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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Frequent Questions: Differences Between the Hermes Merveilles Perfume Editions, Flankers & Limited Editions (With Photos)

Among perfumes with several confusing similarly-named editions there are a few. You can check PerfumeShrine's previous entries on the different flankers/perfume editions of Dior Poisons, the many flankers/limited editions of Dior best-seller J'Adore, the various reformulations/repackaging of Miss Dior Cherie, the super confusing group of fragrance editions by Rodriguez Narciso For Her with their differences highlighted, the Etro Via Verri original and reformulated editions, the Shiseido Zen perfume editions ...and there's surely going to be more!
Today I'm going to offer an illustrated guide to sort out the confusion attested regarding one fragrance among those with a dedicated cult following: Eau de Merveilles and its by now many flankers and limited editions issued by the venerable house of Hermès.

Timeline, Info and Notes for Different Hermès "Merveilles" Fragrance Editions with pics: 



Eau de Merveilles (2004) 
Pefumers: Ralf Schwieger and Nathalie Feisthauer
Eau de Toilette concentration
Notes: ambergris, pink pepper, violet, fir, oakmoss, orange, lemon, cedar, elemi, Madagascar vetiver

The main theme of this truly original fragrance, this "water of wonders", and the reason it's a deserved cult is the orange-shaded ambergris salty impression of skin, resolutely non-floral for a marketed to women fragrance (although perfectly unisex in all practical purposes!) and "natural" smelling in its overall impression, negating the notion that the person wearing it is wearing a perfume.
Technically speaking the intriguing thing is Eau de Merveilles collapses the traditional pyramidal structure entirely, as all the woody-musky notes are on top, rather than the base of the fragrance, getting the ambergris note upfront in large print.


Parfum des Merveilles  (2005)
Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
Extrait de Parfum concentration
Notes: Oak, patchouli, mosses, amber, Peru balsam, tears of Siam, Davaba, Cognac note, leaves, roots
A concentrated composition with more intense resinous ingredients which Jean Claude Ellena worked on while the original was selling its first bottles.


Parfum des Merveilles (2006)
Limited edition of the Parfum des Merveilles of 2005 extrait de parfum in Saint-Louis blue crystal (same juice)
Extrait de Parfum concentration



Elixir des Merveilles (2006) 
Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
Eau de Parfum concentration
Notes: Peru balsam, vanilla sugar, amber, sandalwood, tonka bean, patchouli, siam resin, caramel, oak, incense, orange peel and cedar.

Hermes Elixir des Merveilles is a quite different formula rather than just an EDP concentration of the original Eau de Merveilles, focusing on more resinous chypre elements highlighted rather than the ambergris woody notes of the EDT version. It is succulent, warmer and less salty than the original and relatively tenacious. 



Eau de Merveilles Constellation (2006) 
Limited edition of the original formula of Eau de Merveilles of 2004 (same juice)
Eau de Toilette concentration
The bottles features an etched illustration of the classic chariot of the house under a star constellation.


Eau de Merveilles Pegase (2007)
Limited edition of the original formula of Eau de Merveilles of 2004 (same juice)
Eau de Toilette concentration
The bottle features an illustration of the flying horse Pegasus from the Greek mythology.


Eau Claire des Merveilles (autumn 2010) 
Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
Eau de Parfum concentration

This new interpretation of the "magical water" boasts  airy notes alongside the sophisticated woody notes and warm ambergris of the original. It incorporates powdery soft vanilla, airy notes and for the first time a few abstract floral notes to give a luminous character. The overall impression of Eau Claire des Merveilles is of a musky vanilla scent with softly powdery ambience. 




Eau de Merveilles Au Bal des Etoiles (February 2012) [i.e. Ball of the Stars]
Limited edition of the original formula of Eau de Merveilles of 2004 (same juice)
Eau de Toilette concentration
The bottle features a "dragonfly fairy" design by illustrator Alice Charbin.






L'Ambre des Merveilles (summer 2012)
Perfumer: Jean-Claude Ellena
Eau de Parfum concentration
Notes: amber, labdanum, patchouli and vanilla.

The emphasis on L'Ambre des Merveilles is on the classical ingredient used to render an "amber" base blend: labdanum with all its leathery-sweet-intimate aspects in place. 


All the bottles in the Hermes Merveilles series routinely come in 50ml/1.7oz and 100ml/3.4oz sizes, with the occasional 15ml/0.5oz travel size issued (same as the Hermessences coffret shape and size) except for the parfum and limited edition bottles, of course.

pics via fragrantica.com and basenotes.net

30 comments:

  1. Thank you! Very helpful.

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  2. K,

    you're welcome! Needed to get done by someone, I guess.

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  3. Anonymous15:41

    I just love it when you do this, E! Your various posts on how to differentiate between vintages, flankers etc are always so comprehensive and easy to read. I wish the perfume houses had as clear thinking as you do.

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  4. Anonymous16:07

    Elixir de Merv. is still my favorite. Th saltiness is just so perfct. I have been wearing it this summer, and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean. It's just so perfect!
    Helg, do you know what happened to the Perfume Of Life Forum? Will it be back?
    I hope you're well, and that you get some time at the beach too. I bet you are spoiled for choice . I still dream of those beaches with dark sand abd turquoise water.

