Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Calèche by Hermès

I can't speak for the modern version, but vintage Caleche is a very singular & strange scent - I find it disturbing. It's often spoken of as a "sister perfume" to Madame Rochas, because perfumer Guy Robert created both of these aldehydic florals in the early '60s - and while both smell very unique, they don't smell all that similar to each other. Original Madame Rochas was powdery & deeply feminine with lush florals on an earthy, mossy base. But Caleche is crisp & sharp, it's primary accord seemingly composed of 2/3 aldehyde & 1/3 lemon.That's an oversimplification, but it really is very crisp & cold, and fairly linear. The aldehydes are ratcheted up to a high degree and the effect is cold & strange, to me at least. I have not smelled any other perfume that smells like this. Every time I wear it, I note how pretty it is, but it makes me a bit uncomfortable. It's like the really good-looking guy in the room, whose standing by himself, taking stock of everyone. Then you lock eyes with him, and you tingle as you realize how gorgeous & strange his eyes are, but you also feel frightened - like something's just not right about him. There's something unsettling about him that you can't put your finger on. To me, that's Caleche. A very unique and pretty accord, but just really weird & unsettling smelling.
I'm reviewing the vintage parfum.
17th November, 2014
Roja Dove tells us that perfumer Guy Robert here created new types of both floral (less sweet) and chypre, less severe, opening with sparkling citrus notes.

Barbara Herman notes the "blend of classic floral notes and balsams that provide a hint of Oriental sweetness" and its "masculine base."

I found it to be for me a sharp and musty floral chypre, drying down to cinnamon. I compare it unfavorably to La Renta's Oscar.

Top notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Neroli, Mandarin
Heart notes: Gardenia, Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, Orris, Muguet
Base notes: Tonka, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Amber, Musk, Cypress, Olibanum, Coumarin

Nice but unremarkable.
22nd October, 2014
finzi Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Did somebody say Chanel No. 5? If you've tried Chanel 5 but weren't too sure about it, try this. It's very similar but has a slight variation on the theme that might appeal to you.

I get a huge blast of the aldehydes and bergamot sitting on top of jasmine. The vetiver peeks its head above the parapet just enough for me to know that it's there.

In my (uneducated) opinion, very nicely blended and a great classic scent. Rich, opulent and sophisticated.
11th March, 2012
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MMMMMMMMMMMMM? i wonder if Hermes Caleche stole the ingrediants from Chanel no 5. because they smell the same
so there's not alot to describe.
it has the same Aldehydiac note and it's elegant and chic this perfume is perfect for wearing a cream shelf dress
going to a fashionable daytime garden
soiree. if chanel is a nighttime aldehyde Hermes Caleche is for day.
12th December, 2010
Smells like Chanel No. 5 and urine.... which isn't always such a bad thing.

25th December, 2008
I liked the warm woody notes at the beginning but then over several hours the scent started to remind me of old linens stored away in a forgotten drawer for several years. Stays on for a very long time.
23rd June, 2008