Scarf of the moment: Mare Nostrum

Today’s Scarf of the Moment post is about Mare Nostrum, designed by Annie Faivre for Hermès. The title is “Our Sea” in Latin and is the name that the Romans gave to the Mediterranean. This 90cm silk twill scarf shows a range of mythological, architectural, plant and animal images set into a mosaic-like background, which looks a little like crazy paving! Many of these images are whimsical and fun and they reward detailed examination. This central design is then surrounded by what appears to be a ceramic water pipe with open fish mouths as outflows. An inner border is composed of stylised palm trees.

Mare Nostrum by Annie Faivre for Hermès

Mare Nostrum by Annie Faivre for Hermès

I was so pleased when I discovered this lovely colourway of Mare Nostrum on eBay. The design fits perfectly into my long-loved theme of the Ancient World and the colours are just right for my Autumn clothing. The main colours are two shades of lavender used for the outer border and also the inner surrounds, which have fish shapes hidden amongst them. There are also shades of a pinkish beige, sepia, blue and brown.

Mare Nostrum by Annie Faivre for Hermès

Mare Nostrum by Annie Faivre for Hermès

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find out much information about the scarf and so I am writing a rather bare bones post, which I will add to if I come across anything more at a later date. What I have been able to find out is that Faivre’s design was produced as a 90cm silk twill by Hermès in 2003. There are several lovely colourways which can be seen online and I am sure that there are more in lucky people’s collections.

These are the colourways I have found so far:

A very kind member of The Purse Forum sent me the design story:

Referred to by some as a “lake” the Mediterranean can sometimes become disturbed and Aphrodite’s nerves are then frayed. On its shores nevertheless, civilisations thrive. In the shadow of the olive trees, literary genius finds its apogee, swept to its heights by Homer, Virgil, Ibn Khaldun, Dante or Cervantes. Mediterranean cultures form a mosaic where mingle the griffin of Pylos and the chimneys of Gaudi, a phoenix of Antioch and Neptune crowned with an octopus, a queen of Carthage and a Berber prince. United in the same limpidity.

Here are some close-ups of elements from the scarf, shown in a slideshow format:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have not worn the scarf yet, only tried out a few scarf knots, so I will add some collages here as soon as they become available later on in the year. The scarf will look lovely with shades of beige, camel and other browns but also with darker purples, perhaps. I am looking forward to seeing which clothes in my wardrobe will work the best!

Until then, I have this collage that I made to show off some of the features and ties:

Mare Nostrum by Annie Faivre for Hermès

Mare Nostrum by Annie Faivre for Hermès

Background information

HSCI Hermès Scarf Photo Catalogue
Mare Nostrum
Click the right arrow to see more colourways in the catalogue.

As the design reminds me so much of Greek and Roman mosaics, I have added a few links and videos here for you to explore, if you are interested:

Comprehensive article about this art form.

Helen Miles Mosaics
Comprehensive guide to the mosaics of Greece

I hope you have enjoyed this scarf post. There are a couple more to write and then I will have finished all of the Hermès scarves that I presently own. So, Scarf of the Moment posts will then have to wait until I can afford more!

Best wishes,


About The Librain

Retired School Librarian
This entry was posted in Scarf of the moment, Scarves, Wardrobe and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Scarf of the moment: Mare Nostrum

  1. Pudfish says:

    Thank you for this interesting post, loved all the information about mosaics. You have such a great colourway too. Xx


    • The Librain says:

      When I have finished posts for all of my H scarves, only two left, I am going to go back through them and tweak them all a bit. I love researching background information on each one, where I can think of something that links with the design. Sometimes it is a bit tenuous LOL 😂


  2. lemon says:

    Thank you so much for posting all those details and explanations! My thanks also to the kind Purse Forum member who sent you the official design story. I was looking for info on this one because my DH surprised me with a petit h 2021 xmas present* that (re)uses part of this scarf. It’s half a scarf with a water-resistant hood. Here’s the official link:
    Mine is purple with avocado green and orange details. The hood is orange.

    * Backstory: My husband noticed I would not wear any scarves on rainy days, and googled “Hermes scarf waterproof.” Isn’t that sweet? (He ~I~ was very lucky that Hermès actually not only offered such a product, but also at that exact moment. It sold out pretty fast too.)


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