Cedre Sambac by Hermes

When a gaggle of us from around the globe met up for bunch in London ahead of the Art and Olfaction Awards, a highlight was that Val the Cookie Queen shared with us the PR set of five recent Hermessence creations by their in-house perfumer, Christine Nagel.

Read Val’s ravishing review of the two Essences de Parfums here.




I tried Musc Pallida, Myrrhe Eglantine and Cedre Sambac on skin. I didn’t smear enough of the beautiful iris oil, so it was Cedre Sambac that I fell for that day. I was still breathing it in with a sigh at 10pm that night as we sat chatting in the bar of The Tabernacle.

Fast forward a couple of months and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. The only jasmine perfume I owned was a 10ml travel spray of Superstitious by Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums, which I only find suitable for special occasions because it’s so bold and glamorous. I had a gap in my collection for an everyday jasmine that would be lovely in the summer.

Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume mentioned that there was someone on a Facebook  group who was selling the travel sprays individually (officially only available in a set of three). I contacted him on impulse and a few days later, the 15ml bottle arrived.



These five new releases were inspired by the Middle East. however this is Christine Nagel and Hermes we’re talking about so there are no clanking clichés. The theme is executed with a light hand and style to spare.

I normally avoid perfumes with spice or at the very least, approach them with caution, but the soft spice in Cedre Sambac is what makes it so unique and addictive. The creamy, spiced cedar is much more like malleable Indian sandalwood.

While I said I had room for an easy-to-wear jasmine in my collection, the name Cedre Sambac is pertinent here – this is a cedar base richly embellished with climbing jasmine. This is probably in large part why it suits me so well. Time and time again, I’ve found jasmine soliflores to be too indolic, too clean or too loud. I also tend to find straight-up florals rather dull. Cedre Sambac keeps me on my toes and glued to my wrist. The jasmine used is absolutely exquisite and doubtless high quality. It’s warm and silky as opposed to fresh and blousy.

I’m always banging on about how I’m drawn to contrast in perfumery and I find this marriage of strength and gentleness incredibly attractive. The composition is so expertly blended that the two are inextricably wrapped around each other in a tight embrace.

It may be an Eau de Toilette but Cedre Sambac lasts well on me at a low volume and becomes the most seductive of skin scents after a few hours.

There is a sensual, mildly animalic facet that I only pick up clearly when I get close. I like that this touch of filth is kept intimate and not on display to the whole world. It’s much sexier that way. I believe it’s this dirty little secret tucked into the folds of its cascading rosettes that elevates Cedre Sambac from pleasingly pretty to utterly beguiling.


cedre 1

Have you tried any of the five new Hermessences? If not, do any appeal?




Filed under Perfume Reviews

17 responses to “Cedre Sambac by Hermes

  1. I did try all 5 in Milan back in April (we don’t have Hermes boutiques in Poland) and my favorite was Agar Ebene. Cedre Sambac was my least favorite but then I am not a jasmine person. Cardamusc was fantastic too but I can’t accept its price…


    • Hi lucasai,
      I’ve been looking for a wearable jasmine since forever so I’m really happy. The oils are outstanding but have a price tag to match.


  2. Tara C

    I really like Cedre Sambac and Agar Ebene, hoping to get in on a coffret split later this year.


  3. Sandra

    Hi Tara, I loved reading about your experience with Cedre Sambac. It really is an easy to love and wear jasmine. I adore Musc Pallida as well. I think she has done a wonderful job for Hermes. I hope you are enjoying the summer weather. Sandra xo


    • Hi Sandra,
      It’s so good that even though it’s easy to wear, it’s still interesting. Musc Pallida is just drop dead gorgeous. I am enjoying our rare hot weather. Hope it’s the same with you too. I know you love the heat.


  4. Right, now you’ve got me really interested Tara. I have smelled the whole set on paper but none of them spoke purchase to me. Will be in Hermès on Saturday and will give it a resniff, on skin.
    Portia xx


  5. Congratulations on your new addition. It’s just the right size.
    I smelled the three EdTs on paper but haven’t tried them on skin yet – maybe the next time. We have a newly opened Hermes boutique at the mall close to where I live, so I hoped to try those oils. But after waiting for probably 10 min for an available SA (they all were selling some other items, and it was taking forever), I decided it was too much and left.
    Speaking of daytime jasmine, have you tried Atelier Cologne’s Jasmine Angelique? I think it fits nicely into this category as well.


    • Hi Undina,
      Annoyingly WordPress is telling me that someone likes a post when they actually comment or not telling me at all. May request your help if it continues.
      Good news on the Hermes boutique! I think all these new releases are worth giving skin time to. It shows them at their best. If money weren’t an issue I’d own the Musc Pallida.
      Thanks very much for the Atelier Cologne jasmine tip. No, I haven’t tried it.


      • I’ve checked all the settings: they look fine, you’re supposed to get notifications whenever anybody “likes” the post or publishes a comment.
        Do you get notifications for ANY comments? If no, check your spam folder – it might be that somehow these get marked as spam. If yes, and you do get some comments but do not get others, we’ll investigate more. There might be some dependency on whether they were published by somebody with or without WP account. Or maybe from the desktop or mobile browser (though that would be even weirder). Or something else – we’ll figure it out (at least we’ll try).

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Cedre Sambac is getting a lot of love in the blogosphere, not least from a certain person who made a FB purchase! My fave of the line is Myrrhe Eglantine (of the relatively more affordable), but I did like Agar Ebene and the cardamom oil one. I have noticed with CS that the animalic facet is really marked on me shortly after the opening, and would love to do a side-by-side comparison with you and Val, like we did that time with Pure Distance WHITE, with Birgit making up the trio on that occasion.

    And thanks for the link to Bonkers!


    • It’s funny V because at first I was a little concerned that I was the only one that loved Cedre Sambac the most but it turned out not to be the case at all!
      I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the animalic facet varies from person to person. We shall have to do that a side-by-side at some point.


  7. Hello Tara, great review. I haven’t tried any of the new Hermessences yet. From what I have read so far, they are well worth out sniffing out. R


  8. Pingback: Hermessence Cèdre Sambac EdT by Christine Nagel for Hermès 2018 | Australian Perfume Junkies

  9. Pingback: Galop d’ Hermes | A Bottled Rose

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