Le Jardin de Monsieur Li (2015)

7.2 / 10     302 RatingsRatingsRatings
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li is a perfume by Hermès for women and men and was released in 2015. The scent is fresh-floral. It is still in production.

Fragrance Notes

Kumquat, Jasmine

Ratings

Scent

7.2 (302 Ratings)

Longevity

6.0 (215 Ratings)

Sillage

5.2 (225 Ratings)

Bottle

7.7 (215 Ratings)
Submitted by Michael, last update on 15.02.2019
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Reviews

Helpful Review    2
Kumquat & Jasmine...................smells okay
Arggghhh! Decisions, decisions! Do I like this, sorta like this or sorta not like? Right after initial application I'm thinking, "STAID", also it seems very neutral.

I'm guessing kumquat can also pass for orange, that's what I get orange and slight jasmine in the background.

I've seen reviews calling this feminine, others say masculine, well I'm going for the middle ground.....Unisex.

Not bright and shiny but sorta muted. This is not going to turn heads or make a big impression. The other Hermes Jardin scents might be a better investment.
Bottle 8.0/10 Sillage 6.0/10 Longevity 6.0/10 Scent 3.5/10
K1
Helpful Review    3
Citrus - musky - woody
A tart citrus with a bright plasticy color impression, paralleled with a mentholated green boost, proclaims the beginning. Le Jardin de Monsieur Li lingers between this kumquat/mandarin and soft creamy air that is simply beautiful. Despite that, an inferior layer of anonymous jasmine with no power to seduce which comes beside frosty woody freshness emerged from bamboo, covers citrus opening.

I'm somehow iffy with Li cause it's not a minimalistic composition, it's simple, and there's way long distance between definitions of simple and minimal. But to be honest my friends, simple compositions always work better and public loves them more.
2/5
Very helpful Review    5
Not really
This latest addition to the unnecessarily populated “Jardin” series is probably the blandest of them all for me, and surely the others weren’t that great either. It smells decent, so it isn’t at least a stinker as Un jardin après la mousson; but a really mediocre, almost pedestrian rendition of decency. It’s basically a pale, transparent, sharp Iso E-infused green-fruity thingy with a nondescript whiff of white flowers on a clean, completely dull light woody base. Now, the problem for me is that it smells as much thin, clean and graceful as openly, shamelessly cheap. It’s nearly the same standardized smell of any floral-green softener mixed with a generic drugstore room spray scented with jasmine and citrus notes. It tries to play some sort of green-fresh Oriental “minimalistic” card, but the result is pretty depressing. This isn’t sophisticated, it’s just light, generic and dull. Completely inexpressive. There’s no interest, no depth, no evolution, no sparkles of “life” in here for me, just an aseptic, mediocre flatness which clumsily tries to evoke some sort of clean, bright elegance. Almost a parody of Hermès clichés. The issue with this house and Ellena’s immense talent - and the reason why I find this scent particularly disappointing - is that they set such high levels of excellence, they can’t really try to troll us with this stuff.

5/10
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10
Very helpful Review    6
A touch of Zen...
This is such a welcome one. This is of course the last in the jardin or "garden" series done by master perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena. I find this one quite different to the two others I have tried from this line, namely Un Jardin sur le Nil and Un Jardin sur le Toit.

With Le Jardin de Monsieur Li I think Ellena sets a different tone. This is not as bright, sharp, or as sweet as the others. This is more like a garden near an old Chinese temple, with a lake with lotus and water lilly, the dark green water overgrown with plants and vegetation, the tall dark green reeds and bamboo shoots surrounding it. This is almost like a haunted garden. Full of ghosts and spirits and memories...

There are things I really love here. There is jasmine, a note which I love in all forms. The jasmine here is in full bloom, and with a rich aroma. There is just the right level of greenness here, which to me is like the water lilies and bamboo... almost like a green plant like note. There is just the right tart bitter-sweet edge which is provided by the kumquat. There are quite a few factors here which come together to give an overall impression of plant life next to water. This is definitely a garden with a lake, or still water.

Personally I like it, just as I like all things Chinese, especially garden design and nature. This fragrance is an example of something different. In my opinion this is like autumn in a bottle. It's not "bright" enough to remind me of spring and early summer, in the way that sur le Toit and sur le Nil did. For me, this is like very late summer and the autumn period, when the heat gets down and the leaves start to wilt. As always with Jean-Claude Ellena, this is a fascinating experience. I find it so intriguing that this has already become one of my signature scents! I keep discovering more facets to it the more I wear it.

