Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Elixir des Merveilles by Hermès

Total Reviews: 43
Elixir des Merveilles, like it's bottle, is indeed golden and it doesn't want to be what you want to call it.

Despite the listed notes it's not a full gourmand, not an incense caravan, nor pure dry woods affair or a tropical amber flanker either. Neither animal, vegetable, or mineral and yet all three at once. Impressionistic, everything about it is "the suggestion of".

It instantly jolts one back to the original Eau des Merveilles, it's a clear member of their family, but it's different, more syrupy and a bit richer, just like the bottle's color.

There's the orange, more candied or boozy than fresh along with whiffs of "maybe" earthy dark chocolate (the moss, the various woods, a hint of cumin and resins) while the Merveilles' lines vague nautical theme, Aphrodite-like blossoms through a wave of sea-salt caramel, emphasis on the sea. It's not so much a true caramel, there is no burnt sugar, but the sum of varied components; additional resinous or vaguely balsamic amber or ambergris, clean musks and white flowers, and tonka mingling with lingering woods (cedar shavings) patchouli and a modern slightly barbershop "fresh" marine soap (sunscreen-esque) creating an impression of warm "skin".

A bit unusual, but also familiar and delicious.
08th April, 2020
APPLES AND BISCUITS BY PAUL CEZANNE
15th December, 2018
A certain... natural feminine musk, shall we say.

At least that's what I thought on my first wearing. Ah, what a young nose. It didn't put me off too much, as I'm into that kinda stuff. But that was about two years ago, so it must have left an impression. Maybe I wasn't willing to walk around smelling like I'd just enjoyed a marathon lovemaking session. Love that smell, but not as a lingering, all-day presence.

Transitioning from retail work to an office environment has been fun times for my fragrance wardrobe. It's given me the confidence to break out my more challenging scents, as in retail the wrong note could entirely put off a customer and ruin your whole day. In an office, no one cares unless it's loud and in your face.

So with high hopes, and some leftover apprehension, I wore Hermes Elixir des Merveilles. It's a scent of surprising contradictions. Breezy, sticky. Sweet, salty. Soapy, dirty. Feels more like an aura than an afterglow. Comforting in a way I didn't expect, based on previous wearings.

Recently I've noticed that amber takes on this dusty playdough vibe when I smell it. I get that here, combined with a sticky, caramel orange. Sounds like it would be heavy, but it's light enough. Works for me. I dig it.
08th July, 2018
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Resinous. Slight vacillating, sweetness. Light woody, balsamic flavor. Salty. Smoky. The Tonka bean is a bit too much. Better for cooler weather.
08th June, 2018
this is the Narnia scent;

of when those children step outside the wooden wardrobe into the mystical pine forests of Narnia

truly magic

08th September, 2017
I think I finally get this - and when I was offered a 30 ml in a swap, I decided to spring for it. It is by far the most bizarre of this entire "line" of scents (at what point does a flanker begin its own line?), and that is what made me come back - if this were labeled under Josh Lobb's Slumberhouse label, I believe it would have more approval - I mean, it is really weird...and wearable sometimes...but then it gets weird again. I like it like that.

Anyway, if you've always wished Josh would make an amber for the masses (he made "A", but that was not for the masses), and wondered what weird stuff you could do to amber, this is it...until Josh decides he wants to expand on "A" (hint hint).
23rd July, 2017
A very strong, sticky, pure, resinous amber with an animalistic side. It smells like my redhead's skin when I've been under the sun, only stronger, with an orange peel touch.
So so so great. Full bottle worthy. I feel it's masculine. Unisex for sure.
15th May, 2017
I’ve smelled quite a few “beachy” scents over the years, and I own several that I think are really exceptional, but nothing quite smells like the sun, sand, and sea to me than Elixir des Merveilles. That impression was overwhelming the first time I smelled it, and it’s stuck in my nose to this day.

