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  1. #1

    Default 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago



    I've been wanting to stop in at the Hermes Boutique in Chicago for awhile, and it was getting more and more ridiculous that I hadn't yet done it. I'd been to Cartier, Neiman Marcus, Barney's, Nordstrom, Chanel, Watertower, and 900 North...

    So I happened to have an extra hour or so when my plane arrived early on Friday, and took the CTA up to the Drake Hotel area to visit Hermes and Barney's. I arrived right when they opened wearing comfortable red-eye flight travel wear (nice sweats). Despite my apparel, I had to have a look. The Hermes fragrance specialist was having a day off, so I worked with Pamela, who doesn't usually work in the fragrance area, and was therefore refreshingly honest about her thoughts on the fragrances.

    Jean-Claude Ellena is one of my favorite perfumers (right up there with Maurice Roucel, Mathilde Laurent, and Christine Nagel). I had high expectations. I got to explore most of the Hermessence line, as well as the new Eau de Marveilles Bleu, and the newer Neroli Dore.

    Here are some impressions of what I tried:

    Eau des Merveilles Bleu a more mineralic version of the original Eau des Merveilles. The aquatic, mineralic quality is reminiscent of Nagel's other beachy scent: Wood Sage Sea Salt, for Jo Malone. I enjoyed it a lot, although not enough to add it to my collection, given that I already have two of this line.

    Eau de Neroli Dore a lemony, clean Neroli, seemingly indole-free. It's soft and watery on the skin with a yellow-gold, sunshiney quality.

    Galop de Hermes a suede-leather rose with a very classy persona. Need to try on skin.

    Osmanthe Yunnan a watercolor peach tea with a floral character. It was disappointingly transparent and ephemeral on the skin.

    Muguet Porcelaine a sharp lily of the valley with a green tinge. Not my style, though true to the flower, from my perspective.

    Brin de Reglisse a licorice/aniseseed concoction that was shockingly direct.

    Vanille Galante a cold vanilla in the style of Eau Duelle, but of a different scent profile. I felt it focused more on the vanilla flower than the pod.

    Vetiver Tonka a warm, smoky vetiver with a trace of sweetness. I wore it on my skin and enjoyed it a lot, although with a bronchial infection of some kind, I felt it irritated my asthma a bit. Will try it again when I'm well.
    Last edited by Kotori; 30th May 2017 at 08:39 PM.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

  2. #2
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    I have been to this boutique a few times, and like the place. One reason to miss it is that they close quite early compared to other stores, and are often closed during holidays.

    Two questions regarding Galop d'Hermes:

    a) Did you find it to be too weak, short-lived, quiet, or muted?
    b) (I know this is super subjective but still ... ) Do you think it is unisex?

    Thank you.
    Currently wearing: Devin by Aramis

  3. #3

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Vagabond, I thought Galop was definitely unisex. I thought it was significantly stronger than things like Osmanthe Yunnan or Monsieur Li. I had wanted to take home a sample of Galop, but they were out of stock of them. I definitely wished I had tried it on my skin to see about it's strength/longlasting quality. Based on the smelling strip, I would say that its strength/unisex character would depend on how well your skin holds/projects leather notes. Pamela the SA said that on her the rose would disappear and she'd smell only leather, which she didn't like, so she recommended I try it on my skin to see if my skin projected the rose or the leather most. It was definitely more floral than Cuir d'Ange, though.

    I hope that helps.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

  4. #4
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotori View Post
    Vagabond, I thought Galop was definitely unisex. I thought it was significantly stronger than things like Osmanthe Yunnan or Monsieur Li. I had wanted to take home a sample of Galop, but they were out of stock of them. I definitely wished I had tried it on my skin to see about it's strength/longlasting quality. Based on the smelling strip, I would say that its strength/unisex character would depend on how well your skin holds/projects leather notes. Pamela the SA said that on her the rose would disappear and she'd smell only leather, which she didn't like, so she recommended I try it on my skin to see if my skin projected the rose or the leather most. It was definitely more floral than Cuir d'Ange, though.

