30 Minutes at the Hermes Boutique Chicago

Kotori

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Aug 17, 2006
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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.
 
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Jun 10, 2012
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.
 

Kotori

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Aug 17, 2006
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.
 
Jun 10, 2012
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).
 

cacio

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Nov 5, 2010
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
 

Kotori

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Aug 17, 2006
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.
 
Jun 10, 2012
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.
 

rynegne

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2012
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.
 

Kotori

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Aug 17, 2006
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!
 

Kotori

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Aug 17, 2006
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.
 

cacio

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Nov 5, 2010
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.
 

Redneck Perfumisto

League of Cycloöctadiene Isomer Aestheticists
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Feb 27, 2008
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.
 

Bavard

Wearing Perfume Right Now
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Jul 20, 2015
Kotori - I'm enjoying the posts from your Chicago trip. Lovely photo of the Hermes boutique.
 

kumquat

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Jan 31, 2006
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.
 
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Cook.bot

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Jan 6, 2012
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!
 

thediamondsea

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2016
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 . . .
 

Kotori

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Aug 17, 2006
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
 
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cacio

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Nov 5, 2010
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
 

Cook.bot

Common Lackey
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Jan 6, 2012
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!

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.
 
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