That’s not to say there are any of the usual suntan lotion suspects in this—mostly it’s a conflation of foody and woody notes interwoven top to bottom with orange peel. But instead of smelling heavy and weird to me, what I smell each and every time I spritz this is a tremendously good-natured outdoorsy scent evocative of salt-tinged, sun-baked summer days at the beach. While I don’t reach for it often day-to-day, it’s the first bottle I toss in my bag when I go on vacation.
05th March, 2017
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.
05th December, 2016
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...
18th July, 2015
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

15th May, 2015
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 !!!!!
23rd August, 2014
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.
04th March, 2014
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

This tangerine scented fragrance really holds it's own. It has a slight vanilla note which balances it out from having that orange peel vibe. The woodiness helps simmer it down a notch. Without the wood note, this one would probably be a disaster. Overall, it's an ok fragrance but not one that I will be rushing to purchase again.
30th October, 2013 (last edited: 04th November, 2013)
Subtle yet provocative spicy citrus

If you love DandG Light Blue but you are looking for something that lasts longer or you are looking to make a statement without saying a word, this Elixir is just for you! It speaks for you as you enter a room. As strong as the citrus/tangerine notes are, other tones stepping forward almost equally strong is that of a freshly chopped tree infused with a hint of cinnamon and oriental spice. I love a powerful scent that doesn't leave the aftertaste of soap and powder like some strong chypres tend to do. Powerful musky scents also shoo's me off. But with this scent my first impression was tantalizing!! Comparable to that moment you crack the sugar coating of citrus-infused créme brulée with the anticipation of mildly sweet, heavenly indulgence. It has that woody aroma on the border of toasted hazelnut. The initial high citrus note tones down within the first couple hours (perhaps longer) into carmelized tangerine at which point the oaky, almost leathery pepper tones become more noticable, however, magically I think, the complex citrus lingers throughout the entire day. I highly recommend this EDP to everyone in their late 20's through late 30's to try this out if you are bored with light musky florals and clouds of soapy, sneeze-enducing EDP's. This is an attention-drawing elixir (without the 'slap in the face'), so if you're shy, rather not try?

Pros: Strong but not overpowering, lasts long, good for any occasion
Cons: None comes to mind!"

06th September, 2013


When Luca Turin damned Elixir des Merveilles with faint praise (3 stars and a revue en bref: "bon chic, bon genre,") I assumed it would fade into oblivion once the industry moved on to the next trend.

Revisiting this Jean Claude Ellena creation a decade on, I can't help but think that Turin was being uncharitable in his assessment. This is a remarkably good and unusual fragrance!

First, it must be said that Ellena has toiled for years in this territory--working with weightless, novel citruses supported by atmospheric synthetic bases (Terre d'Hermes, Eau D'Orange Vert, Eau de Pamplemousse Rose, Hermes Garden series, and even the old In Love Again and Sisley Eau de Campagne). So if there was a "bon chic" effect at the time Ellena released Elixir des Merveilles, he certainly earned it!

But Elixir des Merveilles is much, much more than a trendy throwaway. It accomplishes some things that are notable in the history of perfumery:

1) The sticky orange note is one that Ellena has mastered, but it is in other fragrances all too fleeting. Here, he manages to sustain it from beginning to end. When was the last time you smelled an orange (or any citrus) for 8 hours? More to the point, when was the last time you *wanted* to?

2) The transition into the base is, well, a "wonder." The orange note remains, but is slowly enveloped in a kind of sensual musk that smells like the naked body of a beautiful woman. This is a scent for afternoon love-making if ever there was one! Leave the curtains open, refrain from alcohol or any substance that will dull your senses, and wallow wakefully in her beauty.

3) The overall density of the composition is unusual in that it is simultaneously "thick" and "weightless." There is nothing cloying or suffocating about Elixir des Merveilles, but it manages to envelop the wearer in a plush cloud for hours upon hours. I kept expecting it to turn sickly sweet and ambaric, but it remained perfectly balanced from start to finish. Of course, this is Ellena's signature, but it is impressively done here, even by his lofty standards.

4) Finally, it is just "pretty." I mean that as a high compliment. Not all modern fragrances can claim this.

Overall rating: * * * * * (masterpiece)

