Calèche (1961) Eau de Toilette

7.9 / 10     204 RatingsRatingsRatings
Calèche (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Hermès for women and was released in 1961. The scent is floral-chypre. It is still in production.

Perfumer

Guy Robert

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesAldehydes, Bergamot, Mandarin, Neroli, Orange blossom, Lemon, Cypress
Heart Notes Heart NotesGardenia, Iris, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-valley, Rose, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes Base NotesAmber, Oakmoss, Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, Vetiver, Cedar

Ratings

Scent

7.9 (204 Ratings)

Longevity

7.8 (135 Ratings)

Sillage

7.0 (138 Ratings)

Bottle

7.9 (150 Ratings)
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 12.07.2019

Interesting Facts

According to our information Calèche was reformulated in 1992.

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Reviews

9.0 8.0 8.0 9.5/10
Alex1984

41 Reviews
Alex1984
Alex1984
4
Timeless elegance
Caleche is a glorious soapy aldehyde floral, which in its glorious vintage form (I own a late 70’s edt) shares similarities to the more joyous Madame Rochas. While Gold is described as Guy Robert’s magnum opus, I see Caleche as a more complete creation. And personally I sense no similarities to either Gold or N°5, perhaps the only link between the 3 being an unsurpassed elegance and style.

Caleche opens with sparkling aldehydes, rich florals and mossy greenness. The neroli and lemon have faded a bit in my bottle but the aldehydes are bubbly and rich, and whatever’s left from the citrus oils helps lift them up. The florals that follow change subtly from rich and oily to soapy and powdery, no doubt helped by the Iris. The rooty vetiver soon joins forces with the oakmoss and musk/civet to create a warm sensation that pulsates from the skin, while buttery sandalwood (Mysore) radiates for hours. The general feel is of pristine grooming; skin washed in finely milled French soap, a floral talcum powder applied, and silk underwear. The vetiver/oakmoss/leather combination gives of a ‘wild and free’ out in the open feel; it could very well be a horse ride for the strong and independent woman or a carriage stroll for the more romantic one. Caleche adapts wonderfully to all occasions and it can fit perfectly with anyone, it just needs a strong personality to go with it.
While it embodies a very French 70’s style, it also progresses to the 80’s where it feels more American in a way; it fits perfectly with the empowerment of women in the workplace and while Europe was getting high on Opium and Poison and Coco, Americans were embracing the more bossy green scent of Scherrer, the wonderful Lauders, Chloé and Oscar by de la Renta.
Two different decades, two different worlds, and one perfume, Caleche, walking amidst. Class and elegance all the way!

Inspiration for many scents, Caleche is, to me at least, one of the best aldehyde/floral/chypre gems. Underneath the serious appearance there’s carnality and beauty to be discovered, sensual, not sexual. More than just aldehydes, Caleche embodies the best of the chypre and the floral genre, with woody and leathery facets to create one of Herme’s best creations that, just like Eau d’Hermes before, knows no gender.
For the liberated man and woman. They don’t make them like this anymore.
10.0 7.5 7.5 10.0/10
Cumulnimbus

74 Reviews
Cumulnimbus
Cumulnimbus
Helpful Review    4
The old style timeless elegance
It was my first real scent. I'm afraid can't be objective with Calèche, it is as trying to judge myself with objectivity, just impossible. Many of my memories are strongly attached to it.

As someone who started using the scent in the 80's as a young teenager still with its original formulation, I must say that I've (of course) noticed the reformulation and how it affected both the quality and the original Guy Robert's design making it simpler, sweeter and flatter. However I am completely unable to live without this one so though I will try to buy some vintage bottles to cover the rest of my lifetime, I'm happy Hermes decided to reformulated it instead of opting for discontinuing the scent. The reformulation isn't the original but isn't totally awful, I mean is better than nothing for me. I guess Hermes wouldn't have reformulated Calèche if it wasn't due to actual restrictions over materials. Calèche is probably still the house best seller (at least it is in my country), so I wonder if reformulation comes as an unavoidable consequences of progress? I would gladly take some risks in order to continue smelling some original formulas (not only this one but many others Madame Rochas or Samsara, to give a couple of different examples) but they decide for us. If reformulation is just for cheapening the production then shame on Hermes, they'd rather reduce promotion costs and keep vintage formula.

Coming back to my perfume, I will try to use plain words to describe why I love Calèche so much, why was it able to stand in its central position as my interest on perfumes developed and my collection grew.

As many Hermes scents Calèche has this recognizable dry and woody edge that I find so unisex and which after the bright complex citrus-aldehyde notes opening (remarkable blend of green, yellow, orange citrus with white mediterranean flower notes here) keeps the sweetness of the middle flower bouquet notes under what I consider a perfect control (high quality materials are important here too for the subtle development of the flower notes dance). So as most of the house's scents, Calèche is less sweet while brighter than other perfumes of the same kind though it includes gardenia which is probably quite responsable for its specific soap-powder effect.