    I hope that helps.
    Okay thank you so much - I am definitely interested in trying this one out as it seems that I might enjoy it (unless it is too fleeting for me).
    Currently wearing: Devin by Aramis

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    I like Le Galop a lot. I agree that's definitely unisex. The leather is very soft but has a sourish note, which I perceive one of the signature rotten-fruit notes that Nagel sometimes puts in her perfumes (especially Archives 69). This makes it very interesting to my nose. On my skin, it is relatively muted-this is not one of the big bossy leathers-but lasts well.

    cacio

  6. #6

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I like Le Galop a lot. I agree that's definitely unisex. The leather is very soft but has a sourish note, which I perceive one of the signature rotten-fruit notes that Nagel sometimes puts in her perfumes (especially Archives 69). This makes it very interesting to my nose. On my skin, it is relatively muted-this is not one of the big bossy leathers-but lasts well.

    cacio
    Oooh... I love those rotten fruit notes. I detected a lot of that in Dirty Ginger by Heretic this weekend (I SO want to buy that for Mr. Kotori). I didn't detect that, but after being up so early flying in, I don't think my nose was at its best, and I also would love to smell Galop without all the noise of other scents in the boutique.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

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    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    I like Le Galop a lot. I agree that's definitely unisex. The leather is very soft but has a sourish note, which I perceive one of the signature rotten-fruit notes that Nagel sometimes puts in her perfumes (especially Archives 69). This makes it very interesting to my nose. On my skin, it is relatively muted-this is not one of the big bossy leathers-but lasts well.

    cacio
    Okay, sorry for asking too many questions, however, is Le Galop as tenacious as Vetiver Tonka or as fleeting as Cuir d'Ange? I find Cuir d'Ange to be too quiet and fleeting (more quiet than fleeting, though) but Vetiver Tonka is one of those Hermes fragrances that have adequate sillage and duration for me.
    Currently wearing: Devin by Aramis

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Seems like your time at Hermes was well spent trying many things!
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    I've yet to really visit any of the stores in the city even though I live within a half hour drive. Mostly for tax reasons I choose not to shop in Chicago. However, I wouldn't mind dropping in the store to get my nose on some of these, Brin de Reglisse in particular and some of the new Dior Privee fragrances when they come out....before blind buying.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    I've yet to really visit any of the stores in the city even though I live within a half hour drive. Mostly for tax reasons I choose not to shop in Chicago. However, I wouldn't mind dropping in the store to get my nose on some of these, Brin de Reglisse in particular and some of the new Dior Privee fragrances when they come out....before blind buying.
    I think Brin de Reglisse is definitely a try before you buy.

    I am also really excited about Dior opening in Chicago. I saw the store under construction. Eeeee!
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

  11. #11

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Seems like your time at Hermes was well spent trying many things!
    I couldn't agree more!
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

  12. #12

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Okay, sorry for asking too many questions, however, is Le Galop as tenacious as Vetiver Tonka or as fleeting as Cuir d'Ange? I find Cuir d'Ange to be too quiet and fleeting (more quiet than fleeting, though) but Vetiver Tonka is one of those Hermes fragrances that have adequate sillage and duration for me.
    I would love to hear your take on this, too, cacio, since I didn't get a chance to put Galop on my skin.

    It seemed quieter than Vetiver Tonka to me, but things that seem quiet at a boutique can feel much louder at home. And it seemed stronger than Cuir d'Ange.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    I haven't tried Vetiver Tonka much (I don't like it particularly), so I cannot compare, but I agree with you it's probably a bit more tenacious than Cuir d'Ange, but still it's not a monster.

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Vetiver Tonka is great - I should wear it much more often. Merveilles Bleue sounds nice, because I do like that Jo Malone and don't own the others. And still interested in Galop!

    Thanks for those descriptions.
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    Currently wearing: Galop d'Hermès by Hermès

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Kotori - I'm enjoying the posts from your Chicago trip. Lovely photo of the Hermes boutique.

  16. #16

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Thanks for the delightful Chicago perfume reports! Un Jardin après la Mousson has a pronounced rotten fruit note (including melon), for anyone partial to the genre.
    ​"It was foolish of her not to have bought a larger bottle."

