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The Smell Test: Hermès Galop d’Hermès

Christine Nagel's inaugural fragrance garnered one of the highest scores in Smell Test history.

The Score: 7.03

The Verdict: Called elegant, animalistic and darkly poetic, Galop by Hermès drew near universal praise from our judges and one of the highest scores in the history of The Smell Test. It was the first solo performance of Christine Nagel after she succeeded the legendary Jean-Claude Ellena. It was worth the wait. As one critic said, “a superb creation — it moves me.” — Pete Born

“A very nice perfume. Very well-balanced with a fruity and rose note. The more you enter into the perfume, the more you discover the sensuality of the animal note as well as the chicness of the leather together with the refined rose experience.”

Artistic: 8.5

Innovation: 7

“This is an elegant, luxurious and wearable [perfume] which shows the contrast of the fragrance, the creativity of the perfumer and technical expertise. Well done! The only issue of the perfume is that there is no diffusion at all.”

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Artistic: 8

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Innovation: 4

“Very well-done fragrance, bourgeois, elegant. What is old is new again. Liked, but nothing new to the palette.”

Artistic: 6

Innovation: 5

“Utterly superb! The weirdest rose in living memory. Disturbing, poetic, dark, stylish.”

Artistic: 10

Innovation: 8

“Both elegant and intriguing. Fresh yet with body, it dries down well and the dry-down after 24 hours is faithful to the top note, in that it retains its beauty and delicacy.”

Artistic: 8

Innovation: 6

“A superb creation. It moves me. Roses wrapped in velvet-y suede.”

Artistic: 10

Innovation: 8

“Skin dry-down is a big white musk, but why not? The waft of a cute rose, not vulgar, refreshes pleasantly slightly bitter woods. The rest, too bad, is rather dejà-vu.”

Artistic: 5

Innovation: 5

ABOUT THE TEST AND JUDGES: This is a blind test, panelists are given vials of unidentified scent to judge impartially. Each of them gives a score ranging from 1 (forgettable) to 10 (unforgettable) and the numbers are computed into a final grade. The judges, led by chairman Michael Edwards, also make critiques, which are unattributed to encourage candor. The most promising scents are picked for judging in an effort to find and showcase excellence. WWD buys the products at retail, like any other consumer. The esteemed judges are: Michael Edwards, author of “Fragrances of the World” and “Perfume Legends”; Paul Austin, chief executive officer of sensory storytelling agency Austin Advisory Group; Jean-Claude Delville, senior perfumer at Drom; Victoria Frolova, fragrance industry analyst and Bois de Jasmin editor; Christophe Laudamiel, master perfumer at DreamAir; Nathalie Pichard, owner of training and evaluation agency Topnotes; Chantal Roos, cocreator of Roos & Roos Co.; Luca Turin, biophysicist and perfume critic for, and Kevin Verspoor, founder of PerfumeKev LLC.