I'm new to this board...I hope it's OK to jump in. I returned from my first trip to Paris a couple of weeks ago. Having read about the "macaron wars" before the trip, I decided to buy an assortment from both Laduree and Herme, and do a "taste test" on the long flight home from Paris to Los Angeles. A fun way to occupy some time for sure! I found the Herme ones to be too soft. The ones from Laduree had a bit more crunch at the outset, with a bit more of a chew in the middle of the cookie, and then the filling was thicker and creamier. I liked the combination of textures much more than the Herme ones which just seemed soft and mushy. However, some of the Herme flavors surpassed that of Laduree. I wish I'd written more details down, but I found it hard to juggle 2 boxes of macarons, plus a glass of water to cleanse my palate, and a journal and a pen all on the tray table in front of me. And of course we hit turbulence in the midst of this effort! :) But here are a few notes I wrote down: Chocolate -- Laduree has more intense flavor. Caramel -- Herme has more pronounced burnt sugar taste. Laduree is more caramely and I can taste the salt. (Both were plusses...would depend on what kind of caramel I was in the mood for.) Coffee -- Herme center has more intense coffee flavor. Mocha -- Herme seems to do coffee well. This has an intense coffee taste in the cookie. The chocolate cream inside is good. Other flavors of Herme I recorded -- almond, rose, olive oil with vanilla (really interesting!), passionfruit and chocolate. Others of Laduree -- rose, pistachio, raspberry (really brilliant flavor) I appreciated that Herme provides a color guide to their macarons, complete with description of the flavors. Laduree provides just a list, but no photos or descriptions. Still, I would probably choose Laduree over Herme at gunpoint. Now I need to go back to Paris and try macarons from some of the other places!!