Un Jardin en Méditerranée 
Hermès (2003)

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Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

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About Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

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Un Jardin en Méditerranée is a shared scent launched in 2003 by Hermès

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Reviews of Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès

There are 94 reviews of Un Jardin en Méditerranée by Hermès.

I think this is a good example of how different we all are. I like fragrances that smell pretty, or no more than moderately unusual. This would suit either someone who loves the smell of figs, or who prefers a scent that is more challenging. Or possibly just somebody who loves the feeling of smug superiority when people of conventional tastes look horrified and edge away from them when they catch a whiff of what they're wearing.

Alchymia. Perfumare. Magnum Opus.

Hermès’s Jardins, or an olfactory masochism in a bottle

I rarely venture into the world of mainstream/designer perfumery and I usually get punished for that. This was no exception. Only with a vengeance.

I find the concept of a series of Perfume Gardens (“Jardins”) fascinating and deeply enticing and, despite my grounded suspicion towards mainstream/designer perfumery, I first sampled Jean-Claude Ellena’s take at them some years ago. The result then was disappointing. Recently I decided to have another go at them. To no avail.

All of the Jardin perfumes share an inherent aromatic disharmony and lack of character, direction, and cohesion, which at the end makes their existence pointless. There is a crude, uninspired and crafty attempt to project something elaborate, even sophisticated, while the means to create this illusion are cheap and disingenuous. The Jardin series is the same skeleton disguised and garlanded with different garments and twists. If one doesn’t have much experience, it is easy to think that more effort has been put into these perfumes – not to make them great, but to hide their simplistic, technical and soulless essence. However, to me, Hermès and Jean-Claude Ellena are not even trying that hard to hide it. It is not even a mockery with the perfume lover. It is a sheer commercial act aimed at the uncritical and, dare I say – self-disrespecting – clientele. It pains and saddens me to see how a talent as awesome as Ellena’s has been sacrificed at the altar of the mediocrity and meaninglessness of modern lifestyles. One can only imagine what masterpieces he could have created under different and more – and I will be direct here – spiritual conditions.

"Un Jardin en Méditerranée" specifically starts with a cloudy semblance of a symbolic Mediterranean Garden and the idea of such, which haunts the olfactory heart and dreams of so many of us. Few minutes into the experience, on my skin, this pale semblance of a Mediterranean Garden turned into strange bitter and dirty, asphalt-like smell. Definitely untypical, but still on the brink of salvation, for lovers of Annick Goutal’s "Ambre Fetiche", for instance. And if your Mediterranean Garden has a lot of olive trees, this could still work, under the condition that it would still develop into a mellower and nobler scent later. Far from it, another few minutes into the experience, the real face and monstrosity of the concoction showed its face. A mishmash, a cacophony, an olfactory salad of rotten and decaying fruits and vegetables. And it is sticky. And it is persistent. And to add insult to injury – hard to remove despite deliberate efforts under the kitchen sink. With a vengeance.

Hermès, Un Jardin en Méditerranée:
Composition: 4/10
Complexity: 5/10
Development: 5/10
Naturality: Come on… (3/10)

Evergreens in the summer sun; the bright, piquant tones of cypress and juniper greet my nose after dousing myself with Un Jardin En Mediterranee. I immediately recognize what seems to be Cupressus lusitanica essential oil, also known as Mexican Cypress, which has this intense berry tone in addition to its coniferous, resinous qualities. Whether Ellena used it or not is up for debate, but what I detect certainly lends a distinct, alluring quality, melding with the other top notes. Also, fig and pistachio come in about ten minutes into the dry down, with green, lactonic, almost salty impressions.

What I love about this is that Ellena created the suggestion of tree resins and sappiness, which can't merely be recreated with just any natural, raw perfume materials; he added carefully chosen elements to create a full picture, this ambience, really the feel of being within the headspace of these trees and plants, with little else to embellish the experience. It strides along as a mellow sheath—this one is now a showboater, but a "draw you in closer" scent, simmering for several hours on my skin, getting somewhat muskier and more cedar-like over time.

Winding down a coastal cobbled street, taking in the sea air brimming with freshness and salinity. A cool breeze lightly lapping across dampened skin, wafting the scent of wood and leaves mingling with jammy and dry powdery fig leaves and fruit. Not completely sweet, nor dry. Rather, it is somewhere in-between.

It's really a lovely and refreshing, soft watery fragrance. For the most part, it stays close to the skin and lasts around five hours or so. Every so often, someone else will catch a lilting flick and comment, “You smell good.” It's unobtrusive and one of my favorite scents.

It's named so well. It really does smell like Greece a bit - or at least like my memory of it. Very airy, a bit watery - but not aquatic, no way! - and very lovely. The fig is very noticeable, too - the fruits, the leaves, you can smell all the fig tree in here! (And if we're talking about fig scents, it's brighter than Diptyque's Philosykos to my nose - not as milky. And Molinard's Figue is much more citrusy - this Jardin is very subtle and sits nicely in the middle.)

There is a variety of fig called Brown Turkey, and that's what this reminds me of.

A dark, suprisingly sombre creation, this is more a still life than a sunlit garden.

Méditerranée was the first and heaviest of the gardens, and the fact that it wasn't included in a box set suggests Hermès don't think it's one of the best.

I find its bitter syrupy fruitiness gets cloying.

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