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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Perfume Review: Hermes Un Jardin apres la Mousson

If it were up to me, I would change "Jardin" to "Watermelon Plantation". The mousson has passed, and wind and rain wreaked havoc on the field, cracking open huge, ripe watermelons, making them release their syrupy and at the same time watery-fresh aroma....

I bet you are thinking this is going to be a negative review.

I absolutely adore Un Jardin apres la Mousson. Not because it showcases Ellena's trademark minimalist style. Actually, as far as I am concerned, the new garden scent is not as pale and bare as the Hermes's nez is capable of making his compositions. The colorless accord of wood and vetiver, which IS very Ellena, serves as a canvas, on which there are thrown, in a very harmonious fashion, splotches of vivid colors: the gold of cardamom and ginger, the crimson of coriander, the black of pepper and the brightest and most delightful of them all- the vivid, moist, shiny pink of watermelon.

I adore Un Jardin apres la Mousson, because it makes me think of home. In my part of Russia, watermelons are the summer refreshment and delicacy of choice. From the green, very fresh beginning, to the nectarous heart, to the sharp, almost "savory" base the scent seemingly traces the course of life of a watermelon: from the unripe to the fully matured, brimming with juices and ready for devouring, to the marinated (that's right, we marinate watermelons in salt, preserving them for a year-round consumption...and by the way, nothing cures a hangover like a slice of salty watermelon... don't ask me how I know).

The scent is not at all what I expected, and, believe you me, I never expected to wear a watermelon perfume with such enjoyment. I absolutely need Un Jardin apres la Mousson for summer.

Available at, $85.00-$125.00.

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Blogger tmp00 said...

You know I dropped into Hermes and tried this expecting to hate it, but it was brilliant; absolutely luscious with that delicious sweet summery watermelon. I wish I had gotten a sample to test out and I might have to..

Do you know in New England we put salt on watermelon as well? Of course as kids we'd steal bottles of Voddie, cut a bottleneck sized hole in the melon, upend and let marinate for about 6 hours.

Which led to more salted watermelon...

Oh, and in defense of Mr Columbina, a cheese-steak is also a hanover cure. Just ask him.

1:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Flora said...

Oh, this sounds just wonderful! I knew there had to be a way to make a melon perfume that did not smell cheap, fake or overly sweet - and JCE is apparently just the man for the job! Lovely, luscious review - I want to dive into the bottle head first!

1:23 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

It IS nice, but my problem is. . .

I don't like watermelon. That and Jello are the only 2 foods I don't like.

Actually, I don't mind smelling it--but it still is not my favorite. :(

6:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

We do that too, trust me :-)
I will be looking forward to your review, Tom!

6:36 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly, it's not cheap, fake or overly sweet! Which is a miracle.

6:37 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You know what, you never had a proper, really ripe, really juice watermelon like the ones we get from Middle Asia. We must find a way to rectify that :-)

6:38 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Ditto on the salt on the watermelon, I thought that my mother was crazy until I tried it. It's perfect! I loved this Hermes too which surprised me, it's not my usual cup of tea! My husband didn't like it at all though and I'm not sure why because he's a watermelon addict! He mentioned that something about it made his nose itch:)
Oh yes and Tom, a mixture of peach schnapps goes really well with the vodka marinating that watermelon!
Personally , my favorite hangover remedy is cold Indian food,leftover samosas and spicy lamb curry with like a charm!

7:20 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

You could be right. The ones I have had always seemed somewhat tasteless and disappointing to me, particularly since everyone else seemed to love them. I am up for trying to rectify the situation!:)

7:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh yeah anything spicy against hangover! Love tacos for that, for example. Not that I ever had to use such cures, of course *ahem*

7:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You'll come see me when I am at home-home ;-)

7:24 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Истинной леди не подобает знать лекарства от похмелья. )

7:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Я исключительно по-наслышке.

7:35 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ответ, который ты ищешь: "я так и подумал" :-)

7:48 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Я так и подумал

7:49 AM EDT  
Blogger Debbie said...

I do too. I adore it.

8:13 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Uncle. Finally ordered a sample. Your mention of watermelon put me over the edge. I *live* for watermelon in the summer. And salted? Pure slice of heaven!

8:45 AM EDT  
Blogger Dusan said...

After downing a couple beers last night, I need me some hangover cure :)
Seriously, this must be the most appetizing review of Mousson. Now I can't wait to smell it!

9:05 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What part of New England did you grow up in, Tom? I've spent my entire life in New York, CT, and MA, and I've never heard of salting watermelons! But now I am salt, I presume?

When I was a kid, I couldn't eat watermelon like normal people because I would destroy it picking out the seeds with my hands or with a fork--I couldn't spit them out like everyone else. But I could always eat about a whole one by myself. Feeling satiated with that much watermelon is a pretty amazing sensation on a hot summer day.

