Thursday, 17 May 2012

Hermes Rocabar

I was at my local Fenwicks department store today, who are celebrating their beauty week. I saw a few weeks ago that they are now stocking Rocabar, which I haven't personally come across before, but they didn't have a tester until recently. I've tried Equipage numerous times but Rocabar has eluded me (I'm still on the lookout for Bel Ami, but I am not convinced I will find it here in the UK - if anyone from the UK is reading this, a heads-up would be appreciated).

Anyway, today I tried Rocabar for the first time and I have to say that I really enjoy it. Released in 1998, the notes according to Basenotes are juniper berry, cedar needles, lavender, nutmeg, cinnamon, cyprus, atlas cedar, virginia cedar, balsam and vanilla. Reading these notes, one would be led to believe that Rocabar smells intensely woody and piney, with spices and an oriental twist in the base. I don't personally think that it wears as woody and piney on skin as I thought it would. And I'm grateful for that. I am not a massive fan of very piney fragrances and Rocabar's coniferous accords are well balanced with warm spices and a slight sweetness-and-resin from the balsam and vanilla. 

Many Basenotes reviews complain that Rocabar is too sweet and cloying. I don't know where that comes from, because on my skin it is not very sweet at all, as the woods and spice tone down most of this and it is very well balanced. In fact, I think it is the use of vanilla and balsam in the base that makes Rocabar so enjoyable, particularly as this stops the piney accords from dominating. I have to admit that Rocabar does smell a tiny bit dated - it smells more like a very well done 1980's perfume than something released only two years from the new century, yet is not forceful and hairy-chested. It smells smooth and classy, no surprise coming from Hermes, who do understated luxury very well indeed. I think Rocabar is fantastic, and I'm so glad that I've finally tried it. Highly recommended wearing.

I should point out that the Rocabar I tried is no longer in the bottle pictured top left. It is now in the slimline Hermes bottle common to the main range, for example the 'Un Jardin' perfumes.

Image credit -


  1. Michael

    Bel Ami is still available in the UK, I will try to find out who stocks it for you.

  2. MB, thank you very much. I'd love to find out where it is stocked!

  3. I've spoken to HQ this fragrance is only available in the Hermes Boutiques - Harrods, Selfridges, Sloane Street, Royal Exchange and Heathrow Airport. It won't be on the actual fragrance counters.

  4. It sounds as if it is only in limited release then? Too bad, as Bel Ami is one of the most smooth and sophisticated leather perfumes out there. If it were one of the James Bond incarnations, I'd say Pierce Brosnan as opposed to Daniel Craig, who would be...Rocabar? Thanks for the reciprocal listing by the way.

  5. Rocabar was the very first perfume from Hermes that I liked (on my vSO). It was my entry point into the House. I need to get a new bottle of it, I think.

  6. MB, thanks for confirming where Bel Ami is stocked. It's interesting that Hermes keep it in such limited distribution.

  7. Blacknall, that is why I've wanted to try it for some time - it gets very good reviews, but seems hard to find.

  8. Undina, that's great. I like Hermes as a line. Nothing flashy about them, but their perfumes are very good quality I think.



Related Posts with Thumbnails