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Hermès Revisits the Garden

For its fourth garden-related fragrance, company executives didn’t look far afield for inspiration.

PARIS — For its fourth garden-related fragrance, Hermès executives didn’t look far afield for inspiration. Rather than turning to vast gardens in Egypt or India, as for some of the brand’s other scents, they instead took a cue from a small plot of green atop Hermès’ headquarters here.

Called Un Jardin sur le Toit (or A Garden on the Roof, in English), the new unisex fragrance, due out starting at the end of this month, was concocted by in-house perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena.

Catherine Fulconis, Hermès Parfums’ chief executive officer, used words like “crisp,” “vegetal” and “luminous” to describe the juice. In creating it, Ellena gave a nod to the Hermès garden that includes fruit trees, such as apple, plus flowers like rose, magnolia and impatiens. “It’s a little garden that is rich with scents,” said Fulconis.

Un Jardin sur le Toit’s outer packaging features an illustration of a Paris cityscape by Philippe Dumas, a member of Hermès’ founding family’s fifth generation who has known the garden since childhood.

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While Hermès executives would not discuss sales projections, industry sources estimate Un Jardin sur le Toit — which comes three years after the last scent in the garden collection, Un Jardin après la Mousson — will generate 20 million euros, or $28 million, in first-year wholesale revenues worldwide.

Each of Hermès’ garden scents is linked to the house’s annual theme at the time of its launch, and 2011 has been dubbed the year of the contemporary artisan. Un Jardin sur le Toit will be introduced first in France’s Hermès boutiques on March 26, followed by a mid-April rollout in full countrywide distribution. The launch plan also includes Hermès stores in the U.S. starting to sell Un Jardin sur le Toit in mid-April. It will then hit counters of retailers there such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman during the first week of May.

In the U.S., the 100-ml. eau de toilette spray is to sell for $125 and the 50-ml. edt spray for $90.