Perfume Review: Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil

April 2, 2009 at 08:44 5 comments


Image from Hermes

Un Jardin sur le  Nil was love at first sniff. Unfortunately, it was so expensive that for many months, all I did about it was grab a spritz each time I walked past any Hermes counter. Finally, upon returning from a Bangkok conference, I caved and bought a set at Suvarnabhumi airport, making myself very happy.

This perfume was created by Jean-Claude Ellena, who became Hermes’ first in-house perfumer in 2004. At that time, Hermes had just set up its perfume laboratory in an effort to establish its own iconic fragrances. Its brief for this perfume consisted of no more than its name – a garden on the Nile. Ellena’s next step was to travel to Aswan, a gardened area in Egypt, for inspiration. He sniffed many things, from the air to vegetables to the Nile itself, but came up blank until he reached a Nubian village street lined with green mango trees. Then the magic happened. Chandler Burr in The New Yorker described the smell as exotic, rich and fresh. Most magically of all, it was also fleeting:

“The fruit exudes an odor only when it is on the tree. Once you pick it, the smell deteriorates; within sixty seconds, it is essentially gone.”

How lovely to know that I have a whole bottle of this beautiful, ephemeral scent. To me, it is a study in contradictions. While most definitely green and fruity, it is also most definitely not candy fluff meant for prepubescent girls with stratospheric sugar thresholds. Although it ripples with  sweetness and joyfulness, there is also a sort of sober – almost spiritual – austerity behind it. It is an old soul with a child’s heart. It’s someone I’d like to be.

The other thing is that it’s meant to be a unisex fragrance. However, I simply cannot imagine any male of my acquaintance spritzing this scent. It takes me a minute to conjure up the image of a clean-jawed, white-T-shirted, insouciant boy-man who might wear this… maybe Jason Mraz… hmmm…

Un Jardin sur le Nil is perfect for my hot weather, particularly the singing citrus notes at the very start. It lasts a decent time on me, and I can still smell it on my clothes after a day’s work.

The set I bought comes with a tube of body lotion. It’s very runny and light for something called a lotion, but its main purpose is to smell like its name, which it does very well. It smells beautiful, and is wonderful for bringing to work for a pick-me-up on a bad day.

Un Jardin sur le Nil contains these notes: green grapefruit, green mango, lotus flower, calamus, sycamore and frankincense. Other notes that might also be there are: carrot (who’d have thought, huh?), rosin, acetone and neroli oil.


Entry filed under: Reviews. Tags: .

Massage & That Time Of Month Loincloths: Liberation From The Oppressive Panty

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. laafrodescendiente  |  April 4, 2009 at 21:54

    i have yet to smell it but am DYING to get my hands on some

    • 2. Katie  |  April 5, 2009 at 17:47

      Do try it if you can, La Afrodescendiente! It’s one of those scents that always make me feel a bit happier when I smell them. We need more of those around. :)

  • 3. The Manx’s Front Door « Home of the Manx  |  April 6, 2009 at 13:50

    […] Perfume review on Hermes Un Jardin sur le Nil […]

  • 4. Janene  |  April 17, 2009 at 00:38

    This is one of my faves, I truly love this fragrance. I have one in my car and one at home just when I need to freshen up :)

    • 5. Katie  |  April 17, 2009 at 21:39

      Hi Janene – yeah! I am so pleased that you are a fellow lover of this fragrance. Hardly anyone in my acquaintance is a perfume-phile. I visited your site and am really impressed. Do you write on other perfumes as well? Would love to take a look.


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Welcome to my blog!

My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

Playing in my head over and over again argh

I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song (Jim Croce)

Book(s) of the moment

Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

Visit my photoblog!

I started my first photoblog on 3 May, 2009. Each post features one picture, with a little story of how it came about. Do take a look by clicking on: Manx Pictures
April 2009
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Disclaimers: 1) I cannot help but bitch about work sometimes, but everything here comes under the realm of personal remarks, and nothing here is said in my professional capacity. Nor does anything here reflect the opinion of the institutions that employ me. This is just me shooting off. 2) Most identities have been anonymized, particularly those of folks I know on a personal basis. Same goes for my workplaces. However, commercial and public places and figures remain named. Otherwise some things just wouldn't make sense. 3) Links and sources have been provided where appropriate and possible. They are not meant to challenge anyone's ownership. If this causes any discomfort or offence, please let me know.


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