Hermes Miracle Waters X’s 3

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Around 2004 or so Hermes launched Eau de Merveilles and followed with two flankers, Parfum des Merveilles and Elixir des Merveilles, both flankers being variations on the orginal Miracle Waters.  Other than the fact EdM smells divine, I suppose it is miraculous water because it supposedly contains one of the last batches of real ambergris.  Ambergris is very expensive and hard to obtain as it is an intestinal secretion of sperm whales.  Sexy, no?  While soft it has a strong fecal smell, but as it hardens it becomes earthy, animalic and oceanic.  It’s been used and coveted for perfum, as well as incense (infact some think it helped keep away the black plague.  miraculous!) and jewlery.  Usuage tends to fall into a grey legal area so it is less easily obtained and used these days, not to mention, to use real ambergris, you have to wait around for a sperm whale to, um, deposit some near your shores for collection.  Needless to say, it is miraculous to get your hands on perfume made with the good stuff.

Notes for the orginal composition, Eau des Merveilles:  elemi, bitter orange, Italian lemon, Indonesian pepper, pink pepper, ambergris accord, oak, cedar, vetiver, balsam of Peru and tears of Siam

After the momentary burst of citrus, EdM launches into the pepper.   The pepper is the salt spray in the air at the beach, or a man’s stubble on your face while kissing.  You are watching the waves on an over cast day, a nubby blanket wrapped around you and your boyfriend, feeling very  From Here to Eternity. Through out the saltiness the ambergris accord weaves a musky oceanic skin smell between the peppery salt and the almost incensy woods.  You wouldn’t think something from the bowels of a whale would smell so incredibly good, though ambergris is listed as an aphrodisiac.  EdM is a very intimate perfume, should be worn at nape of neck and cleavage, those closeto you  you will smell and think it is your salty skin smell with some musk, not obvious perfume.  I love this for the beach, or when I want to think about the beach.  I adore the smell of the ocean and have trouble finding a perfume that has that salty sea air with out smelling like..saaaay Cool Water.  It actually reminds me of a grown up and classed up version of a  body wash Nivea had many years ago and discontinued.  I believe it was called Ocean or sea something or other and I lived to bath in it, it was so additive.  Eau de Merveilles is great for summer, esp. if you are tired of the same old light greens, florals and citruses though I get more citrus spark from EdM in the winter. 

 Parfum des Merveilles notes: oak, patchouli, mosses, amber, balsam of Peru, tears of Siam, davana, cognac note, leaves and roots  dark and rich woody.  With EdM you are on the seashore, with toes in the water, looking out on to the waves, feeling the salt spray on your face and the sand beneath your feet.  With PdM, you are sea drenched, having been shipwrecked and swimming for miles .  Luckily you find a deserted island and lay out on wood from a cognac cask to dry. You are rescued by good looking stubbly pirate who builds a fire and offer something warm to drink..the cognac from the cask and tea. The patch is earthy, like smelling wet forest dirt or water logged driftwood in the composition.  Absolutely  lovely.

While the pirate and the richness and cognac are sexy in a fantastical sort of way, I prefer the Eau. I even found myself mysterious while wearing the Eau.  I smelled it on pillow after sleeping in it all night, and it was just so delctable I could roll in sheets scented with the stuff.  With both, a feeling of mystery.  Like mysteries of life kind of thing and sense of longing too. With both, just as if you swam in the ocean all day and can still feel the waves caress your body when you lay down to sleep at night, Parfum and Eau both linger on your skin, melding with you.  Both could be unisex.  On a woman, sexy giving her a mysterious aura, due to oceanic qualities. I imagine Venus must have smelled something like this after emerging from her oceanic birth.  Both are also for mysterious smelling as in she rubbed against a good smelling man.  On men, it’s warmish and woody, and once again oceanic with out using aquatic notes.  I could see myself stalking a man who smelled of either compostion. All I’d want to do is smell him.  Honest!

The final installment, the Elixir des Merveilles was created by Jean Claude Ellena, who gave it a more gourmand interpretation.

notes: chocolate-covered candied orange peel, caramel, vanilla biscuit (vanilla sugar, tonka bean), creamy milk, sandalwood, incense, resins, ambergris, Peru balsam and balsam of Siam, oak, patchouli and cedar. Basically EdM wrapped in foodiness. 

When I spray I get the oranges and the chocolate, some of the vanilla, and a little salt.  Here and there a little dirty musk peeks out, but unfortuantely I cannot wax poetic as it morphs into some sort of laundry detergent on me.  So, if I wanted to smell kind of clean, like, laundry done at eh beach left near the cookie jar, I might choose this formula.  However I don’t think it’s worth the money.

