Luxury & Fashion

Jul 1, 2017

ELEGANT STIRRUP

The new women's perfume bottle of iconic Galop d'Hermès is inspired by the original, from 1930, for the opening of the first Hermès store in New York, United States. Let's go back almost one century.

Picture the scene: a late August afternoon, back in 1930, about one hundred people, mixed through high society, journalists and celebrities, assembled on the ground floor of a building in 53rd street in New York – just a stone throw from Fifth Avenue.

All them gathered to discover Hermès' first real American store, modelled on the one in Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in Paris, and all built with genuine materials brought from France. All of them admiring the leather trunks, the watch on the buckle of a belt… Surprise, supremacy, luxury…

Less than eighteen months later, the store was closed.

"Can't be!", say you all. "What's left of that inauguration in interwar, in New York?"

Not much, really. A few paper cuts and even less black-and-white pictures of what once was the most modern fashion and luxury store in New York.

There was one item, however, which perdured: a perfume bottle, whose flat shape was set in a stirrup. A real one, as matter of fact and, end of story, so far.

"So far", because the bottle inspired the new women's perfume Galop d'Hermès, a perfume with a fragrance of roses and leather, elaborated by the wonderful nose of Christine Nagel. It retains the essence and structure of an arch or a vault, like a nod to the modernity of the Art Deco era.

The original bottle itself is the pure crystallization of a state of mind. The fragrance, created by Lenthéric, was unisex, as many of the garments and accessories, and only two hundred pieces were produced. Some were sold and others were offered to the journalists and guests.

Placed low on the bottle, the inscription: Hermès No. 1, indicating the first real venture of the brand into the world of perfume. And just like everything else made by the house of Hermès by the time, it was guided by an equestrian élan.

The new fragrance

Bloggers and perfume analysts, all concur: Galop d'Hermès is a great, fine, darn sexy and attractive good perfume plus, it concurs to best of the best produced by the French 'maison'.

First of all, Hermès is a special house in today's fragrance world. The artistic perfumery team is leaded by Jean-Claude Ellena, one of the few who actually has the opportunity to pursue his own vision. And the results are quite clear, with Hermès perfumery success.

And then comes Christine Nagel. Creator of Fendi Theorema and Rose Absolut, for Yves Rocher. Both fit in the philosophy of the renowned perfumer Guy Robert, "above all, a perfume has to smell good".

And Galop does smell good. It has the elegant presence of Hermès aesthetic. Nagel managed to take the very difficult (old-fashioned) rose theme, wrapped it around the leather scent and the result is superb.

The overall experience is that of contrast. Between the lush, bright rose with a dusky woody leather accord; both developing in tandem.

At first, it shows plenty of juicy, delicious orange; smoothly turning into saffron. So pure, it smells almost medicinal and harsh. In the drydown leather and woods dominate, giving Galop a deeper hue than its initial brightness suggested.

The tension between the two fragrances lend Galop its vivid and bold character. It is an adventurous and graceful perfume, even when worn in a business meeting.

The fragrance holds a good lasting power, but its transparency, even though saturated, means it won't become suffocatingly persistent. It will retain its sensual side, or it wouldn't be a Nagel's creation.

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