In 2005, the New Yorker published a fascinating article about the creation of this perfume (http://www.chandlerburr.com/articles/chandlerdetail.htm), which was the main reason I spritzed it on at a Sephora a few months later. "Pretty," I thought, "but not really my thing." And yet I couldn't stop smelling my wrist, and thinking about it after it had faded away, and then returning over the weeks to try it again, until I finally realized that it was, in fact, EXACTLY my thing, that I'd simply never encountered my thing before. I'm on my 6th or 7th bottle now.
The dominant smell here is green mango--a ringer for graperfruit--but the sharpness of that is deepened by a touch of cedar and then softened and warmed by sycamore and incense. It's both green and citrusy, fresh rather than candied or cloying or childish. This is a grown-up citrus, with a hint of the exotic. For most people, Un Jardin Sur Le Nil will be a summer fragrance -- understandably so, as it's lovely and refreshing in sultry temps -- but it wears beautifully in cold weather, too.
As with most citrus fragrances, the sillage is wanting, though it's not as there-and-then-immediately-gone as, say, the Fresh perfumes. I spray it on the back of my neck at the base of my hairline, which helps it last a bit longer, but I still long for a small, touchup-size bottle. Hermes did sell 1-ounce bottles in the past, but those have been discontinued. And there's no way to decant into a smaller container, since the spray mechanism is soldered onto the bottle with no way to remove it short of breaking the glass. But that's a very minor annoyance.
Caveat emptor: Un Jardin Sur Le Nil is considered a unisex fragrance. I find it very feminine, but a friend who loved how it smelled on me was disappointed to discover that it turned masculine on her. It's always a good idea to try perfumes before buying them, but this one seems particularly prone to varying with individual chemistry. If it works with yours, though, you'll find it a truly beautiful, graceful fragrance, unlike anything else on the market.
Peppery green notes very like a garden, but less a flower garden and more a working garden, with herbs, tomato vines and strange gourds underfoot. Very lovely. A slight floral feeling creeps in as it dries down, but the overall green feeling stays. Great for spring.
Being rather averse to "green", citrusy scents, this fragrance came as quite a surprise. I discovered it by chance while on vacation and it has since taken a position among my numerous floral and oriental fragrances. Once applied, my initial sense is of lime or grapefruit and greenery--that is, a clearly discernable bite of citrus but an equally obvious adulteration of fresh, crisp herbage. It is what I imagine a cool, wet forest might smell like (without that pesky smell of soil, of course). It is suitable for both men and women and is not ostentatious or obtrusive; just perfect for occasions that require mingling with strangers. I find it to be a great perfume for colder days, when a crisp scent is not as expected as the ubiquitous musky florals and orientals. As for staying power, I can still smell it on my skin at the day's end.
I love this product - Everytime I wear it someone always asks me what perfume I am wearing. The only down side is the price, but then again, that's probably part of what makes it so special!
I just love this fragrance!
it smells so fresh! i got talked into buying the body splash instead of my usual eau de toilette choice. should've stuck to my guns.
i'll be buying the lotion as well as it is soooo smooth and dries quickly and not sticky at all!
Great Product with a Wonderful smell! Herme's has done it again. I am a gentleman in my early 20's and this is one of my favorite scents. Not only is it a wonderful smell, but the quality of the fragrance is amazing. It lasts ALL DAY! I spray it twice in the morning, and when I get home in the evening it is slowly fading. I enjoy a fragrance I don't have to drench myself in to smell. It has a distinct fresh scent that many other fragrances don't have. Makers like Bulgari, Lacoste, Aqua Di Gio, and Diesel, can't touch this smell. It is crisp and refreshing and doesn't make you smell like you poured the bottle on yourself. It is on the Pricey side($120 for 3.3 $90 for 1.7) if you buy it at Saks, Nordstroms, or Bloomingdales, but I purchase mine on Ebay for about a third of the steep $120 price tag. You can get it for about $40 which is a bargain for this fragrance. Overall an excellent purchase. Go for the 3.3/3.4 oz. bottle, you won't regret it.
What a delightful surprise to anyone who expects it to smell like something else. Un Jardin Sur De Nil smells like a lot of things from mangos to grass at different instances, but the one impression is that of a fragrance that is more than the sum of all these things. Likewise, two different accords are at play. The warm fruitiness and the crisp, fresh greenness come together to create a lush, wet, fresh but fruity feeling. And it is so comfortably sexy.
One of my absolute favorite niche perfumes. It's an easy-to-wear fragrance that seems to change over time (in the top notes, I get the green mango, lemon; middle notes are very slightly floral; lots of cedar or soft wood in the base) and also wears different on different days. Sometimes I get more mango, or more lemon. It's a light, shimmering scent like most of the other JCE perfumes, and I get whiffs of it all day but can never seem to "catch" the full scent. This failure-to-catch the scent fully aspect is perhaps the best part: it leaves you wanting more. Other pros: it's fantastic when layered (of course, you can also wear it alone, but I like to create my own scents, too). Trust me: it's a MUST HAVE.
UPDATE: if you like Jardin Sur le Nil, you should also try Rose Ikebana (it's more floral, more tart step sister)
Added comment: 10/17: The reviewer above dated 7/25 who speaks of smelly old ladies seems to say that as a habit in her reviews. Funny, given that women of her age (and mine) are considered that by teens who are the usual people to use that description of perfumes they dislike. What an offensive and ridiculous way to describe any fragrance, let alone this luscious fruity one.
Mango is one of my favorite fruits, and the mango note in Un Jardin sur le Nil is crisp, green and natural. This fragrance is far too complex to be defined by mango. There's a touch of incense, which I generally hate, but it balances out the fruitiness so this is more cozy. What impresses me the most is that the scent is intensely cool and fresh, yet manages also to feel warm and alluring. The scent goes through different phases through the day. At one point, I could barely smell anything on my wrist except for a warm, subtle clean scent (akin to amber perhaps, but so subtle that I couldn't say). Later, the mango note returned, sparkling and fresh. EDIT: I am finding this a bit too sharp and peppery for summer. think it's more of a winter scent.
I love this fragrance! It is a very watery fruity floral. Even though you can clearly identify the top notes as fruity, they are not the usual candy sweet fruit notes that are so prevalent in many of today's popular fragrances. I get a little bit of citrus at first, but kind of like an unripe orange or lime, definitely not lemon. After the initial notes, it settles down to more of cool green scent - assumably the mangos, and then the final drydown is slightly soapy, almost reminiscent of Johnson's Baby shampoo. It has the typical Jean Claude Ellena ethereal feel to it - not strong, but the sillage is wonderful, in that you kind of forget you're wearing it, but then you move your arm and catch a breeze of it coming off your skin. It is going to be a wonderful spring/summer scent for me.