Well, well, Monday: Galop d’Hermes

GalopLeather and roses? Sounds like a shoo-in for the winner’s circle for Hermes. But not for me, I thought to myself, as rose scents are usually not my thing, and rarely are leather-centric perfumes (with a few exceptions for both, of course). So I thought I’d take a pass on Galop d’Hermes. But when I spied a little scent patch in a Neiman Marcus catalog, I thought, “Oh, what the heck” and applied it.

Well, well, color me surprised!

“Two wrongs don’t make a right” goes the old saying, but in this case, they just might. After a slight citrus open, a gently fruity rose unfurled, giving way, after a bit, to allow a soft, saffron-infused leather to gain ground. The pairing created a soft cadence that, on my skin, robbed each ingredient of any possible offensiveness, melding together deliciously. In fact, toward the end, Galop gave me a hint of what rose and leather candy might smell like (sounds a little weird, I know), yet in a good way. I couldn’t stop sniffing my wrist even into the wee hours of the night.

Now I realize that you can’t make a definite decision wearing it from a pull-off scent patch and such a little bit at that, so I beat a path over to STC and got both a dab sample and a little spray.

When the package arrived, I dove right in. On one wrist, I dabbed, and spritzed on the other. From the sprayed side, I immediately got a sharpish, almost sour accord (the quince?) that had me wrinkling my nose a bit. “Some kind of plastic?” even crossed my mind there for a sec. No such animal on the dabbed side, however.

Thankfully, after a few minutes, that pungency receded and Galop began to smell closer to my original impression: not exactly the same, but still appealing and nicely blended. And I found the leather taking a little bigger lead farther in the drydown.

However, those of you hoping for some heavy-duty leather may be a bit disappointed, as this one is reined in and refined. Galop stays in handbag territory (perhaps even suede or a powdered leather?), not going anywhere near a stable’s tack room. And the slightly citrusy-fruity rose might not appeal to perfumistas who are hard-core about that note. But it’s definitely worth a try, if only to experience perfumer Christine Nagel’s debut at Hermes.

All in all, though, I thought Galop was pleasing and could work nicely for those, like me, who are a bit leery of rose and/or leather. As an elegant, refined scent that still manages to be a bit playful, it’s a cinch. And this could go unisex — could be delish on the right guy.

I do have to confess, though, that I was halfway wishing that I had a bunch of those little scent-patch thingies so I could just use one or two a day to use as my fragrance. Especially in light of Galop’s price point. And oddly enough, the scent seemed to last longer on my wrist this way than either sprayed or dabbed.

As for notes, I tried, but could not find an official list, even on the Hermes site, but did see these pictured on the Fragrantica site: quince, saffron, Turkish rose, osmanthus, leather, white musk.

Now about Galop’s packaging – a big thumbs up! Being a horse person from way back, gotta say I love that stirrup-shaped bottle, especially one with the signature orange tie. Stirrups, saddles, bridles, bits – all things equestrian tend to make me happy, even after all these years. A miniature of this bottle would be off-the-charts adorable – here’s hoping they make one. Pretty please, Hermes?

Have any of you tried this? What did you think?

  • cookie queen says:

    I bought a bottle after three wearings, each time more gorgeous. I’m thrilled with it. Stunning. ??

  • Portia says:

    Hey Ann,
    I tried Galop the other day and it was very nice, but I notoriously need a little time to warm up to new stuff. It really made me want to buy Equipage Geranium, which is stellar on me.
    Portia xx

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Portia! Glad you tried Galop (and glad to hear it sat well with you). Haven’t sniffed the Geranium, but if it’s got you wanting a FB, it must be some good stuff!

  • Musette says:

    I keep wondering about this-haven’t been to Hermes in awhile – next time I’m out and about I’ll pop in and see if it’s a winnah! I like a slightly heavier leather note but note tack-room; more Chanel CdR perfume. For roses & leather you should check out Liz Zorn’s Cordovan Rose. I luhs that stuff! Perfect for now. xoxoxoA

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, doll! This leather (to my nose, at least) is softer, almost cosmetic-y powdery, maybe even suede. But who knows? It might surprise you like it did me (although I don’t need much; I’m quite happy with my little spray decant for whenever the mood strikes). Must try that Liz Zorn — sounds lovely!

    • Ann says:

      P.S. I have not set foot in a Hermes in well over a year;, since they moved to a chi-chi, multi-level shopping area with wallet-busting parking fees. Maybe one day when I’m feeling very flush 🙂

  • March says:

    That bottle is gorgeous! Doesn’t sound like I’d be wowed by the smell, although it’s nice enough… there’s a swanky big Hermes up the street near my office, maybe I’ll swing by, I’ve been looking for an excuse!

    • Ann says:

      Hiya, dear! Do give it a go if you get the chance, but you’re right — it probably isn’t your thing. Glad you’re a BV fan, too!

  • Tara C says:

    Galop didn’t work for me at all, I got a urinous smell on the opening and hardly any leather or rose, just that odd plasticky smell I also got from Cuir d’Ange. I much prefer Bottega Veneta’s leather.

    • March says:

      LOVE that BV. I have a little bottle in my desk at work, plus the lotion. Very office-friendly IMO.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, Tara, I could definitely see how it could tilt that way; I didn’t get urine so much as a hint of plastic from the Hermes. And I do enjoy BV as well — nice stuff that!

  • Neva says:

    Hi Ann and thanks for the review. It sounds interesting to me because I like soft leathers and rose is always a winner.
    I’m curious: can you maybe compare Galop d’Hermes to the Hermessence Cuir d’Ange?

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Neva! I wish I could help you but don’t know that I’ve ever sniffed the Cuir d’Ange as I don’t normally go for leather. But I did sniff Dior’s Cuir Cannage the other day and it’s softer, warmer and has less “tang” (from the quince, rose), for lack of a better word. I did like the Dior somewhat though and wouldn’t mind a sample.

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Ann!
    Years ago my Mom told me those “scent patches” were deceptive. She’d say they put the best ingredients into the “draw”-but the scents themselves didn’t live up to the come on. Over the years I’ve begun to agree with her. I’m grateful for decants ( thank you STC) so I can get an honest assessment of a fragrance.
    I love how willing you are to try things Ann-even those with notes that you may not like.
    I can get stuck in my judgements (anything sweet,fruity etc. ) and miss out on fragrances I perhaps would love.
    Thanks for your posts. It’s a happy way to start the week.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Sarah; I appreciate you visiting every week. That’s interesting about the scent patches, but it makes sense. I’ve never put much stock in them before this time. I do try to keep an open mind about most scents because you never know when you might find unexpected fragrance love, or at least like, as in the case of this Hermes. But I’m finding I have to draw the line at trying oud- and cumin-containing scents anymore as they tend to make me feel icky (and even ill at times), and so aren’t worth the risk, ha! If there’s any love or like to be had there, I’ll just pass, thank you 🙂

  • rosarita313 says:

    That is a very attractive bottle. The juice sounds nice too. Have you ever tried Kelly Caleche? If I recall correctly, it is a soft leather and floral of some kind. For leather and rose, I have a sample of Kerosene Whips and Roses that I love. Kerosene bottles are beautiful too, and so out of my price range these days!

    • Ann says:

      Howdy, dear! You know, Kelly Caleche did cross my mind as I was writing this post, but I didn’t have any to sniff and compare. I’m guessing the Kelly has more variety in the floral department, though. And that W&R sounds cool; will go peek at STC to sample. Thanks!