Review: Hermès Un Jardin sur le Toit — 3.5 points

The way I see it, perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena is a master illusionist. He knows full well how to weave two ingredients together and seemingly conjure a third. For example, he would weave orange oil and the zesty, fruity, green Rhubofix to create the illusion of a grapefruit; or, he would combine the exotic fruits of Fructone and the caramel of ethyl maltol to create a strawberry. That way, he could render the theme of interest in a manner that seems to morph and change constantly much like the Impressionistic works of Pierre-Auguste Renoir or Claude Monet.


Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Such signature applies to Un Jardin sur le Toit (Hermès, 2011). Here, Ellena paints the rooftop garden of Hermès. Beginning with the aromatic and almost minty green of basil, it gives the impression that one has just stepped outside into the garden and caught a whiff of the aromatic bushes. The fruity, caramelic suggestion woven into the green note conjures, then, apples or pears that provide much of the canopy. Soon, there is also the floral touch done in light shades of magnolias and tea roses.


The depiction of its changing qualities is rendered by means of morphing accents of green herbs to fruits and light flowers. Yet, the essence of the garden, the large fruit trees of green apples and pears, remains. It lasts around four hours on me, which is reasonably long enough for its wispy nature. And it sits quietly.

For sure, Un Jardin sur le Toit is a well-executed composition. It is composed, and its aromatic accent tames the sweetness — that is a nice change. But if you are easily jaded by apples and pears, you might want to look in other pastures for something more daring. Otherwise, it is an easily likeable composition with understated and jovial quality. I see nothing wrong with its lovely apples and pears. After all, in the words of Renoir, ‘Why should art not be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world’.



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