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Good work! You tried a lot of things. Thorough review. I had the same reaction to 'Osmanthe Yunnan'. It was just very wan and pale. I prefer a bigger bang for the buck.

    My most recent purchase was 'Elixir Marveilles' ​which is lovely if you enjoy amber and citrus.
    Last edited by kumquat; 31st May 2017 at 01:55 AM.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotori View Post
    Oooh... I love those rotten fruit notes.
    Me too -- I guess in this case it must be rotten quince, huh? I was hoping for a Diorella similarity (which I see is your SOTD, so you must like it too). And the whole suede-fruit-saffron shebang sounded like it might resemble original recipe Bottega Veneta, which I adore.

    Glad you posted this, as I've been meaning to try Galop since it appeared, and this post got me to get off my butt and just ordered samples. Fingers crossed!

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Okay, sorry for asking too many questions, however, is Le Galop as tenacious as Vetiver Tonka or as fleeting as Cuir d'Ange? I find Cuir d'Ange to be too quiet and fleeting (more quiet than fleeting, though) but Vetiver Tonka is one of those Hermes fragrances that have adequate sillage and duration for me.
    I know this question wasn't directed at me, but I figured I'd weigh in because (1) I've tried Galop a couple of times (just a spray while I was in Neiman's) and (2) I'm super curious to hear your thoughts on Galop when you get around to trying it, FWB.

    I found Galop to sit kind of in the middle of Vetiver Tonka and Cuir d'Ange as far as tenacity goes. I thought this was kind of interesting, because I think the tenacity sort of jives with the style of the scent in all three cases; I find VT to be drawn in fairly broad strokes and its tenacity seemed to sort of match its relative simplicity; Cuir d'Ange is done in that ultra-refined, very very nuanced JCE style, and its tenacity is similarly delicate. Galop lasted about 6 hours on me, most of which felt restrained but not quite subdued. It's parfum-strength, and like a lot of parfums, it's less about projection and more about sillage--I could tell I was leaving little trails. The rose is on the tart/fruity side to me--not ripe-to-bursting berries, more like still ripening but still fragrant. It seems like you're very, very particular when it comes to perfume strength, and I suspect that Galop may not have enough oomph for you. I don't think it's weak by any stretch of the imagination, but I wonder what you'll think.

    Sorry if I rudely hijacked the thread. Kotori, thanks for sharing all this! Bleu is starting to sound more and more interesting . . .

  20. #20

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Vetiver Tonka is great - I should wear it much more often. Merveilles Bleue sounds nice, because I do like that Jo Malone and don't own the others. And still interested in Galop!

    Thanks for those descriptions.
    I get the sense you'd like Galop. Vetiver Tonka is great! I love Vetiver as a note, but it usually strikes me as too masculine; Tonka rounds it out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Kotori - I'm enjoying the posts from your Chicago trip. Lovely photo of the Hermes boutique.
    Thanks! I can't take credit for the photo, though; it's stock.

    Quote Originally Posted by FiveoaksBouquet View Post
    Thanks for the delightful Chicago perfume reports! Un Jardin après la Mousson has a pronounced rotten fruit note (including melon), for anyone partial to the genre.
    You're right- I forgot to mention that I saw a bottle of Apres Le Mousson, which I'd thought was discontinued.

    Quote Originally Posted by kumquat View Post
    Good work! You tried a lot of things. Thorough review. I had the same reaction to 'Osmanthe Yunnan'. It was just very wan and pale. I prefer a bigger bang for the buck.

    My most recent purchase was 'Elixir Marveilles' ​which is lovely if you enjoy amber and citrus.
    Thanks! I love Elixir. Great warm, syrupy take on the Merveilles theme. I have that and Eau Claire. Eau Claire finds more occasions for wear here in the mid-south.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Me too -- I guess in this case it must be rotten quince, huh? I was hoping for a Diorella similarity (which I see is your SOTD, so you must like it too). And the whole suede-fruit-saffron shebang sounded like it might resemble original recipe Bottega Veneta, which I adore.

