Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Galop d'Hermès by Hermès

Total Reviews: 14
Galop d'Hermès (2016) is the first official outing of house perfumer Christine Nagel, who took over for Jean-Claude Ellena in 2016 so he could retire from perfuming altogether. The fragrance is extremely divisive, and perhaps somewhat miss-marketed as a feminine parfum when in fact it sits quite unisex much like the venerable Eau d'Hermès (1951), but for an entirely different set of reasons. Jean-Claude Ellena has always been something of an emotional perfumer, preferring to capture places or snapshots in time with many of his creations for Hermès (particularly with the Hermèssence line), and uses more of an artistic approach as opposed to a scientific one. As almost the equal opposite to that, Christine Nagel is almost the "chemistry nerd" art-from-science type, playing with compounds and molecules instead of using ingredients like pigments on a paint palette, which makes her perfumes feel more concise, to the point, but not always as interesting to folks liking romanticism in their perfume. In the case of her appointment to Hermès and the subsequent Galop d'Hermès that was made manifest, it is clear that she chose to deconstruct down to the core leather theme that pervades most main Hermès scents, and like the mad scientist she is, build a fruity floral of all things on top of it. The bottle for Galop d'Hermès is almost more bizarre than the scent itself, being a metal framework with refillable atomizer that the sales associate proclaimed is "assembled from 22 parts", which I guess is supposed to be a selling point, but the custom colored lanyard you get to pick out when you buy one of these is a neat touch, I guess.

I've been pretty clear in the past that I hate most fruity florals and nearly all "fruitchouli" varieties for their candied sweetness and offensive nose burn openings, but there have been exceptions (mostly vintage ones) like Chanel Cristalle (1974) and Calyx by Prescriptives (1987). Galop d'Hermès rides in as another rare exception, because it holds off from being unbearably ozonic or sweet by keeping the fruit element in the background, and laying rose and saffron upon the sharp leather tannery note in the base. This combination makes for a rather pleasant and almost "summery" leather experience that can easily replace any of the older, and more traditional varieties of leather found in the Hermès back catalog when a hot day calls for it, but only for the open-minded. The bright bergamot and osmanthus that opens with a dry citric apricot accord. The leather comes on rather quickly as does the rose and saffron which follows, but while this development gives Galop d'Hermès a bit of a Middle East flair at first, the rose and osmanthus hang around with the dry leather which pushes the scent a little more to the feminine side in the end, merging the whole thing with a late-wear nondescript woods note to make Galop d'Hermès rather pleasant albeit a touch linear due to its simplicity. Wear time is appreciably long, and sillage is huge at first but soon goes busto after about the 4 hour mark to something more akin to what an eau de parfum usually puts out. Galop d'Hermès feels best in warm weather and casual settings, and although unisex to my nose, the average CISHET guy won't dig this ladies or anyone who has interest in obvious florals or rose needs to have a looksie at this.

Galop d'Hermès is nice, but nice may not be enough for some long time Hermès fans used to the kind of output Hermès is known for, including robust aldehyde woody florals like Amazone (1974), or stiff isobutyl quinoline leathers like Bel Ami (1976). Hell, even more-recent main line scents like Hiris (1999) or the male incumbent Terre d'Hermès (2008) have a lot more complexity and soul to them than Galop d'Hermès, which reads like a "let's play with genres that don't really go together because it might be cool" by mixing leather with a fruity osmanthus top and then keeping it precariously teetering between the former's dryness and the latter's shrill sweetness, but never really giving in to the tendency either have to dominate the accord by stuffing some Arabian rose and saffron into the heart for laughs. Well, Christine Nagel certainly got everyone's attention with this (if the complex refillable bottle in it's own metal frame failed to do that), but if she intends to keep that attention, she'll have to tow the line a bit more with Hermès, which she seems to have already done to some degree with her additions to the Eau de Cologne Hermès line. All in all, this is a hard-fought neutral to me, as it's difficult to make me like something in this genre from the get-go, but I don't hate it and found the time spent with Galop d'Hermès rather interesting. The creativity and overall vibe still feel like "Hermès" to me, even if not exactly "classic Hermès" nor something I would see myself wearing beyond sampling for this review, but what doesn't work for me might work for you. Sample before diving in, as this one is also a bit pricier than some others from the house.
19th January, 2019
Mouthwatering combination of quince and osmanthus with a sparkling rose. Now that is how you make a fruity floral which brings a smile on my face! From underneath all this, a fine buttery soft leather is adding some character; the leather is borrowed from the amazing Cuir d'Ange and I am happy about that. The heart is still pretty and it's focused more on the flowers (especially on the rose) while the osmanthus still brings a bit of freshness. I don't get any leather in the late dry down but I do get sort of an expensive rose soap feeling. I'd say this is unisex leaning a bit feminine, more so in the last part. It's a lively and happy perfume.
10th October, 2018
Gorgeous balance of rose and leather. This is one that smells different on the paper than on the skin. Both the rose and leather hug the skin and have a perfect balance of both - one may come out to play more pending the heat and environment, but doesn't overpower at all.

