In winter, as I swaddle my self in cashmere, leather & furs, I like a grown up note to my fragrance. Last year I wore Miller Harris’ Nouvelle Editions Jasmine Vert, with the occasional spritz of Chanel Allure, which I have worn for years.
But every summer I switch my scent to something less grown up. As I explained here, Christian Dior’s Diorissimo is my signature scent and one that is perfect for summer, but for everyday I want something light as air, that drifts with me rather than calling attention.
When I was in my 90s Calvin phase I wore Escape, with its artificially conceived oceanic notes, a result of the use of the synthetic Calone, which also contributed to the marine notes of L’Eau d’Issey. Calone is not enormously subtle, but it did usher in a new wave of sea breeze fragrances.
I’ve never lost my liking for those oceanic notes and when I was given a bottle of Hermès’ in-house perfumer Jean Claude Ellena’s latest work, Un Jardin Après La Mousson, and told by the publicist that its intention was to replicate a Keralan garden after the Monsoon rains, I was enchanted. And hopeful.
In an interview, Ellena said his intention was to create the smell of water: “J’ai vraiment voulu rendre l’odeur de l’eau. Pas une odeur marine, ça, c’est facile, mais l’odeur de l’eau.”
When I sprayed it I didn’t get (thank goodness) any overly artificial oceanic Calone nose for, as Ellena says above, a marine note would be too easy, but I did get cardamon & cucumber, with a hint of vetiver in the dry down. (The offical notes for the scent are cardamom, coriander, pepper, Kahili ginger, ginger and vetiver accord.) Several reviewers have talked about a cantaloupe melon scent, but I didn’t pick this up. The spices notes are very subtle.
It’s incredibly light, and dissipates quickly leaving only a suggestion of green, of something vegetal. It’s not so much water as an Indian garden drenched in rain. Exactly as the name suggests. I love it.