With Grace – Review: Hermes Kelly Calèche

I resisted Kelly Calèche for a long time because I do not like leather.

Leather makes me nauseous, actually. I really can not tolerate it without serious discomfort, which naturally makes me weary of anything with that note. For example as lovely as Boxeuses may be in the later stages, its initial blast of leather throws me completely, and not in a good way.

But if there ever was a man known for his subtlety it is Jean-Claude Ellena, and he does not disappoint me again, the leather in Kelly Calèche, meant to evoke the feeling of an Hermes Kelly Bag, is indeed subtle. Subtle enough to be not only tolerable for me and my stomach, but enjoyable in its soft and discrete manner.

Kelly Caleche is considered a floral-leather fragrance and was created by JCE in 2007. It includes notes of iris, lily of the valley, mimosa, tuberose, climbing rose, sheepskin, calf leather and vanilla.

It opens on sparkling citrus notes, very uplifting and light. Soon the leather starts peeking through, but does not fully come into its own about half an hour into wearing. In the meantime a lovely floral bouquet that is very well blended, dominates the perfume.

Most reviewers bemoan the fact that the leather is too weak or not present enough, that it comes onto the stage only late in the game, or feels too subtle. Well, this is exactly what endears Kelly Calèche to me. I smell the leather all right, because I may be hyperosmic to this note, for me there is plenty in there and it smells like the softest lambskin.

The juice is pink, a trait that normally sends Perfumistas running in the opposite direction, for fear of what is to come. But this is not a pink pink fragrance if you get my meaning. It is way to elegant and sophisticated, highly wearable and fitting for almost any occasion.

Kelly Calèche is a wonderfully office-appropriate perfume, I find myself reaching for often, on days when I lack inspiration what to wear,  and it always turns out to be appropriate, I am always happy with my choice.

There may be many more exiting perfumes out there, but in the real world we need high quality scents that go with us where ever we go (sounds like a Jeep commercial!). Kelly Calèche is such a perfume that is practical as well as beautiful.

When thinking about what to take on a trip, I often end up packing Kelly Calèche. I always feel well dressed with it.

Recently I often found myself thinking about what makes the cut in my collection. Something as functional as it is beautiful like Kelly Calèche, is certainly full-bottle worthy.

Also this association is not the worst to have…

Image source: imagesdeparfums.com, Grace Kelly via Reebonz
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About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
This entry was posted in Floral, Fragrance Reviews, Hermès, Leather and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to With Grace – Review: Hermes Kelly Calèche

  1. Rose says:

    Ah Ellena is the master of scents that manage to be moving. I like this very much, I didn’t expect to at all- but I do- it’s the leather with the Ellena twist. I don’t know that Princess Grace would have worn this- she seems much more of a clean floral American girl- but I’d have loved her too

  2. Marie says:

    I think your concept a “jeep fragrance” is brilliant! I need that more than I need any other category of fragrances, if truth be told. Today, I’m wearing one of mine and that’s Madame Rochas. She has enough of a stiff upper lip to get me through tough days, but enough elegance and comfort factor to tend to other needs as well.

    I’ll be on the lookout for a good deal on Kelly Caleche on my usual online hangout – it has popped up every now and then in the past, and judging from your description I know that I’ll like it.

    I wore the original Caleche when I was a 19 year old au pair in a parisian suburb way back in the mid 1980’s – what a strange choice for that age and under those circumstances – but I certainly loved it. I think I’d still like it today, but I’m aslo quite sure that I want something a bit more ellena-esque these days to get me by.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Marie!
      I hope you find Kelly Caleche for a good price (and like it as well of course!) The original Caleche is certainly something entirely different.

  3. karin says:

    I totally agree! Kelly Caleche is a wonderful go-to scent. I confess I didn’t wear it much this past winter, but reach for it often spring through fall. I have the EDP – the EDT is also nice.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I also wear it mostly in the warm seasons, I actually prefer the EDP, the stronger accent on the floral bouquet suits me better, the EdT can be a bit thin.

  4. k-scott says:

    I love, love, LOVE Kelly Caleche. The base smells of the softest Hermes leather gloves. I think KC unfairly doesn’t get a lot of love, probably because the leather doesn’t have enough “oomph” for the hardcore leather lovers. It is a very understated, ladylike leather.

    I read a comment on another blog that the KC parfum is to die for… have you tried it?

  5. deeHowe says:

    Kelly Caleche is the only JCE creation that at first sniff, I had to have. There are two decants strutting their stuff in my cabinet right now, and when those ladies loose their lustre, a full-bottle will replace them.

    I agree with the Jeep analogy! It can go anywhere, and maintains a sense of class and good nature no matter how bad the weather or terrain is 🙂

    Thank you for another lovely review… and posted from London, no less! You are really dedicated to us, dear B., so thank you!

  6. RH says:

    I think my leather intolerance is even lower than yours… When I tried Kelly Caleche I had migraines the whole day. Funny thing is- I love leather as long as it’s not bottled in perfume. I will literally salivate over leather gloves…

    And like Dee said, thanks for all the reviews and posts! It’s wonderful to have some regular dosage of perfume reading before I go to bed! 😀

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, too bad, I am sorry it was too much for you. Leather gloves are a great alternative though! 😉
      Thank you, I am glad you read regularly, that is what keeps motivating me!

  7. Exactly. This is what I wear when I lack inspiration and don’t want to think about what I’m wearing but I want to know that I smell good. I have a FB of the EDP. I adore it. It isn’t the most unique fragrance on the market, but it is good. It does make me feel polished and beautiful. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

  8. annemariec says:

    Lovely review, thanks. I agree absolutely: K. Caleche is great for work, being discreet but not boring. Very meeting-friendly. I was wearing it one day at a meeting when a whole bunch of people arrived with their iPhones and iPads and iAttitudes and iWhatervers. I just had my 13 year old Filofax. And my Kelly Caleche. So beat that iPeople.

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  13. Preska says:

    Got this in Amsterdam totally by chance.I was intending to buy Jour d’Hermes but the shop assistant offered me Kelly Caleche as it was on sale. Just seeing the pink!!! juice in the bottle I shook my head. BUT it turned out to be a very elegant floral scent that turned into a wonderful soft leather after an hour or so. While having a coffee with my husband the wind brought a devine aroma to my nostrils-I sniffed around where it was coming from and realized it was…me! As you may guess I bought a 100 ml bottle. Really suitable both for a day in the office and for a evening event.

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