I mirror what Kotori states about the blotters touching Galop - I sprayed Galop on the blotter and placed it in my handbag along with others and my handbag still smells like Galop two weeks later, although a milder lingering hint of it.
14th July, 2018
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Genre: Leather (Floral)

On a fundamental level, Galop smells to me like a fairly straightforward juxtaposition of sweet rose and leather. However, there is a peculiar, almost meaty overtone to the rose note here, which segues very effectively into the leather accord. The result is a fascinating sort of fragrance chimera, neither wholly animal nor vegetable, but partaking of both. I find this much more interesting to wear than a literal description makes it sound. Unisex, by the way, if you ask me. (Ducks for cover.)
30th June, 2018
Upon spraying Galop d'Hermès, the three main player of the fragrance - quince, rose and suede - gallop towards my nose right away. The quince exudes its rosy, ripe pear-like succulence, enhancing the delicate, honeyed sweetness of pink rose petals. The suede employed here, like previous reviewers mentioned, reminds me of the same plush, slightly cumin-tinted suede note in Cuir d'Ange too, with its supple texture occasionally evoking turkish delight along with the tender sweetness of rose and fruits.

Galop is overall linear during its 8-hour longevity on my skin, with these three main notes rotating in and out from time to time and the vegetal muskiness becoming more noticeable about 3 hours in. The osmanthus and saffron sit at the intersection of fruity quince, spicy rose and suede, and they behave more like extension and overlap of these notes among themselves. The sillage is mostly moderate.

Compared to the Hermès fragrances released during Jean-Claude Ellena's tenure, Galop d'Hermès immediately feels richer and more saturated in colour. But at the same time, it's still lightweight enough to fit into the modern Hermès sensibility.

This continuation in style (relatively transparent aesthetics) with a more personal touch (with a more saturated palette) is promising in theory. However, certain aspects of Galop's execution left much to be desired for me. The main culprit is the syrupiness of the fruity note, which at times largely overshadows the rose and the excellent suede note. Moreover, when the tanned aspect of suede is mixed with the strong sugary fruity sweetness, it renders the fruity note somewhat more synthetic, which is not in accord with the luxurious image and price tag of Galop.

With its large portion of sweet, frivolous fruity note providing an easier entry point, Galop would have made an excellent choice for those who enjoy fruity floral gourmand in general and would like to start the exploration of leather/suede note in perfumery. However, with its limited distribution and high price tag, I'd hesitate to recommend it over other more available options on the market.
10th May, 2018
When Galop was released, I was very excited about a new nose at my favorite of the big houses, and I got two carded house samples of it. I was shocked when I found it absolutely repulsive. Not just mediocre, but truly repellent, in that pesticide kind of way. They were screechy, nose-burning, super-synthetic. When the leather emerged, it was nothing like the usual Hermes leather or suede, but like the chemicals that would be used for tanning leather.

I really thought my samples must have gone bad. I couldn't imagine Hermes producing something this dismal. Then I got a chance to try Galop again in a Basenotes sample pass. I'm testing this one simultaneously on paper and skin, just in case something in me is reacting badly with Galop.

The opening is still a bit harsh, but not searing -- on skin it goes straight into a bright rose that I wouldn't really call fruity. And the leather is almost immediate, when I didn't expect it til later in the development. It's a soft leather, very Hermes-like, very lightly decorated with saffron.

On paper it's quite different: all rose and fruit, no leather in sight. I don't think I know what quince smells like, but this fruit is soft, pale, maybe like an Asian pear; not like a stone fruit, and certainly not at all over-ripe or rotten. Quite fresh, in fact.

I didn't get much development beyond that over the course of 3 hours, and three generous sprays had completely disappeared from my skin at the end of those three hours.

Even if I was a big fan of rose and saffron (which I'm not), Galop would unfortunately still be a no-go for me due to its poor longevity, undistinguished blending, and a thin, frail texture. Still, I'm glad to know it isn't as atrocious as those bad samples I had, which can now go immediately into the rubbish bin.
03rd May, 2018
Such a beaut.

I tried the pure parfum and it is unisex to my nose.

The quince presents like grapefruit, The leather thick cut complex, some 'horse' left.

