mossy mixes into the composition and makes the fragrance darker. It becomes tart and bitter. Gentian root. Aromatic, a bit earthy, but very, very dry.

The iris adapts to the overall picture and comes here not flowery, but powdery, with the spice of - I would say - forest wood.

I find it pleasant that this fragrance has nothing playful or fruity, but remains true to its line all the time, so to speak.

It becomes especially beautiful when the incense comes gently into play. It makes me think of silvery fog over mountain forests and gives the whole thing a fine, well-dosed mystical touch, which finally finds a happy end in the soft musk note - but a little bit sweet.
For me, EdGb is a summer scent that awakens memories of hiking in the mountains, of rocks, via ferrata, nature in its untouched form - beautiful, impressive, but always a little threatening for acrophobic city dwellers at these heights. All this resonates in the EdGb, without the threatening, of course. So it remains pleasantly playful. And that's a good thing.
Especially in a summer like this one, where at least for me there will be no holidays, although it would be just wonderful in the mountains now, EdGb offers a small substitute. I have made a good choice.
After all the praise for this extraordinary fragrance, I shouldn't hide the fact that sillage and durability are disappointing in this Hermès cologne as well. The fragrance has something impressive that deserves more intensity in this respect.
14 Replies
KJV
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KJV
KJV
Very helpful Review    9  
Crystal clear mountain lake
The gentian water immediately beamed me back to the crystal clear mountain lakes of my childhood. My father was a passionate mountaineer, so even as children we went hiking in the mountains to considerable heights, slept in mountain huts in mattress camps and actually bathed in such ice-cold mountain lakes.
I smell pure, clear mountain air - and I think I finally understand what is meant by "ozonic".
Maybe I can find "my" aquatic animals up in the mountains?
And what does incense have to do with it, where does this bright and light?

I'm very impressed Of clarity.
From minimalism.
And that this scent showed me that the time machine "scent memory" can also work the other way round - not only when you smell a scent from the past but also when a modern scent puts your thumb on exactly the right synapses
Do you really smell gentian? I can't tell, the gentian in our garden smells of little to nothing
In the Grünlings-Battle the gentian water is in any case very far in front - but according to my previous feeling he does not belong there at all but rather in the "blue" corner.
The flacon is already a dream from the pictures.
The durability exceeds my expectations by far - mountain lake splashes continue to roll up even after 8-9 hours.

Do I want to wear it?
Should he wear it?
Filling must be here.
10 Replies
Hendrikmainz
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Hendrikmainz
Hendrikmainz
Less helpful Review    9  
White gentian doesn't exist as a species!
As a biologist, I have to clean up here! There is no white gentian per se. Only as a mutation! The flower of the gentian doesn't smell. In other words, the fragrance comes from the root here. Since this does not mutate with, we are dealing with a euphemistic description of fragrance! Just like frosted citrus tan, violet leaf, or passion flower blossom. Nothing smells of this!

The fragrance is passable, but has nothing to do with the indicated:)

But nice isser:)
8 Replies
9
Scent
6
Longevity
4
Sillage
9
Bottle
Mosaik
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Mosaik
Mosaik
Top Review    16  
Cheerful peace in clear air
Eau de Gentiane Blanche conquers me from the first spraying on. As a fresh green ethereal spicy fine spirit he introduces himself to me, with slight herbaceousness shortly after the beginning, which does not scratch, but is very charming, even if it may seem a little strange to some noses at first, and which is accompanied by a fine floral note. Completely carefree. Good-humoured, rather quiet, friendly, natural. Silvery-soft smoke. The impression of a discreetly sweet-spicy, dry-woody tone, which becomes clearer later, also resonates very slightly. This lingers the longest and most prominent and gives the fragrance some depth. With all his straightforwardness, simplicity and honesty, he also develops a natural elegance.

After an almost orchestral opening, in which all facets seem to show themselves at once, the brighter notes retreat a little and the fragrance becomes darker green and more herbaceous. But as I said, everything remains within a charming framework. A fresh breeze will create a small swell on this alpine lake, and with the next wave more flowery nuances will be washed up, giving the Eau de Gentiane Blanche a brighter appearance again. This wave play repeats itself in ever new combinations, until the said fine-spicy-brown (brown-green) impressions towards the end.

I consider him to be versatile, both in his facets as well as with regard to his wearing possibilities. However, many a potential carrier could decide against EdGB because of its relative short lifespan. - The Sillage, which is rather moderate even at its weddings, retreats to me already after about 45 minutes close to my skin, but with occasional Wiffs, like small solar flares (or somewhat higher waves to stay with the water picture from above).