    Sincerely,
    Carole

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  5. MariaA17:25

    Great article!! Wow and I had the conversation about all the Merveilles with a friend who is looking to find "the right one she liked". This will solve her problem!!

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  6. brie21:08

    How can it be that I never sampled the original? I would probably love it: salty skin and all! But the bottles alone are enough to make me want to buy every single version :) I have this obsession with uniform bottles which is one of the reasons I have bought the limited edition Escadas every year since 1994 (the only year I am missing is 93 Chiffon Sorbet). I love the way uniform bottles in different colors look in my bathroom.

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  7. Ramona04:05

    This is one of my top 10 perfumes in all it's iterations. I have Elixer and Eau in the constellation bottle and am so looking forward to the amber version. There is just something undefinable about this fragrance that has me hooked. I have never smelled anything like it before- it is simultaneously warm, human, comforting but also fantastical and imaginative. It is understated and when I wear it I will suddenly smell it as I move this way or that, and the beauty of it always takes me by surprise. Its reminds me of being a kid and waking on Christmas morning and running to the Christmas tree knowing something good will be waiting, but still taken by surprise by the beauty of twinkling lights and beautifully wrapped gifts and you just heave an involuntary gasp!

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  8. You know Helg, sometimes they just do toooooo many scents in a line!

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  11. I love seeing the whole family of disc bottles in a row! One of my favorite flacon designs ever. Eau Claire des Merveilles is the one I like best so far: not as sweet as Elixir (which I don't care for) , and not quite as dry as the original (which I do love all the same). Eau claire has been a go-to during these ultra hot summer months. Must try the Ambre!

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  12. Anon,

    thank you! Hope it is useful indeed.

    Sometimes I dream of perfume houses operating on a librarian's mojo ;-)

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  13. Carole,

    I like Elixir myself very much. It's decadently sweet chyprish and at the same time understated saltish skin-friendly.

    I know mr.Dame is terribly busy with setting up shop for his new distribution and he has stalled the forum for a while in the process. Alas, we can't do much. C'est la vie. I do hope (and believe) he will reinstate it. I miss it too!

    Spoilt for choice regarding beaches and summery locations indeed. I will savour as much as possible, promise! :-)

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  14. Maria,

    just love this things of spontaneous synchronicity! Thanks for letting me know and for directing her here.
    :-)

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  15. Brie,

    I hate to say this out loud, but the uniformity is one of the very reasons I was initially drawn to the Lutens line. I loved the scents too, but that Spartan architectural look of the bottles....oh my!

    Do try the original, supremely easy to wear. Feels like your own skin. The rest are also very good.

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  16. Ramona,

    you describe the experience so very beautifully, thanks for sharing it with us on the Shrine!
    It is as you say. A unique scent and with plenty of good flankers too (an anomaly in the world of flankers)

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  17. M,

    yup, which is why my detective mode gets working to sort out the different clues. LOL!!

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  18. Quimbly,

    the bottles do look great when stacked one after the other, the complimentary colour scheme is so attractive too (that deep orangey hue that is so Hermes)

    I need to retry the Eau Claire. I liked it but never got a bottle of it. Wonder why. Off to retest at first chance!

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  19. The bottle's designs are definitely unique. It makes the scent/whats inside look more inviting.

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  20. Let us know what you think when you retest the Eau claire! I've been living in it this summer. [Sorry for my glitchy posts with deletes above, too. Aargh).

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  21. Thank you for sorting it all out for us. For a minute there, I was confused with all the editions and different bottles that contained the same juice. LOL

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  22. Cheryl,

    I found myself liking it very much! I can't not agree that it's lovely and would be a perfect summery scent for when one wants a little sweet powder.

    (never mind about the glitchy posts, Blogger is weird)

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  23. King,

    we aim to please :-)

    Seriously, it needed a bit of sorting out because when there is a limited edition with different bottle but same juice it's a waste of money for people who are not bottle collectors. And on the reverse, it's disappointing to think you're buying something you know, only to find out it's a twist on the thing you expected (no matter how good a twist).

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  24. Elixir is my go to perfume regardless of any season. I love it's warm limgering sweet scent that is not overpowering., and it last forever unlike the EDT.

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  25. Mags,

    I know what you're saying. I love the Elixir as well. And if some deem it a bit retro, then all the worse for them.
    I think the work Ellena did for the Merveilles brand is great. (I love the Ambre as well and I'm not usually mad about ambers)

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  26. I went to berlin to the baccarat store some years ago (maybe 2006), fell in love with one of the three limited edition scents in 3 different colored bottles. I would love to find these scents if possible if anyone even knows about them. They were priced at $1200 US. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi Peacelover welcome to the Shrine!

      You must be talking about these
      http://perfumeshrine.blogspot.com/2010/08/baccarat-trio.html

      Alas they're almost impossible to find now. A lone bottle sporadically makes an appearance on Ebay if that helps.

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  27. does anyone know of the 3 limited edition perfumes I saw in the baccarat store in berlin (possibly 2006) they were approx 1200 US dollars. They came in 3 different colored bottles I recall. thanks

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