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Jour d’Hermès – New Year’s Resolution - January 4, 2013 New Fragrance Listing


Photo - Wikipedia - New Year's Resolution postcard from 1915

My New Year’s Resolution this year is very simple: Explore!

Explore living – step out of the routine, change things up, push boundaries. See, smell, feel, new places and new things. I need to experience surprise and wonder again, and feed my soul. There is much to do – let’s start with the smells.

I admire Jean-Claude Ellena’s seemingly light-handed minimalist style – I own Osmanthe Yunnan and Angèliques sous la Pluie - even though my scent preferences definitely tend toward the Oriental and Woody end of the style spectrum, as you can see from the number of those frags in our Fragrance Families listing on the left. I’ve been reading only positive reviews of Ellena’s new fragrance, Jour d’Hermès, since its limited release through the Hermès stores just before Christmas, and it’s described on the website as: “…a luminous and sensual floral that flourishes…from dawn until dusk.”

The word luminous in relation to floral is the trigger. I’m off to the Hermès boutique to give it a sniff. I rarely go into Hermès, so this is good  – I’m exploring, I say to myself. An hour later, in an almost giddy out-of-body experience, I see myself hand over my Christmas gift money, and become the rightful owner of a bottle of Jour d’Hermès, which I carry out of the store in the iconic orange bag. I like the colour orange. The year is starting well, I think.

There are no notes listed in the press release. Denyse Beaulieu on Grain de Musc says this is Ellena’s stated intention – he wants us to discover the fragrance on our own terms, he gives us the freedom to smell what we want to smell, to interpret Jour d’Hermès through our personal scent-memory library. I’ve been wearing this fascinating frag non-stop for three days now, so I’ve been flipping through a lot of those memories.

What do I smell?

I smell grapefruit edged with lemon, and raw rhubarb. The rhubarb is delicious with its bitter/sour green/red edge. Then I smell flowers, small young blooms mixed with green leaves and cut stems, but I can’t identify a specific flower smell – it reminds me of big loose spring bouquet, the kind my mother would bring in from the garden at the end of May. The scent is strong and big at first – radiant, is the word – but becomes light and airy. It doesn’t “stick” inside my nostrils, like some floral accords – I have to keep bringing my nose to my wrist and take another sniff. The scent smells floral but airy, not earthy, and from time to time, on different days even, I think I can pick out rose, or violet, or lily of the valley, gardenia, or hyacinth, which is one of my favourite spring blooms, even orange blossom, but then it becomes a floral accord again. No specific floral dominates.

So that’s the beginning, the first thirty minutes or so, and then Jour d’Hermès begins to shift to a warmer feel, as musks come up through the floral accord, softening the white and the green notes, turning spring into summer. I may smell vanilla, just a touch, but the airy radiant quality of the fragrance doesn’t change dramatically. Rather, Jour d’Hermès becomes - here’s that word - luminous.

This perfume seems simple at first, but I’ve discovered that it is deceptively complex and refined. How on earth does Ellena create the sensation of floral lightness, and yet give this scent its arresting sillage and the beautiful diffusion of an Oriental? Jour d’Hermès to me smells like flowers in sunshine, green leaves, blue skies, and it also has a warm sensuality that is undeniable, and so appealing.

How Ellena achieves this is a mystery – we’ll never know the answer, and I don’t really care. I’m just so happy that I explored, and discovered this exceptionally beautiful perfume. Thanks, Jean-Claude. My year has started out well, indeed. 


Today, we’re adding Jour d’Hermès to our decant listing. Decants are $5.00.