6 agosto 2015

Hermes: Le Jardin de Monsieur Li (Ellena and Nagel, 2015)

In fact the review of this fragrance is just an excuse to talk about something else, the fact that for the past year and a half  Christine Nagel has been working with Jean Claude Ellena at Hermes.
Christine Nagel is the composer of many fragrances of global success: with Francis Kurkdjian she authored Narciso Rodriguez for her, for Dior she composed Miss Dior Cherie, for Cartier she did Delices and Eau de Cartier, The One for Dolce & Gabbana, there's also the long list of Jo Malone fragrances and then Lancome, Armani, Thierry Mugler ...
Her style, admitted that all these different brands allowed it emerge a minimum, favors happy tones, immediately pleasing, rich in sweet and fruity notes, fresh and quite "girlie". 
This sounds quite different form Hermes' style in my opinion, but maybe this is exactly the style which the Maison will want in the coming years... we'll see. I doubt such important a player would choose a wrong Perfumer Maison.
Meanwhile, in a statement released by Hermes it is said that "there's a process of transmission of the brand's philosophy and creativity, in view of a happy succession".
This means that this Monsieur Li's Garden could be the latest creation signed by the great Ellena before retirement. Nobody, neither JCE nor Hermes have ever dreamed of saying this, God forbid, but Ellena is 68 years old, and with age the ability to smell is not increased; indeed it generally decreases gradually. Certainly a great Master is perfectly able make without actually smelling anything (Ellena would not be the first to do so) but, well, we must start considering the issue and begin making sense of the fact that sooner or later, this thing is bound to happen. For now I've written it, but I'm not able to really think about it.

That said, Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is a citrus/fruity fragrance. Fresh, cheerful, of immediate appeal, certainly lacks the sophistication, intellectualism and abstraction that made the other scents in the "Jardins" collection so interesting. Moreover the drydown is a little messy... But as a pleasant, light, carefree summer Cologne it will definitely do. 

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