In-house perfumer for Hermès Jean-Claude Ellena is on a whirlwind tour in Asia to promote his latest composition, Un Jardin sur le Toit (A Garden on a Roof Top), whose light and transparent yet rich and variegated texture seems to draw a gracile bridge between classic and modern perfumery, between the old manner of Ellena and the new (this is my take so far, at least.)
The Enquirer in the Philippines reports that Ellena, among other things, felt that the Garden series was becoming too commercial and that he had been considering stopping it a year ago...
The law of success however had to be obeyed; I personally find this allusion to commercialism interesting because while Un Jardin sur le Toit is lovely and preciously crafted, I also thought that there is something a little bit more commercial about it than with the other Garden scents. I will clarify this idea later on.
Exceprt from the interview:
"Will it be the last in the garden series now that he has come home?
“Maybe,” he said wistfully. “In fact, I was seriously considering of putting a stop to the garden series a year ago because I felt it was becoming too commercial. Then the marketing people came and requested me to extend the series because it was selling very well.”
It was only when he hit upon the idea of producing a scent inspired by Hermès’ own garden that he finally said yes. The fact that the move was considered novel and bound to surprise people, motivated Ellena to work double time.
“For me, a classic is a perfume you can wear a long time, and still have something to say to you,” he said. “It’s also something that transcends the years. It’s oblivious to time.”
Read more in Hermès' Secret Garden Bottled in Perfume
Picture: Bangkok Post