    Glad you posted this, as I've been meaning to try Galop since it appeared, and this post got me to get off my butt and just ordered samples. Fingers crossed!
    Bottega Veneta always sounded like it'd be a hit for me...

    But Diorella is a favorite. I wear the 2015, for reference. There's some resemblance, but not much. Galop has more in common with Parfum de Therese, what with the Rose, but they aren't siblings. It reminds me somewhat of that weaker early Exclusif Cuir de Russie-- the one with the sueded leather and the irises-- not the current one with all that birch tar. But then add a fruity rose, like the one in Miss Charming by Juliette Has a Gun, but not so young and sugary.

    Quote Originally Posted by thediamondsea View Post
    I know this question wasn't directed at me, but I figured I'd weigh in because (1) I've tried Galop a couple of times (just a spray while I was in Neiman's) and (2) I'm super curious to hear your thoughts on Galop when you get around to trying it, FWB.

    I found Galop to sit kind of in the middle of Vetiver Tonka and Cuir d'Ange as far as tenacity goes. I thought this was kind of interesting, because I think the tenacity sort of jives with the style of the scent in all three cases; I find VT to be drawn in fairly broad strokes and its tenacity seemed to sort of match its relative simplicity; Cuir d'Ange is done in that ultra-refined, very very nuanced JCE style, and its tenacity is similarly delicate. Galop lasted about 6 hours on me, most of which felt restrained but not quite subdued. It's parfum-strength, and like a lot of parfums, it's less about projection and more about sillage--I could tell I was leaving little trails. The rose is on the tart/fruity side to me--not ripe-to-bursting berries, more like still ripening but still fragrant. It seems like you're very, very particular when it comes to perfume strength, and I suspect that Galop may not have enough oomph for you. I don't think it's weak by any stretch of the imagination, but I wonder what you'll think.

    Sorry if I rudely hijacked the thread. Kotori, thanks for sharing all this! Bleu is starting to sound more and more interesting . . .
    I'm glad you could weigh in. I personally was surprised by how much I enjoyed Galop, since it's a rose, and I usually don't do roses.
    Last edited by Kotori; 31st May 2017 at 04:18 PM.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Cook.bot

    to my nose, the rotten note is not the garbagey, melon type of thing as in Diorella. Nor is it as intense and sulphuric as in Archives. It's more delicate but sourish, as in a fruit that is fermenting and turning into a drink. Perhaps it's what thediamondsea refers to as tart fruity rose, but my nose perceives it as sourish.

    I agree with diamondsea's assessment. This is not the strength of a traditional extrait, despite the name.

    Fiveoaks
    I don't remember that rotten note in Jardin apres le mousson, so now I'm curious to smell again.

    cacio

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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Seemed like fun.
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    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    Cook.bot

    to my nose, the rotten note is not the garbagey, melon type of thing as in Diorella. Nor is it as intense and sulphuric as in Archives. It's more delicate but sourish, as in a fruit that is fermenting and turning into a drink. Perhaps it's what thediamondsea refers to as tart fruity rose, but my nose perceives it as sourish.
    Appreciate the clarification, cacio. Still sounds damned good to me!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotori View Post
    But Diorella is a favorite. I wear the 2015, for reference. There's some resemblance, but not much. Galop has more in common with Parfum de Therese, what with the Rose, but they aren't siblings. It reminds me somewhat of that weaker early Exclusif Cuir de Russie-- the one with the sueded leather and the irises-- not the current one with all that birch tar.
    You're pushing all my buttons. PdT = my favorite Malle, that CdR = my 2nd favorite Chanel. Now I'm really jazzed to get those samples.
    Last edited by Cook.bot; 31st May 2017 at 05:16 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: 30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Appreciate the clarification, cacio. Still sounds damned good to me!



    You're pushing all my buttons. PdT = my favorite Malle, that CdR = my 2nd favorite Chanel. Now I'm really jazzed to get those samples.
    I hope you like it! I think it's a really solid offering.
    My only regrets in life are the people I haven't stood up for,
    and the perfumes I've thrown away.
    Currently wearing: Dune by Christian Dior




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