Editor’s Note: When I met Portia in Vienna a few weeks ago, she generously offered to write for OT now and again and since I have a hard time doing too much of that myself lately, I gratefully accepted and am happy and proud to present to you the inimitable Ms Portia Turbo. She starts this week with a firm favorite of mine, Hermès Jardin sur le Nil. Enjoy!
Hello to you at Olfactoria’s Travels,
Recently I was in Austria and was lucky enough to get to spend time with the adorable Birgit and Sandra, who are both great Hermès fans, as I myself am too. They have scarves and jewellery, famously Birgit has a couple of their fragrances on heavy rotation and Sandra too wears Hermès fragrance. It was like a meeting of a not so secret Hermès fan club. Coming home from my adventures I was determined to re-look at some of my Hermès bottles and give them some extra attention and skin time.
Un Jardin Sur Le Nil was created by Jean Claude Ellena for Hermès in 2005.
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: green mango, tomato, carrot, grapefruit
Heart: orange, peony, bulrush, hyacinth, lotus
Base: labdanum, iris, musk, incense, cinnamon
Though fruity fragrances are stuck with a bad stigma I feel Jean Claude Ellena manages to give his a sense of occasion and gravitas that many in the genre are lacking, even the succulent opening accords of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil have a warm resinous and furry depth that is often missing. I am surprised too when wearing Nil that it has a really good heft to it initially, good projection and excellent sillage for the first hour and a half before it gets closer to the skin.
Photo Stolen Flickr
Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is fun and frivolous, the fruits and vegetative florals all play together beautifully and though you can pick the notes it is not about them as much as it’s about smelling like a shimmer of spring. Even through the depths of winter the joyous burst of fruit and gentle wash of the bouquet which is still sparkling with dew will have you, if you close your eyes and breathe deeply, in an outdoor flower/fruit market as the warm spring sun comes over the rooftops to warm everything, even you.
Many people poo poo the Ellena style and if you don’t like his watery wash then Un Jardin Sur Le Nil will probably not be the one to change your mind. I do think it a very good cross between his usual almost linear simplicity and a more adventurous story as it moves steadily through its paces from high fresh cut fruit to the flowers in their cool metal cans and the water they sit in to a still cool but more living, human or animal, warmth as it dries down. That warmth still cut through by wet carroty iris and a very soft incense that becomes closer and less intrusive and then finally at around 4 hours fades away.
Photo Stolen WikiMedia
You can purchase Un Jardin Sur Le Nil at all Hermès stores and in department stores, also for very good prices at the online discounters.
Further reading: Birgit on Olfactoria’s Travels and Bois de Jasmin
My Perfume Samples has samples starting at $3/ml
Do you like the Ellena aesthetic? Have you tried Un Jardin Sur Le Nil? How was your experience?