Galop d’Hermès by Christine Nagel for Hermès 2016


Post by Claire Vukcevic


Hey there, you lovely-smelling APJ guys!

I was recently lucky enough to snag a sample of the new Galop d’Hermès in an Hermès boutique in Copenhagen. Well, I say lucky, but what I really mean is that I stomped my little feet until I got one, because I was buying a whole bottle of Osmanthe Yunnan at full retail so you better believe I wasn’t leaving without some loot. I got a chance to fondle the bottle too. I’m not sure what the string is for (hanging it up with your gym wash bag maybe?), but it’s Hermès and it’s shaped like a stirrup, so who am I to quibble.

Galop d’Hermès by Hermès 2016

Galop d’Hermès by Christine Nagel

Galop d`Hermes Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Rose, Leather, Saffron, Quince

Galop d’Hermès opens bright and mouth-puckeringly tart, a saffraleine leather glossed to a high shine with rose and cassis. It’s hard not to swoon, to be honest, because the immediately appetizing mixture of velvety rose petals, saffron, and orange swells to fill the nose and make your mouth water. Syrupy and rich, the opening is almost gourmand to my nose, but then a wave of urinous cassis (blackcurrant) crests and washes over the composition, adding a welcome astringency.

Now, don’t be too alarmed by my use of the word “urinous” here – both cassis and grapefruit share a compound that is also present in urine, but if you don’t perceive any “cat pee” note in fragrances such as Aqua Allergoria Pamplelune, then you should be fine with this. I think that this is the only element in Galop that might be considered shocking or animalic, the way the perfume makes that blackcurrant note teeter between pee and unripe fruit. To my nose, rhubarb has a similar effect.

Likewise, despite equestrian-based marketing, there is really nothing horsey or animalic about the leather note, which is the smooth, vegetal leather used in other Hermès fragrances such as Kelly Caleche. But the texture here is less angular. The sleekness of leather fuzzes up even more, gaining a dusky wooliness that really works against the tart cassis. What surprises me is that the lush, velvety rose I smelled in the opening disappears, morphing into a rose-tinted baked apple – a quince basically. I bake with quinces, and the scent matches the taste: a rosy, perfumey apple with a mealy texture. When a slice or two is slipped into an ordinary apple tart, they turn a fabulous shade of blush pink.

Longevity is pretty good – I get about 6-8 hours. Projection is quiet, though, which is hardly surprising, given it’s an extrait. I can see this working for posh girls and boys who know their way around a tack room or two. It’s as refined as the JC Ellena scents for Hermès but has just enough of that Christine Nagel richness of touch to push more towards glamorous equestrian ball territory than sheer daytime wear.

Galop d`Hermes Hermes Fragrantica1Fragrantica

Further reading: Bois de Jasmin and AnOther
Hermès Australia has $275/50ml

What about you? Will you miss JC Ellena when he goes? What are your fave JC Ellena frags?
Slán from rainy old Ireland,

Claire also writes for Take One Thing Off

19 thoughts on “Galop d’Hermès by Christine Nagel for Hermès 2016

    • Hi Tara,

      It’s pretty urinous on me too, but in a soft, pretty-in-pink way, if you know what I mean? Actually, it kind of reminded me of a fuzzier, gentler version of blackcurrant-rose-fig leaf accord in L’Ombre Dans L’Eau. That one goes super sour on me in no time at all. It was one of the first niche fragrances I ever invested in, and I obviously made the mistake of not waiting until the dry down.

      Cheers, Claire


  1. Heya Claire,
    Intrigued by Galop and yes, I will miss JCE when he goes. A lot of his work suits me.
    The Jardin series, Monsieur Li especially, Hermessence at least half the range and pockets of love through his whole career. He seems genuinely thrilled to be able to create and that he is employed to work at his passion.
    Looking forward to the Nagal years too.
    Portia xx


    • Portia, thanks so much for having me! I spent years not appreciating JCE, but now I’m coming round. I recently fell for Osmanthe Yunnan, although I have to stay very, very still to catch its nuances. I also love the way he handled the Eau des Merveilles flankers, even though he was not involved in the original. And I always think I might need L’Eau d’Hiver…until I smell Apres L’Ondee and think, nah, I’m good! xxx Claire


    • Thanks Azar! I like almost all of the Hermessences too, although I haven’t been tempted to buy a full bottle beyond Cuir d’Ange and Osmanthe Yunnan. It kind of bothers me that JCE calls them haikus instead of full developed perfumes – I mean, for that price, I want a fat novel, not some mean little haiku 🙂

      I’ve never smelled First! I should really remedy that one of these days.

