I smelled a few of the C.O. Bigelow colognes (Elixir White, Blue, Green, Black) and I was only really taken with White, which has a surprisingly natural smell, contra the very synthetic blue and green smells, of, well, Blue and Green, respectively; Black didn't do anything for me, either.
The opening is a strong mix of citrus, most prominently grapefruit, with bergamot and mandarin as detectable subordinates. It's relatively linear, as those notes remain throughout the dry down, though it does get slightly sweeter than acerbic, typical of citrus fragrances, though I can' t place the sweetness. Projection is beyond a foot and longevity is in the 4-5+ hour range. Elixir White seems best suited for a summer day and I'd argue is a great addition to a warm weather fragrance collection, particularly with its emphasis on grapefruit.
Difficult to argue with the price, as well, at under $20 for 75ml at Bath and Body Works.
7 out of 10
In my opinion, the best of the C. O. Bigelow Barber line of men's fragrances - and they are all pretty good. This is the one that is light and citrusy. Every time I wear this I get compliments. The main notes are bergemot, grapefruit and mandarin, and the citrus character is not overpowering and is toned down with something else ... perhaps agar wood or tonka bean? It's dry and sophisticated. Many will say it's merely inoffensive and rather generic, but to me it is reminiscent of classic historic Victorian gentleman's cologne like Guerlaine's Eau Imperiale or Herme's Eau d'Orange Verte.
White is the best of the Bigelow Elixirs and represents a good value. They're readily available at your local mall for the price of a couple of coffees. Others lament the longevity but I don't experience those woes. On me it lasts damn near all day, surprising for a citrus fragrance. Simple but effective and a good work fragrance that nods to the barbershop while not smelling, as they say, "dated." Nice work.
Kind of boring and one note... waxy hotel bar soap vibe. Not discernably citrus at all. Very mild and in9ffensive. Does not project well and is gone in less than 4 hours. Try before you buy!
I must agree with the other reviewers here: It's a wonderful scent let down by a too-brief longevity.
I haven't smelled anything like this one before, and I can't think of anything similar for use as a reference. Not to say it's avant garde or the second coming of secretions magnifique. It's perfectly inoffensive and makes easy friends, but not at the expense of being jejune.
At the price, the White Elixir is a unique scent and a positive steal. If it had greater longevity, I could easily see it become a person's go-to daily-wearer.
FYI: I also own a bottle of the body lotion, and layering it with the cologne aids the scent's stay while subtly adulterating it in a conspicuous but still pleasant manner.
21st February, 2014 (last edited: 24th February, 2014)