Highly recommended, especially for men.
09th July, 2013 (last edited: 07th January, 2019)
The main traits of this particular fragrance are in my opinion the orangy sheer facet, an almost gourmand and creamy (finally soapy) combination of caramel and vanilla providing a candied effect over the main orangy vibe, than a shadowy patchouli/dark chocolate/oakmoss chord and finally a sort of almost aromatic/ ("starry") aftertaste elicited by a subtle combination of barely mentholated resins, ambergris and dry woodsy incense. The outcome is a weird but highly sophisticated sparkling elixir, a sort of shadowy chic dark/woodsy orange with a spark of fruity-aromatic sophistication, a touch of seasoned and smokey exoticism and a dense woody/yummy foundation. A worthy feminine avant-garde potion.
24th November, 2012 (last edited: 11th February, 2013)
Elixir des Merveilles is in my opinion a good fragrance where we have a creamy orange smell giving a sweet comforting scent, but it is unbalanced compared to Eau des Merveilles which in my opinion have much more versatility than this one. Anyway, a good fragrance leaned more towards the feminine side but does not stand a chance when compared to Eau.
12th April, 2012
For me this starts off with a nice citrus peel smell but dry, not juicy, perhaps a bit bitter. Something is modifying the citrus opening and I can't tell if it is something woody like cedar, oak, incense or something else. In the middle stages I get the cedar, resin, orange, amber and patchouli, all working together in a complex harmony. No one scent really comes to the front and yet they all work together so well...a symphony. As it dries down it feels more feminine to me, but the cedar makes it more masculine. I am a man and I will wear this. Below, somebody said it as well as could be stated, "sophisticated and refined". Wish I had said that! Another Jean-Claude Ellena masterpiece.

And here I am a day later and I can still smell this in my wrist. That says quality.

Oh, the bottle is drop dead gorgeous too.

Revision: I have used my tester up and find this to be a nearly perfect scent for me. I love how this smells on me, even after dancing in the club for four hours. Finishes well and never went away. Not as powerful as my dancing partner's scent (Le Male) but it held it's own all evening. Love the woody/cedary ending, still with just a hint of orange and incense. Beautiful and masculine enough for a man yet sweet enough for a woman. More men should wear this...NO, WAIT! It's mine, you can't have it!

Revision 2: I can't live without this. I bought it today.
31st March, 2012
Ang Show all reviews
United States
I was so unsure of this fragrance, I tiptoed around it. First I smelled the bottle a few times, then sprayed it on tissue, finally spraying it on my wrist. I've never had a fragrance compliment my chemistry so well. Bitter orange, dark chocolate, dry woods, I never would have dreamed they would smell so beautiful on my skin... I was worried it would be too sweet, and on me it's not sweet at all. My only complaint would be that after reading so many reviews that claim this is a strong scent, and not a scent for everyone, I honestly wish it had a little more punch to it...
02nd February, 2012
This started out as a bright blast of sweet orange, but it was a natural orange peel kind of scent, not chemical-y at all. As the day went on the orange was smoothed out with vanilla, and the sandalwood and cedar started to come out. It's a very warm, dense perfume that lasts all day. The woods make it more of a unisex fragrance- men or women could easily wear this.

I was walking out in the cold the day I tried this fragrance, and as I huddled into my scarf the perfume was very comforting! Definitely good for cold weather.
18th January, 2012
The Hermés fragrance sales rep at Neiman Marcus tried desperately to steer me away from this fragrance as it's just too strong. I, however, like it.

On my skin, the pleasantly sweet and acidic orange dominates over the slight sweetness of its gourmand/woody notes that fight to stay in there.

Take Bond No. 9's Coney Island, replace the Margarita Mix note with Clinique Happy (for Men) and you get Elixir des Merveilles.

Another Jean Claude Ellena masterpiece.

VERY unisex.
29th November, 2011
Elixir des Merveilles is an almost, almost, not-quite. How fun that Hermès, with its emphasis on luxury, taste and class distinction, the first step to which is clear identifiability to those who desire them, would make such a neither/nor fragrance. Orange peel, but not edible (almost gourmand.) Chewy, resinous woodiness (almost oriental.) A tonka basenote that takes the edge off the sweetness (not quite fougère.)

There is a density, a viscosity that suggests something highly caloric, but I think is more of an illusion of orange over a dense peru balsam, incense and a cedar-like sandlewood. (Assumedly Australian sandlewood. If so, a wonderful use of what has been consdered the poor cousin to the depleted mysore sandlewood.)

The risk is that Elixir might read as indistinct. The upshot is that it suggests an ambiguity that can be very alluring, and as most men tend to steer clear of ambiguity in fragrance, perhaps Elixir would make a great men's fragrance.
08th September, 2011
At the risk of seeming to parrot others' reviews, Elixir de Merveilles is truly a unique fragrance, and should be at least sniffed. I normally can't wear citrus in the least bit--it immediately turns to floor cleaner upon hitting my skin. Needless to say when my fave SA (*waves to Jabel*) suggested I try this, I was leery.

