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.


Un Jardin Après La Mousson is the third fragrance in the Jardin series created by Ellena for Hermès, after Un Jardin en Méditerrannée and Un Jardin sur le Nil.

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.

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6 comments

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For the last two summers I have worn Hermes Eau Des Merveilles, I can never smell it on myself but everybody comments on it. It is not too heavy and reminds me of oranges, making it ideal for summer but I can't wait to try out the one you mention it sounds great. It is raining at the moment and when I go outside it doesn't remind me of anything fragrant – the great British summer eh?

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I nearly bought this fragrance last summer, then I realized I haven't run out of my other summer fragrances. I have a rule about purchasing new scents before the old ones are done. But honestly, everything scent in Hermes smells wonderfully decadent. I always feel spoiled for choice with every visit.

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A friend and I went perfume-shopping a couple of months ago; she bought Jardin Apres La Mousson, and I bought Velvet Rope by Apothia (worth looking up in "Perfumes: The Guide" as possibly one of their most caustic reviews but I LIKE Strawberry Fanta…)- we later ended up swapping because we preferred each others'. I wear it a lot, and every time I do I find myself trying to work out all the spices. I love the way they get that ginger bit right – the wasabi/mustard effect nose-tickle. Very subtle and lovely.

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The packaging is gorgeous enough to sway me whatever the scent. I love the new grapefruit one but when I spritzed it last week in House of Fraser I could hardly smell it all day. Wish it could be a wee bit stronger…

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I worship at the feet of Jean Claude Ellena. My summer go to is actually un Jardin Sur le Nil but all the jardins are good. In fact all the Hermes scents are good full stop.

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i fell in love with it on first sniff, but the husband preferred Un Jardin sur le Nil (which I also adore), so that is my summer staple as well.

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