So, as you’ve guesssed, out of the three I love Eau des Merveilles, the orginal, so much that I shelled out for a gift set complete with bath wash and lotion, hoping that the layering will increase the already great lasting power and maybe improve the silliage aura just a bit.  After wearing this for the last three days I can’t seem to get enough of it’s aching beauty.

Published in: on February 29, 2008 at 3:00 am  Comments (5)  

24 Faubourg Review and Trip Down Perfume Memory Lane

Once upon a time when I was an girl in the bigger city of Chicago, I had a field day at the now extinct Marshall Fields.  Oh what a store that was . . . it had that upscale feel of the big boys; Saks’, Neim’s and Nordie’s and yet more of the personalization of a smaller department store.  No wonder it was sold out to Macy’s. *sigh*   Anyhow, the perfume SA’s we always so very friendly on the Mag mile, one of whom gave me a big, whopping 10 ml sample of 24 Faubourg.   24F is an Hermes confection named for it’s Parisian store’s address.  Notes include Bergamot, Orange, Peach, Hyacinth, Tiare flower, Orange flower, Jasmine, Orris, Sandal, Patchouli, Amber, Vanilla.   However, I believe this list isn’t all inclusive as there are a few suprise notes in there, at least for me. 

That day I believe I was transformed.  I walked into the store to load up on some Philosophy goodies and replace my well loved and so ominpresent Madamoiselle.  Madamoiselle was my event perfume of choice worn only when not wearing a BBW horror of fruity, floral nausea.  After that was done, I was meandering and struck up a conversation with a lady at the Hermes counter who had also been wearing Madamoiselle.  We decided it was lovely, but everywhere, and I confided I knew nothing of perfume and longed for something a bit more–MORE, but didn’t know where to begin.  There began my love affair with Hermes…..

After rejecting a few bottles of other things, she said “this one is popular, but not in the mass markety every one is wearing it sense.  try it”  I did.  and oh heaven.  I remember walking out of the store and onto the Chicago streets.  As I walked back to my hotel I was swathed in the orange-sunset cashmere aura of the perfume, utter bliss.   This was a scent for someone who exemplified old world class and money.  It is refinement, yet approachable.  I could wear this in my ball gown or in my jeans — as long as i had good shoes and clean hair.  Seduction with this scent means wearing your best La Perla and smooth hair underneath your lady like Navy Blue Jackie O. dress.  Or possibly with your riding togs, only to discard them and leave your boots and pearls on.  People like to say this is a perfume only appropriate for a woman over 35.  I disagree, being younger than that and able to love, appreciate and carry it off.  It isn’t the woman, it’s the way in which she carries herself with this perfume.  I wear it when I put on my princess face and want to impress and empower while preserving my feminity.  One can wear it anywhere, as long, as I mentioned, you have clean hair, good shoes and proper deportment.  Paris Hilton need not apply. 

Today (a few years later)  I dug up a sample of the EDP and the Parfum and did a side by side comparsion to see which formula was the winner as I am nearly out and almost ready to purchase more.    I was surprised at the result.   Both begin with a lily of the valley note.  Lily of the Valley is not listed as a note.  Often this flower is one of my worst enemies, however here it is the opening of perfection. Then they both exude the orange/jasmine/amber sunset of scent.  Let me say something about the fruit… This isn’t BBW fruity sweetness of death.  This particular fruit sinks into your skin and emits an aura of golden, juicy vanillaness around you.  Picture yourself  silhouetted against a gorgeous sunset in an orange and peach orchard.  That is 24F.    The EDP ends this rich heiress-goddess sunset moment  with soft woodsy patchouli and amber, as though the sun went down on a soft summer or early autumn night.  The air cools and you wrap up in  your softest cashmere blanket and head to your favorite fireside.    The parfum, in contrast, smells….of laundry detergent. The heiress leaves the orchard and is demoted to scullery maid, without the benefit of seducing the lord of the manor.   Thank god I only bought a sample of the parfum because if I had paid the 135 and upwards for laundry detergent, I’d have been writing a looong letter to Hermes demanding a refund! 

  So, lesson for the day….never assume the higher concentration is the best.  In this case the EDP was the perfect blend of the fruit, the florals, and the woods.  Both sparkling, warming and richly sexy.  The parfum really does send you out to the cleaners and leaves you hung out to dry. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you the smell of money and happiness.

Published in: on August 30, 2007 at 1:56 am  Comments (11)