God, Elixir des Merveilles is such a weird perfume. The first time I tried it, I remember thinking – this right here is why people hate perfume. It was overly rich, sweet, muddy, with all the elements jumbled together in that overdone blur that defines “Rich Bitch” perfumes to me. The second time I tried it, I thought “I should learn how to read labels better” because I’d been aiming for the Ambre bottle.
Third time round, something clicked for me and I began to like it. Now I have odd, sudden cravings for it. I think it’s because I was finally able to figure out its structure. There are two sides to Elixir des Merveilles – the syrupy orange peels dipped in dark chocolate and sprinkled with sea salt on one side, and on the other, a massively butch clutch of resins and moss. It’s basically a super-gourmand grafted onto a super hairy-balled aftershave.
Both sides are as oversized as clown shoes. The oranges dipped in caramel and chocolate are sweet to the point of being grotesque. One minute you think it’s gorgeous, the next you think, Christ, this stuff is absolutely gross. The sprinkling of what feels like celery salt over the treacly mass is probably one step too far. I swing between feeling repulsed to wanting more. The countermanding element is rather chypre-like: a brusque, musky cedar, smoky balsams and resins, moss. It’s really quite dry, bitter, and smoky.
The exaggerated forms of the two parts give the perfume a cartoonish Jessica Rabbit shape. It’s like watching an overloaded plane trying to take off or Kim Kardashian walk across the road in a tight skirt. You half fear it’s going to topple over any minute. But somehow the whole thing seems to hang together and work quite well. It’s a great winter gourmand, and the oranges and resins make me think of Christmas and oddly, Theorema.
Just don’t put this on if you’re not in the right mood for it, because it sticks like glue and seems to grow grander by the minute. At times, I find it enveloping and rich – just right for a cold winter’s day. But at other times, it begins to wear me down. When my hand glides over the small bottle of it that I bought, I have to think twice before putting it on.
I've tried for years now to fall in love with Elixir des Merveilles. At first, I just found it confusing and gross. Then, with time, after learning to appreciate dark mossy green chypres, it started making sense to me (it's essentially a 70's-style green chypre galbanum and moss bomb with grassy patchouli and weird chocolate, topped with a very modern sweet citrus), but I still just don't really like it. The citrus feels out of place, like an attempt at modernization that falls a bit flat, while the chocolate actually comes across as weirdly animalic and the moss smells like the heat-sweats I get in bed when I've got a fever. I don't have the heart to give it a full-on thumbs down rating, just because I've spent so much time with it, so I'll give it credit for at least being unique and bump it up to a nuetral...
The principal of redundancy is the principal affliction of modern life.
The fact that there isn’t any critique of the consumer society in perfumery world it is just because conformity and repetition cannot be missed in the blatant reiteration of perfumes. Business is the only reason for creating perfumes and the impersonal nature of the media and bloggers too saturated consumer culture! The world of smells has no arms! We can not defend ourselves from our ignorance since we call it culture.
There are three perfumes around a stupid idea:
L'Instant de Guerlain pour Homme Extreme (2005)
Elixir des Merveilles (2006)
Gucci by Gucci pour Homme (2008)
In the first fragrance the stupid idea must be very stupid to please many people, in the second one the stupid idea takes on a more classic wave becoming more elegant and a little less moulin rouge. In the third scent the stupid idea is even more stupid than the first one.
The first one is pour home, the second is a perfume for women and Gucci is a fragrance for men.
This proves that stupidity is unisex as scents should be. The meaning and value of these perfumes are determined by our “chickenization”!
"My life is very monotonous," the fox said. "I hunt chickens; men hunt me. All the chickens are just alike, and all the men are just alike. And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat..."
The Little Prince: Chapter 21
This reviewer may have conflicts of interest
Sweet orange treat!
Wonderful sweet perfume, highest quality with exquisite bottle. The packaging is to die for. This is my first perfume from Hermes and I was happily surprised with this unique smell. I tried this under an enormous heat while at summer holidays and the perfume never turned bitter while the aroma followed me all day long. I am sure Hermes has a lot of fans with such creations. The smell is like orange peals covered in sugar and dipped in brandy. Super perfume indeed !!!!!
I received a sample of this from a friend.
In a nutshell: It's a very strong, intense orange creamsicle and is almost identical to Laura Biagiotti's Roma per Uomo, except that the Eau des Merveilles is so much stronger.
If you want a light version of this, Roma per Uomo is the way to go and relatively cheap. You should be able to get a bottle of it for around $30 on Ebay.