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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Hermes Cuir d’Ange ~ fragrance review & quick poll

Hermès Sac à Dépêches

I said when I reviewed Épice Marine that a new fragrance in the upscale Hermessence range from French house Hermès always makes me happy, even when I don’t love the juice. Part of the reason is that they rarely bore me, and another factor is that the relatively easy availability of the 15 ml bottles means I can get some if I want it.1 So the news of the latest (and the 12th in the series), Cuir d’Ange, was welcome, although I find now that every new fragrance from Hermès brings with it a little twinge of anxiety: will it be the last from house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena? (Please, Mr. Ellena, don’t retire just yet.)

I tend to divide the Hermessences into three categories: the few I don’t care about at all (sorry, Paprika Brasil), the few that I need in 100 ml (Osmanthe Yunnan!), and the rest, which I generally need in 15 ml (Vanille Galante, for instance). Sometimes I’m wrong, of course; I think I’m now on my third 15 ml bottle of Vetiver Tonka and my second of Rose Ikebana, and I’m heading fast towards another bottle of Brin de Réglisse. Cuir d’Ange, for now, is going in the 15 ml category — I’d like to own some but I’m not at all sure I’d run through 100 ml…

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Friday scent of the day 7/25

Quaint Cape Cod scene, Cape Cod Mass.

Today’s community project: wear something by Hermès OR something by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. What did you pick?

As always, do chime in with your scent of the day even if you didn’t participate in the community project!

I’m wearing Hermès Terre d’Hermès Eau Très Fraîche, because it’s the only choice I have (I’m still on vacation). I smell great but it’s probably not what I would have picked if I was at home…

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