I, for one, have been impatiently waiting for Un Jardin sur le Toit to be released, since I am a declared Ellena fan and I love two of the three previous scents in the series and am intrigued and challenged by the third. Last Friday the Hermes boutiques launched Un Jardin sur le Toit – a garden on the rooftop, so I braved the haughty SA’s at the Vienna boutique and was pleasantly surprised at their friendliness this time. Maybe this fragrance had something to do with it, also Baby N. did his very best to charm them.
In contrast to the exotic locales of the first three perfumes in the Jardins series, the fourth and newest perfume by Jean-Claude Ellena explores home turf, a garden on a roof in Paris. Not any rooftop garden, but that of Hermes headquarters itself, at 24 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
While the first Jardin perfume centered around the Mediterranean fig, the second around Egyptian mango and the third focused on melon from India, Jardin sur le Toit showcases a fruit very near and dear to our hearts and noses – the apple.
Notes include apple, pear, rose, green grass, basil, magnolia and compost notes.
Jardin sur le Toit opens with a sparkling and wonderfully bright and many faceted accord of apple, pear, grass and citrus notes. It is one of those scents you cannot very well say no to, the top notes are so inviting and so fresh and prickly, they make you smile involuntarily and make picking up a bottle a breeze.
For a second the perfume teeters on the brink of Pomme d’Api* territory, before it segues into a wonderfully complex, but always sheer composition of green, fruity and floral notes.
*Pomme d’Api is a children’s shampoo by Yves Rocher that accompanied me through my childhood, it has an intense green apple note.
Had Un Jardin sur le Toit stayed like that second of bright-green super-apple, I would not have liked it at all. But Ellena’s mastery is apparent throughout. In lesser hands this may have been a fruity, synthetic applejuice disaster à la DKNY be delicious. (Which certainly has its fans, to whom I apologize, this is just my personal opinion after all.)
In its heart, Un Jardin sur le Toit is still very green, the grass, even a little earth and herbs (I smell basil) are clearly there, but I was surprised by how floral it is. Rose and Magnolia make a lovely pink bouquet that balances the green apple nicely, as to not let it take over the fragrance.
The drydown is striking and decidedly different from the other Jardins. The fruity notes subside slowly, leaving behind the naturalistic notes that so beautifully evoked the rooftop garden, and take on an abstract shape, a “real perfume” emerges. I like to think that is Ellena’s way of telling us – “Hey, we are in Paris! And this is what Paris smells like after all.”
Un Jardin sur le Toit lasts a long time for an Eau de Toilette, this is no gone-in-an-hour-summer scent, but it stays – always light, quiet and reserved, mind you – but present and distinctive for at least six hours on me. Decidedly longer than the other three in any case, although their longevity is not so bad either.
Un Jardin sur le Toit is surprising at first, but when you think about it, it is a perfect and quite literal interpretation of a locale, as were the others. A garden in a city, in a city like Paris, there is the undeniable coming together of two worlds.
Un Jardin sur le Toit manages to masterfully unite nature and urban environment, thus depicting what it says it would, what the beautiful artwork on the packaging shows – a garden on a rooftop.
That is a place where I would love to stay. As long as Paris is that far away, a bottle of Un Jardin sur le Toit does just fine in getting me there in an instant.
All it takes is to close my eyes.
If you would like to try Un Jardin sur le Toit yourself, I have a sample vial to give away, courtesy of the nice Ladies at the Vienna Hermes Boutique. GIVEAWAY CLOSED!
To participate just leave a comment telling me what your favorite Jean-Claude Ellena creation is. The draw closes on Friday, April 8 midnight GMT. International entries welcome.
My reviews of the previous three fragrances:
I was really looking forward to this review and am *very* glad it turns out to be a nice addition to the Jardin-range! To me the most important part is that they evoke that careless summery feeling and it seems this one does the job again. Not completely sure how the apple will work out but it sounds like it’s worth a try for sure.
Thanks for reviewing it and please include me in your draw 🙂
It certainly evokes a carefree, summery feeling, but it does more than that, which is what I love and appreciate. Definitely worth a try, even my hard-to-please husband loves it!
You are included in the draw of course, good luck Guus!
Hm, they really gave you a sample ??? Did you went there with msr. Ellena himself ? Now I’d love to win the give-away – so I could avoid the “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” with the SA…
And there is absolutely no doubt what’s my favorite Ellen : Cologne Bigarade Concentree (Frederic Malle). A the moment closely followed by J. en Mideterranee.
