Close your eyes. Think of Hermès. Now, try to imagine what the brand would smell like. If you conjured the leathery aroma of a brand-new Birkin or Kelly bag (or any other Hermès purse), you’d be pretty close to the scent of the brand’s new perfume, Galop d’Hermes, which stirs in rose notes and a hit of saffron for a bold, smoky spritz. It’s worth noting that it’s not the only storied fashion house to relaunch its first perfume in decades. (ICYMI, Louis Vuitton’s new seven-scent collection just blessed the beauty world.) But there’s more to Hermès’ new fragrance than meets the olfactory receptors. The perfumer behind the shiny, stirrup-shaped bottle briefed Allure on its inception:
It was a (really) long time coming.
The first Galop d’Hermes bottle debuted in 1929. Eighty-six years later, the perfumer Christine Nagel started work on its reboot, but it took a full year to complete. Nagel drew inspiration from the brand’s leather cellars, a high-security library that houses every Hermès leather the brand uses. But since leather is a strong component, it took that long—and 111 beta versions—to find the ideal balance between that note and the rose scent, Nagel explains.
The bottle is actually made up of thirteen different pieces.
It took that many to create a stirrup-like shape—that actually came together as a working perfume bottle. And each one is polished by hand.
The packaging was inspired by an Hermès scarf.
The stirrups from illustrator Gianpaolo Pagni’s Le Carré 70 Tamponnable scarf, which debuted in 2011, inspired the sketched stirrups on the perfume’s sunny yellow packaging.
Most perfumes come in a few sizes (one for people that like it, another for people that bathe in it). Pierre-Alexis Dumas, Hermès artistic director, decided that the 50-milliliter size was the only one that looked like a true objet d’art.
Speaking of perfume, check out our series “Smell My Neck”: