Hermes Eau des Merveilles

3.8

163 reviews

63% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.0

Price: $$$

INGREDIENTS



on

Age: 44-55

Skin: Oily, Fair, Cool

Hair: Grey, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Green

My bottle of this fragrance was given to me by a rather profligate friend who had blind-bought it under the misapprehension that the "amber" of Eau des Merveilles was that sweet, warm, almost edible-smelling accord made from labdanum and vanilla and benzoin and other sticky resinous things. This is not that kind of amber. The 'amber' here is an attempt to replicate the smell of "grey amber," ambergris, which is salty and animalic and excreted by sperm whales. It's a rather important distinction, so let my friend's error serve as a cautionary tale: if you're looking for a sweet vanillic 'amber,' this isn't what you want. There's nothing very sweet in here at all. Even the orange is bitter and pithy and dry, dry, dry. Bone dry.

Dryness, in fact, is pretty much what this fragrance is all about. I've seen beach imagery used to describe this scent, and I find that apt enough so long as one understands that the aspects of "beach" being invoked here are mainly the salty, parched, and even somewhat uncomfortable aspects: the hot hot sand, the sharp-edged dune grasses, salt-encrusted skin feeling increasingly taut and stretched as it begins to sunburn. An orange peel left out in the merciless sun long enough for it to dry to the texture of a tough curl of pebble-grained leather. The bleached white, twisted forms that when seen from a distance could be either driftwood or bones.

But there's life here, too, beside this strange sea. I've never smelled real ambergris, but many who have claim that the ambergris note in this fragrance is remarkably realistic. And I believe it, because there is a strange undercurrent here that feels positively primeval, just as one would expect of ancient, sea-aged whale excreta. It is a warm and animalic smell, one that is immensely welcoming, yet which also suggests saliva-licked skin, or the milky spit-up of a still-unweaned infant. It's a weirdly intimate smell, simultaneously oceanic and mammalian, and whether it registers as appealing or as disgusting to me seems to depend entirely on my mood. The overall effect, however, is to add the sea to this otherwise dry beach -- and yet also to suggest it as a somewhat strange and alien sea, perhaps an ancient one, perhaps even one of those shallow warm primeval seas that predate our existence as a species altogether.

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this fragrance. While I find it both fascinating and immensely sophisticated, I also--as already mentioned--sometimes find its animalic ambergris note more icky than inviting. Then there are also some days when I find this stuff to be an instant migraine, and others when it clogs my sinuses. Don't wear this one around people with allergies or people who are in any way environmentally sensitive! There's something extremely allergenic about it -- it's not the oakmoss, I don't think, but one or more other things that combine with the throat-tickling oakmoss to form a kind of perfect storm of immune response triggering.

Many people seem to like this as a summer fragrance, but for me, high heat and humidity make it far more likely that I'll find myself not enjoying its more animalic facets. I prefer this fragrance for the transitional periods bracketing high summer: late spring to early summer, and late summer to early fall.

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.



on

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Note: I googled EdM and LOTV, and thankfully I am not hallucinating :) Boisetjasmin also mentions the note. I also retried the two other fragrances that seemed connected in my mind to EdM (below) Seville, and got a bizarre impression of sweetened corn chips on my skin. Dune also behaved differently than my first impression, becoming almost powdery Lavander. Maybe it's the full moon.

By the way, I hate the bottle. If you want an example of a gorgeous lie down flask, try JAR or Caron's vintage travel flasks dotted like strawberries and capped with gilt hats similar to vintage 1950s Poivre.

--------

I am wondering why I cannot seem to smell the same scent as other reviewers below. I have a manufacturers sample of EdT in good condition. A generous spritz on my forearm yields a dry elemi fir; not so much cedar; not so much citrus; not so much Amber; but quite a bit of Vetiver and a lot of pink pepper; plus, a dry down that seems to have salty LOTV. I am not even sure if EdM has Vetiver or LOTV. It does dry down to a skin scent. Could be unisex IF the guy does not mind LOTV. I don't really get the beach reference either. IMO, salt does not automatically mean beach. I dislike sillage and the fact that the LOTV impression does not fade, but everything else does.

For some reason, EdM does makes me want to revisit two fragrances that are richer and oiler and more powerful but also somewhat arid : Dune Dior EdT (salty orange Amber musk and wood) and l'artisan Seville a l' Aube (petit grain and orange blossom, incense and lavender. I have an earlier manufacturers sample of Dune and I cannot help but think that this is what EdM could be in parfum strength (I read somewhere that the current EdM EdP is a different formula, not made by EdT creator Ralf Schweiger, featuring chocolate and orange). Sometimes I think Dune references desert more than beach, sometimes, neither desert or beach but an early, lightly sweetened arid dry gourmand. I recall Seville a l' Aube as a powdery dry (due to Lavander) indolic orange incense.

Note : Another fragrance that I think evokes similar feeling as EdM, due to its light dry peppery wood is Bois d'orage/ French lover which is IMO under appreciated in perfume reviews.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on

Age: Unknown

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Country singer Martina McBride wears this, according to coolspotters.com, and being a MM fan, I wanted to try it. She said, "it's fresh and sexy at the same time."

