Negative Reviews of Elixir by Penhaligon's

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    ClassicFan's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    The citrus at the top is overpowered by the wood. The rose and floral elements are overpowered by cinnamon leaves, rosewood, and vanilla. The leaves themselves are much better represented by Yatagan. It seems like it should be complex by the notes but on my skin, alas. There's a more incense towards the dry down but nothing to write home about.

    23rd November, 2014 (Last Edited: 22nd November, 2014)

    Odile's avatar



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    Oh goodness. Gag. This was one of the few that I had to scrub nearly immediately after applying. A semi-competent, if generic, oriental lurking below a bile-conjuring sour soy-milk note. Revolting. Thank god for samples. I see other people find this agreeable so there must be something that just does not play nice with my chemistry.

    03rd July, 2011

    alfarom's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    I usually love Olivia Giacobetti's creations but this one smells exactly like an indian stall at the flea market. Very cheap synthetic incense sticks! Undefined!

    27th March, 2011 (Last Edited: 04th April, 2011)

    odysseusm's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    In my estimation, this is a poorly designed scent. The reason? There is an over-emphasis on rosewood. Rosewood is a heady, *extremely potent* scent. A tiny bit goes a long way. I find that the rosewood (with its furniture-polish connotations) simply overwhelms the other potentially interesting ingredients. The opening has much promise. Languid florals, deep woods and peppery spices engage in a shimmering interplay which is fascinating! If it only lasted for more than a minute! Then the rosewood portcullis gate slams down and the scent seems one-dimensional to me. The scent remains stuck in that groove for the remainder of the time.

    16th February, 2010 (Last Edited: 31st March, 2010)

    Not4you's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    I really wanted to like this one - I am a fan of other Penhaligon's offerings - but this one is just not for me.

    The initial blast from the bottle was first the smell of stale beer followed by a peppery spice that made my nose tingle. This quickly faded into an hour or so of cedar shavings - my wife kept commenting that I reminded her of a past pet hampster that her Dad stepped on when it escaped from the cage. To me the finish was simply Christmas season potpourri - warm, spice and evergreen trees - not what I needed on a romantic night out with my wife in August.

    It did come into its own briefly when I relaxed with a fine single malt scotch - the warm spice tones complimented the nose of the whiskey - but this was too little too late for me.

    27th August, 2009

    mikeperez23's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love the top notes and Galamb_Borong describes them perfectly in his review. The cinnamon has been melted, it seems, to the other spices, eucalyptus and the rose/incense.

    When it dries down is when it started to become a scent I didn't like anymore. I think there's a certain aldehyde Giacobetti used, that rubs my nose the wrong way. It tickles my nose when I smell it, then it slights burns it a little. The effect it gives to the fragrance is a shiny almost glossiness. I really wanted to the spice and incense to be warmer...not shiny.

    Subsequent wearings confirmed it for me that I do not like it.

    Nice, admirable and yes I agree...a wonderfully modern oriental. But, not for me.

    22nd May, 2009

    saxifrage's avatar

    United States United States

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    In a lot of ways, I see strong parallels to Opus 1870. The major difference is that there's an inherent sweetness found here that isn't seen in Opus 1870. The level of rose in Elixir is ratcheted up to a rather sickening level that makes enjoyment only for the sincere rose lover. This dominance of rose puts it in the same realm as Hammam Bouquet as the powdery, sweet, spiced rose with hints of cedar tends to last... and last.

    Sillage is weak, but its persistence at skin level is admirable. Not a fragrance I particularly enjoyed, definitely not my style, and in a lot of ways feels like a rehash of Hammam and Opus 1870. I don't feel this is especially masculine; however, I felt the same way about Hammam Bouquet. I don't even know if I'd call it feminine. It just smells so dated, or like the inside of a hippie record store (Nag Champa?) Perhaps this is an trans-Atlantic or trans-centennial difference of opinion. Your mileage may vary, though.

    08th February, 2009 (Last Edited: 04th December, 2009)

    kinghamhouse's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    It seems that Elixir is now on back order. The moment it was introduced it sold out and fresh stock is not expected until end February in the UK. I did manage to get a small sample, it started off great and before I could decide what it was it turned into a rather run of the mill 'nothing special here'. Shame really, you would think that they could do a little better. Having written this I do realise that it will probably sell and sell to the middle market, if only on the packaging.

    13th January, 2009

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