9 Sep 2012

Review: Hermes L'Ambre des Merveilles

Hermès has released a new perfume, called L'Ambre des Merveilles, which translates to The Amber of Wonder in English. By amber they mean the amber stone created from the resin of trees, fossilized over many thousands of ears within the Earth. The bottle above (100ml Eau de Parfum) resembles the stone, and stands leaning slightly to the side.


The perfume was created by the perfumist Jean-Claude Ellena, who wanted to create a decidedly feminine note without floral elements, rather with woodsy elements. The scent is a mix of vanilla, Patchouli and Labdanum, the latter of which is a sticky brown resin attained from rockrose shrubbery, often used for perfume. Perfumes that are named after amber don't actually contain the precious ingredient, but is often used to describe the type of scent created by mixing vanilla and Labdanum, which creates the honey-amber-colored perfume.

So what do I think of this scent?

I admit I was skeptical at first, because Hermès is not the type of brand I would ever choose to describe my personality. I always picture rich old ladies shopping there for purses and scarves; however, I also associate it with timeless, classic style and sophistication. This is exactly how I would describe the scent.

It is a beautiful perfume that is very elegant, high-class and sophisticated, without being edgy, cool or adventurous. It is feminine without being baby-ish, grown-up without being stuffy, elegant without being cloying. It might not be the first perfume I would grab off the shelf to buy, but it has definitely grown on me and I would wear this on a night out when I want to feel like a perfect lady. The lasting power is also incredible, since it is an Eau de Parfum, not an Eau de Toilette. A little goes a long way and lasts for many hours.

Two negatives: For one, it doesn't come with a proper bottle cap. There was a round plastic tube "thingee" supplied with it, but it's not a proper cap. So you cannot really close the perfume bottle for traveling, which is a nuisance. I like to take my perfumes with me for touching up, so unless you fill this into a travel size bottle, you run of the risk of it accidentally spraying in your bag. Definitely a "leave at home" bottle then. It struck me as very odd.

Second - well, let's face it: The Price! Hermès isn't exactly in the same price category as Bath and Body Works, or even mid-range perfumes like D&G or Boss, etc. I only was supplied the prices for the Swiss market (50ml Eau de Parfum 128 Swiss Franks, 100ml Eau de Parfum 182 Swiss Franks) but I imagine the prices are pretty high for other countries as well. The question then becomes, are you willing to pay for Hèrmes prices, or are you able to find another similar perfume in a slightly lower price class that you like equally?

If you like grown-up (but not old-lady) perfumes and don't mind spending a bit more for Hermès, I would definitely check this one out.

What is your favorite perfume for fall and winter? Share in the comments!


  1. Anonymous8:42 pm

    i really liked hermes perfume called: Un jardin sur le toit.you should try it next time u check in a store

  2. Anonymous9:13 pm

    For winter, my favourite has long been Stella McCartney. It has a strong, but not overpowering, scent that's hard for me to describe but every time I wear it I get compliments on it.

  3. Elizabeth Booth11:32 pm

    hm I have over 100 perfumes, I should consider reviewing them haha. Anywho, I don't know about fall or winter favorites, need to think about that but one of my favorite perfumes is Christian Dior J'adore. I guess it could fit nice as a winter perfume. It's sort of my all around fav and I get lots of compliments on it. Some very nice "evening" perfumes that I like are Christian Dior Midnight Poison, Versace Man, and Calvin Klein Obsession Night. Christian Dior again being my favorite, I really like this one. It's definitely a seductive evening perfume. It makes me feel like a temptress lol. While on the flip-side J'adore is sweeter and more heavenly.

  4. Anonymous12:28 am

    Oohhh i will have to try this out! My husband got me one a few ywars back for christmas, it was an orange bottle, dont know mame off top of my head without going to look at it :) lovely smell :)

  5. Anonymous9:27 pm

    Flower Bomb

  6. As someone who has over 75 bottles of perfume, I can honestly say the best are: Euphoria by Calvin Klein, Amarige by Givenchy, Alien by Thierry Mughler, Lolita Lempicka by Lolita Lempicka, and Chance by Chanel.

    Maesbeauty, I think the perfume is called Eau Claire Des Merveilles. I have that one myself!

  7. Anonymous4:45 pm

    If you got the perfume straight from the company to review that is probably why it is missing a perfume cap. I work at a beauty supply store an that's how all our tester perfumes come, with a little grey plastic cap.

  8. Your picture of Hermes might not be accurate. Last time I was at an Hermes boutique there was a young woman wearing a tube top and chewing gum.

  9. Anonymous2:21 am

    This is a lovely perfume in all its permutations! I just picked it up today at Sephora with the Friends and Family 20% discount! Sweet! The price range for this perfume in not exhorbitant- it is in line with other designer fragrances and a lot cheaper than many niche brands.

  10. This perfume costs 25% of my current salary, if u can believe it :) so, don't complain about it's price :)