Beyond vivid imagery and visual aesthetics lies the subtle world of fragrances: an art that charms without the use of brush strokes or paint streaks. It is precisely this idea of enchantment that inspired Christine Nagel, Hermes’ esteemed perfumer, to seek out the Garden of Eden.
You might be familiar with the biblical variant, but Nagel’s garden is located on the island of Giudecca in Venice. The man responsible for the existence of that garden is English lord Frederic Eden, whose weariness of the surrounding waters pushed him into creating a botanical oasis of his own.
With its state of being permanently closed to the public and its almost mythical status among locals, Nagel grew increasingly intrigued. It took several requests and a handwritten letter, but Nagel’s wish of seeing the Garden of Eden with her own eyes finally came true.
What came after that were eighteen months of carefully translating all the scents in the garden. Each visit to the garden was always different.
“I enjoyed different olfactory experiences,” she says. “For example, in April I experienced the pittosporums. These small trees, whose branches plunge into the lagoon, are covered with thousands of tiny white and yellow flowers. They have a bewitching scent between the orange blossom and the jasmine. In June I was touched by the fresh and delicate smell of magnolia. These magnificent white flowers perched so high in the trees you have to lift your nose to smell them. It’s as if the smell came from the sky.”
A sophisticated blend of flora and terra, Hermès’ Un Jardin Sur La Lagune is a fragrance that gives the Garden of Eden a rebirth. With its sophisticated blend of magnolia, jasmine, orange blossom, and Madonna lily, balanced by woodier notes, it encourages everyone to imagine and to open the secret garden for themselves.
Lei is a staff writer of Mantle. She is an artist, cat mom, and lumpia enthusiast. With a penchant for fiction, she greatly enjoys immersing herself in books, TV series, and films. The most tangible wish that she can think of on the spot is Animal Crossing for the Switch.