This is what a beautiful woman known for her power (political or in industry) should smell like.
20th February, 2018
Kotori Show all reviews
United States
If you remember the fruity cocktails Escada used to produce in the early 2000's, the topnotes of quince in Galop may remind you of them. Surprisingly, Galop begins with a very fruity rose. I was expecting something akin to Bottega Veneta, and indeed lovers of that beauty will likely be drawn to Galop, but they are cousins rather than sisters.

The heart notes in Galop are another surprise because the suede is not what I know from Kelly Caleche, though presumably Kelly Caleche was an influence here. It's a suede more reminiscent of Cuir d'Ange, I suppose: soft and opaque. At this point the saffron note appears and it's a saffron that texturally resembles metal or concrete, causing an unsettling feeling of alienness.

Galop is tenacious enough to overtake your awareness if you are testing more than one fragrance, and on the blotter, it will not play well with others, causing all your other blotters to become infected by it.

A beautiful and gutsy opaque fruity suede rose that perhaps I, as one who typically does not wear rose, could wear.
31st December, 2017
Just got my sample and was excited to try it out, but what a disappointment! A weird chemical mess that doesn't really smell like the listed notes imply. Very dry and not at all pleasant, I can't see a woman wanting to smell like this. A real miss!
26th December, 2017
On White II (1923) by Wassily Kandinsky
01st June, 2017 (last edited: 27th June, 2017)
Galop d'Hermes is a super straightforward freshly soapy saffrony rose, radiant and bright. Saffron, heady in the top, goes gradually fading. I detect some muskiness but frankly any leather on my skin (while it seems to catch balmy resins, undistinguished mellow fruitiness, tonka bean and cardamom). The general radiancy is sexy and bold (almost carnal in its edible airy yumminess). I appreciate the Herme's way to treat an usually "struggling" theme as "the rose" which in this case appears "unusually" versatile, honeyed-waxy-cosmetic in vibe (a la Cera di Cupra Rosa) and "semi-orientally appealing". This juice could sound as a sort of rosey Voyage d'Herme's feminine counterpart (due the common sense of powdery/soapy/freshly spicy exotic dreaminess). An optimistic and exotic take on musky rose for woman.

P.S: finally I detect also a sort of honeyed-vanillic-resinous sambac jasmine's presence (combined with rose) which is vaguely in the same league as the one we enjoy in Alien Essence Absolue (which encloses also orris). I detect also an "Elie Saab Le Parfum-conjuring" synthetic basic muskiness. This final trait is creamy, honeyed and musky (overall in to a balanced way), something quite warmer and super-sensual.
06th February, 2017 (last edited: 07th February, 2017)
I had a little spritz in my local shop. They had not been given a tester so they were doling it out from a tiny sample bottle. Thus, I did not get a big application. At that point, I did not know the listed notes -- so here is my blind impression of the scent.
Pink grapefruit. Leather/oud. Some kind of floral dry-down. A musky-spice finale.
Looking at the notes, I am surprised that the note is quince rather than pink grapefruit. I don't know quince so well, but the note smelled exactly like a zesty pink grapefruit to me. Evidently the leather note is rather complex which may be why it suggested oud to me as well. Now, I certainly know rose notes (who doesn't?) but the floral here seemed quite vague and certainly not rose-like. Saffron as the spice? Sure, it was a dry, musky sort of spice.
Not something I'd seek out. It certainly (and predictably) continues the Hermes "leather" house note in yet another scent.
10th October, 2016
The EDP tester.
Very much a refined balanced Hermes offering. A pleasant syrupy opening, cut by a Citric. Nice. Leather?
Well I don't get it. It certainly doesn't smell like the Hermes Bag I sniffed in the Boutique yesterday.
I get the Rosy-ness for a while. Longevity was 3 or 4 hours for me. Full bottle? I don't think so.
On my Left arm I sprayed the latest offering of Eau d'Hermes. Different story here!! FBW for sure. A beautiful reconstruct of the Copper Top. Fresh and Vibrant!
26th September, 2016 (last edited: 25th December, 2016)
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I was recently lucky enough to snag a sample of the new Galop d’Hermes in an Hermes 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 Hermes and it’s shaped like a stirrup, so who am I to quibble.

Galop d’Hermes 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 blackcurrant crests and washes over the composition, adding a welcome astringency.

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 Hermes fragrances such as Kelly Caleche.

But the texture here is less angular. The sleekness of leather fuzzes up even more as times goes on, 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 quite quickly, 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 Hermes but has just enough of that Christine Nagel richness of touch to push more towards glamorous equestrian ball territory than sheer daytime wear.
14th September, 2016