But in the following remaining four hours or so, towards the end of which the palette of perception shifts towards a somewhat coarser-grained, smokier spiciness on my skin, I have to bring the nose and the spray surface very close together in order to get the small olfactory sensations. After all, I was positively surprised: The fast retreat would have made me assume a shorter durability (it was really short with me at the Nile Garden!).

Conclusion: A cheerful, bright peace flows through me while wearing this fragrance. For me a wonderful, modest gem with a successful balance and interesting, beautifully interwoven facets!

Many thanks to the sample donor for her inspiration and good deed!

Side note: On paper: similar, but not so good. Slightly sour. Could be problematic with some skin. Spicy-woody depth doesn't develop so pronounced here (actually hardly).

Another side note: When I speak of wood notes, I am not saying that wood extracts were used here, but that they are impressions of the scent in my nose, which I cannot describe any other way. By the way, this applies to most of me so-called 'notes' and 'tones'
7 Replies
K1

121 Reviews
K1
K1
Helpful Review    3  
Pristine luxurious comfort
Among most of designer houses, Hermès is one of the few loyal to originality and one of the few who delivers decent creations.
Eau de colognes and simple fragrances like this are lovesome cause they immediately imitate an image. And for their transparency the images are usually positive and happy. Eau de Geniane Blanche takes me back in a joyous spring few years ago.
It's bitter/sweet, wild floral, wet, musky, gently smoky, powdery… a very good scent for atmosphere aroma with Chet Baker's trumpet to smoothed a romantic evening. Very high class and sterling fragrance.
7/10
10
Scent
Fhaldara

58 Reviews
Fhaldara
Fhaldara
Helpful Review    3  
The scent I love to drink
I'm from New England, and we have a soft drink here called Moxie, first produced in Lowell MA, sometime around 1876. What does this have to do with Eau de Gentiane Blanche? Moxie is flavored with gentian root, and the first time I smelled this fragrance I was instantly reminded of it. The bitterness of Moxie is an acquired taste, and I think the same goes for the fragrance. It's not something I wear everyday, but when I do wear it I love it. It brings to mind an image of walking through an old New England graveyard on an overcast gray day, the kind of graveyard with mossy tombs and crooked headstones - not the kind of place you'd want to visit everyday, but still fascinating, and with it's own special beauty. And I still drink Moxie to this day!
8
Scent
7.5
Longevity
2.5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
AromaX

31 Reviews
AromaX
AromaX
Helpful Review    2  
The smell of snowdrops and early spring
Eau de Gentiane Blanche is a nice example of an early spring cologne to me. The one made within the white and bluish grey range of color spectrum instead of summer infused yellow citrus and juicy green tones. The citrus notes are skillfully hidden there and transformed into the peppery green freshness of the first leaves and grasses blended with the bitterness of white gentian blossoms. The whole theme is extended with the floral white musk with transparent woody accents. Quite linear and subtle scent with sillage restricted to the intimate zone.

I don't know what white gentian smells like. And whether it smells at all. I do believe Jean-Claude Ellena, so I can easily associate this perfume with Alpine gentian. But being honest - if he told me this was a smell of snowdrops I'd believe him as well. And personally I'd prefer to associate this cologne with something familiar like snowdrops than something distant and unknown like gentian. So, to me Eau de Gentiane Blanche is the perfect smell of early spring. Its bitterness reminds me of the bitter capricious weather of this season and its white floral scent with green undertones makes me think of snowdrops.

I was surprised when I found people comparing this perfume to Grey Flannel on Fragrantica. To me it's not really a smell alike, but I have to admit the similarities in the character of both scents. Eau de Gentiane Blanche is a rather a silent one. With its freshness, soft sillage and musky trail it is a perfect scent for office wear. Or a quiet leisure day in early spring.
7
Scent
7.5
Longevity
2.5
Sillage
5
Bottle
Pipette

63 Reviews
Pipette
Pipette
Helpful Review    2  
Ever so dainty
This is a well made perfume that is almost not there, and when one gets up close, there is this intricate clean aroma of fresh little flowers. Which flowers, I don't know, but I am intrigued enough. Freshly ironed shirt also comes to mind. Powdery iris lends some substance.

I would not go out of my way to purchase it, because a similar one - "Aqua Allegoria Ylang & Vanille" by Guerlain - gives me a bigger presence of this type of "greet the morning" perfume.