You know what always intrigued me?

9:42 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Between reading your review and Tom's comment and I'm starting to reassure myself that I'm not a simpleton who just likes EVERYTHING. On basenotes, the comments on this are kinda like an Ellena roast and I actually LIKED it... A LOT! I loved the summer as a kid imagery and it's so true... Totally reminiscent of Slip and Slides, no school, and cook outs. I love that this has a couple tricks up it's sleeve, so to speak, and isn't just a childish melon number... I like the salty sour notes that as you said are more present toward the end... Anyway... Thanks for the review and it's good to have you all back :D


11:08 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have really got to try this; this watermelon note is absolutely intriguing me and I love watermelon!

11:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I also love my watermelon the Mexican way: a sprinkling of salt, a sprinkle of chile powder, and a squeeze of lime. So delicious!

11:18 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, good. someone who likes this one! i love watermelon, but got some green, unripe melon (not watermelon) mixed with armpits and tons of watered down vetiver out of it. definitely not something i want to wear, as i wrote in my review.

wonder if it's the skin-chemistry thing at work, because this one seems to be more polarizing than a lot of scents. or maybe it is the connection to things in one's past, as in your case, that makes it work for some and not others.

enjoy it in good health, and pass the vodka-melon, please!


12:25 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

Lovely post, M, and glad to have you back!

12:55 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a coincidence- I'm wearing my sample today!..I am not sure if I like it though- but given that I am not a huge fan of the scent of watermelon, I am surprised that I can appreciate this and almost enjoy it..I need to try it again though (right now its layered over some scented body creme, so I can't judge it properly)

1:26 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Hey, somebody's got to love it! ;-P I'm glad you do. Great observation about the savory aspect.

You know what I miss from my Thailand trip? Everywhere there was watermelon juice, I mean, like we have orange juice. I got so used to drinking it. Why don't we sell watermelon juice everywhere?!? I'm tempted to get a juicer just for that.

4:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Glad to hear it!

7:45 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd kill for a slice like that :-)

7:47 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Depends what you nean by "a couple" of beers :-)
And thank you for nice words!

7:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I believe my husband does not eat watermelon because he doesn't like the seeds. The same with tomatos :-)

7:52 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! It's good to be back :-)

7:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh my gosh that sounds amazing!

7:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I think this one is very capricious, and either work or it doesn't :-)

7:58 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!! :-)

8:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I don't think I ever liked watermelon in perfume before this one

8:06 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I've never tried watermelon juoce but would love to

8:07 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to have you back! And your description, just luscious; sounds like a must try.
I wish I'd known about the use of salted watermelon when I needed it, lol. Tom's recipe sounds pretty awesome, too. Here in my area there's a little Cook Out take-out place that serves a fresh watermelon shake for a limited time in the summer, for about four weeks only - heaven!

8:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I wonder if I can find one here too...*sigh*

8:26 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not the only one who loves this. I don't get watermelon, I get cantaloupe, one that has been dipped in a gentle floral holy water. It's just divine!
I'm originally from Connecticut, and while I didn't eat my watermelon with salt, a lot of people I know did, including my Boston-born husband.

Not that I've ever had a hangover, but a chorizo omlette and coconut water (not milk) is a big help.

10:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Marina,

Coincidentally, I sampled this perfume today at Saks and.....

At first spritz, I was like ewww. It had this note in it that makes my nose feel like I inhaled something prickley. It's that same note that I find in Annick Goutal's Vanille Exquise and also one of the new Escentric Molecules 2 fragrances. What is that prickley note????

But.... a few hours later, I am intrigued by this scent. I keep getting whiffs of it and it reminds me of the sun. It remiscient of a warm and sunny day at the beach. But it's not your typical beach scent. Not at all. I can't put my finger on it.

But here I am reading your blog and you are exactly right when you mentione that this scent reminds you of salted watermelon. Oh my gosh, you are completely right on. I mean right on!

It's probably one of the more interesting perfumes that I have smelled this year. Not sure if I am going to buy this one, but I sure can appreciate why it is appealing to a few of us. It's a very interesting yet simple perfume.

Thanks for your review.


11:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Not that I anticipate having a hangover, but I wrote that down :-)

8:23 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you!
I might completely off here, but I always explained to myself the prickliness of AGs by the presence of gaiac in the base. But that's just my theory.

8:24 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family came from Russia as well and so we ate and drank watermelon every day of summer, in both sweet and savory forms. Unfortunately, for that reason, I can't bear the sight, sound, or smell of it now,(though I still love kvas, another summer staple) and Ellena's latest creation made me queasy....Love the Nil, though.

1:18 AM EDT  

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