The New Hermes Iris Ukiyoe Perfume

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Vintage Perfume Shopping

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Kelly Caleche by Hermes: EDT vs EDP Perfume Review

I consider Kelly Caleche to be a fantastic perfume—one that all perfume lovers must try. I tried the edt first, which was the only version available when I read about it in "The Guide" by Luca Turin. I purchased the Kelly Caleche edt from The Perfumed Court in a lovely spray 1.5ml decant (which is almost empty now, what a shame). I don’t know if I would have had the same impression from the standard, dab-style 1ml sample vial; I think that this is a fragrance that needs to be sprayed. I loved it immediately, and had been thrilled by the ad pictures, which you'll see below. The magazine ads for Kelly Caleche show a woman (who I imagine to be in her mid 20s). She's fit, walking with her back turned away from the camera, held head high. Off her back, she carries a whip which curls around a pink bottle of Kelly Caleche. She wears leather boots, leather pants, leather gloves, and a leather belt. Like the ad, the perfume is pink but has the unmistakable scent of leather. But the leather is light, and Kelly Caleche is sometime referred to as a "leather for beginners" niche fragrance.

Hermes Kelly Caleche Perfume Ad:
(image from Team Sugar website, where the ad won an 83% approval rating by readers)

Kelly Caleche EdT Explored

The edt was a lovely introduction to leather (so light) and rose, to effervescent well-designed frags in general, really. And a fantastic perfume by Jean Claude Ellena. It is the distant cousin of Rose Ikebana, which is truly my favorite Hermes at the moment. Rose Ikebana is significantly less green, without leather, and without the vanilla (which on me, when combined with the other elements, smells much more like wood, specifically whatever wood is in Hermes Un Jardin un Mediteranee). Kelly Caleche edt is sparkly and not nearly as pink as the bottle and ads and jus would imply. In fact, I think that this is more green and more brown than pink and could be worn by a man easily. The edt has power and lasts all day on my skin. But there is something slightly mentholated (almost minty, it’s so herbaceous) on my skin. It makes me think of broken fresh greenery, stomped under earth, growing next to a piece of wood. The crushed herb would have hard a thorny, splintery texture to it. I think of stinging nettles. There is of course rose, as well, but it’s so soft that I would not have picked it out as rose. In fact, it may be more similar to the Osmanthus scent in Osmanthus Yunnan. Overall, my first impression is the herbaceous quality and the slight wood. The edt stays incredibly green on me at 10am. I consider it such a slightly odd smell, that I do not want to wear it to a place where a stranger would be in close contact (say, the doctor, or the dentist). And though the green is cool, I wouldn’t want to see how this smelled if I was sweaty. It’s lovely for the office and a personal perfume: I wear it so that I can smell it on me.

Kelly Caleche EdP: A new interpretation
As a moderately new perfumista, I must say that the edp was a surprise to me. From mis-informed sales associates, I had previously thought that edps were simply stronger versions (longer lasting) than their edt counterparts. The edt just seemed to have more water. In this case, the edp is another interpretation of the same perfume. I was intrigued after reading about the edp on my favorite perfume blog (NST Perfume). There’s also an extrait, but who can afford it and where could I try it? It was an intellectual pursuit when I put it on my birthday list, as I didn’t really love Kelly Caleche edt. Or rather—I loved it, but I didn’t exactly what to smell like it.

The edp is pinker, with softer corners. It is still strong, but I might have suspected that the edt was actually the edp if “strength” and “pow” alone were the testing factors. S agrees that between the two, the edp is the better fragrance for me, and I have stalked it on ebay where it frequently sells for $9.99 plus $3.99 shipping from a singular seller (image of the slender, tall bottle shown at left). The edp is far more feminine (though perhaps a man might wear it, I think it’s far better suited to a woman than the edt) perhaps only because it lacks the woody accord and the isn’t nearly herbaceous. It’s also slightly sweeter and more rounded, though the sweetness is slight and still a bit sharp (grapefruit here, I believe accounts for the lovely sharp quality).

Both are perfumes which are in focus, cut to a fine point, and cristaline clear. Despite the strength, they both appear lightweight. This is a characteristic I hardly ever see in any perfume except for those by JCE—most perfumes that are very strong are also heavy in proportion. Think of Odalisque by Pdn.

By 12pm (4.5 hours after application): The EdP is more pink but definitely far lighter (and this is two spritzes vs 1 of the edt). The Edt is a softer green/blue than it was earlier and more feminine/unisex than before to me. Very, very clean. At this point, the edt is not at all odd. It makes me think of cool blue green water. EDT has more sillage at this point. Simply by what the sales associates have told me, I would have expected the opposite. But then, it was hot on the day that I tested this, and I was sweaty from an overally exhausting day. I plan on retesting an updating on a day where I spend the entire time in a cool environment, in front of the Tv or computer.

Perfume Review: Hermes Kelly Caleche
Perfume House: Hermes
Creator / Nose: Jean Claude Ellena
Year: 2007
Classification: Floral Woody Musk, according to Fragrantica. Also often referred to as a "beginner leather" or a "floral leather".
Perfume Notes:
Kelly Caleche Eau de toilette (EdT) Perfume Notes: iris, lily of the valley, mimosa, tuberose climbing rose and leather. Classified as a soft floral leather. Designed by Jean Claude Ellena
Kelly Caleche Eau de Parfum (EdP) Perfume Notes: Barenia calf leather, sheep leather, rose and violet, and vanilla
What you mostly smell: This is a very complex composition, in both the edt and edp. In the edt, you'll smell mostly the rose, leather and a slightly herbaceous/green motif. In the EdP, your nose will focus more on the flowers and leather.
Lasting Power: Very long lasting
Linear? No. Kelly Caleche, in all of its versions, seems to go through several unique selections.
Similar to: Incredibly unique. At this point, I haven't found any perfumes which are similar.
Overall impression: Stunning floral perfume which could be worn by a woman or a man (and yet: distinctly feminine). A great beginner fragrance for leather. Stunning.

Other Kelly Caleche Perfume Images:

Image from the Hermes website. So beautiful, right?


Jean Claude Ellena: Perfume Creations, Interviews, Info from the Nose of Hermes

Jean Claude Ellena is one of my favorite perfumers. After reading Chandler Burr's book A Perfect Scent, which followed Jean Claude Ellena's creation of Un Jardin sur le Nil for Hermes, I have sampled most of his creations and am compiling information about his perfume creations and launches, interviews, photos, and other information. I'll begin by listing all of the perfumes of his which I have smelled, and add reviews as I can. Image of Jean Claude Ellena taken from WSJ article on him (very good!) listed below. Be sure to check it out!

Perfumes Created by Jean Claude Ellena:
* Van Cleef & Arpels First
* Hermes Jardin sur le Nil
* Hermes Jardin en Mediteranee
* Hermes Jardin Apres Mousson
* Cartier Declaration
* Hermes Kelly Caleche
* Hermessence series:
* Hermessence Rose Ikebana
* Hermessence Osmanthus Yunnan
* Hermessence Vanilla Galante
* Hermes Eau de Pamplemousse Rose
* Hermes Eau de Gentiane Blanche
* Frederick Malle Cologne Bigarade (inspired by Eau d'Hermes)
* L'Artisan Bois Farine
* Paul & Joe Blanc
* Sisley Eau de Campagne
* Yves Saint Laurent - In Love Again

Compiled Information on Jean Claude Ellena:
* Wall Street Journal Online Article (items compiled from an Interview)


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