Perfume Reviews

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Negative Reviews of Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

Total Reviews: 23
My kindergarten teacher wore this. 36 years ago. Yes, AE is that unforgettable. So, I tracked down her signature scent, intending to make it my fabulous signature, too. Wrong. I wore it for about 6 months, but this is way too strong on me ... a little goes a long, long way. Too loud to pull out and describe nuances, when a simple "no" will do just fine.
09th September, 2017 (last edited: 11th September, 2017)
Clinique - Aromatics Elixer
This is more like an anti-Elixer that tries to diminish the human vitality, and smells as dry and musty as half-hardened cement out of a cement-mixer, or an old gravel-road on a very hot day with no whiff of wind. This perfume misses refinement, juice and good quality natural materials. It smells strangely old and 'swollen' - like it has been cut open, striped from its vital organs and stuffed full with wadding before being sutured; there is no airiness, and nothing that makes it a bit cheerful. Good stuff to accentuate a bad day at the office or to wear on a funeral - it acts dull, with no living movement in sight. This perfume 'tastes' like a Californian pinot noir-wine instead of one out of Bourgogne - with its unrivaled velvety finesse and roundeur. Let Aromatics Elixer stay where it belongs...
28th May, 2014
I would love to give this an elaborate review, because I feel it deserves some kind of respect for the composition. But in all honesty, the scent was overall repulsive to me as I felt it was choking me. It's not even shocking or "bad smelling", it's just too much, I felt like I was eating a full plate of expensive incense stick. I could not figure out anything, it was plain sensory overload.
22nd December, 2011
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I can't understand this fragrance. I can almost see why people love it, yet at the same time I can see why people dislike it.

The opening is bitter, strong and alcoholic. To me it smelt like nail polish remover complete with hints of acetone. Not a particulary pleasant olfactory experience.

The heart is fierce and powerful. It's like a floral explosion on your skin. I found it confusing and disturbing to say the least.

I get the medicinal and herbaceous quality that other reviewers have described, in the drydown. It was too green and musty for my liking. In fact it was very difficult for me to identify any particular notes. Aromatics Elixir can be quite messy at times.

I wanted to experience a rich, warming and unique fragrance, but what I received was unwelcoming and strange. I still for the life of me, can't understand this scent. Definitely not my cup of tea.
26th June, 2011
Tragically, this is my mother's signature fragrance--a decision I'll never understand, leaving all psychoanalytical interpretations out of it. I recall sneaking up to her vanity around the age of 8, uncapping her EDP, and thinking--literally--"What...on this?" Up to that point, I had never encountered a perfume which I found downright unpleasant, and after smelling AE, my little 8-year-old brain had to invent a new category under the heading "strange things adults do." Even still, I place it in that counterintuitive quadrant of "sophisticated but offensive." Where some people get soft, clean, and earthy, I get spiky, soapy, and medicinal. I would rather rub my face in a box of powdered laundry detergent than wear AE. In my experience, this scent is definitive proof that genetics don't have complete control over all things olfactory.
26th April, 2011
This stuff is heavy and serious. Harsh greens turn into spicy powered rose turns into overpowering bitter powder. Stifling and unpleasant all the way through for me. I prefer my green cyphres to have some spring in their step, like Diorella.
09th July, 2010
kanasta Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Strong, harsh, nauseating. I was actually shocked when I smelt it as I couldn't believe Clinique would sell something so horrid. I had a free sample which I did save just in case I ever needed some kind of nuclear powered scent to cover up something else that smelt even worse. It came in very handy a year later when a tom cat peed all over the carpet; this perfume was the only thing that could cover up the scent and was (just) the lesser of two evils.
01st May, 2010
This isn't a perfume; it's Chinese herbal medicine. I dislike this cough syrup with a passion.
The great news is that it lasts, lasts, lasts...
18th February, 2010
Dreadful on me with a capital 'D'. Proceed with caution is all I can say. It is herbal, medicinal (yet vaguely sickening, as opposed to healing), overwhelming and ultimately vile. I am only glad my sample came free with purchase or I would have been very cross with myself.
18th December, 2009
I had such high hopes for this one, and I was really trying to keep an open mind, but this is flat-out nasty on me.

The top notes are promising. A spicy rose note emerges and promises to bloom, but instead it shrivels, smelling like mashed and dessicated rose petals, musty and dark and dry. In the heart the patchouli comes forward, together with a soapy quality that gains in strength as the rose fades even more, becoming quite acrid and soapy in the base.

The sillage and longevity are just okay, but not satisfactory - about three hours on me. Thankfully this won't be a regular on my shelf anytime soon, so it's not my problem...

I find this dull and lifeless and acrid. No thanks!

