Tag Archives: Christine Nagel

Hermès Galop D’Hermès by Christine Nagel 2016

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Galop D’Hermès is the much-anticipated latest launch from Hermès. There are two things about it which excite me.  Firstly, it is perfume i.e not eau de parfum or eau de toilette, but actual perfume.  Secondly, it was made by Christine Nagel, who is nothing less than legendary.

I will begin by saying that if leather is not your thing, then you may wish to sit this one out. Galop D’Hermès is all about the leather. However, it’s not just leather, because that’s been done. Galop D’Hermès is more about a power struggle between a feminine side and a masculine side.  As it turns out, neither wins and both are victorious.

In the opening there is leather straight away. Top notes are listed as being quince and saffron. Quince might be an unusual choice, and indeed, it only makes a brief cameo, but somehow it stops the dry, spicy saffron getting too sober. The middle phase heads straight into leather and Turkish rose territory and pretty much stays put. This is what gives Galop it’s USP. The rose and leather are so seamlessly blended that you cannot decide whether the saddle is made of roses or whether the rose has leather petals.

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The leather, it must be said, is terrific. It’s unmistakably horsey, as the name would suggest, but it has a softness that comes from the unfinished inside of a belt: the rougher, unpolished side. This isn’t Sloaney Hermes, this is real, battered leather and being of perfume concentration, this is what you leave in your wake and on your pillow the next day.

If you like the sound of this, then you will love Galop D’Hermès.

Stockists

You can buy Galop D’Hermès from John Lewis.  Brace yourself. It’s not cheap. Alternatively, you can do as I did, and buy a Precious Perfumes Discovery Box  from The Perfume Society which has a generous perfume strength sample.

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Giorgio Armani Si: The Box Ticker


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Giorgio Armani Si is being heavily publicised right now on a perfume counter near you.  Armani’s 2013 new release was created by the legendary Christine Nagel, who is capable of works of genius (Eau de Cartier for example), and  generic bestsellers (Jimmy Choo Flash).

But does Armani Si live it up to the hype? Can it hold its own against other Oh So Rare new perfume launches? (Did that sound sarcastic? It was meant to).  Do join me, dear reader, on my unremarkable journey into the world of Giorgio Armani Si.

This is what I call a box ticker. It is also remarkably like La Vie est Belle by Lancome.

Endorsement campaign by beautiful but classy actress? Tick.

Simple glass bottle, no gimmicks? Tick.

Smells a bit gourmand with a Vanilla overload? Tick.

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fragrantica.com

Now I hesitate to put the boot in, since Cate Blanchett seems to exude a calming serenity where’re she glides, and it seems almost rude to criticise anything she endorses. However, in the hope that the exquisite and talented Cate never reads this, I feel I have to be honest with you and say this is not great.

The opening of Violet Leaf and Green notes (albeit rather synthetic smelling) could be saved if the Vanilla baseball bat of Doom hadn’t waded in and bludgeoned everything. This could have been a pretty Green and Violet scent, in the same vein as Balmain Ivoire (the new, not the old). But no, the promising opening turns into a gourmand and stays a gourmand all the way through. Sad to report, it’s not even a good gourmand. It’s too sweet. Too synthetic. Even the promised Patchouli was beaten into submission by the villainous Vanilla.

How I long for a new launch to blow me away.  Recommendations welcome.  Giorgio Armani Si? Mais non.

Jimmy Choo Flash: I mean Lady Million, I mean Flash…

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 It’s  a good news day!

Good news if you like Paco Rabanne Lady Million: Here is a perfume almost identical. If they ever discontinue Lady Million, you’ll be quite safe if you stock up on Jimmy Choo Flash.

Good news if you hate Lady Million: I’ve just stopped you wasting your money on this!

Flashevokes the promise, excitement and high octane atmosphere of going out”. In other words, it’s meant for a younger flashier crowd rather than the kind of tiny crowd I hang around in. Clearly aimed at the late teen/twenty something market, this is keeping in step with current modes and with its glittery box, it will do well, no doubt.

However, it is, like Lady Million,  a huge bunch of fake, synthetic white flowers, so synthetic that it borders on sour. Tuberose, Jasmine, Pink Pepper and Strawberry are all listed, but all I get is fake, fake, fake, with a sour, hollow ending.

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photo by www.vogue.it

The biggest shock for me is that the Nose behind this scent is none other than the great Christine Nagel, creator of  one of my favourite ever scents: Eau de Cartier.  Since I love Eau de Cartier so much, I can forgive her anything.  I guess the revered Ms Nagel can certainly turn her hand to  current market demands, but current market demands are not to my taste.

In fact, next on my list of FBs is a bottle of Je Reviens, created in 1932 and still going strong. On matters of fragrance, I was born in the wrong decade.

Délices de Cartier: A Fleeting Acquaintance

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 Being a huge admirer of Christine Nagel’s Eau de Cartier, I was curious about the famed Délices de Cartier and thus resolved to try out the EDP.

Sadly, I shan’t be  eulogising in quite the same way over Délices de Cartier.  According to the notes, I should be getting Bergamot, Cherry and Pink Pepper. Middle notes should be Jasmine, Violet and Freesia, with base notes being Musk, Sandalwood, Amber and Tonka Bean.

Sadly, after a faint, almost watery whiff of Bergamot and Cherries, this dies down into the schoolroom scent of pencil shavings, before disappearing completely.  I was reminded very much of another fragrance that I had been equally looking forward to.:Parfums Gres Cabotine Rose.  I loved the original Cabotine, and I like Roses, so I was eager to get the cellophane off (don’t you love that moment?) A barely there smell of nothing much, then pencil shavings, then pouf! There it was, gone.

Don’t let this turn you against Délices de Cartier, since many reviewers on Fragrantica declare it be wonderful and long lasting. It might well be on them. Sadly, on my skin, nothing remarkable took place today.

Hmm, two days of cherries.  I can safely declare I am over them.

Eau de Cartier-Eau Divine!

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Eau de Cartier was like a thunderbolt for me. A quest for a perfect perfume becomes addictive.  Fighting my way through a forest of celebrity fruity florals and past rivers of cloying vanilla and candy floss, Eau de Cartier was like finding a mirage in a desert.

The previous week I’d received a sample of Cartier Baiser Vole and was underwhelmed by its single note Lily that stayed linear and flat on me..  When  a sample of Eau de Cartier came my way, I wasn’t expecting to find a dream come true.

However, this fragrance floored me.   Like a jaded pioneer finding a gold nugget, I suddenly sat up and took notice.  It’s bergamot, but soft, it’s lavender but not in a detergent sense, it’s coriander, but the leaves not the spice, and finally, it’s a soft violet leaf, still wrapped in bergamot and smelling deliciously fresh.

Eau de Cartier stays light and airy and cuts through the heat of a summer day.  It’s like the fresh air outside an expensive florist in Spring.  I’m also glad that it stays true to its lightweight feel without resorting to the cucumber-melon route. I think they must have made it just for me.  I would like to thank Nose Christine Nagel for creating it in 2001, even though I was involved in a  serious relationship with Chanel Cristalle back then.

I was surprised to learn this is a unisex scent as I find it quintessentially feminine, but it has a male fanbase too. Fragrantica has reviews from both men and women.

Understated and classy, I would rather walk through a mist of this than today’s fruity, vanilla sodden smell-alikes that seem to scent every High Street. Next time you are in a perfumery or department store, ask to try a sample of this, especially in time for Spring.  You will feel wreathed in ethereal glory.

Stockists

You can buy this from Fragrance Direct or allbeauty.co.uk to name but a few.  Prices are very reasonable.

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