(ASIDE: Others mentioned in this article from "Nashville Style" mag, Dec 2013 (reported at coolspotters.com), included Kimberly Perry of The Band Perry, whose fave is BN9 Chinatown, Kimberly Schlapman, the blonde in Little Big Town, who wears MJ Daisy gifted by her husb because her daughter's name is Daisy, and she loves it -- and also Kelly Pickler, who wears Refuge by Charlotte Russe, which costs around $10),

Anyway, back to Martina McBride's Eau des Merveilles:

2004 launch -- notes, per parfumo.net

Top Notes - Orange, Lemon
Heart Notes - Amber, Pepper, Pink pepper, Violet
Base Notes - Oakmoss, Fir, Vetiver, Cedar

I'm wearing it on this hot sultry day with my office's A/C broken.

A sweet orange scent, esp at first -- light & fresh -- then comes a peppery tingle and a hint of light amber. That's what I'm smelling. Light, fresh, slightly sweet, tingly-peppery orange fragrance -- with a little amber. Not terribly woody or earthy, although those notes (fir & cedar) are detectable in the base and to me, make it quite unisex -- I think a man could easily wear this.

It's okay, nothing wrong with it, but I don't love it. I've never been a big fan of citrus perfumes, in general. But really, I think that for an orange-based perfume, this is good -- better than Happy or BN9 Little Italy IMHO. It's not too pungent, it doesn't turn sharp or sour on me -- it doesn't smell like Orange Glo -- well made, and for an EDT, it lasts very well. It's pretty refreshing.

Lippies off for that terrible bottle design. The silver top's design makes it appear to be a removable cap -- so I pulled it off to spray -- and there was the little hose! No, the silver top is the *sprayer* -- yes, there's the little hole on the side -- but the initial look of it is very deceptive, since it has rounded edges, like a cap. Beware -- the top is a sprayer, with no cap -- and the hole may not be facing you when you first look at it. If you pull the silver sprayer piece from the little hose, as I did, it will reattach, but then it may "drool" after spraying. **sigh** I really wish I hadn't made the mistake of pulling that sprayer off -- stupid, but an easy mistake to make with this one. At first glance, it's confusing.

Posh brand Hermes couldn't put a cap on top of the sprayer?? I suspect that a great deal of the appeal of Hermes fragrances -- as with their handbags -- is simply the name and its prestige factor.


on

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I just honestly don't get where the good reviews are coming from! This scent smells completely like a typical old lady perfume to me. Reminiscent of my child hood and visiting my great grandma's house and smelling her perfume bottles. Very strong, over powering and just plain nasty. If I could give it zero lippies I would.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Acne-prone, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brown, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I was looking for a Hermes perfume for the summer only because it's a Hermes. I went to a Sephora in Shanghai and could try on few perfumes, 4 of them from Hermes.
I find eau de marveilles was good, not too sweet, not too citric nor too orangy. A good combination and pretty refreshing in general.
However, the staying power is very poor, after few hours I cannot smell anything.
The price is also ridiculous, but I'm glad I had 50% off.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Smells woody and spicy on me. A lots of pink peppers too. Looks like honey and smells like Norwegian wood. Not a flowery or fruity scent at all but this makes it unique and different. Love it!

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.


on

Age: 30-35

Skin: Dry, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I love love this scent! Woody and spicy with a splash of orange. And the scent lingers all day long.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Hazel

Ooooh, this went totally men's aftershave on me. I had really high hopes for this, since I admire so much almost all other HERMES perfumes, but here is my chemistry in all its glory, turning milk sour, again... :-( Somewhere halfway through the drydown I could get a hint of how great this could be on someone with the right skin type. Mine absorbs any sugar and all the light florals almost entirely, and in this case it is orange zest and alcohol that are left of the original composition. Maybe a bit of fresh grass rubbed in warm hands, but the amount of alcohol post-drydown is simply overwhelming. Voyage works on me, so does Jardin Mediterranee ( my forever love!! ), faubourg 24 is also not bad (although it's not as deep as on other people I suspect ). Ah well. The Jardin series is more than enough for me to keep coming back to the HERMES counter for a shot of an olfactory delight.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.


on

Age: 36-43

Skin: Acne-prone, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

It is interesting to read all the comments about this perfume. Some people smell oranges, the ocean, wood, musk etc. I don't smell any off those things. I got a generous sample of this from Sephora. I really wanted a perfume that would make me smell like I was living in a orange orchard, just a mature layered scent of oranges. I would think the house of Hermes would deliver on such a product, but no this does not. I barely smell any oranges, my best description of this scent is baby powder with spicy notes. I could see how this could work for other people, but it does not work with my chemistry. There is nothing sexy about this scent, it just "exists". I will say the lasting power for me is pretty high though. So in conclusion, I am highly disappointed, I expect something better from a high end brand like Hermes.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


on

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Blue

I love, love, love this perfume. It has woody and amber undertones which I love. It is expensive but it does last a while so I feel the cost is worth it. Be aware of the bottom of the bottle. It is slanted and if not put down properly it could fall over.

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.


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