Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hermès - Un Jardin Après La Mousson

Un Jardin Après La Mousson is the third, but hopefully not the last, instalment in Jean-Claude Ellena's Garden Series.

As I've written before on Basenotes about Comme de Garcons Incense Series there's a leisure cool and above all strong sense of luxury to the concept of exploring variations and different facets of a certain theme in several fragrances. This very much applies to this line of Hermès scents. Such an approach of course demands focus, great talent and serious inspiration by the creator. Thankfully all these criteria are, in my view, the trademark of Ellena's work so far.

Un Jardin Après La Mousson breaks the mould a bit compared to the previous two, but the breezy, fruity, fun and lightly floral touch that characterized Un Jardin En Méditerranée (2003) and Un Jardin Sur Le Nil (2005) is definitely present here as well. The previous two had fig and mango in the limelight, whereas this latest launch apparently focuses on the kahli ginger flower. I also pick up the juiciness of watermelon and cucumber. The latter note briefly made me think of Esté Lauders Beyond Paradise for men, clearly an inferior fragrance in every way, but still there is some kinship between the two. Another one that comes to mind, but in a much more abstract way is Diors Fahrenheit, I can't put my finger on what exactly the common denominator is, perhaps there is some honeysuckle in the Hermès? Apart from these slight similarities Un Jardin Après La Mousson is a very unique fragrance, shining in an exceptional, transparent way. Just the muted and delicate use of cardamom, usually one of my most hated notes, shows Ellena's brilliant way of using ordinary ingredients in extraordinary ways.

It has been said before that Ellena´s approach to perfumery is that of an artist painting with water colours. This description is spot on, especially in the case of the garden series. Other creations, such as Eau de Merveilles and Terre de Hermès, have a tad of darkness to them. This trio instead is all about fun and joie de vivre, but without losing the feeling of exclusivity for one second. All three have an impressionistic, youthful and almost naïve feeling to them. Truly a proud continuation of this house's already great legacy in the world of fragrances.

And, as always with Hermès, the packaging and ads are perfect and wonderfully representing the contents of the bottle.

Year of Launch: 2008
Gender Classification: Unisex
Reminiscent of: Esté Lauders Beyond Paradise for men (ever so slightly...), Christian Dior Fahrenheit (in a very abstract way), Kenzo Pour Homme
Longevity & Sillage: I find the longevity of all the Jardins to be excellent, however
the sillage on this one as well as the others is limited
Overall rating: 8/10

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