Eau des Merveilles by Hermès 2004

Hey there Posse, Eau des Merveilles (O D merv-A-yah) which means Water Of Wonders is one of the best loved of the Hermès ranges by perfumistas because it’s so damn weird, yet totally wearable. It’s like the salted/amber/woods version or freaky gorgeous rubber/vanilla/leather BVLGARI Black. On initial spritz I was like, ErMerGerd! This shit is FOUL. For both of them but then they grow on you and suddenly you’re craving them like, well, like someone who craves something A LOT! Yep, I’m really good at the writing and thinking today, clearly.

Eau des Merveilles by Hermès 2004

eau-des-merveilles-hermes-fragrantica Eau des MerveillesFragrantica

Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange, Lemon
Heart: Amber, Pepper, Pink pepper, Violet
Base: Oakmoss, Fir, Vetiver, Cedar

So though I love Eau des Merveilles it’s not something I use all the time so instead of buying a full bottle I have been using decants. This is my third and Surrender To Chance also have Roller Balls so this time I decided to get a 5ml Roller Ball which is perfect in my day to day travel pack slipped into my backpack. From the Roller Ball I’m getting a much richer, longer lasting version of Eau des Merveilles that is less sillage powerful. It’s like putting a parfum version on, no I have no idea why.

So Water Of Wonders? Supposed to be based on Ambergris. Yeah, I get that. A lovely recreation of it when I think about it. Ralf Schwieger and Nathalie Feisthauer created an enduring Hermès masterpiece.

eau-des-merveilles-hermes-unsplash-pexelsjpg Eau des MerveillesPDI

The citrus on open is already crusty with seasalt and has the zing of pepper making it fizz gently. It must be the amber but my head is telling me there’s also some creamy white flower hiding in the waves here. Dry vetiver and driftwoods that have spent years bobbing around the world’s oceans before making landfall. Imagine the cleanest. most pristine beach with only a few pieces of drift and zero seaweed and dead fish. It’s fresh and refreshing while also having a warmth that suggests sunlight heating my skin and that fabulously crunchy feel as you start drying from swimming in the ocean.

Further reading: Candy Perfume Boy and Olfactoria’s Travels
Eau des Merveilles is available in most department stores
Surrender To Chance has samples from $3/ml

Have you tried Eau des Merveilles or any of the long list of flankers? What are your thoughts?
Portia xxx


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Ann February 7, 2017

Sorry, I'm late to the party, Portia, but just wanted to say that I love this stuff, too! It is wonderful with a little weird thrown in (just perfect for a perfume)! Thanks!

Doreen February 6, 2017

Great review! Love the crusty/crunchy!

tiffanie February 3, 2017

Eau des Merveilles is true love for me, and true love lasts a lifetime. Agree that EdM is odd and off-kilter in a wonderful way, all the more reason to love the tilting bottle. But it is magical, in warm weather I get a salty orange scent, in the cold it is more pepper and pine. Like Gigi I can't always smell Eau Claire, it's does a disappearing trick sometimes. So strange.

Spring-pansy February 3, 2017

Interesting - I love the salty citrus opening - like Rosarita (waving to A!) and others. But something in the drydown bothers me also. I thought maybe it was a stealth patchouli. But maybe it's ambergris or ambergris plus pepper plus stealth patchouli... I keep trying as I've so wanted to love this, but I don't think we're going to be an item. I, too, love the bottles.

Tara C February 3, 2017

I love EdM but am sensitive to some ingredient in it which irritates my skin. I can get away with it on my arms but not my torso, so I spritz my wrosts when I want to wear it, which is in summer only.

Gigi February 3, 2017

I am wearing this today...no surprise really as I wear it at least once a week. Love love love it. Since I went down the rabbit hole this is the only bottle I've drained. The salty goodness really suits me, I think and seems right for any season & occasion. The Elixir is not far behind but like it better or wintertime. Ambre des Merveilles is a little too "too" for me and Eau Claire (is that one discontinued?) I just can't smell at all.

