Le Jardin de Mon­sieur Li

Eastern Ex­plo­rations


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.

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