I learnt over the years that I like cedar quite a lot and usually prefer tonka bean over vanilla. I guess that together with the absence of civet makes the big difference between Calèche's drydown and Chanel n5's one and what makes Calèche a much luminous versatile scent and therefore likeable and wearable. In general, I find Calèche far more complex, elegant, refined and brighter than Chanel n5 which stands more clearly as a night scent in my opinion.

If Calèche works properly with your skin chemistry and if you are patient enough to let it fully develop all the way, you'd probably become another of its fans.

I use edt for spring- summer seasons daytime, soie for autumn and winter daytime and parfum for night and very special occasions. They all have a good longevity according their concentration, sillage is bigger in the soie version.
NSku

5 Reviews
NSku
NSku
Very helpful Review    6
powerful athletic elegance
This is a review of the pre- 1990 formulation:
Overall impression: To me this is an austere, "severe Parisienne” perfume. (Yesterday's Perfume blog really captures this aspect of the perfume.) Not girlish or feminine but powerful, athletic elegance. Definitely a masculine-for-women scent.
Initial impression:
very sharp, astringent, sticks to the nose, like intense witch hazel, physical effect like rubbing alcohol or VOCs (benzene), acetic but I can’t smell any citrus like orange or lemon or lime just intense witch hazel. Makes my nostrils tickle and slight headache over the brow.

1 hr later
still the sharpness but starting to see some of the floral, still its dominated by the sharp astringent undercurrent.

I disagree with those saying it has a powdery soap quality, but agree with those mentioning a smooth and creamy aroma that comes in and out around the sharp astringent undercurrent.
Not getting anything woodsy or flowery. just astringency and creaminess.

2 Hrs later
getting the leather, but its a cold and sweet leather rather than a warm dry leather along with the astringency and creaminess. Okay, easter lillies and leather.

4 Hrs later
Definitely leather, but the astringency keeps it in a somewhat different room, like not so discernibly leather. I compared it to my caramel colored Italian leather boots Some described it as woodsy, floral and sexy. I don’t get any of that. I get Italian leather boots and soft leather gloves, with a beautiful richly colored silk scarf and gold jewelry. Makes me think of a wood panelled library in the mansion of an equestrienne. If there’s any sense of soap, it’s definitely not “old school soap” but saddle soap -- or bees wax leather polish.

6 Hrs later: down to a gentle easter lilly plus touch astringent smell.

I’ve never really liked it for all that I’ve had multiple bottles of it and wore it quite a lot through the 80s, and up to now. It had this strange persistent intensity and austerity that was somehow discordant or jarring for me. But now that I understand the history of the scent and am better educated about it, it makes sense and its no longer a jarring experience. Weird. And I don’t think its just the power of suggestion, because I rejected many people’s characterizations of this fragrance while finding agreement with others.
10.0 7.5 10.0 9.0/10
Sherapop

1239 Reviews
Sherapop
Sherapop
Helpful Review    7
Epitome of Luxury
What marks the distinction between CALECHE and her (illegitimate) granddaughter, KELLY? It's not just that the notes are very different (which they are), or the structure (which it is). Nor is it the fact that CALECHE has a true development trajectory which KELLY altogether lacks. No, the most significant distinction between these two Hermès creations can be summed up in a single word: depth. This depth characterizes every layer of CALECHE, so even if CALECHE stopped after the opening or the middle stage or presented its drydown linearly, CALECHE would still be a worthy creation.

But CALECHE also has an untold complexity, inducing in the wearer a journey through the unfurling layers of a beautiful perfume. Although I like floral aldehydes in general, I am discovering that my favorites are those that push the limits of their genre, passing also through chypre-like phases.

CALECHE opens with a bright burst of citrus aldehyde which proceeds to illuminate a garden of flowers. The wearer is next led through a forest where the flowers have been interspersed among woody and moss elements but retain their distinct presence. At this stage, the sun continues to shine down through the large trees casting shadows to the side and leaving the flowers to shimmer in the light. As the sun begins to set, the flowers begin to recede into the darkness, and as the temperature drops, dew begins to coalesce on the leaves of the trees. This fresh pristine feeling persists as the perfume slowly, over the course of several hours, fades away.

Wearing CALECHE is to me the epitome of luxury. When this, my third bottle, is empty, I'll buy a fourth--at any price!
5.0 8.0/10
Lola82

362 Reviews
Lola82
Lola82
4
Chanel no 5 for Daytime
MMMMMMMMMMMMM? i wonder if Hermes Caleche stole the ingrediants from Chanel no 5. because they smell the same
so there's not alot to describe.
it has the same Aldehydiac note and it's elegant and chic this perfume is perfect for wearing a cream shelf dress
going to a fashionable daytime garden
soiree. if chanel is a nighttime aldehyde Hermes Caleche is for day.

Statements

Jazzy76 20 months ago
A wonderful classy fragrance , as chic as a foulard by Hermes or a string of pearls.+4
8.0
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8.0
8.5

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