Overall, I think before trying this one just remember that it is different to the bright, sheer examples of the other jardin line fragrances. It has a different, more sombre tone. If the others were happy and bright this is almost sad and contemplative. A "thinking" fragrance for sure. Worth seeking out for something different.
Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 5.0/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 4.0/10
Very helpful Review    6
Streamlined
Ellena has absolutely nothing new to say. He changed the opening ("kumquat"), kept the greenish-sour base of the "Un Jardin" -series (now changed to "Le jardin) and presents an acceptable, but predictable summer-scent. When the first "Un Jardin" was released in 2003 (Un Jardin en Méditerranée), it felt like a pioneering work of perfumery and attracted scent-lovers in search of something different. Ellena's knowledge is encyclopaedic, he published several books on the subject of perfumery and is often quoted as a the ultimate expert. The "minimalist" attitude ("less is more"), focusing on a handful of ingredients, seems to have reached its limits. "Le Jardin de M. Li" is too streamlined, too similar to its predecessors in order to turn choosing it as your summer-scent into a special experience.
Scent 6.0/10
Very helpful Review    6
Hermès wanting Cartier best-sellers or a scent with amusing things
Besides being extremely wearable, in line with the silky and minimalistic aestethic of the maison, there are some things really amusing on this perfume that finishes the Hermés Jardins saga and which also works as a baton pass between the oficcial perfumer, Jean Claude Ellena, and his substitute Christina Nagel.

The first amusing thing for me here is that is very clearly how Hermés is on eye on its luxury neighbour of other segment, Cartier. After all, now they have two of the perfumers that created the biggest sales sucesses of the line, the two fragrances that most generated flankers inside the brand: Declaration Cartier (Ellena's work from 1998) and Eau de Cartie (Christine Nagel's work from 2001). If you look for those two creations, it's clear that when the style is transparent and minimalist Ellena and Nagel work in different ways but in similar forms and the impression that i have is that on Monsieur Li you see a joint work of both minimalist styles.

The second amusing thing for me here is that how this imaginary garden of an imaginary Monsieur has such a delicated and luminous floral aura that many would associate more with a Madam Li than a monsieur. In this sense, Le Jardin is, after Un Jardin Sur Le toit, a fragrance that works on the edge of the genres, a unissex creation almost going into the feminine direction.

The third amusing thing for me here is that i notice more and more that to achieve a luxury aura, delicate, without any rough edges, perfumers seems to use considerable synthetic compound amounts and the synthetic word is seem a lot for the common user as something cheap. So, there is a contradiction, the fragrances that you think are luxury might be loaded with the things you consider cheap. Altough this garden is a jasmine inspired one, one of Ellena's favorites, i would say that is an immaginary garden of the molecule most used to emulate jasmine in fragrances, Hedione. Certainly there is other jasmine molecules extending its smell and giving it creamier nuances, but Monsieur Li seems to me basically a vegetal musky fragrance with hedione at its center. The opening is interesting, of green citrus aura, with fruity nuances, something that reminds me of bergamot, grapefruit and slightly of papaya too. The luminous jasmine influence of creamy and fruity nuances come next and accompanied with some molecule or base that also makes me think of orchids. From this moment is that the Christine Nagel influence starts to be very clear to me in the the composition, with a base that seems like a recap of the woody, musky and transparente base found in Eau de Cartier.

In the end, it's as if this one were an Eau de Cartier Essence de Jasmine, which incidentally would be an excellent addition to the Cartier line if they decided to retribute the kindness of the clear and direct inspiration in one of their most succesful commercial creations.
Scent 6.0/10
Helpful Review    7
Le Jardin de Monsieur Li or beautiful haiku on a Chinese Garden Tableau..
“I remembered a smell of ponds, a smell of jasmine, a smell of soppy stones, of plum trees, kumquats and hulk bamboos. It was all there, and in a ponds there were even canopy usually operative towards their hundredth birthday.” — Jean-Claude Ellena.

I was able to buy this latest creation this weekend and the good thing is that it matched my expectations : it is a very typical JC Ellena creation and unfortunately his last one at Hermes. It is definitively part of the whole Jardin family and he brought good tribute to what we could imagine as a typical Chinese Garden. Don't expect that typical fizzling almost Fanta kind of citrus opening, it is more a citrus whisper. I definitively recognize the kumquat aroma, after that soft opening, you can smell that typical green body with a non indolic Jasmin, an "aquatic" jasmin interpretation. I don't smell the real mint note, it is more the green, fresh muskiness which Ellena always master to create in his Jardin series, closer to a juicy "fig" note than really mint which would have been too harsh for balancing this very delicate composition. The Kumquat citrus has a bit more sweetness and juiciness than any other citrus note, it gives a little honeyed aspect to this perfume. Some people will be disappointed that this is just a simple & linear perfume but I think JC Ellena wanted to close his chapter of the Jardin by honoring his master pieces in all modesty and not with lot of bravura. It is if he wanted to introduce his successor Christine Nagel already by giving her the opportunity to success him in all serenity and softness...Is it a cologne ? No not really : it is a delicate, introvert perfume. A minimalist intimate scent you would like to wear for yourself, allowing you to transcend from the daily routines and bringing some peace in your hectic life.
2 Replies

Statements

Jazzy76 6 months ago
A zen fragrance: simple, clean, very refreshing...but too evanescent in comparison to the high price. What a pity!
Bottle 8.0
Sillage 3.0
Longevity 5.0
Scent 7.0

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