I Try To Take You By The Hand: Jean-Claude Ellena At The Launch Of Le Jardin De Monsieur Li

Jean-Claude Ellena

Today’s guest post is from Persolaise, the author of the Le Snob – Perfume guide, published by Hardie Grant. He is also the editor of the Persolaise blog, as well as a regular contributor to Basenotes. He has won three UK Jasmine Awards, most recently for Guardians Of The Past – A Trip To The Osmotheque. He attended the press launch of Hermès Le Jardin de Monsieur Li in February (and you can find his review of the fragrance here).

There was no escape. From across the other side of the room, an actress clad in black caught your eye. She strode across to you, her gaze locked on yours, her head fixed in that infuriatingly perfect immobility which only dancers and stage performers seem to be able to pull off. Then, when she was a few paces away, you noticed she was holding a long, narrow tube. With smooth movements, she raised it and brought one end close to one of your ears. The other end neared her mouth. And then she whispered, slowly, breathily, pausing after each word. “What is difficult… is to be open… to the open… in the open.” She searched your face for a reaction, but you didn’t have the heart to tell her that you found all of this rather peculiar. So she gave you an enigmatic smile and wandered off, probably to look for another unsuspecting ear.

The setting for this bizarre exchange was the pagoda on Paris’ Rue De Courcelles, the venue chosen by Hermès for the launch of Le Jardin De Monsieur Li.

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Parfums Raffy

Top 10 Spring Fragrances 2015

orange tulip

At last, spring! It’s taken long enough, and if your local weather has been anything like mine, you might be wondering if winter is not quite done playing games with you yet. Here are 10 perfumes (and another 10+ alternatives, because everyone needs choice, right?) to cover the full range of (crazy) spring weather, from boots to sandals and back again. As always, do add your own picks in the comments, or go read the lists at Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Perfume Posse and The Non-Blonde.

Sonoma Scent Studio Forest Walk: When I reviewed Forest Walk, I said you could wear it year-round but that the outdoorsy blend of earthy notes and pine-y woods was perfect for chilly fall evenings. Turns out it suits a brisk spring night just as well…

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Hermes Le Jardin de Monsieur Li ~ fragrance review, with an aside on Rose Amazone

Hermès Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, brand drawing and bottle

“I remembered the smell of ponds, the smell of jasmine, the smell of wet stones, of plum trees, kumquats and giant bamboos. It was all there, and in the ponds there were even carp steadily working towards their hundredth birthday.” — Jean-Claude Ellena1

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is the fifth fragrance in the Jardin series from Hermès, and reportedly the last.2 I do not know if it is also the last scent we’ll see from perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, but either way, smelling it gave me an advance pang of nostalgia. I will miss Jean-Claude Ellena when he retires.3

Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is an aromatic citrus, reportedly inspired by a Chinese garden. The notes (something like kumquat, mint, jasmine and sap) sounded tantalizing, but as is often the case with Hermès and Jean-Claude Ellena, the juice is not quite what I expected…

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5 perfumes: gourmand oddities

Sausages

Way back in 2008, Erin wrote a post called 5 Perfumes for: Gourmand Deniers. Her selection emphasized gourmands for people who are wary of gourmands; in her words, gourmands “that camouflage their intentions”. Like Erin, I don’t think of myself as a huge fan of sweet, dessert-based gourmands, although as time goes on I find more and more exceptions to the rule. Today, however, I’m thinking about an entirely different kind of gourmand. Here are five fragrances that smell like food without calling to mind the conventional offerings on a dessert tray.

Lush The Voice of Reason: If Dinner by Bobo were still on the market (and if it is, do comment), it would surely take top honors in any list of gourmand oddities, but as a reasonably meaty substitute I offer The Voice of Reason, which I described in my review as “rather alarmingly meaty”…

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