I've probably said it before, and as I approach my 500th article for Now Smell This, I'll probably forget and say it again: if I had to limit myself to one perfume house for my fragrance 'needs,' Hermès would win. No other brand, including Guerlain, Chanel, L'Artisan Parfumeur, Frédéric Malle...or Serge Lutens!...gets so much of my business. Hermès, under perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, has done a great job with flankers, too: Bel Ami Vétiver and Rose Amazone come to mind (Jean-Claude...where's my Eau d'Hermès Mimosa? I've asked that you create this SEVERAL TIMES!) Ellena is responsible for Equipage Géranium, a new take on 1970's Equipage (a Guy Robert creation).
Back in the day, I was an Equipage fanatic, and right now I possess a vintage bottle of the perfume. Monsieur Equipage Géranium Ellena smells a lot like Equipage Robert, but Equipage Géranium is leaner and cleaner, a crisp salad version of the plumper, hairier, indulgent original Equipage (which smells like an Eau de Parfum next to Equipage Géranium). When I first wore Equipage Géranium I was impressed by its shared characteristics with its relative; when I wore the perfumes side by side I could barely smell Equipage Géranium...original Equipage was too strong a personality to share body space/air time with the newcomer.
Equipage Géranium removes Equipage's warm and "fatty" incense-y woods/resins and flowers (carnation, lily of the valley) and replaces them with soft, but cool, rose geranium leaves, sheer spices and mint. The heavier woods, tonka bean and hay-tobacco-immortelle-like accord of original Equipage is deleted in favor of a cologne-like (almost soapy) sandalwood and "nutty" musk base.
I liked Equipage Géranium more — before I wore it at the same time as original Equipage.
If original Equipage is just too "mature" or heavy or retro for your tastes, try Equipage Géranium; and if you are a lover of original Equipage, give the newbie a shot. Me? I like Equipage Géranium just fine and if original Equipage had disappeared, I would celebrate Equipage Géranium's arrival, but when I need Equipage again, I'll stick with Monsieur Equipage Robert (even reformulated, it's more interesting — and more my style — than Equipage Géranium).
Hermès Equipage Géranium has decent lasting power and so-so sillage; it's available now in 100 ml Eau de Toilette for $129.
Note: top image via Wikimedia Commons.