Ah, Bigarade Concentrée, I love that one too!
I hope you win, but if not I can lend you my child for a few minutes, they all were cooing and tut-tutting around him, I even got a few Hermessence samples too! 🙂
I see, then I have no chance (except you help me out with Baby N. …)
😀 N. would be delighted to be of help!
Oh yes, I would definitely like to participate.
You had me with herbs, basil and grass. 🙂 It sounds perfect for spring.
I think it might be up your alley! But you can only participate if you tell me your favorite Ellena creation! Such are the rules! 😉
Ooops! I didn’t read that part. 😀
OK, my favorite Ellenas are L’Eau d’Ambre, Elixir de Merveilles and Angeliques sous la Pluie. I couldn’t really decide which of them would I name as the one.
You are right is really hard to pick just one, those three are all excellent.
Gasp. you make this sound like a must try. I think the only apple I liked in a fragrance was the earthy apple tea in Traversee du Bosphore, so am very curious about how it turned out in this fragrance. please enter me in the draw!
As for my favorite Elena, I don’t think anything will beat Jardin Sur le Nil- it just has a soft spot in my heart, and while there are days when the journey through the notes are a bit wonky, I always love the drydown. L’eau d’hiver is nice too.
I have never smelled an apple liked in a perfume before either (TdB was not for me), but with this I am happy.
Nil is indeed lovely, also I should wear L’Hiver more often…good luck in the draw, RH!
Want, want, want! I just ran out of my bottle of Jardin sur le Nil, and my Mediterranee ran out long ago. I may have to find a bottle of this one, now. I think JC Ellena is nearly the only one I would trust with apple, after being scarred by DKNY!
I would never consider apple, truth be told, of it weren’t an Ellena perfume, I (snobbily) would never have tried it, just based on the notes. So glad I did though! Let me know how you like Toit!
I’ve been eagerly awaiting this review. Un Jardin Sur le Toit sounds really good, although I am usually wary of apple notes–aren’t they all synthetic…? That garden looks so inviting! Do they let patrons go up there? My favorite Ellena creation, to date: Un Jardin sur le Nil.
I think that there are apple notes of varying syntheticity (is that a word?), and this one happens to be very natural and lovely as well as well balanced with other notes, that is why I really enjoy it in a fragrance for the first time.
Good luck in the draw!
Now we know the antidote to snooty SAs – take a baby as cute as N!
So glad this one did not disappoint you. I definitely need to spend some time with the Jardins as I only tried Jardin sur le Nil in the very early days of my perfume obsession and didn’t really appreciate it and never tried the others.
No need to enter me in the draw, thanks.
N is the perfect Hermes customer it seems. 😉
The great thing about the Jardins is that they are so wearable, which also makes it easy to dismiss them, but they are way more complex and brilliantly executed than they might seem at first.
I love JCE, so I have really been looking forward to trying this one. So hard to choose a favorite… top 3 faves are eau de merveilles, kelly caleche, and osmanthe yunnan.
Osmanthe Yunnan is my favorite Hermessence, but you are right, it is hard to choose a favorite when one loves JCE. 🙂
I really enjoy the Jardin collection, so I am glad to read a review. It sounds lovely! My absolute favorite JC Ellena creation is Vetiver Tonka. I love the way he made vetiver gourmand. Lately though I have been using a lot of Jardin en Mediterranee and Elixir des Merveilles, and Bulgari au The Vert is always a favorite in hot weather.
Thanks for the drawing! I’m afraid of braving the local Hermes boutique.
Good luck in the draw, Kathy! It is too bad so many desiger boutiques have such a forbidding atmosphere, do they want customers or not?
Must review Vetiver Tonka soon, thanks for reminding me! 🙂
Apples, grass, herbs and a very light floral bouquet, done by Ellena no less…this does indeed sound very good! Please include me in the draw. My favorite Ellena scent, well, there’s two of them: Bigarade Concentree and Angeliques Sous la Pluie.
Both are so lovely!
Good luck to you, Suz!
This sounds so interesting! Hopefully they’ll have it in stock during my next trip to Perfume House, so I can get my fix taken care of 😉
My favorite JCE… yesterday I probably would have said Eau des Merveilles or Kelly Caleche, but I wore L’Eau d’Hiver to bed last night and am quite smitten with it. Of course, I need to wear it some more, but it had that immediate appeal that kept me sniffing my wrist until I was too tired to continue… good stuff! 🙂
No need for Perfume House! 😉
I am glad you like L’Eau d’Hiver, it is a curious perfume, I aleays forget what it smells like, which is a bad sign normally, but I always fall right back in love when I smell it again. But somehow it refuses to stay in my memory.
