Saturday, February 28, 2015
Collection SS2015: Le Jardin de Monsieur Li
This is the first time that I write about a cologne, but this is too significant of an event to ignore. The latest cologne in the "Gardens" collection is also Hermes' last - and that's because the House perfumer, the revered Jean-Claude Ellena, will be retiring.
Indeed, you can think of this as his "swan song".
Scheduled to launch in North America in March 2015, this is already available in France and has been received very very well - "le Jardin de M. Li" is a perfume of Chinese fragrances between reality and fantasy.
Here's a snippet from the review on the Perfume Shrine:
"The final chapter in the Jardin fragrance series by the historical house of Hermes is inspired by a garden redolent of in house perfumer Jean Claude Ellena's favorite flower: jasmine. The flower he grew up with (Jean Claude was taken as a child alongside the family, working with the workers, for the dawn picking of the lush white blossoms which smelled halfway between flower and flesh, as he recalls in his Journal d'un Parfumeur/Diary of a Perfumer).
The inclusion of the unusual note of kumquat, a small citrus fruit with a rich scent favoured for the preparation of a special liqueur on the island of Corfu, recalls the fruity hesperidic note in Colette 1873 by Histoires de Parfums.
The name, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, is of course recalling a garden fantasy, as previous editions in the series did: the plate of figs offered in a garden in North Africa as translated into Un Jardin en Mediterannee (2003), the green mango and sycomore trees in Assouan, Egypt, in Un Jardin sur le Nil (2005), the monsoon in Kerala, India in Un Jardin apres la Mousson (2008), and the actual garden atop the Hermes headquarters which provided vegetables for the Dumas family during WWII in Un Jardin sur le Toit (2011).