Un Jardin Apres La Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermes 2008

Hello Perfume Aficionados,

There are 2 things that I quite like as a rule. Hermes, I think they are uber-luxe, and Jean-Claude Ellena who is blazing his own trail and is doing it to capture his ideal of beauty. I like his style, the way he can communicate his reasons and some of his motivations through his books and interviews, his mystique and his fragrances. Not all of them are perfect fits for my skin or personal style but I really enjoy their stories and their sheer, light quality that means my own smell is not completely masked but expanded by beauty. By the way don’t confuse sheer with poor sillage or scent bubble, you are decidedly fragrant for the life of the perfumes.

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson by Hermes

Garden After Monsoon is the translation from French and we are to be swept up into a garden at the bottom tip of India in the state called Kerala where the monsoon first arrives in India. Legend has it that if you are standing there when the monsoon arrives your sight will be restored to its former glory and there seems to be some truth to the tale. I read it in Alexander Frater’s “Following the Monsoon”. Now I really want to go back and be there for the beginning of the monsoon, not least because my eyesight is beginning to deteriorate.

Photo Stolen Hermes

Fragrantica givees these featured accords:
Ginger, ginger flower, cardamom, coriander, pepper and vetiver

Un Jardin Apres La Mousson opens wet and crisp like you’ve just cut up a fresh, cool bell pepper and put it in the blender with a very small slice of ginger and some fruit, all done near a fresh garden salad, washed and prepared but still undressed. As the cardamom and coriander show their selves they are interesting and while still cool add a skinnish depth and a citrus pith feeling. When I huff a big breath out into my top it all warms up and becomes almost overpoweringly beautiful. The vetiver is earthy and rich playing background through the life of the fragrance till near the end it has a little limelight all to itself and then the fragrance, around 3 hours on me, is gone.

Photo Stolen ibnlive.in

Not necessarily in India, but there too, I love the bright green world when the storm is rolling in. There is a heightened expectation and an electric charge running through everything. It has never stopped being exciting for me. I also love the vegetative fragrance of wet grass and humus, the spicy twang of wet leaves and flowers. When in Rajasthan there is a grassed area out the front of my buddies hotel where the family often congregates for morning and afternoon tea, it is particularly lovely after rain. Though Un Jardin Apres La Mousson smells noting like any of this it does evoke a feeling exactly like it. I feel refreshed, energised and ready to accept a new, fresh, change. Jean-Claude Ellena has an unerring instinct for making his work capture my imagination and though I think the title of this fragrance has been a clunky wall in the way of it being loved, this is my favourite of the Un Jardin series.

Photo Stolen article.wn

BoisDeJasmine and OlfatroriasTravels both get very interesting differences in their reviews, great further reading.
FragranceShop has 50ml for $44 and 100ml for $66 after discount
PoshPeasant starts samples at $3.50/ml

Below I’ve added in a 6 minute doco. of one of the palaces I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time in in Deeg, Rajasthan, India. My last longtime partner and his family had a refrigeration plant there. During the torturous, baking, Summer madness the gardens still offer a cool spot to get away. Enjoy!
Heaps of love from us,
Portia xx

30 comments on “Un Jardin Apres La Mousson by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermes 2008

  1. Olfactoria says:

    What a beautiful review, Portia! You made me want to smell this again.

  2. Yep, lovely write up, you make it sound lovely. Unfortunately I hated it – but then again I don’t like Ellena’s style. I couldn’t get past the huge aquatic calone laden blob that sat on top of every watered down note… 🙁

    • I think I was fortunate to still be wearing huge 80’s and early 90’s frags during the aquatic revolution SmellyThoughts. Though I am not a fan of most aquatics I think this is perfectly placed within the story and structure of after monsoon.
      Thank you for offering the other perspective, I need to go back and respritz to understand your comment fully. I’ll get back when I do.
      Portia xx

      • It was just the first thing that hit me, that over-familiar melon calone note and it didn’t do it for me at all – but don’t be put off of course, I’m biased towards his work anyway just from trying so many, it’s really not my thing, I’ve grown now to not expect much and I only tried this recently. I do like my fair share of aquatics… well, that’s a lie, but I can appreciate a synthetic bomb and marine notes. Dirty by Lush has one of the best mineralic notes I’ve smelt (in an aquatic sense…), Tirrencio has a perfect driftwood accord, Un Matin D’orage is basically a calone and stemone laden fig/floral that I love…
        I dunno, maybe I should read reviews like your more and gain an appreciation 🙂

      • You are sweet Christos,
        It’s interesting about fragrance. Birgit from Olfactoria’s Travels is always saying “Never say never”. Maybe later on you’ll like the aquatics, maybe not. it’s so fun trying them all anyway for me.
        Portia xx

  3. Ann-Sofie says:

    A beautiful review! And nothing is better than a spectacular thunderstorm (when you are cosy indoors). Not so good to be cought outside in nature’s blitz krieg.

  4. Dionne says:

    You make this sound lovely, Portia; however, this one did NOT like me. Got all hissy and sour in my face, unfortunately. Thank goodness there are a LOT of fish in the fragrant ocean.

  5. Jordan River says:

    Great read. Tracking down the monsoon book for a weekend read.

  6. Undina says:

    Portia, after reading your review I realized that I haven’t revisited Un Jardin Apres La Mousson since after I jumped into the proverbial rabbit hole. But from my pre-perfumista times Un Jardin Apres La Mousson was my least favorite of the “gardens”. I will re-test it soon. I want to smell what you’re smelling in it! 🙂

  7. sinnerman01 says:

    I huffed this one at duty free on recent trip to Thailand ! It was beautiful . It’s on the long line of fragrances that I want ! Probably right at the back thou !
    See u tonight Portia ,
    Wonderful review as well
    Tim x

  8. Ramona says:

    Ohh, Lovely! and the Water Gardens! What ingenuity! Thanks for the great post! I will have to look for this perfume next time I come across some Hermes fragrances.

    • Thanks Ramona,
      Deeg was really interesting and lovely. I was there a few years ago and it was funny, my Indian partner was allowed in for about 10 rupees (50c at that time) and I had to pay 1000 rupees.
      When you try Mousson please come back and report, good or bad I love to read it,
      Portia xx

  9. sinnerman01 says:

    Hi again ! I just caught that mini doco and remembered I had seen it one lazy day at home on the couch , wow !!! Totally amazing and yes , without the gardens full of water it does not do it justice , there really are some amazing magical places in this world and I wanted to say thanks for reminding me if this garden ! Much love

  10. Jenson says:

    Portia, it so freaky to know that I’ve been going through the Un Jardin series the last couple of days too! As much as I wanted to love this one, the rockmelon is overbearing on my skin, reminding me too much of umm… barf. It does sound so fantastic on you though that I *almost* want to give it another go.

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