We always love the turning of the seasons, and in the spirit of budding promise and new beginnings that spring seems to herald, Hermès is wafting forth a fabulous fifth addition to their Garden Perfume collection in the form of Le Jardin de Monsieur Li.
A fragrance inspired by the freshness and hope of spring itself, Hermès celebrate ‘… leisurely walks that foster creativity, that free the mind and the senses,’ comprising vegetal jasmine, kumqat, mint and sap; Le Jardin de Monsieur Li was created in the beautiful Hermès perfume quarters of Cabris by their highly talented in-house nose, Jean-Claude Ellena.
Inviting us to ‘discover a garden conceived for strolling through… arranged around bodies of water that reflect the flowers, bamboo and rocks around them, this world in miniature blurs the boundaries between the real and the imaginary…’ Hermès is also celebrating the re opening of their flagship Bond Street store in the UK, devoting an incredible space to their fragrances (which we truly can’t wait to explore).
‘I remembered the smell of ponds, the smell of jasmine, the smell of wet stones, of plum trees, kumquats and giant bamboos. It was all there, and in the ponds there were even carp steadily working towards their hundredth birthday.’ Jean-Claude Ellena
Hermès says: ‘Le Jardin de Monsieur Li describes a Chinese garden somewhere between reality and imagination. A place for meditation where strolling is allied to thought, and every step sets the imagination free.’
Spraying Le Jardin de Monsieur Li on the skin, there is an immediate burst of green freshness, though not the usual zestiness of citrus that often accompanies invigorating fragrances for spring and beyond – the kumqat is far more refined and with a hint of exoticism softly promising warmer days to come.
The ‘sap’ notes are definitely there – along with a faintly mineralic tang amidst the vegetal jasmine that put us in mind of ‘petrichor’ – a word that describes the distinctive scent of a recently rain-washed landscape. The dry down is beautifully languid and the mint so subtly done, it feels like a whisper of a cool breeze rather than a headlong plunge into a Mojito (as pleasant as that also sounds).
Described as ‘gender neutral’, we certainly agree – this would be equally amazing to share with a gentleman friend – if you can bear to part with it…
Hermès Le Jardin de Monsieur Li from £59 for 50ml eau de toilette
Try it at Hermès
Written by Suzy Nightingale