22nd July, 2009
kess Show all reviews
United States
Way to heady for my current tastes. Longevity and sillage are amazing, so great for those who love this fragrance. Brings to mind Estee Lauder Private Collection. Not for the faint at heart!
15th July, 2009
sfmedusa Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I really quite like the individuality of this perfume. It's green and woody and normally the sort of thing I like in a perfume and it's definitely not another 'smell alike' clone of so many other perfumes, but I'm afraid that nothing in the world could get me to wear it again.

On me, this is so strong (even a little bit of it) that on the one occasion I was silly enough to apply it rather than sniff it from the bottle I was physically sick and ended up with a migraine for 3 days afterwards. No matter what I did I couldn't wash it off either.

I'm sure that there must be some people who Aromatics Elixir suits, and for those people it's probably a signature scent for which they get lots of feedback, but it's not for me.

23rd March, 2009
I used this once in the 70's and now I know why I never went back for more. It is Giorgio's Red (which did come later) on steroids! After a jaw dropping, headache inducing open, this fragrance drydown is all hay (vetivier). After a horrible day, night and next day, I could not get rid of the smell in spite of several scrubbings. (Now I won't wear Red, either.) I purchased the lotion & shower gel which is usable, but I can't imagine who wears this stuff. So much for Turin and Sanchez...
23rd January, 2009
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There are not many things that I hate but this is one of them. I bought a little bottle back in the 80's thinking the test strip reminded me of Rive Gauche. I still have that bottle as a reminder to test, test and test again before buying. Whenever I smell this on someone, I feel like I can taste it for an hour afterward. I am incredulous it is still around!
29th December, 2008
I hate it. Maybe it's because I smelled it the first time on a pretentious pseudo intellectual little woman, who made stupid remarks about my weight. But I gave it a second tought, smelled it on paper and on myslef and I stil hate it. It's unpleasantly pungent, irritatingly dry in the opening but nauseatingly sticky in the drydown. To me it smells like a pathetic attempt to create something original, dissonating and not commercial, while needig the approval of the marketing director-
05th December, 2008
Nukapai Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I love perfume so much that sometimes even the unpleasant (to me) scents are still somehow interesting (on others; on a blotter). Aromatics elixir is the only exception to that rule I've discovered so far - I would rather wait in the rain for another bus than get on with someone wearing Aromatics Elixir. It makes me feel ill.
05th July, 2008
kewart Show all reviews
United Kingdom
I have tried to love this one, but I just don't "get" it!
It makes me feel ill when I apply it (headache and sneezing)
and I find it deeply oppressive and unattractive.
It can smell great on other people, alas not on me.
It smells far more herbal than the notes would suggest, maybe
that's the patchouli dominating. Whatever it is I can't bring myself
to love it.
24th June, 2008
Very difficult fragance to wear, at least on my skin, as it is easy to put too much on, and too much makes this frag horrible. I really wanted to love this one, so I am sad to say that I am passing by this one!
14th June, 2008
I used to wear this in the 80's but realize it is just as obnoxious as my curly perm and big shoulder pads were.
How the lovely notes that are allegedly present can amount to such a cheap tacky nauseating effect is astounding. Ideal for anyone who may like to develop an eating disorder. wear this and you are bound to throw up. Thumbs WAY down.
09th May, 2007
Looking at the notes involved in this, I was interested in trying it out...but as soon as I sprayed it on my wrist...headache!! It's a very strong fragrance - too strong for me. I don't get a good mix of the florals in this - I seem to be getting a strong mix of chamomile and patchouli. Unfortunately, this is definitely not a scent that goes well on my skin...something more like what my mum would wear - she can wear chypres and they smell very nice on her!
03rd March, 2007
Why, oh, why does Estee Lauder always but so much aldehyde in her perfume? I have never smelled a fragrance of hers that I liked. I have almost liked a few, put they have this chemical quality to them that is just unpleasant! It's all that aldehyde!!!
This pefume in particular. Forget about the lovely floral topnotes that it supposedly contains. This fragrance is full on aldehyde and patchouli. Two notoriously disliked fragrances. If you want to offend a very large percentage of people around you- wear this. I implore you, however to not be so unkind as to put this fragrance on if you work in close quarters with others (ie; a secretary) or at any place that serves food.
05th March, 2006
My mother loves this scent. For me, it's headache in a bottle. Very pungent and piercing smell. Very cloying too. Not a fan of dry, chyprey scent.
10th December, 2005
Quarry Show all reviews
United States
The top/middle/base note descriptions seem comprised of only a few words, but my impression was that Estee Lauder's perfume factory's night janitor had poured dozens of leftover ingredients into a single vat which he jokingly labeled "Aromatics Elixir." Then, as in the story "The Emperor's New Clothes," the next day no one had the nerve to confess they didn't appreciate the concoction. This struck me as a cacophony of florals, conflicting like the sounds of a full orchestra of instruments all tuning up at once. Perhaps it's aldehydes, and I lack the ability to appreciate how they sew the notes together.
10th August, 2005