It's funny - I've never asked to smell Aromatics Elixir without the Clinique salespeople actively trying to discourage me from smelling it. I'm amazed it's survived this long. I can see why - it's a classic, dense, difficult mix of old fashioned smells that likely smells repulsive to those with more modern, mainstream taste.
So what does it smell like? A loud burst of sneezy white powder over vinegary clove and white flowers and soap. It's also got an "oriental" mix that's sort of like amber, but with openly poopy musk instead of vanilla. In terms of smell, it falls halfway between Coromandel and Bal A Versailles, but much cheaper.
And that's my real complaint: The concentration feels cheap. This could feel like a grand, expensive perfume with higher concentration of the base notes, but instead, it starts off ridiculously loud and fades very quickly, so it just doesn't stand up to the perfumes that clearly inspired it. Thumbs up just for being classic, widely available, and very much worth a sniff, but with the caveat that you can do better.
17th November, 2015 (last edited: 03rd January, 2016)
She is bold,with style to boot!both chic and chypre floral brings to mind a rebellious woman with extreme elegance,an icon with devastating sedeuction. ARPMATICS ELIXIR is a scent of mystery.evoke mystery with this exceptional scent inspired by the mysteriouse space between the terrestrial and the celestial. Tempting,Glamorous,Classic,Rich,Woody, Powerful,Sophisticated,Elegant and Mysterious like the women who choose to wear it.
This timeless scent created of top quality ingredients.it magnetic with aldehydes and chamomile notes toping,a heart of a passiononate bouquet floral like rose and ylang ylang and seduces with classic incense and depth of patchouli and oakmoss for a incredible scent with oompht and complexity.the dry down is interestingly irresistible.not for the faint of heart.it is best used for a femme fatale in a unforgettable winter evening.
Longevity?Great on my skin.
I always found AE attractive but also overwhelming for me to try it on my skin. Years after smelling it on a dear friend yesterday I came across a sample. I am wearing it 5 hours now and it is still very potent although nothing compared to the super heady opening. Everyone says that AE is a floral and/or green chypre. For me this is a sweet, floral with green undertones and a kind of dirtiness (or maybe this is the leather accord others talk about). This accord is the most staying impression I have of what I am wearing right now. The silage is really powerful and over-applying will give you and the people around you a headache. Longevity seems above average. I will keep on using my sample but I am not taken by AE. I am certainly glad that I tried it though. It is a must try for perfume lovers and although AE has lasted the test of time I do think that it is dated. Can sensuality be dated? Somehow, I think it can. This may be the holy grain for many but not for me.
It’s incredible that a company known for its no-frills skincare put out such a complicated and witchy brew, but I am so grateful that they did. Created by Barnard Chant in 1975, it blazed a trail of dark patchouli, bitter herbs, rose, resins, and moss through the perfume world, setting itself in direct opposition to the clean, sporty fragrances that followed soon after but also breaking ties with the slightly mannered feel of green floral chypres of the fifties and sixties. It’s almost impossible to describe accurately, but then again, I really don’t have to, do I? Everyone knows this smell. Aromatics Elixir feels like something a pagan goddess would wear as she commands the elements from her forest. It lives in the small, private space between my clavicle and my sweater, because I am careful to apply this potent juice as I would a precious extract – sprayed lightly onto my fingertips and then pressed gently onto my flesh. Out of all the perfumes I own and wear, this is the one that says ‘Mother’ to me most strongly. It makes me feel both tender and fierce.
Despite its unfortunate name, this is a complex and quality creation.
Barbara Herman deemed it a "green chypre, the scent of dried pressed roses, with coriander and carnation over a warm animalic base."
This is totally accurate. I am reminded of Lalique's PERLES and CORIANDRE. The potpourri effect of the roses is dead center, surrounded by the dried spices. It is also quite green with a woody, mossy base, one of the best rose chypres I've come across.
Turin gave it 5 stars, called it a woody floral, but praised its "bold, herbaceous-patchouli-floral" effect, which reminded him of Cabochard and Cinnabar (I don't get this reference at all). He also highlighted its "bright, fresh, herbaceous and medicinal" qualities and deemed it a "masterpiece."
To find both Herman and Turin agreeing wholeheartedly on a scent is a rarity and this one does deserve it. The name does not do justice to the scent, but it is still one of the best dry rose chypres available.
First Edit adds the following notes:
Top notes: Bergamot, Coriander, Rosewood, Palmarosa
Heart notes: Rose de Mai, Jasmine, Carnation, Ylang, Tuberose, Orris
Base notes: Patchouli, Vetiver, Civet, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Cistus, Musk
03rd August, 2014 (last edited: 04th August, 2014)