Review: Hermès Eau de Mandarine Ambrée — 5.0 points

Eau de Mandarine Ambrée (2013) is by far the most intense in the collection. Experiencing it is as though I were gorging on a kilogram of ripe mid-season mandarins from Spain that are without a hint of sourness. But what impresses me more than the succulent sweetness is its interpretation of a jovial citrus with a longevity and sensual curve to match.

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Now imagine those golden mandarins being peeled and savoured: its hesperidic burst of bitter rind and juicy sweet pulp. And, just when I am about to expect the aftertaste, a strong tropical accent of passionfruit emerges. It exudes a fruity, musky ripeness and spins the composition from an uplifting eau de cologne into a sensual sweet perfume.

It taunts me further with its gourmand dry down of vanilla and sweet amber. Fresh, warm, and exotic, Eau de Mandarine Ambrée will accompany you most of the day, but it will linger quietly. It is like that tempting box of freshly baked mandarin tartlets sitting at the kitchen counter waiting to be savoured.

The idea of succulent sweetness, ripe intensity, and sensual amber is possibly as far from the classical eau de cologne as possible, but the combination of Eau de Mandarine Ambrée does just as well in lifting the spirit. And, it lasts. A simple, but powerful accord can be just as fantastic.

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A note on the soap and shower gel: The soap smells of dry mandarins with some vanillic amber, instead of the over-ripe note I get in the eau de cologne. When it comes to functionality, the soap bar strips the skin squeaky clean and dry, and what lingers is a decent warm mandarin. I think it is a decent soap bar, but not terribly worth the price.

As for the shower gel, I do not get the same oven-fresh mandarin tartlets as I do from the eau de cologne. The sweet mandarin, the ripe tropical passionfruit, and the vanillic amber seem to form a solid tripartite. It is rather monolithic, with little to no development. Nor is there any lingering sweet treat after the shower. I hoped that the shower gel would be faithful to the eau de cologne, but its performance falls short of my expectations.



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