Hermes Kelly Caleche EDT by Jean Claude Ellena: Stand Back and Admire


It has often been said that the scents of the great Jean Claude Ellena are like watercolours. The ingredients are blended with such masterful grace that you cannot see where one begins and another ends. Indeed it seems almost pointless to analyse his fragrances note by note, since the final symphony is the masterpiece, rather than each orchestral unit.

My esteemed fellow blogger The Perfumed Dandy has likened JC Ellena scents to seurat.baignadePointillism rather than watercolours and this metaphor makes a great deal of sense. Once upon a time I stood very close to Seurat’s stunning “Bathing at Asnière”, and close up, trying to analyse his skill was indeed pointless, if you’ll pardon the pun. Close up it was a blurred mess of greys and pastels: blob over blob, making no sense at all. It was only as I stood back and looked from the back of the room that you can see how skilful the artist is.

And that my dear readers, is how I see Hermes Kelly Caleche. It’s the overall picture, not the individual notes. Yes there are lots of ingredients, including Violet, Rose and Mimosa, all of which can be clearly detected, but it is impossible to talk about Kelly Caleche without mentioning the gentle use of Leather. Could Leather ever be so delicate when done with floral notes? In this case yes. Despite Leather being largely considered a heavyweight, or associated with strong notes such as Tobacco or Spice, here it is surrounded by watery flower petals, as delicate as butterfly wings.

The lasting impression that Kelly Caleche gives me is of a shop that sells nothing but very Imageexpensive leather riding boots. If you need to look at the price tag, you can’t afford it. The leather is highly polished and glossy, no Cuir de Russie horsiness here. Behind the coiffed assistant (who is always French in my scenario), there is a vase of Mimosa and Roses.  Someone is eating a Parma Violet (probably me).  The leather fills the room and joins the flowers in one gorgeous glorious fragrance.

And that is what Kelly Caleche says to me. Stand back and admire.

6 thoughts on “Hermes Kelly Caleche EDT by Jean Claude Ellena: Stand Back and Admire”

  1. Kelly Caleche was the first Ellena perfume I ever purchased, many years ago before my perfumania really took hold. I am constantly amazed at how well he can take something dark and earthy like leather and make it almost ethereal. Thanks for the post!

    1. Hi madperfumista and welcome to IScentYouADay!
      I think the first JC Ellena I ever smelled was L’Eau D’Hiver for Fredreic Malle, but my favourite is Amouage Dia. His abilities with leather amaze me too! He has made cow hide smell as delicate as petals. The man’s a genius!

  2. Dearest Iscent
    “The Dandy Blushes”, thank you for the reference!
    I’m so pleased you like this one and I love your description of the store which it resembles… actually not that far from and actual Hermes boutique!
    This has found a happy home in my wardrobe and I like it particularly in the morning…
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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