L’Ambre des Merveilles

Hermes launched its newest flanker to Eau de Merveilles without a lot of fluff or fanfare, and that seems appropriate. Maybe more than any of the other flankers, each of which has been well done in its own way, L’Ambre des Merveilles has what helped make Eau de Merveilles a success in the first place: presence.

L’Ambre (created by Jean-Claude Ellena) opens with some recognizable Eau des Merveilles elements: bittersweet, salty orange mixed with pepper, woods, and a foamy wash of ambergris (which is not a listed note, but I smell it or something like it). But in L’Ambre, the saltiness and the woods are not as stark and synthetic as they were in the original (an effect I loved, but this is something different and equally good). In L’Ambre, the salty quality goes velvety, with lots of vanilla and a very sheer amber. It is suggestive, not cozy. This is the fragrance Jennifer Aniston should have been wearing in the moodier, sexier advertisements for her perfume (see above).

I appreciated the original Eau de Merveilles for using a synthetic framework to create an organic impression. L’Ambre is a way to re-experience what I liked about Eau de Merveilles, but with a twist. Exactly what a flanker should be.

My only beef: I wish it was a little more diffusive.

For another review of Hermes L’Ambre des Merveilles, see Suzanne’s Perfume Journal.

Image courtesy CelebrityPhotos.SheKnows.com. Sample was my own acquisition. Reviews are never compensated, and posts are never sponsored. See my Media & Disclosure policy for details.

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30 responses

  1. I smelled it recently (on a blotter) and thought that it was OK but it wasn’t special enough for me to want a bottle… Since you like it that much I will try it on skin the next time I see it at a store.

  2. Sounds nice – but you summed up what I detest about the recent Ellena work “suffers from being a little too sheer” – I call it synthetic and translucent. The Hermessence line and The DIfferent Company and the like, are all like, my anti perfumes. I’m not a fan :’)

  3. I enjoyed reading about your history with the original perfume, Natalie and your reaction to the newest incarnation. Too bad it’s so terribly quiet.

    I can’t seem to tolerate saltiness in perfumes but maybe I’ll get on with this version as it has a different texture to it.

    • Thank you, Tara. I think this one is less salty than the original, and less salty than something like Sensuous Nude, so maaaybe? But I’m guessing maybe not. :(

  4. I don’t think I’ll rush to try this if it is as sheer as you say, because I have the original Eau des Merveilles, and it is already the right amount of sheer for me (I guess what I’m saying is that I view that one as being very quiet, but it works … not sure I would want it hushed even further). Even so, I loved reading your post and seeing that absolutely gorgeous photo of Jennifer Aniston.

    • Interesting! The original doesn’t go terribly sheer or quiet on me, so this was unexpected with this flanker. I’m glad you like the original though; I wouldn’t have pegged you as an Eau de Merveilles wearer.

  5. Managed to pick up samples of the original Merveilles and the first two flankers at Sephora in the States on my recent trip (my local Sephora doesn’t carry the Hermès line, unfortunately) but they didn’t have the Ambre. Hopefully I can acquire some the next time I get into Holt Renfrew, because I plan on binging on all four at once. We’ll see how my scent-glue skin does with these.

  6. I tried it yesterday and I really like it. I don’t find it too sheer, I think it would be perfect when you want something not too overwhelming-like in the workplace. A very calming scent as well!

  7. How lovely, this perfume could almost be a metaphor for the evolution of you and your husband’s relationship! I liked this very much too, although it reminded me that I haven’t spent enough time with the original Merveilles.

  8. You’ve made me try it! It dries down on my skin very much like Eau claire des merveilles (which I also like very much). I think Ambre and Eau claire are my favorite sof the bunch. Sometimes the original is a bit too dry; the Elixir is always too sticky for me. I’m such a sucker for *all* of the Merveilles bottles. Love the gold edge on this new one.

  9. Pingback: Sampling Notes: l’Ambre des merveilles « Perfumed Letters

  10. I recently read on Twitter that Birgit has been wearing this one for 10 days’ straight. Between that nugget of info and your review, I am mighty curious about it now!

  11. Pingback: Best & Worst of 2012: Perfume and Miscellany « another perfume blog

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