An amnesia inducing perfume! LOL, that is curious!
Actually, it kind of reminds me of Bois Farine, which I’ve also fallen in love with…
Last night as I was falling asleep, I kept getting wafts of Eau Premiere—so much so that this morning I asked M if he wore it to bed last night, but he hadn’t—it was d’Hiver! How weird is that?
That is really interesting! I must wear it again soon to remind myself. 😉
Mmm – apples and grass sounds wonderful! So glad this one made the grade. Thank you for this thoughtful review. My favourite Ellena remains Sur le Nil…one of those scents that made me say “Ooo!” aloud.
I am curious what others will say about Toit, when it gets into wider distribution.
Nil is oooh- inducing, indeed! 😉
You are in the draw.
Thank you for a fantastic review AND a giveaway! Yes, I’d like to participate, even though I did not have a whole lot of luck with apple and basil scares me pretty badly.
My favorite Ellena creation is the original First by van Cleff and Arpels. I haven’t tried that many though. Ambre Narguile needs an honorable mention as well, I like it a lot.
I don’t think those notes would scare you in this fragrance, hopefully you are lucky and get to try it for yourself! 🙂
Hi, would love to have the sample, I own two of the Jardins: Mediterraneé and Mousson and love them but somehow I always found Nile too sharp for my taste, I can appreciate it but did not buy it.
My favourite Ellena creations are two: Kelly Caleche and Declaration.
Thank you! You are in the draw of course, good luck to you!
That is a tough question, I do love many JCE scents. Osmanthe Yunnan, Jardin en Med, and Jardin sur le Nil are probably at the top of the list.
I was intimidated for the longest time about going into our local Hermes boutique, but am so glad I finally did! The SA’s were friendly, let me sniff, gave me 2 or 3 huge samples each time and even a lovely mini of Voyage since they didn’t have any samples of that one. I think everyone is a little more relaxed in California, even Hermes SA’s!
I agree, even on Rodeo Drive one feels welcome. 🙂
Osmanthe Yunnan tops my JCE list too! You are in the draw!
Ah, B – that’s not fair – only getting to name one! So I’ll be contrary as usual and name three for very personal reasons, and two have yet to be mentioned. (!)
First, because it was my mother’s ‘final’ perfume, it is glorious in itself and because she loved it so much, both her daughters said goodbye with a bottle. To this day, we can both close our eyes and remember her in a heartbeat, wafting First.
The one that shifted my olfactory furniture around in several new directions: Eau de Thè Verte Parfumée. Instant summer love when I found it, instant summer when I wear it. I’ve worn it every summer since it came out, and likely every summer to come for a long, long time! 🙂
The one that was just…love at first sniff: Sur Le Nil. May that felucca never arrive, just keep sailing all the way to the Cataracts..:) It makes me feel like Nerfertari – and how can that be bad? 😉
Your three favorites present such a great journey through Ellena’s career.
I hope you get lucky in the draw!
Wonderfully informative and careful review, thanks, and congratulations on getting out a review so quickly! This is the first I have seen. Toit sounds perfect, although I’m so glad you said it avoids Be Delicious territory. Is it planned as the last of the ‘Jardin’ series? It sounds like a return home, a full stop.
I’d love to be in the draw, but you know I’m in Australia so if that is an issue, do leave me out. Mediterranee is my favourity JCE (so far, have not tried many). Nil is in its way to me, and I hope it gets here before our run of gorgeous autumn weather finally closes into winter.
Thank you! I power-tested this over three days to be quick with a review, since I had the good fortune to find it so early after its launch.
I hope you are not right with your idea that this is the last of the series, but you very well might be true, the return on home turf, what can follow that?
You are in the draw of course, Australia is just as far from me as everything else. 😉
Nice review, thank you Olfactoria.
My favorite Ellena’s perfume is Terre d’Hermès.
Do not enter me into the draw, I think I’ll have a chance to test it when it arrives to one of the fancier stores around without sacrificing a first born child, so let’s leave more chances to those who aren’t as lucky in terms of SAs.
Let me know what you think once you try it!
My favorite would have to be Un Jardin sur le Nil as it is the only Ellena fragrance I know – and I do like it very much, so I’m not cheating 🙂
Good luck then, maybe you get to know a second, Marie!