Nice.
8
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Apicius

220 Reviews
Apicius
Apicius
Helpful Review    5  
Not suitable for Bavaria and Tyrol!
Honestly, who knows the smell of gentian from his own experience? Me too, I never smelled this alpine flower, but I know its taste! Gentian or “Enzian” is also the name of a sort of liquor which is popular in the European Alps. And yes, Mr. Ellena did very well in transferring this into a perfume!

Gentian has quite a unique scent/taste and is not easy to describe: there is an acerbic, lean spiciness reminiscent of gin, a hint of flour or grain like vodka but also herbal aspects and something earthy, like wet sand. Outside the Alpine region Enzian seems to be widely unknown, unlike the complete assortment of Eau de Vies. Enzian is not a noble brandy, and it can be harsh. And its image is very Bavarian and Alpine, providing impressions of natives in traditional leather breeches, congregating in wooden chalets to play their family music, eat rustic food and drink Enzian. This is all very popular with the (American) tourists, but for us, it also stands for narrow-mindedness and political conservatism. In a way, Bavaria is for Germany what Texas is for the US.

Eau de Gentiane Blanche, however, does not have lots in common with that image. The gentian scent is surely there, but the character is completely different. This gentian note is refined and discreet, without any sharpness, a nice alternative for all who like juniper or gin notes in perfume. Eau de Gentiane Blanche gives me the impression that it was drawn with a steady and calm hand. To a certain extent, its refinement is caused by the circumstance that the perfumer decided to use a rather high dilution. It is really an “Eau”, with a longevity limited to about four hours.

In this case, this is just like it should be. There are fragrance notes that one would feel at home with throughout the whole day – and there are others that are equally bodacious but would get on one’s nerves after a few hours. For me, certain spicy notes like fennel, aniseed, juniper and obviously gentian as well belong to that category.

Within Hermès’ Eau series, Eau de Gentiane Blanche is the ugly duckling. Being presented in the same bottle as the Eau d’Orange Vert and Eau de Pamplemousse Rose fragrances, these grand perfumes outshine Eau de Gentiane Blanche by far. No southern skies, but also no impressive alpine glaciers come to my mind. Instead, it gives my impressions of copy paper. The modern employee who is surrounded by scents of toner rather than fresh mountain air simply cannot avoid developing an emotional relation to that as well.

So, Eau de Gentiane Blanche is a very good every day office scent. It can add some spiciness to a boring working day. For me, it stands in a row with a number of lean perfumes that seem to have similar concepts: Gucci’s discontinued “Rush for Men”, Ronaldo Esper’s pencil fragrance “Graphite”, or the transparent “Kenzoair”.

However, the usability of Eau de Gentiane Blanche is somewhat limited. Please keep in mind it basically smells like regional specific liquor, so do not wear it in Bavarian offices!
1 Replies
9
Scent
Ysbrand

84 Reviews
Ysbrand
Ysbrand
Helpful Review    4  
Subterranean river
Eau de Gentiane Blanche belongs to the colection of colognes of Hermes: Cologne, Eau (and Concentré) d´Orange VErte, Eau and Concentré de Pamplemousse Rose and Eau de Gentiane Blanche.

Most of us have never smelled the gentian flower, but i recognize the tonic herbal bitter note that appears (or, sadly, appeared) in Aqua Allegoria Gentiana too. The gentian note, as Miskk describes in her great review, is wet and earthy , and lasts all the time. Along with this , i also smell just a spark of citrus that is not listed here (maybe grapegruit??) and is more obvious in the first minutes and then goes to the background and remains almost silent. It keeps the fragance not so introverted.

Iris stress the rare earthy, mineral feeling. The incense is icy and deep. But it is the musk what gives the clean inorganic laundry feeling that along the other natural notes makes this fragance so irresitible, soothing, cool... i am completely in love with Eau de Gentiane Blanche.

This is a very unusual, more shadowy alternative to a bright citrus cologne or a fresh sporty fragance. It has a very natural vibe, like all Ellena´s creations.

Sillage is good but very office friendly and the longevity is remarkable for this type of fragance.
Show all reviews (12)

Statements

CymCym 2 years ago
Initially very reminiscent of freshly-cut burdock root: earthy, planty and a little bitter, joined by a floral aspect after 30 mins.
HajuvanaHajuvana 4 years ago
I'm not saying it smells exactly like wet laundry, but you will have to appreciate that sort of smells in order to enjoy Gentiane Blanche.

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