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Aromatics Elixir by Clinique manages to simultaneously fascinate me with its complex mix of rose, patchouli and synthetics – and at the same time I find it unbearable. I hate it. I think I love it. It smells so encroaching and stifling. It smells soft and sensual. What was I thinking? Why don’t I own a bottle of this yet? What am I trying to convince myself of?
AE has many long time fans (Burr gave it 5 stars; Turin did also) and supposedly it also has a twin brother scent (Aramis 900 is supposed to smell like an EDT version of AE – I cannot confirm this). Nonetheless, I feel a deep seated and hard-to-ignore respect for the fragrance. But…is this enough to push me to wear AE? I must admit, the answer is no.
Yes, AE has rose. And patchouli. Along with a host of other florals and elements overall combining to create a crisp, almost toasty chypre effect. Fascinating! But the overall scent is heavily doused with a large amount of energetic synthetics – acetonic, or like a whiff of mineral spirits mixed with a freshly painted wall. Later, I came running back to sing its praises when a co-worker wore it as her signature scent and knocked me out (in a good way) with her sillage (all around the office when she walked through the front door). I want to smell like that! On her skin it’s filled with a bit more airspace, my nose has the pleasure of creating a bit of beautiful background music, from the scent. On me the strength of the floral and wood combo and the volume it plays at, around in the air quickly becomes uncomfortable - like a week-old, scruffy beard that’s growing out: scratchy, cloying in the heat, sensitive. Combined with the above average longevity and tenacity of the scent to skin, the combination is scattered…a tangled mess of accords.
Bravo to Lauder (Clinique’s parent company), the perfumer, the late Bernard Chant (who’s creations Aramis & Devin, I adore) and to all of you who can wear AE with success. Not me. I am reminding myself that, with a wardrobe as full of bottles decants and samples as mine, I don’t need to convince myself to love AE.
15 September, 2009