Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil Perfume Review

Hermes Sur Le Nil

Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume

Years ago, Hermès Sur le Nil was a popular “plot line” in Chandler Burr’s “The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York“. If you like perfume or are curious about this industry, I recommend reading this book. In this book, we really get to experience and go through the entire process that brought this perfume to market. We also get to experience the process of what it took to bring Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely to market. I think it’s interesting to note in 2018 which one I can buy if I were to walk into a mall right now…

Sur le Nil was a perfume that I have always enjoyed (enough to buy a bottle of) despite it being unlike other perfumes that I tend to wear. The opening of Sur le Nil is tart, bitter and green. At the same time, it’s fruity. So, as promised, it’s green mangoes! In addition, I get a bitter, sulfuric grapefruit and tomato leaves. It’s this bitter, green opening that draws me into this fragrance. It’s the reason why I had to have a bottle for myself. As it wears, it’s an abstract fragrance of bitter greens and unidentifiable florals that feels very Ellena-esque (which means it is also going to feel very Hermès-ish). The dry-down of Sur le Nil is like a green, powdery iris with musk. It smells crisp and transparent. It’s an unusual parallel to make, but I have always thought if prasiolite (a pale green quartz) had a smell, it’d smell like Sur le Nil.

Farah Fawcett

Notes listed include green mango, lotus, incense, calamus and sycamore wood. Launched in 2005. PERFUMER – Jean-Claude Ellena

Give Sur le Nil a try if you like citrus-florals. Or perfumes like Bvlgari Mon Jasmin Noir L’Eau, Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit, Diptyque Geranium Odorata and/or Chanel 28 La Pausa.

Projection and longevity are average. However, I can see how someone that is used to “heavy hitters” would find this one lighter than average.

Un Jardin Sur le Nil comes in a few sizes with the 1.6 oz retailing for $100 at Sephora and Nordstrom. It can occasionally be found at discounters like Beauty Encounter or

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONGreen, citrus floral that dazzles like a gemstone. For many years now, this has been one of my regular summer go-to perfumes.

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*Bottle purchased by me. Product pic from Fragrantica. Farrah Fawcett pic from Post contains affiliate links. Thanks!

6 thoughts on “Hermes Un Jardin Sur le Nil Perfume Review

  1. Great review! Un Jardin Sur le Nile has always been my favorite of the Hermes Jardin line, because to me it very much captures the sense of water in a dry place. The first time I smelled it, I got a very strong impression of both dry dustiness and bright, wet aquatics, like a stream flowing through the desert. My husband thought the same thing. I think it’s incredible that any perfume managed to recreate that very specific combination of scents!

    1. It’s a really thoughtful fragrance. It’s hard for me to explain and I realize my review doesn’t really convey it, but there’s a super sheer incense in this that adds dryness. This dryness paired with the aquatics makes this seem like a mirage.

      I hate talking about the incense because I feel like it would give people the impression that this is incense-y. It’s not. It’s just like…dry. But, not. It very much is “water in a dry place”.

  2. I don’t think I’ve ever really noticed an incense note in Un Jardin Sur le Nil, so I decided to wear it the past few days, and your right – there is a definite “dryness” to the fragrance. I never really attributed that to incense, only because I associate smokiness to incense, and Un Jardin Sur le Nil is far from being smokey. The dryness for me always smelled like a tart, acidic powder sprinkled over the fruitiness of the mango, but now I can smell the “incensiness” (is that a word?….if not, it should be).
    I love this fragrance, and it has been a summer favorite for years. I’m glad your review popped up – I haven’t worn it much this summer; it was nice to revisit this one…..I think I’ll wear it again today!

    1. It’s such a weird thing to explain. Like so many people, when I think of incense, I think of the smoke or even a balsamic quality. But, really when you think of a lot of incenses, especially the liturgical kind, they are acrid. It’s more about the dryness and bitterness.

      Anyway, I think the use of it in this fragrance with the sour mango is well, genius. I think it’s extremely clever.

      I haven’t worn it much this year either. I’ve been stuck on the Chanel Les Eaux. Moving and unpacking has reminded me of things I own and love. I’m trying to make a point to actually review the things that I wear, even if they aren’t “new and now”.

  3. I remember this as one of the first “different*” perfumes I smelled when I first started getting into non-ubiquitous perfume (even though it is mainstream) I was delighted by the green mango and the description I read on nowsmellthis and bought a small bottle, which is beautiful in and of itself. It was also the fragrance that got me interested in exploring Ellena’s other works. I’m going to bring it out and refresh my memory!
    And yes, the Diptyque Geranium scent is quite a similar style.
    * meaning not a typical blended floral with marketing based on “sexy ladies.”

    1. Memories….

      I do like this one because it is very approachable but it’s different. But, not too different. You can still wear it in conservative environments.

      I pulled out a sample of the Diptyque this month. It is really nice. I thought I wanted a full-size but I don’t know. I have so much stuff.

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