A New Dawn – Hermès Jour d’Hermès Perfume Review

A New Dawn

A New Dawn

Hermès must win the award for the most consistent style of perfumes within one line. Ever since installing the incomparable Jean-Claude Ellena as their in-house schnoz, each perfume launch has been a variation on the theme of Ellena’s pastel shades and watercolours, evoking both clarity and luxury.

It is for this reason that their latest offering, Jour d’Hermès is so interesting, it manages to perfectly replicate Ellena’s signature style of spacious scent, but it does so bigger, brighter and bolder, almost as if he’s thrown down the watercolours in a moment of madness (read: genius) and opted for full technicolor. Jour d’Hermés is Jean-Claude Ellena writ large.

“From dawn until dusk, a luminous and sensual floral that flourishes.”

Jour, meaning dawn, is a perfume that captures the myrhiad of colours and emotions promised by the prospect of a new day. It is a perfume that seems to have arrived with little fan fair yet the odours that are contained within its rather simple and unpretentious bottle are most definitely worthy of attention.

Jour d'Hermès

Jour d’Hermès

The Notes

For this latest outing Hermès and Ellena have opted to not supply notes, instead relying on the simple description quoted above.

How Does it Smell?

The first thing you will notice when you spritz on Jour d’Hermès, and you will spritz it on because it is not to be missed (also because I said so), is just how big it is. A wave of giant flowers, green stems and sticks of the tartest, juiciest rhubarb (a big splash of red) is unleashed recklessly on to the skin. It’s almost cartoon-like in its size, but it never threatens to collapse under its own weight and this is what is so remarkable about Jour, it may be as big as the Empire State but it’s as weightless as a Zeppelin.

As you would expect from Ellena, Jour is more of an impression of a floral bouquet rather than a photorealist reproduction of a vase of flowers. I definitely get hints of gardenia, jasmine and lily of the valley which, along with some of Ellena’s jazzy aroma chemicals I’m sure, blend together to present a pretty portrait of white and blush-tinged flowers that are as dazzling as they are joyous.

Things definitely subdue as Jour heads in to its latter stages but it pretty much maintains a brilliant white radiance throughout. There is more emphasis on the green elements in the base along with facets of warm soil, vanilla and minerals. It’s a perfect compliment to the hope and joy cast by the opening, almost feeling as if the promises of that grand new day are realised in the base, leaving an aura of pure bliss for you to bathe in, from head to toe.

Jour d’Hermès is a reminder that perfume can still be exciting and that just when you think you have a particular house, perfumer or style pegged a new scent can come along to completely subvert your expectations. These fragrances mix innovation and beauty into something that is effortlessly wearable and enjoyable. It’s fragrances like Jour d’Hermès that are the reason why I am a fumenerd.


Jour d’Hermès is available exclusively at Hermès boutiques and online in 50ml (£67) and 85ml (£91) Eau de Parfum, with a 125ml (£89) refill also available. It will launch in department stores in early 2013.

Image 1 and Quote via hermes.com. Image 2 leblog.pasionlujo.com. 


38 thoughts on “A New Dawn – Hermès Jour d’Hermès Perfume Review

  1. Wonderful, wonderful review! Tomorrow I finally get to smell Jour d’Hèrmes, and your review does nothing to amend my fear that I will fall for this, hard.
    JCE for president!!! 😀

  2. Thank you for a wonderful review! I have been meaning to sniff this but Christmas stuff has got in the way, but you have me salivating. Im off to Hermes tomorrow pronto!
    I don’t usually like JCE but Jour sounds like it will change that. Is the rhubarb note similar to Honour Woman at all?

  3. A must try, clearly. And this is beautiful: “and you will spritz it on because it is not to be missed (also because I said so).”

  4. Not sure if I should be upset that I didn’t stop in the Hermes boutique yesterday and missed out on trying what sounds like a stunner of a fragrance or happy that my wallet is a bit safer today. In either case, it sounds like a scent I will definitely have to try sooner rather than later.

  5. Your opening statement summed up why I can’t stand Ellena’s work and I completely ignore the Hermessence line – literally, I can’t stand it, it’s the most mundane, dull perfumery I can imagine and yet he’s praised so highly for it. This has impressed me (not the scent, I haven’t smelt it, but your write up!) – I’m relieved he’s finally ditched the minimal crap and made something a bit louder and more… well, what people want. Still not sure whether I actually will try this but you describe it beautifully 🙂

    • We are so on the opposite ends of the spectrum Ellena-wise. He can definitely come across as a bit wishy washy (eg. Santal Massoia) but a lot of his work has a surprising amount of intricacy weaved into all of that space.

      I think you’ll like this one.

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  7. Yay ! – I (like Freddie) am all for a ‘less-JCE’ JCE fume. I’m firmly in the camp that tends to ‘groan’ more than ‘grin’ at his usual minimal compo’s. Where others get ‘watercolour-delights’, I get more ‘wishy-washy washouts’ unfortunately. (Perhaps if they were equally a more ‘waterclour price’, I might be more convinced. Just not into paying more for less.) – While ‘less is more’ certainly has it’s place, when it comes to fumes I’m much more a ‘more is more’ kinda guy. 🙂

    … And not that I don’t like some of his fumes (tho’ I can count them on less than five fingers). Plus can even fully appreciate that his style IS perfect for the brand. – Still, I’m hoping this means we’re moving on to a more, let’s say (ahem), ‘guache-like phase’ from Monsieur Ellena. (As I imagine a return to ‘oils’ would probably be out of the question.) 😀 – I for one at least would surely welcome a little more ‘opacity’ & ‘oomph’ for a change ! …

  8. Oh, interesting – I smelt the drydown of Jour d’Hermes on Nick’s skin the other week, and liked it a lot, though I have yet to sample this one myself. I also wondered about the rhubarb note here versus in Honour Woman, so thanks for the clarification on that. Yup, sounds like my thing, no question.

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  11. This fragrance seems to be very much under the radar..I’ve seen no press and little discussion. I really liked your review, CPB..I’m wondering about this rhubarb note..is it the same one he used in Eau de Pamplemousse Rose? I guess JCE must get a bit bored of the elegant minimalism people expect from him too..and while I really like many of his leaner offerings – Eau de Gentiane Blanche and Vetiver Tonka in particular – I think people tend to forget his “blouse-ier” creations..the now-discontinued La Haie Fleurie from L’Artisan is an appealing and generous ode to jasmine that seems miles away from everything that defines him now. Maybe he’ll do something really hell-for-leather next..just to confound us all.

    • I think it will get a lot more attention once it gets a wider release early this year.

      You’re right about JCE, we do tend to tar him with that ‘minimalist’ brush but he has done some rather big, busty stuff in the past. Let’s hope he DOES go hell-for-leather 😛

  12. A most excellent review.
    Your description of the opening accord as being,
    “almost as if he’s thrown down the watercolours in a moment of madness (read: genius) and opted for full technicolor” is just perfect.
    For me this ‘wall of flowers’ effect is like a modern reinterpretation of the same moment in classic fragrances such as Arpege and l’Heure Bleue, but with the emphasis on the modern and the reinterpretation.
    I am so pleased that you have seen past the notion that this is ‘just a another minimalist’ offering from Ellena.
    It isn’t. It is a paradoxical wonder, that succeeds in being sparse and luxurious, clean and opulent all at the same time.
    Most importantly it is, as you point, quite remarkably beautiful.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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