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Elixir des Merveilles

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Hermès Elixir des Merveilles opens with pungent orange candied peel, topped with bitter almost smoky chocolate, and a vanilla biscuit. Its dense sweetness fades fairly quickly and the more savoury aspects come up from the heart, a layer of earthy resins from the balsam, cedar, and oak, which leads the opening orange accord into darker, much more interesting territory. What you thought was going to become a gourmand scent is obviously not. The resins give Elixir des Merveilles a salty nuance, like the smell of fallen leaves on damp ground, slightly musty and acrid.
This dry-down is different, unexpected, and over the next hour it develops further with the creamy sandalwood, incense, patchouli, and amber, which transform it one more time, but now into a beautiful elegant powdery frag. I get bits of vanilla and caramel to remind me of the foody beginning, and the orange is still there, but  the mix is now mostly rich amber with woods and incense, accented slightly by tonka bean with its dark choco/coffee waft. It’s full and rich but soft at the same time, and quite extraordinary.
Notes: Orange Peel, caramel, biscuit accord (vanilla, tonka bean, milk), sandalwood, incense, resins: Peru balsam and balsam of Siam, oak, patchouli, cedar and ambergris.
Type: EdP
Parfumeur: Jean-Claude Ellena

Price: $5.00