Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hermès - Un Jardin sur le Nil

Perfume: Un Jardin sur le Nil
House: Hermès
Nose: Jean-Claude Ellena
Notes: Green Mango, Grapefruit, Calamus, Lotus, Sycamore, Frankincense

A refreshing, sheer, pink and green cocktail that cools the summer heat. Perfectly balanced in the reeds between shimmering water and dry wood.

Un Jardin sur le Nil (UJslN) is part of the Hermès Jardin series by the in-house perfumer Jean Claude Ellena. The series is a sort of olfactory travel journal, and UJslN represents Mr. Ellena's memories of Egypt. The story behind the creation of UJslN is the subject of the book The Perfect Scent: A Year in the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York, by Chandler Burr.

The photo above perfectly captures this perfume in my mind. UJslN is green and pink. It starts with a bright pink grapefruit, not sweet, but citrusy and refreshing. Next I smell green herbs and the gentle floral-aquatic note of lotus. All of this is full of light, and seems to hover above the skin. Underneath it is a sheer, dry woody base, not heavy, just barely there, like driftwood among the rushes.

Calamus is a type of wetland herb, like the rushes that grow beside the Nile. I don't really smell the green mango or the frankincense, but I suppose the former adds to the green-fruity top and the latter to the dry-wood base.

UJslN is perfectly balanced between the aquatic and the dry, the sweet and the bitter, the floral and the woody. It is my favourite hot weather scent right now. Unlike many citrus-starting colognes, which often don't last long, UJslN lasts all day and into the warm, fragrant evening.

Photo by Cowtools

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