“Those horses are so spoilt I swear they sleep on straw strewn with rose petals”.
With an equine huff of a laugh, he rears his head back and raises a riding crop from aside his muscular calf to tap a glowing forehead.
He breaks a large-toothed smile and with a click of the heals of his long brown leather riding boots turns to leave.
A self-conscious flick of the head to show off his golden mane to its best effect and he is gone.
He smells of early Summer roses, thoroughbreds and animal hides.
He smells exactly as you do.
He had come, as a messenger from “The Gods”: the judges.
Venerated men and women, with scores of Olympian accolades between them, in whose hands your equestrian fate now resides.
He came to ready you for the off and remind you of “The Immortals” marking schemes.
You reflect on how much easier the fates of others are.
How much simpler for the show-jumpers?
The powerhouses, projecting into the air with flair and barely controlled strength.
Their task is merely to dazzle, to defy sense with their penetration and precision.
They can be judged objectively:
All they need to do is fly high, make no errors and achieve the required time.
And the masculine three day eventers?
As long as they stay the course and come up reeking of earth and animal and grass, well, who cares?
Yours is the more difficult labour.
You must harness horse with gleaming equipage into a wholly pleasing whole.
Your task no less than to combine film star glamour and princessly grace into three minutes of four legged ballet.
The final preparation for your moments in the ring.
Exchanging whispers with the beast, he acknowledges you with a swish of his tail that throws a shower of fine white powder into the air.
You adjust the saddle, a practical ornament of the finest French leather, cured and scented so that not even an allusion to the abattoir might upset the ride.
You mount and breathe in deeply, the breeze brings the hint of wild yellow irises from the meadows lying fallow beyond the Chateau.
The same wind brings your name made tinny by Tannoys.
You bridle for a moment.
Your desire to perform, the urge bring pleasure and win points makes an anxious knot of your insides.
The illustrated sports photographers’ flashing bulbs, the hubbub, the crowd, the swell and the excitement.
The smell of his perfume, the rose aroma of your own scent, fragrant riding leathers, the horse.
The dance begins.
Kelly Caleche by Hermes is, like the pursuit of dressage, more aesthetic sport than art.
It is a physical perfume that exists above all to bring pleasure with its presence.
It strikes elegant turns, makes graceful moves and possesses the essential Hermes quality of unwaivering poise.
And what if it does not challenge or unsettle or push back boundaries?
So be it, it never intended to.
At the commencement gorgeously groomed citrus, in the shape of an ever so subtly bitter grapefruit, starts the proceedings.
The fruit yields almost instantly to early June roses and then the perfume widens and deepens to include the unmistakable hue of the most luxuriously scented leather.
This leather, the distinctive Hermes note, is floral, high, transparent, and has about it a refined fragility.
It has a haunting, or perhaps more precisely a yearning quality.
It is this sense of searching and the sparseness of the relatively simple composition that raises this rose perfume above the thorny crowd.
This is a fragrance that seeks to fulfill desire.
To give and receive pleasure.
Are not both men and women capable of reciprocation in love?
I believe so, and that this is an especially suitable scent for men as well as women.
The Perfumed Dandy.