Now, I’m currently experiencing a slight downturn in my circumstances and so I haven’t been able to go to Paris and have Francis Kurkdkian rustle me up my own scent. Instead I’m having to make do with what’s offer in Hong Kong.

I’ve been looking for a new perfume for ages, as I’m fed up of wearing my lavender scent (I started wearing this when I was very stressed at work to chill me out and also make others relaxed in my company – it worked wonders!).

The reason it’s taken me about 2 years to find a new damn scent is that whenever I go into these department stores like Joyce, Harvey Nichols, Lane Crawford and ask for help finding one, the staff are pretty rubbish.  I wish they had specialists to help on this. Even Lane Crawford with their personal shopping service weren’t really any use.

For all those ladies of a certain age out there who feel too old to wear sickly pretty florals, can’t wear the dynamic gutsy musk and spice based scents, are still 20 years too young to start wearing Shalimar and Chanel No5, and are just damn well ready for a change from their usual – I have found an answer.

Hermes – Un Jardin en Méditerranée

un-jardin-en-mediterranee

It really does smell like a garden in the med cooling down after a long hot day, and that makes me happy – all those memories of Provence and Tuscany. There is bergamot, orange blossom and white oleander on the floral side, but then the wood tones like red cedar and fig anchor it down.  It is in fact a unisex scent, although I can’t see many manly-men getting into it.  It’s not new, they launched this back in 2003, so not sure why I haven’t spied it before, blinder than a bat sometimes.

There is also a new Chanel eau de toilette which is very similar called Cristalle Eau Verte.

cristalle verte

Again with bergamot, lemon and jasmine, but it’s just that little bit too light and wispy and in the Hong Kong heat it just melts away after about 30mins. I suppose if you live 99% of the time in air-con though it will do. The Hermes scent even though it too is only an eau de toilette, does hang on for a little longer.

I spotted the Hermes scent in Lane Crawford and it was around $800, and Cristalle eau Verte was in Harvey Nichols and was around $700 if I remember rightly. Et voila.

Update:

Hermes also have another scent in their Jardin range – Après la Mousson which is all ginger lily, watermelon and cardamon, which is also very pleasant and evocative.  Nothing like being engulfed in the smells of a hot wet Indian or Thai garden to make you feel at peace  - and that is the perfumer’s intent you learn once you start reading blogs on this chap.

These scents were created by Jean-Claude Ellena who set up The Different Company (sold in Lane Crawford Pacific Place) which his daughter continues to run, before moving to become Hemès’ perfumer.  These two Hermes scents are in the same vein as their Bergamote (Méditerranée) and Rose Poivree (Mousson), but are much heavier and more intense. Unfortunately they were too heavy for me, which was a shame as they sell refills, hand-bag sized bottles and all sorts. Very nice.

I’ve found a few useful perfume blogs that review and explain the background of lots of scents. Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc and Now Smell This which have varying degrees of expertise ranging from naifs who are just addicted to perfume, to more high-brow in-the-industry types.