Un Jardin Sur Le Toit, the latest in the garden series from Hermès, spurns the exotic inspirations of its predecessors (Un Jardin en Méditerranée, Un Jardin Sur Le Nil and Un Jardin Après La Mousson); instead perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena celebrates the rooftop garden at the Hermès building at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris (although for some of us, a rooftop garden on the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré is hardly the stuff of everyday life).
And what, pray tell, do we get from the Hermès rooftop garden? Apples and pears, apples and pears. Apples and pears, though hardly new to perfume, seem to be the notes du jour, and as I've already mentioned they're not exactly my favorites.
Jardin Sur Le Toit starts out grapefruity-citrusy and sharp — for a second or two, it almost recalls Jardin Sur Le Nil — but it's only briefly so, then it's crisp apple and pear with plenty of green (the notes: apple, pear, rose, green grass, basil, magnolia and compost). It's bright and tart, and the green notes add a decent bite without being overwhelming. It's young and spring-like and fresh, and very Jean-Claude Ellena, which will either please you or it won't.
The fruit gives way (partly) to the flowers: a gentle rosewater and magnolia blend that sort-of-vaguely recalls Kelly Calèche, although Sur Le Toit is more decidedly unisex. The base is a pale gentle musk, more vegetal than animalic, with just the slightest suggestion of warm soil.
In keeping with the rest of the series, it's a transparent fragrance that lends itself to liberal application, and it's probably better suited to warm rather than cool weather. I found the lasting power to be just so-so, maybe not quite so good as my favorite (still) of the Jardin series, Jardin Sur Le Nil.
Do I love it? I do not. I found it quite easy to wear, and there is something cheering about it; it made me smile to spray it on while the cold spring rain was tapping on my window. But it is, after all, still apples and pears, and it does not captivate me. Is it worth a try? But of course. You didn't think I'd say something by Jean-Claude Ellena wasn't even worth trying, did you?
Hermès Un Jardin Sur Le Toit is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette.