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Hermès – Bel Ami: Overview, Smell, Notes & More!

Bel Ami by the House of Hermès is a woody chypre eau de toilette for men launched in 1986. 

The scent designer is the same nose behind Dune and Fahrenheit, by Dior, and Opium, by Yves Saint-Laurent.

It has had four reformulations throughout the years, including Bel Ami Vetiver in 2013, designed by Jean-Claude Ellena. 

It is important to note that Bel Ami lost its market in the late 1980s but was remade three more times. However, the scent of the reformulations is essentially the same as the vintage Bel Ami. 

It’s the design of the bottle that has significantly evolved over the years.


  • Brand: Hermès 
  • Fragrance: Bel Ami
  • Release: 1986
  • Gender: Men
  • Perfumer: Jean-Louis Sieuzac

Fragrance Notes

  • Top Notes: Sage, Bergamot, Cardamom, Mandarin Orange, Lemon
  • Heart Notes: Carnation, Patchouli, Cedar, Basil, Orris Root, Jasmine
  • Base Notes: Leather, Oakmoss, Styrax, Vetiver, Amber, Vanilla, Coconut

What Does Hermès Bel Ami Smell Like?

The words that best describe this Hermès cologne are manly, classy, and expensive leather.

It’s all about luxurious leather rooted in a woody and bitter core. It has hints of spice, orange, and carnation as well as a mild coconut scent in the background. 

It’s classy and manly and a scent that denotes a wealthy European environment. 

Its smoky leather, mossy, and slightly sweet gasoline smell also brings to mind a ruggedly handsome cowboy that smells fresh – and just a teensy bit dirty. 

It’s a bold smell, oozing with confidence.

Overall, Bel Ami by Hermès is a dark soft brown leather fragrance that screams testosterone and wealth. 

It is seductive, animalic, and mature, which makes this scent appropriate for those in their early 30s and above. 

How Long Does Hermès Bel Ami Last For?

It can last from 12 to14 hours. It has excellent projection, with a sillage that is moderate to strong.

Two to three sprays is enough as this is a very powerful perfume. If you wear it close to bedtime, expect to wake up with your pillows, sheets, and blankets smelling of Bel Ami’s exquisite leather note.

When Should You Wear It?

Fall and winter are the ideal seasons to wear this perfume. 

Although nobody will look at you weirdly if you wear it in the summer, this scent’s leathery, smoky smell works better in the chilly months.

Where Should You Wear It?

This sexy aroma is perfect for special occasions. There are very specific events that the scent is suited for. 

Wear the fragrance to an elegant mansion with an impressive library that houses centuries-old books and a crackling fireplace.  Or wear it to a convention that brings together rich old men. 

In essence, it’s definitely for formal and VIP events.

Presentation and Value For Money

The original vintage bottle is shaped like a cocktail shaker, which has an old-fashioned, classy feel to it. 

Overall, the presentation is excellent, stylish, and upscale.

It’s not cheap at $150 a bottle (even for the vintage version), but it’s not absurdly expensive either. For a scent that screams elegance, it is great value for money. 

The Bottom Line

Bel Ami is one of those worldly perfumes with a deep masculine scent that qualifies it as an exclusive men’s fragrance. It’s a bit expensive, but a man of taste will burn cash for this power scent.

Perfumes that Smell Like Hermès Bel Ami

Basically, any perfume that has a main accord of leather with mild floral notes smells similar to Bel Ami. If you love Bel ami,  you’ll enjoy these three fragrances:

M by Puredistance

This has the same leathery scent, but it is a unisex perfume. 

M by Puredistance was designed by Roja Dove and the two scents share many similar perfume notes with each other. 

It has leather, woody, warm spicy, earthy, aromatic, animalic, cinnamon, mossy, and citrus accords. Its base aromas are carnation, patchouli, oakmoss, and musk.

However, M by Puredistance is less aggressive than Bel Ami. With its rose and jasmine, it can also be feminine, chic, and stylish. 

Antaeus by Chanel

Woody chypre is the selling point of Antaeus by Chanel, which is almost identical to Hermès’ Bel Ami. This is also one of those prominent 1980s men’s scents.

The two perfumes share notes of bergamot and oakmoss. 

Its main accords are leather, woody, aromatic, amber, mossy, smoky, rose, musky, and patchouli. 

Derby by Guerlain

A leather fragrance for men, its top notes include bergamot and orange. Its heart notes are carnation, exotic woods, and spices. 

Meanwhile, the basenotes are leather, birch, patchouli, and wood.

It is strong and long-lasting, with moderate sillage. This is an expensive perfume best for special occasions.

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