Just in time for the holiday shopping season, along comes Jour d'Hermès, a brand new feminine pillar fragrance from perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena at Hermès. Longtime readers know I'm a fan, but just how much of a fan? Thanks (or not) to evidence provided by the damage polls, I can report that I've spent just over $2000 on fragrance in the past five years (ouch! bless me Donatella, for I have sinned) and about 28% of that apparently spilled directly into the coffers at Hermès. And yes, that includes the mumble-$100-something I spent on a bottle of Jour d'Hermès.
(If you've spent a like proportion of your perfume dollars on a single brand, do comment. I will add that if the entire works of Serge Lutens had been available in the US over that same time period, in the more-affordable export bottles, I'm sure I'd have done a better job of padding his coffers too. It does help, though, that Hermès maintains a boutique in my local mall, conveniently situated just outside the front door of Neiman Marcus, another favorite spot for spur-of-the-moment purchases.)
But back to Jour d'Hermès. It starts with bright citrus: tart grapefruit and what smells like green-tinged lemon. The heart is blended flowers. I believe the only notes mentioned to the press so far are gardenia and sweet pea, but it doesn't really matter — it smells like a leafy mixed spring bouquet, light and fresh and buoyant and young. The word luminous is used in the official description, and that's perfectly apt, as is the watercolor in sunrise hues of gold and rose. The base is a pale woody musk finished in warm, sunny tones, slightly earthy, slightly vegetal. Perfumistas familiar with the work of Jean-Claude Ellena will catch fleeting glimpses of old favorites and/or not favorites (Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Vanille Galante, Un Jardin Sur Le Toit) and that will either charm you or it won't, you know who you are, right?
I am charmed, but as I've already made clear, I'm an easy mark. Jour d'Hermès is easy-to-wear elegance, gorgeously joyful or joyfully gorgeous, take your pick. It's perhaps a teensy bit more full-bodied than Ellena's usual, but still more ethereal than not. Despite that, it lasts through a good part of the day.
The refillable bottle is lovely — and satisfyingly heavy — although I think the gold Hermès crest on the top of the cap (sorry, I don't have a picture) is rather overdone in a cheap-shiny-bling kind of way, and spoils the otherwise classic look; I wish they'd left it off entirely, or at least done it in the same white finish as the rest of the cap. If you don't need the bottle, the refill is more economical, and will be easier for splits.
Hermès Jour d'Hermès is available in 50 ($108) and 85 ($149) ml Eau de Parfum, and in a 125 ($130) ml refill. It is available now in Hermès boutiques, and will go into wider distribution early next year.