      Cheers, Claire


  2. Welcome to the Monkey House. I dunno about a favourite but Cuir d’Ange is my most worn JCE for sure. I wanted to try Le Galop yesterday but it didn’t work out. Soon. I’m way excited. xxxx


    • Hi Val!

      Thanks for the lovely welcome. Cuir d’Ange is my favorite Hermessence too, and it was thanks to you that I got to try it in the first place, so vielen dank 🙂 I smell a sort of link between Osmanthe Yunnan and Cuir d’Ange, a sort of lightly rubbery suede note – do you get that? Mind you, Osmanthe Yunann is fleeting whereas Cuir d’Ange goes all beast mode on me.

      xxx Claire


  3. Welcome Claire!
    I’m very keen to try this one! Sounds great. Lovely review. We usually have to wait what feels like forever (ie at least a month) for new stock to arrive at Sydney Hèrmes so I’ll be practicing patience for a while yet I guess.
    Tina G xx


    • Hi Tina G, thanks for the awesome welcome 🙂 I sympathize with the difficulty in access to new releases in Australia. I used to live in a country where not only was there no niche at all but often the country was too small to exist on the dropdown menus or companies would just refuse to ship there. Thank God for eBay and Facebook groups (and lately, – if it weren’t for those second-hand markets, I wouldn’t have much of a collection at all.

      You are more than welcome to my sample of Galop, by the way – I have no problem shipping to Australia from Ireland. Just shoot me an email – it’s my full name at gmail dot com

      Cheers, Claire


  4. If this smells like animalic then its definitely for me, but curious as well due to certain negative reviews.
    My favorite that I enjoy wearing from Hermes are: Bel Ami (its a WOW for me), Rocabar, Un Jardin en Mediterrane, Terre d’Hermes, Caleche and 24 Faubourg.
    Thanks for the article


    • Hi Hikmat, how are you? No, I wouldn’t call this animalic, unless the cassis reads as urinous to your nose. The leather note is very smooth and light, plasticky almost, like that vegetal leather used in Kelly Caleche. It’s also kind of “pink” in feel, so not exactly hyper masculine…

      I too love Bel Ami! Have you tried the vetiver version? It’s really good, a sort of cross between the original and Terre d’Hermes. Un Jardin en Mediterranee was my first “big” perfume expenditure and was the one that made me fall down the rabbit hole of this hobby (addiction). My son loves the Terre d’Hermes parfum version, but he is only five, so I think he is ok with decants of simpler stuff like Orange Sanguine and Lush Sun.

      Best, Claire


  5. Welcome Claire! Lovely review. When I tried this in Nice it was VERY urinous on me and I recoiled in horror. I will try it again in the autumn to see if the season change will help. I will miss JCE but change can also be exciting and I look forward to what CN will bring. Sandra xo


    • Thanks, Sandra! Yes, I can see how this might turn very sharp under the heat, although it’s always good to listen to your first instincts. Plenty of other lovely Hermes in the back catalogue, and new doesn’t always translate to best anyway.

      I think Nagel did an excellent job of bridging the gap between the Ellena heritage (the vegetal leather, the tart garden fruits) and her own style (the rich, dense fuzziness). I also am looking forward to what else she comes up with for Hermes.

      Best, Claire


  6. I love the Hermessences and the Jardin series and Kelly Caleche! JCE is the only ‘celebrity’ I would ever want to meet. He’s a genius IMHO.


  7. Pingback: Galop d'Hermes by Christine Nagel for Hermès 2016 | Perfume Posse

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