Notes: Saffron, Quince, Rose, Osmanthus, Leather and Musks
Christina Nagel’s Twilly was chic with just right amount of quirk and her additions to the Hermessence line have been stellar, with my particular favourite being the radiant jasmine, Cedre Sambac. The oils are exquisite and if I had the budget, I’d purchase Musc Pallida in a heartbeat. The 2016 release of Galop continued the trend and lies somewhere between the two in terms of availability and price point.
Val the Cookie Queen fell hard for Galop and kindly gifted me with a large decant last winter. I’ve nearly drained it.
Let’s start by taking a look at that fabulous stirrup bottle…
Galop has a very striking olfactory colour palette. To my mind it’s petal pink and saffron orange. It is only available in Parfum concentration which, of course, has excellent lasting power but also retains a transparency that is very much in the classic style of the previous in-house perfumer, Jean Claude Ellena.
I never tire of the saffron, quince and rose accord. It’s masterfully crafted with no facet being out of kilter. The tart quince counters the sweetness of the rose and the savoury saffron bathes the whole composition in golden light. It just sings. The saffron has a substantial presence but it’s not as pungent as it can be. I’m generally fond of it as a note but can find it overwhelming. Here it is perfectly pitched, gloriously bright and full but not too spicy.
The rose heart is pure pink, softly sweet and very pretty. It’s poles apart from a dark, sultry red rose. There is also a mouth-watering, juicy fruitiness which I imagine is coming from peachy osmanthus.
Hermes started making riding acoutremonts and so there is often a nod to leather in their fragrances. It’s present here but to my nose it’s more like blush suede.
Galop has just the right amount of tension between sweet and sour and this makes it moreish.
One perfume that I constantly turn to during spring/summer is Vaara by Penhaligon’s. It has a similar saffron/quince/rose combination but a lot lighter (EdP strength) and lacks any leather. Where Vaara dries done to a soft rose, Galop’s development doesn’t have any clear demarcations. The saffron merely becomes calmer and creamier.
It’s a fragrance I pick up in a hurry with the confidence that it always feels right. I can see Galop being the same only on a whole other level of elegance, complexity and quality.
I’ll have to content myself with the Penhaligon’s fragrance until I have the funds for the Hermes.
Do you like saffron in fragrances? Have you tried Galop?
22 responses to “Galop d’ Hermes”
I loved Twilly, Cèdre Sambac, Agar Ébène and Musc Pallida, but I really dislike the quince note so Galop was a big no for me unfortunately. Lovely bottle though.
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“Unfortunately ..” I cannot add to my oversized collection because sadly, I just don’t like it. Hahahahahaha. Perfumista sorrow.
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LOL! You are of course correct. But any pretty bottle that has great smelling juice is welcome to join the herd. The more the merrier!
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Yes, it’s a double edged sword when you think you’ll love something but don’t. It may b a disappointment but with our collections it’s really no bad thing.
Twilly is such a cheery perfume.
I loved Galop from the first time I tried it, which was in London actually, after one of our meetups. Seldridge’s. I then thought about getting it at the airport home, but eventually bought it in Vienna. It continues to be worn and I enjoy it every single time. Not to be o er sprayed though, as you mentioned, it is parfum. I would really like an EdT of it. Excellent post. xxx
I can’t remember if I over-sprayed or under-sprayed the first time. It was definitely one or the other. I’m really grateful you gave me the chance to get to know it properly. It works for me on all levels.
I love leather and rose, so I was sure it would be a winner, but the quince note spoiled the party. As you say, there are many other perfumes to love!
It’s funny how, if we don’t like a note, sometimes that’s all we can focus on.
I’ve not tried Galop but it does sound nice. I just got hold of Vaara for buttons recently and have been enjoying testing it out this week…what a lovely rosewater scent really pretty. I remember liking Safran Troublant by L’Artisan Parfumeur that was a bit spicier than Vaara and equally lovely 💖
Galop is pricey but Val says the refills are decent value.
Congrats on your Vaara steal! It is the loveliest rosewater scent with some added interest. Safran Troublant was a bit too foody and strong on the saffron for me when I last tried it but that was years ago. Guess it may be discontinued now.
Hey there Tara,
It’s so strange to me that a lot of people whose noses I trust really love Gallop. It sits on my skin and does nothing, flat, lifeless and barely there. I feel like there are some key ingredients that my nose or brain are just not reading, at all.
More for all you lovers.
For me it was a grower but with so much perfume around there’s really no need to persevere with anything.
I know you have plenty of Hermes frags. Money (and space) saved.
ALWAYS room for more Tara. Just cleaning up the perfume room right now. It’s a happy mess.
“A happy mess”. Wonderful Portia. You’re so good at putting a positive spin on things that would stress others out.
Beautiful review! I know how much you and Val love this one. Val kindly made me a sample and I also found the quince note – which I mistakenly read as rhubarb(!) – on the tart side, eclipsing all the other good stuff going on. Definitely worth a retrial. Then I love saffron, even turned all the way up to 11, as in the ‘Troubling Saffron’ you mentioned as being discontinued. Think you are right there too. It was a bit fierce in that one, but I really liked the later stages.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment V. You know I’m not a fan of rhubarb but quince is close to that in scent I’d say so I can understand where you were coming from. Had no idea that note could be a deal breaker for some but there you go. My dislike of sweetness means it works well for me. Worth re-trying if you still have the sample, I think.
I like saffron a lot, so I hope to test this in the near future. My beloved Felanilla has saffron too
Hope you can get to try it soon. Do also give Dries Van Notten by Frédéric Malle a go if you like saffron.
Great review, Tara! Must try this one pronto. R
Thanks R! It seems to divide people but definitely worth trying for yourself. Have a lovely weekend.
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What a beautiful review! If I hadn’t tried it before, I would have been in love with this perfume already 🙂 But Hermès perfumes rarely work for me: I don’t dislike them, I just don’t find them appealing enough to wear. And still, now I want to try it again…
Ha! That is a wonderful compliment Undina 🙂
Some house styles just don’t grab us and Hermes does have a very definite fragrance style and palette. I’m like that with a ton of niche brands.