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Hermès Exotic Bag Guide


A guide to Hermès precious skins

  The only thing more coveted than a Hermès bag is a Hermes bag in exotic leather. Handmade in the Hermès ateliers, all exotic leathers are carefully inspected to ensure that only the finest pieces are used in each bag. We teach you what you need know before purchasing a Hermès Exotic Skin Bag.


Porosus Crocodile

Porosus Crocodile is the king of Hermès precious leathers as it is one of the rarest and most expensive leathers due to its beauty and quality. 


Originating mainly from Australia, it's characterized by the tiny pores on each plate and comes in two varieties: Matte or Lisse, shiny. The shiny effect is achieved from a very careful and arduous agate stone polishing. For more recent bags, a Hermès porosus leather can be easily recognized by a “^” caret mark, which can be found next to the brand stamp or on the panel of the bag. For vintage pieces that don’t have a carat mark, you can identify a porosus by the pores on its skin and the three S’s: Small, Square and Symmetrical. Meaning the plates must be small, square shaped and symmetrical.


Niloticus Crocodile

Electric Blue Hermès drag bag

Niloticus crocodile is the second most coveted Hermès exotic. The skin originates from a freshwater species native to the Nile River in Africa. The Niloticus crocodile's scales are subtly larger than Porosus and are less symmetrical. A fast way to identify Niloticus Crocodile is with a “..” diaeresis mark in the foil.



Originating from South Africa, Ostrich is the only bird used in leather-goods. Ostrich skin bags are recognized by the feather follicles and the more follicles there are, the more precious the skin is.


When considering the purchase of an ostrich leather bag, always look at the handle of the bag, as this is generally where there are first signs of wear, due to the oils on our skins from holding the bag. Also consider color, while a more subtle color can be considered easier to wear, rare vivid shades will always command the highest prices.


Shop all Exotics

RARE Crocodile Kelly, 25cm
Hermès Ostrich Birkin, 30cm
RARE Electric Blue Drag Bag
RARE 2008 Ostrich Kelly, 28cm


An Hermès bag is an investment. Before buying an Hermès bag, make sure you know some key features and terms that will help you properly analyze your potential purchase.


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