Post by Portia
It’s time to bid farewell to Jean-Claude Ellena at Hermès. I’m sad because he really came to embody so much of what I think Hermès is famous for: the interesting, not fashion, best of, made to last, made to use, made to love and for people who can still feel love. JCE being the nose at Hermès felt like their visions were aligned, sheer beauty could sum up Hermès or Jean Claude Ellena’s fragrances for Hermès. Here is Le Jardin de Monsieur Li: his last opus for the company, his last fantastical garden……
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Hermès 2015
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li by Jean-Claude Ellena
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Kumquat, jasmine, mint
The garden series are polarising, as much of Ellena’s work is. One of the interesting things about them is that we have been able to see into this particular artists creative journey with some of these scents through his own, and others, written words. Though we know little it’s more than we know of other perfumers and that for me makes JCE a bit of a mate, a friend or acquaintance that has let me a little behind their eyes into the workings of their brain. WE have been there when the unripe mango triggered a fragrance, through some of the depressing routes that led to failure and we also know something of his love of fragrance, his bringing home freaky scents the kids asked for, the love for his wife and his engaging personality that has made him a fragrance lovers household name.
So, how does Le Jardin de Monsieur Li smell? Bittersweet, ethereal, sweet and cool, sparkling yet curiously oily too. Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is about drinks in the shady garden in the afternoon as the sting of the days heat abruptly cuts off, the gardeners are watering or maybe there’s just been an afternoon storm so the air is clearer, less dusty and the fragrance has changed from dust to fecund wet earth and grass and you have a champagne fruit punch that is so delicious and the first one hardly even touches the sides of your thirst. Refreshing, lifting, light and elegant, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is a fond and fervent farewell.
Photo Stolen Hermès
The Le Jardin de Monsieur Li artwork looks like they have a new artist too. The modern/retro feel of the watercolour is so much more computer-generated looking than previous pictures and while I think it lovely there is a feeling that the Hermès crew is already moving on from the JCE years. Moving away from the lovely home made feel of the naughties and into a more hipster/art-without-creativity/big-business-boring feel for the future. It’s a shame if it’s true, one of the things I love about Hermès is their quaint and homey version of world domination. The free spirit has been caged and trained.
What is your favourite Jean Claude Ellena fragrance for Hermès?