Le Jardin de Monsieur Li
They say you never step into the same river twice. The same could also now be said about gardens.
In an increasingly urban landscape, the art of gardening has been relegated to the caring of succulents, air plants, terrariums, and other lowmaintenance living things. The orderly cacophony of flora clashing with fauna, the balance of trees and shrubbery, and the experience of being transported into a place where nature rules above all else has become novel.
Jeane-Claude Ellena, the in-house perfumer for Hermès, himself has been inspired many times by the gardens of the world. He began with Un Jardin en Méditerranée (2003), inspired by the Tunisian garden of Leïla Menchari, director of displays for Hermès. Next came Un Jardin sur le Nil (2005), created for the garden islands of the Nile at Aswan, then Un Jardin après la Mousson (2008), spurred by a visit to the tropical paradise in Kerala, India. He circled back to home base with Un Jardin sur le Toit (2011), where he rediscovered the beauty of the rooftop garden located on 24, faubourg Saint-Honoré, at the heart of the Hermès House.
With Le Jardin de Monsieur Li, Jean-Claude’s latest journey takes us to the lush, verdant plains of China. “I remembered the scent of the pools, of the jasmine, the wet stones, the plum trees, the kum- quats, and the giant bamboo. It was all there, even the carp in their pond, taking the time to live to a hundred. The Sichuan pepper bushes were as thorny as roses and the leaves gave off a lemony scent. All that remained was to compose this new garden, one which contained all the others,” he says.
One spray, and it’s as if all the world, really, is a garden.
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is available at Hermès boutique, Greenbelt 3; Hermès perfume counter, Rustan's Makati, Rustan's Tower EDSA, and Rustan's Cebu
His wanderings around the world had inspired Jean-Claude Ellena, to capture those moments and eternalize them the best way he knows how— through his magical Jardins Collection.