Verticaloud by Hermetica (2018)

Thumbs Up

Verticaloud by Hermetica (2018) is a bit of a deceptive fragrance by name, as are many in the Hermetica range, being as it contains no oud, and isn’t even based around an oud note. Perhaps a clue to this is the use of the word “vertical” in the portmanteau name, and indeed the oud note present is in the top, not the base, asserting its verticality as it were. The entire Hermetica range is comprised mostly of synthetic scent molecules and is even alcohol free, presenting itself as a niche-quality line that places the health and safety of the end-user first, a poster-child of IFRA regulations proving that artistry can exist within such a restrictive environment. Verticaloud makes a convincing case for relinquishing creative control to the big chem firm overlords (in this case Aliénor Massenet for Symrise), as it does smell quite nice with blooming performance, but I’m not 100% behind the idea just yet. Some people give this house the cruel nickname of “Nanny State Niche” since their premise is to be the Volvo of the niche world, but I think they’re at least a little better than that.

The scent profile of Verticaloud contains the entire fragrance of Source1 by Hermetica (2018) within it, which is the house’s own version of a “Guerlinade”, and like with house Guerlain, was released by itself as a perfume. I’ve smelled Source1, and won’t review it here, but I get very little of it in the profile. The opening of Verticaloud is raspberry, synthetic oud, and rose. Out of the gate this has that familiar sweet Western-style take on an oud perfume, with the raspberry adding gourmand flourishes. When the heart shows up, the oud fades and the rose is joined by saffron and leather which is very reminiscent of Tom Ford Tuscan Leather (2007), until the whole thing is sharpened up with black pepper and made clean with the Source1 fragrance compound playing in the background. This is best described as a sweet floral woody leather with an oud opening. Wear time is at least 10 hours and sillage/projection is very good, so go easy on application. I see Verticaloud as unisex, romantic, cold weather, and for evening use, but your thoughts may differ. I personally wouldn’t get attached to the notion that this is a safe fragrance either, so I’d not use it on a first date.

Overall, Verticaloud is a nice scent, sweet enough for the cold, clean enough for those uninitiated in the world of oud perfumes, but exotic enough to stand out from your typical modern Dior Poison (1985) and Dolce & Gabbana The One for Men (2008) flankers, making it a good intermediate niche step up from the designer doldrums. Granted, $195USD is nothing to sneeze at, but considering even the signature line Tom Ford starts at $150 for 100ml and little under three digits at MSRP is worth looking into unless you’re shopping a discounter, the asking price for this compared to what you get performance-wise isn’t all that hard to rationalize. One bottle of Verticaloud should be a lifetime supply in a well-rounded wardrobe due to it’s lack of generalist versatility. If you’re in the market for sweet, floral woodyambers with a leather twist and don’t give two shakes about names or natural ingredients, Verticaloud by Hermetica might be worth sampling. I don’t much care for the bland green bottles used across the entire range, but that doesn’t stop me in this case from liking what’s inside. Thumbs up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.