Eau Des Merveilles was my first blind buy. I had just really gotten into fragrance, and near my workplace there was an upscale mini-mall (where I sniffed my first Diptyques) and a small fragrance shop that sold standard fragrance fare......I spotted the little orange box and fell in love with the little stars. I bought it, took it home, and hated it. Now mind you, I actually regret getting rid of that mini, if only because of its personal-historical significance for me. At the time, however, I found it too harsh, too woody, too sharp, too wrong for me.
Over the years I have tried various flankers to Eau Des Merveilles. Each time, I ended up scrubbing them off, and felt very frustrated because i didn't 'understand' these fragrances.......what was I missing? After a few years of falling in love with various beautiful fragrances, I gave up trying to understand why and just accepted that I did not like them.
Then, I had a bottle of something I wanted to swap.....a lovely woman on a swap thread tried offering me everything imaginable but I had everything she had to swap already. Finally, she offered a mostly-full bottle of L'Ambre des Merveilles. I got the bottle and braced myself for the sharp notes. They were there, alright.....but not as strong.
I went through my box of decants and found a 15 ml bottle of Eau Claire des Merveilles and quickly spritzed it on. I was immediately thrown back in time to my initial encounter with Eau Des Merveilles. I held my wrist very far away, with every intention of washing it off, when I got distracted. In a haze of wrangling through hoops of child diplomacy, I started getting lemony whiffs off my wrist that were rather........nice.
I held on for awhile longer. Here was the wood. Here was salt. It was a cool day walking on the sand. Here was.....vanilla? What? Powder? Hmm.
I suddenly found myself sniffing my wrist, intrigued, for the next 2 hours as the scent morphed from a carbonated lemon to a driftwood type of scent to a very dry vanilla. I found myself, if not loving it, doing something i never do. I don't know what kind of person would embody the personality of this fragrance, but maybe that's the point. It's unique enough that the fragrance takes on the personality of its wearer rather than creating a veil that layers over the individual.
I learned to appreciate it. This is huge. I have always been the person to say 'I wear it because I like it', but I think this was the first fragrance that i appreciated for its very unique qualities. I don't wear it often, but when I want something that will interest me or I can't quite figure out my own mood, this shapeshifter gets conjured up from the depths of the mini box.