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 says:

    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 says:

    Great review! Love the crusty/crunchy!

  • tiffanie says:

    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 says:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      hey spring-Pansy,
      Have you ever tried Sel et Vetiver by the Different company? It’s a much cleaner ending, salty grasses.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    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 says:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      Hiya Gigi,
      We who love it, really love it. I think there’s a switch in our brains that lights up when we smell it.
      Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    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.


    • Portia says:

      Ha! Three of the world’s deepest frag connoisseurs. I would have LOVED to be a fly on that wall.
      Yeah, I don’t need to be challenged with every breath I take every day either.
      Portia xx

  • Ingeborg says:

    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. says:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      Hey LisaC,
      I think the trick is a one hour respritz to fix it and give longevity.
      Portia xx

      • Lisa C. says:

        Thanks, Portia, I think I will. If I fall in love with it, it won’t be first time something didn’t appeal the first time and, later, became a new favorite.

        P.S. Apologies for being cranky about the pronunciation. I tried to edit the post but iPad sent it without my permission (or so I told the iPad). I do, however, blame department store perfume sellers who, in some half-attempt to sound chic, pronounce eau de perfume as oooh-deee-parfooom, for making a lot of American women sound, well, embarassing. I haven’t figured out why ‘eau’ gets pronounced correctly and they wing it on the ‘de’ and turn ‘parfum’ into something that sounds like something from a weather report, like some wind hitting only department stores…par-foooom! But I digress ,-).

  • Tatiana says:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      Hey there Tatiana,
      Great to see you.
      Isn’t it amazing how we all can wear the same scent and have a completely different ride.
      Portia xx

  • Patchgirl says:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      Hey Patchgirl,
      Yeah, light but insistent towards the end. I lose it and then suddenly it’s all around me again and again.
      Enjoy your Elixir.
      Portia xx

  • Meredith says:

    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

  • 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!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Michelle,
      It seems to be a polarising end. It works for me too. Love that salty sweet dock under the glamour.
      Portia x

  • jenbat says:

    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 says:

    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 says:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      Hey rosarita313,
      This seems a common theme. what a bummer. Do you get similar with Dune?
      Portia xx

      • HeidiC says:

        Yes! That’s it exactly! I was trying to place that experience. I haven’t tried EdM, but that was my history with Dune — I had a bottle, which I wore occasionally, but swapped away because of the sour base on me. I loved it for the first hour, and then it just got weird. If EdM is similar, I might pass on trying it.

  • sarahpatto says:

    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. says:

    Your French pronunciation is not even close. The correct pronunciation would be something close to:

    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.

    • Portia says:

      Hey LisaC,
      Thanks. I got the pronunciation from Google so no sweat for me. I speak French like a native Australian, i.e. not at all. More memory of Latin than French yet both of them nearly nothing. Studied Hindi for a year too, only swear words left,
      Sorry to scratch your crazy.
      Portia xx

      • Lisa D says:

        Portia, I forgive you totally and completely for botching the French pronunciation. In fact, I “don’t give a stuff” if you speak French like a native or not (see what I did there?). Call me a bitch in Hindi, baby. XOXO

  • Nebbe says:

    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 says:

    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.