Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermès 2005

Hey Posse, Now that JCE has left Hermès and his last jardin scent Monsieur Li is out, and fabulous, I was wondering if it might be nice to look back on Un Jardin Sur Le Nil, one of my favourites from the series. If you are in the northern hemisphere and the snow has started then this could be the perfect antidote.

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Jean Claude Ellena for Hermès 2005

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil Hermes FragranticaFragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Green mango, tomato, carrot, grapefruit
Heart: Orange, peony, bulrush, hyacinth, lotus
Base: Labdanum, iris, musk, incense, cinnamon

Jean Claude Ellena can make fruity fragrances fancy. He seems to effortlessly give his a feeling of sophistication that many in the genre are lacking, even the opening accords of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil have a warm resinous and furry depth. Sur Le Nil has a really good heft to it initially, good projection and excellent sillage for the first hour and a half before it gets closer to the skin. The fruits and vegetative florals all play together beautifully and though you can pick the notes it is not about them as much as it’s about smelling like a shimmer of spring. Though gripped in the depths of winter you’ll find yourself in a spring market surrounded by fresh mango, cool melon and lush tropical flowers.

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes mango-cut-open PixabayPixabay

Ellena’s style is not for everyone and if you don’t like his cool, oily, watery washes then Un Jardin Sur Le Nil will not change your mind. For me the beautiful way he flows from fresh cut fruit to flowers in their cool metal cans and the water they sit in to a still cool but more living, human or animal, warmth as it dries down, cut through by wet carroty iris and a very soft incense that becomes closer and less intrusive and then finally at around 3-4 hours fades away.

Chandler Burr wrote a book that covered the creation of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil called The Perfect Scent and it’s a fabulous read. It also follows Sarah Jessica Parker’s creation of Lovely. It gives excellent insight into the world of fragrance creation and also shows how different companies go about making the magic we all love so much.

Un Jardin Sur Le Nil by Hermes Felucca_on_the_Nile WikipediaWikiMedia

Further reading: Olfactoria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin
Fragrance Shop has $58/50ml before Coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3.ml

If you liked this, pop over and continue the fragrant conversation at Australian Perfume Junkies .

Do you like the Ellena aesthetic? Have you tried Un Jardin Sur Le Nil? Did you like it?
Portia xx

16 Comments

  1. I absolutely LOVE Un Jardin sur le Nil and every now and then I get myself a FB during the summertime. It’s a well rounded fruity scent where nothing stands out too much and I always thought its one special ingredient that makes it so great, but no – it’s the elaborately mixed sum of its parts.
    When I dived deeper into my perfume passion I started connecting perfumes with some of their creators and I realized that many of the perfumes that I love are created by Ellena: Declaration, Bulgari’s au The Vert and the Extreme version,…

    • Hey Neva,
      Yes JCE has really changed the face of fragrance over the years and added his own stamp. Do you ever smell some of his fuller works like VC&A First or L’Eau d’Ambre by L’Artisan? There are a couple more too that might be of interest to track his progression.
      Portia xx

      • I remember VC&A First from back in the eighties. I thought of it as a very ladylike scent and was happy to apply it from my mini bottle when I went to the disco Saturdays. It had that great sillage I always yearn for. Later I forgot about it and nowadays I’ve put it in the shelf “surely reformulated and I don’t want to know how”.
        I’m not familiar with L’Eau d’Ambre but now that you mention it, I will surely track it down. Thanks Portia!

  2. I really like Un Jardin sur le Nil, it’s my favorite in this series. Love the way its mango is very green and tangy, not ripe and sweet like, say, in The Body Shop iteration on the fruit (the comparison sounds truly sacrilegious, but there you have it). Here wishing that you and Jin are enjoying a great trip, Portia!

    • Hey Solanace,
      No, it’s all fragrance. Every comparison is valid and it’s strange where correlations pop up.
      We are having an amazing time. London is so fun.
      Portia xx

  3. Sur le Nil has been a summer staple since early on in my trip down the rabbit hole and I have never worn it in the winter, Portia, what a good idea. I especially notice the tangy tomato leaf and incense along side that juicy mango. First is a wonderful perfume and I had a mini at one time, very baroque. Found another older mini at an estate sale last summer but sadly it had completely turned. Glad you guys are having fun!

    • Hi there Rosarita313,
      So glad you love Sur de Nil too. Tomato leaves are such a yummy, evocative scent that takes me straight back to my childhood when we would eat Tom Thumb tomatoes straight off the vine. Since that time it has always seemed weird to me to eat tomatoes chilled.
      First, even now I like it.After all that’s been done to it.
      Portia xx

  4. Agree with other commenters– such a great scent.

    So what will JCE be doing now?

    • Hi there GVILLECREATIVE,
      I have no idea of JCEs next big thing.Maybe he’ll take a long holiday and then get back in the saddle. Maybe he is leaving to pursue other dreams.
      Portia xx

  5. Howdy, dear! Hope your travels are going well and you’re having a ball. I need to revisit this one; I can’t remember which, but an early one of this Hermes Un Jardin group actually made me feel a little ill (the Mousson, perhaps?). Next time I’m at the Hermes counter, I will re-try them, but carefully, on paper, before committing to skin. I do love several from his Hermessence line though. Thanks!

    • Wow Ann,
      That’s quite a reaction. Yes, do be careful.
      I’ll be interested to know which one.
      Portia xx

  6. The only offering that I have tried by JCE is Amouage Dia pour Femme. I own two bottles of it and might wear it today. If I don’t put on either Kyoto or Zagorsk today. I’ve never tried the Hermes offerings, eventually I eill get around to it.

    • Hiya eldarwen22,
      DIA! So freaking fabulous! I love the extrait and the shower gel, and body wash. It’s heavenly.
      Portia xx

  7. I’m definitely in the “no sugar, no flowers” camp, but I make an exception for the work of JCE. My favorite of the Jardin series is Un Jardin Sur Le Toit–light and lovely when the temps soar. And I’ve found nothing like Eau de Gentiane Blanche, with it’s water-on-warm-stone mineral vibe. It’s present, but subtle–perfect for situations like business meetings, air travel, and so forth when you want something delicious and sophisticated that wears fairly close to the skin.

    • Hi Kismet429,
      Yes, JCE makes sweetness and flowers seem austere and serene in a way that no perfumer I know can.
      Portia xx

  8. I have not tried this one, though I am familiar with First and Dia. But really what I want is that mango, please!

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