Friday, 1 July 2011

Hermes Elixer Des Merveilles Perfume Review

I have a magical scent to share with you all today. It is from the house of Hermes, and the creator is the legendary house perfumer at Hermes,  Jean Claude Ellena..

I had an eye on this beauty for quite sometime but, it was out of my league retailing for Rs.12000+. Then one day, I stumbled in a little shop and saw it tucked up on the top shelf. I asked the price and almost choked on my coke when the shopkeeper said, it`s for Rs.4000. I regained my composure, and asked in a bored voice if I could see it. On inspecting it very VERY closely, I knew this was the real deal and and not fake. I asked him if this is his final price, and he said yes that`s what the shop owner has quoted him and further added that the shop owner was given this as a gift from some family member when he went abroad and he hated it and asked the sales man to sell it at whatever price he thinks best. I don`t know whether the owner didn`t care or was too lazy to check it`s price in the market (as its not available widely) or he didnt know just how expensive Hermes is. Whatever the reason, I was overjoyed. The shopkeeper said baji isko choro, ck k achay achay naye perfumes dekhaoon? (forget this crap, let me show you nicer perfumes  from CK) Lol. Imagine Hermes vs CK!"" Well"", I said (in a pretend bored voice)'' I was just looking and will come again''. He then said that  if I buy it today he will sell it to me for Rs.3500. I needed a brown paper bag to breathe I was that excited.
   Well to make a long story short, I bought the gem of a bottle right then and there, and lived happily ever after :) Later I got the bottle checked at a very reputable perfume dealers and they said it`s 100% genuine. I knew it! Yaaaay!
Elixir des Merveilles is the the third release in the Merveilles line. The box is a beautiful greyish silver and orange and is adorned with the classic Hermes logo,

The bottle is enough to lure you in. Beautiful.
The composition only works in cold weather on my skin. Opens up very masculine with notes of 
 bitter, aromatic orange peel and salty ambergris. Very sharp and dry. It mellows down and becomes sweeter when it has had sometime to warm up on the skin. At this stage, it smells like bitter orange peel dipped in Christmas spices, dark bitter chocolate and biscuits.The biscuit note is the strongest on me and stays till the dry down. The resin in this is  rich and thick and compliments the bitter chocolate. Elixer is quite strong, so very little is needed.The scent I sprayed on my scarf stayed true for a week! The first time I wore this, I went out to dinner and it stayed with me until I took shower the next day. So the staying power is incredible. 
 I find this perfume too spicy to be worn in the summers, but it`s just magical in the winters. It`s very abstract and has a depth to it. It changes a lot on the skin. You can tell how the scent changes from when you first spritz it on. You can smell different notes after a while, Incense is perfectly blended together with all the other notes the patchouli is very subtle. The result is salty/sweet without being too foody or gourmand.
                                         I love how the bottle tilts at an angle  

CATEGORY: Oriental  Fougere
Good for: Winters and colder months and for people who like sweet spicy, woody orangy scents.

Perfume Notes: Peru Balsam, Vanilla sugar, Ambergris, tonka bean, Patchouli, Caramel, Siam resin, Incense, Cedar, Orange peel covered in chocolate, creamy milk, vanilla biscuit, Oak and Sandalwood. 

What is Ambergris that lends a salty notes to most perfumes?
And my answer always is oh it`s whale puke :) here is a more detailed information if you`re interested.
Ambergris (pronounced am-ber-grees) is derived from French ambre gris and literally signifies “gray amber.” Ambergris is a solid, fatty, waxlike substance produced in the intestines of whales. It occurs only in the sperm whale (cachalot) and is believed to be^caused in some way by the beaks of cuttlefish that are often found in it. Cuttlefish and squids .form the chief food of the sperm whale. Although disagreeable to both sight and touch, ambergris even in the crude state exhales a pleasant, earthy fragrance faintly resembling that of sealing wax. .In color it ranges from light to dark gray and is variegated like marble. Next to choice pearls, ambergris is the most valuable product by weight taken from the sea. At present green ambergris is worth from six to twelve dollars an ounce, depending on its quality and the amount of impurities. Dry ambergris has a wholesale value of twelve’to thirty dollars an ounce. Formerly it was widely used as a medicine, but its efficacy was purely imaginary. It was also used in the Orient as an incense. Now the use of ambergris is limited almost entirely to the perfume industry, in which it is employed as a fixative to make odor essences retain their fragrance. No satisfactory substitute has been discovered for this purpose. Although it is a rare substance, occasionally large pieces weighing as much as a hundred pounds are found: There are authentic records of lumps that weighed as much as a hundred and fifty pounds. Sometimes it is taken from whales directly, but more frequently it is found floating on the waters in tropical seas, or cast upon beaches in lumps.( source:


Pyari Beauty said...

Wow you got a bargain there :) I just Googled how much it would cost here in the UK and the cheapest I could find was £80 which is around Rs.11000!

The bottle looks so beautiful and I like the shape.

Thanks for sharing the info about Ambergris it was interesting to read.

Pandora`s Box said...

Yes I feel so lucky that the shopkeeper was so daft lol and thank you.

seema ghazal said...

pretty packaging....
hey girl your deal was awesome... such a difference in price...lucky u...

Su said...

Have you seen or smelt real Ambergis? Have you smelt the synthetic stuff? Can you compare the two?

Su said...

I really like your description. Great start to a great new blog. Looking forward to read more of your posts. Good luck! x

shahtaj said...

Well,that's Pakistan for you:)I have paid hundreds for stuff that originally retail for thousands, just because the shopkeepers have no idea what they are selling ;)
I don't understand perfumes much but i can appreciate a bargain.congrats:)

Nivedita said...

It looks so yummy. I'm basically a sucker for anything that looks like an orange

Pritu said...

Hey nice work there..I am also trying o do something on my blog. Please take a look at

thanks and keep up the good work.

Pandora`s Box said...

@ Thanks seema love the packaging
@ Su Unfortunately no I havent. But I have heard it smels kind of salty/sweet in it`s raw form. And thank you for the compliment.
@shahtaj Lucky us ;)
@ Nivedita I`m in love with this :)

Pandora`s Box said...

Thanks Pritu I will definitely drop by.

Petra said...

Thanks for your sweet comment!!
Loveyour blog!!
Cute bottle, sounds good x

Clare said...

Absolutely lovely blog! Well done review as well. I would love to try this fragrance as I am a big fan of oriental scents and my body chemistry does best with windery/spicey/woodsy scents. Thanks again for the review and great pics:)

Pandora`s Box said...

@ Petra Thank you :)
@Clare Thanks. Put it in your test list, hope it works for you.

ZatZ said...

Tis too expensive :(
looks pretty! wish it was pink :P jus kidding!
ur reviews are tempting but i think i need to really save to get tis one! :)

Pandora`s Box said...

@ZatZ I know all about your love for pink :)

Bamby said...

Hermes is also my favorit parfume!!!

Pandora`s Box said...

@Bamby Girl you`v got good taste :)

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