Musette February 2, 2017

March, Alyssa Harad & I had a Merveilles Moment in Barneys. I got pinched for giving it 'faint praise' but, to be honest, I actually like it. It's one of those 'different-but-safely different' scents that are usually done to perfection by the larger Houses. I say that because, as a larger House, they tend to want to make it reasonably accessible to the mainstream public (yes, even Hermes). That makes it more wearable for me. I enjoy unique scents, just not usually for all-day wear. xoxoxoA

Ingeborg February 2, 2017

I only know L'Ambredes Merveilles, perfect from September and through winter. I own a bottle and use this scent as an easy go-to when it is too cold for most of my citrus scents.

Lisa C. February 2, 2017

I was given samples if this and, as a fan of most Hermes scents, expected to like it but found it kind of faint and undistinguished. I think that it deserves another try now. I'm currently enthralled with Chanel's Beige.

Tatiana February 2, 2017

One of my favorites. I have a LE bottle from a number of years back that is blue with the Hermes pegasus on it. One of the few perfumes I have drained and repurchased. I also love the L'Ambre des Merveilles for cooler days. Didn't like the Elixir des Merveilles as much.

Patchgirl February 2, 2017

Love Eau de Merveilles, though it's a little light after an hour or two. I use it for business meetings when I want understated on the fumes. I much prefer L'Ambre des Merveilles, but I love pretty much all ambers. As I write a bottle of the Elixir des Merveilles is on its way to me. I sampled in the store and loved it a while back, and as my Theorema is running low I think it has the same feel.

Meredith February 2, 2017

Hey Portia, I adore Eau de Merveilles as well. I received a mini as part of a swap ages ago and fell in love immediately! It's now a go-to for summer and for island holidays- it smells divine in warm suntanned skin rubbed with Nuxe Huile Prodiguese. Thanks Floyd I don't have to able to pronounce these things to enjoy them! xx

Michelle J Little February 2, 2017

I tried Eau des Merveilles for the first time a few weeks ago and actually really liked the top notes- but soon thought it was kind of light and barely there- but then as the day went on something happened- it kept getting better and better, couldn't stop smelling myself, by the dry down I was in love and didn't want it to end but didn't really know why!

jenbat February 2, 2017

I am with Rosarita313 on this one, I keep trying this to see if I'll like it, but on me it dries down to something sweetly icky. Oh well! Plenty other Hermes' to like.

Tiara February 2, 2017

I like this but prefer L'Ambre Des Merveilles. Smooths out some of the rough edges I get with Eau Des Merveilles. Have to agree with Nebbe on the bottles--love the tilt.

rosarita313 February 2, 2017

I have a rocky history w/EdM - bought a bottle, swapped it, missed it, swapped for another bottle then swapped it away too. I really like the salty citrus but I get something weird in the base that irritates me after a while, boo.

sarahpatto February 2, 2017

heh heh heh to the pronunciation lesson! v. important, I agree. As to Eau des Merveilles, I want very much to love it and I do for the first few moments but there is something, something rancid in the dry down that smells as though I've been in a greasy fast food joint for the night! What is it?

Lisa C. February 2, 2017

Your French pronunciation is not even close. The correct pronunciation would be something close to: oh-day-mare-vayyyy. Sorry, but it's a pet peeve of mine to see some French words pronounced a la francais (the eau=oh) and the others botched totally. Had the name been "Eau de ..." it would have been pronounced oh-der (with the r silent but hinted at). But neither de or des are pronounced as the English 'D'. I keep hearing 'eau de parfum' pronounced as 'oh- der-par-foom' in the United States. Which is bizarre since the resulting phrase is neither French nor English but some odd mess of both...the 'eau' being pronounced vaguely correctly, the 'de' being mispronounced totally and the 'parfum' being neither French nor English and the speaker sounds both pretentious and uninformed at the same time.

Nebbe February 2, 2017

I've so wanted these to work for me, but all the Merveilles curdle on my skin :( Love reading about them, though, and the bottles are fabulous.

tandaina February 2, 2017

Eau des Merveilles is my summer signature. I wear her most days with the occasional change here and there. Utterly lovely, doesn't get oppressive in the heat, and just smells delightful. L'Ambre is also really nice, far more cold weather for me with that caramel gooey amber goodness. Those are the two I've got but they are both so good and such solid perfumes I'd love to try the rest as I suspect I'd find a little niche for all of them.