My fears were for naught though, as the orange peel in EdM is less being hosed with orange juice but more taking a bite into a bittersweet chocolate-dipped orange confection. The orange is prominent and at first blast a little sweet, but it immediately scales back as the dark chocolate note melds with it. As the scent dries down the chocolate disappears and is replaced with salty caramel with a backdrop of bitter, dry woods. A dash of vanilla and tonka adds a hint of sweetness to what has become a nearly masculine fragrance. Intriguing.

All in all I find Elixir de Merveilles a bit mercurial, and borderline bipolar as it straddles the line between sweet-gourmand and austere-masculine. Being a stereotypical Gemini this is perfectly fine. I've received many compliments on EdM, and it will remain at the forefront of my scent rotation despite my heavy oriental leanings.
27th August, 2011
My absolute favourite fragrance.
It is very difficult to describe for an untrained nose like mine but it's the salty sweetness that lingers. It's longevity is outstanding with the sea, soft orange petals and a whiff of fine soap morphing in to your skin. It brings memories back of all the places I would like to be.
It is unique, there is nothing like it.
09th August, 2011 (last edited: 28th August, 2011)
Gorgeous fragrance, but maybe not for everyone. Gourmand and intoxicating, a little aloof and elegant but not especially feminine. Very special, as most Hermes fragrances are.
15th April, 2011

I see Elixir des Merveilles as a logical gourmand extension of Eau des Merveilles: they are related as far as I’m concerned. Both fragrances could easily be unisex, and both depend strongly on wood accords. Elixir opens sweetly gourmand – with an orange-flavored vanilla and caramel notes – to my nose the caramel takes prominence, but the other elements are clearly identifiable and adequately represented. There is even a wood undertone to the opening accord, and the use of wood in this fragrance is reminiscent of the wood in Eau des M… but this wood does not provide such a unique and, possibly, exotic presentation… here we have a modest sandalwood / cedar with a sophisticated resinous background which retains some of the opening’s caramel gourmand character. It’s not an overly sweet fragrance and definitely not girly… and it’s a comfortable wear.

09th January, 2011
One combination of traits that I find intoxicating is the blend of beauty with humility. Elixir des Merveilles displays these qualities, not just when it is in full bloom, but from the outset. On application it flashed me the briefest of smiles, allowing me to sample the simple charms of those sweet opening notes. Thereafter, it demonstrated a delightful reticence, a slightly candied orange accord is present, but further notes are merely insinuated, and one is invited to dig ever deeper in pursuit of further subtleties. Caramel, incense, oak, cedar and patchouli all emerge, but it is all been created with an expert nose, nothing is obvious. Stumbling upon this delightful fragrance was an extremely gratifying experience.
16th October, 2009
Asha Show all reviews
United States
Hermes Elixir des Merveilles

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 (from NowSmellThis.com)

What happens when you take a weird, top-heavy woody gourmand like Eau des Merveilles and amp up the sweetness with excessive amounts of vanilla-orange creamsicle and some chocolate? You get an orange-creme truffle of a fragrance that smells like cheap food flavorings rather than a fine fragrance. Ok, so it does smell a bit yummy, in the same way that I loved my grape flavored Bonne Bell lip gloss when I was young. I apologize to those who may love this fragrance, but to my nose it smells of inexpensive body care products. I enjoy the dissonance of dessicated cedar wood and tea contrasted with syrupy sweetness, but I can't ever see wearing this with any regularity. In other words, it is nice for an occasional diversion, but is ultimately boring, loud and unsophisticated.
01st August, 2009
I love this scent. I bought it on a whim from a person who didn't like it much. It was his wife's and she says it just didn't agree with her. She said it smelled like a men's fragrance. He should have taken her word on that and kept it. This is a wonderful frag and I see it as entirely unisex. Either he didn't like it or the power of the marketing gurus was too powerful and he just couldn't see it as a masculine scent.

The initial blast is candied orange peels. Very sweet but tempered by a spicy undertone that mixes wonderfully. I can catch the faint chocolate goodness and the vanilla. Not normally a fan of vanilla in men's frags but this is so subtle that it doesn't mess with my senses at all.

The first time I wore it I received compliments from both guys and dolls on it. Of course when I stated it was designed as a women's frag the guys were immediately turned off. Their loss.
01st July, 2009