Hermès Elixir des Merveilles, 2006

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Perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena

It’s ironic that Hermès, with its emphasis on luxury, taste and class distinction, the first step to which is clear identifiability to those who desire them, would make such a neither/nor fragrance. Orange peel, but not edible (almost gourmand.) Chewy, resinous woodiness (almost oriental.) A tonka basenote that takes the edge off the sweetness (not quite fougère.)

There is a density, a viscosity that suggests something highly caloric, but I think is more of an illusion of orange over a dense peru balsam, tonka-vanilla note that hints at caramel

Elixir des Merveilles is a deliberately overlapped perfume. Layers of sweet, woody tones focus attention on the common ground among the notes, not the borders between them. The risk is that Elixir des Merveilles might read as indistinct. The upshot is that it suggests an ambiguity that can be very alluring, and as most men tend to steer clear of ambiguity in fragrance, perhaps Elixir would make a great men’s fragrance.

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