Hmmm there seems to be a lot of apple scents floating around recently… Nevertheless if it’s from the Jardin series I’d try anything (even white musk)! I think my favourite would still have to be Un Jardin sur le Nil. I remember smelling it for the first time at the airport and not liking it very much (that was when I was still in my fruity-floral stage)… Smelled it again later and wondered what exactly I was thinking when I smelled it the first time. xD
It is often like that, falling for a perfume at the second sniff! 😉
You are in the draw!
what a lovely review. My fav JCE creation is Gentiane Blanche.
I just recently tried this, it is lovely and unusual. Good luck in the draw, Si!
So far, my favorite fragrance would be Osmanthe Yunnan. I do wish taht it lasted longer on me, but I love it anyway.
I do hope that I am able to smell this scent soon.
I really enjoy your blog, and thanks for the giveaway.
I am glad you like my blog, thank you for commenting!
Osmanthe Yunnan is really special, I wish it had a bit more lasting power too. You are entered in the draw, good luck!
Oooh! Just discovered your blog. Bookmark! 🙂 Would love to try this one! Thanks for the draw. Favorite JCE scent – Kelly Caleche. Funny about KC, I don’t necessarily think of it as one of my favorite scents, but I end up reaching for it a lot. So…perhaps it’s a favorite, and I’m just not admitting it. 😉
Hi Karin, glad you found me! 🙂
Kelly Caleche is similar for me, it seems to fit so many moods and occasions.
Good luck in the draw!
Thank you, I’d love to try the new Hermès Jardin fragrance! Please enter me in your draw. My favorite Jean-Claude Ellena fragrance is Un Jardin Après La Mousson because it is so refreshing in hot, humid weather. I also enjoy wearing Eau Claire des Merveilles, Kelly Caleche, Osmanthe Yunnan, and Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert.
Hello Mary, welcome!
It is hard to pin it down to just one with Ellena, if one likes his style, isn’t it? Good luck in the draw!
Favorites are Au The Verte and Kelly Caleche. I’m excited to try this new Jardin. Thanks for the draw!
You’re in, L!
Love Kelly Calèche too!
I have yet to try this one, I will. I was anticipating it for summer.
Hmm…when you mentioned apple, I immediately thought of DKNY Be Delicious, probably my most hated fragrance that I have sniffed to date. (Sorry, I know people like it but it irritates me). But, I do like apple and I wouldn’t mind something with notes of baby shampoo! (Bio-clock ticking, yes, but I’d rather smell like a baby than have one). It’s the “compost” note that is scaring me as I read the notes in Sur Le Toit.
Oh, my favorite J-C Ellena fragrance, how cruel of you 😉 If I had to narrow it down, I’d go with Sisley Eau de Campagne. That’s one of my favorite summer perfumes.
It is nothing like DKNY Be Delicious! To tell you the truth I don’t get those fables compost notes, they are surely nothing to be afraid of. If I read that note in a Lutens perfume notes list, I would be afraid, but not here. 🙂
Sometimes I think I’d also rather smell like a baby than have one, too late! 😀
I love Nil and Mousson (I cannot say which one I favor – it depends on my mood) – would LOVE to try this one! Thanks B!
Good luck, then Frida! 🙂
I like L’Eau d’Ambre!
You’re in, Claire!
Definitely In Love Again Edition Fleur De La Passion! I have a lot of good memories associated with this perfume 🙂
Interesting, I didn’t know this was by Ellena, thank you.
Pingback: Four Wonders of Hermès « Undina's Looking Glass
Pingback: What’s Up With The Perfume Embargo? – Status Report On The No-Buy | Olfactoria's Travels
Pingback: A Day At The Beach – Summer Scent Mini-Reviews | Olfactoria's Travels
Pingback: Perfume As Medicine – Sleepless Nights, Aches And Pains And More | Olfactoria's Travels
Pingback: Αρωματικόν » Un Jardin sur le Toit
Pingback: Perfume’s Little Helpers – What To Wear With Your Scent | Olfactoria's Travels
Pingback: The Circle Of Life – Review: Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee | Olfactoria's Travels
Pingback: The Unbearable Lightness Of Being – Review: Hermes Un Jardin Sur Le Nil | Olfactoria's Travels
Pingback: Ambivalence – Review: Hermes Un Jardin Aprés La Mousson | Olfactoria's Travels