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.
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