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    subhuman85's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    Aromatics Elixir by Clinique

    Almost half a year after purchasing my 25 ml bottle of Aromatics Elixir, I still haven't quite made up my mind about it. I know it's brilliant - striking, dense, complex, wholly unique, masterfully crafted, and possessing almost nuclear persistance on skin. But to call it temperamental would be an understatement. At least half the time when I spray it on, I feel like I'm inhaling the air in a foggy forest on a damp spring day, in the best possible sense - flowers, moss, wood, smoke, and patchouli, masterfully blended and supremely evocative. The other half, I feel like I'm being suffocated by a pile of mildewy rags in a stuffy attic. Did I mention the patchouli? Aromatics Elixir is the Ur-patchouli. This is the patchouli that sends all the other patchoulis scurrying away from the patchouli playground. Montale's Patchouli Leaves, Serge's Borneo, and Givenchy's Gentleman have got absolute zilch on Aromatics Elixir for pure, unencumbered, full-throttle patchouli - the musty, acrid, leather-trunk/hippie-armpit kind that will choke you as soon as look at you. Chamomile, lavender, cedar, leather, incense, jasmine, and rose play equally strident chords in the composition; this is one wallop of a perfume. Intensely out of fashion, beautiful at the right angle, downright lovely and ladylike at 20 paces but acrid and borderline bilious up close. It's fascinating, but I do wish it were a little more approachable. (Bafflingly, it garners more compliments than almost anything else in my collection. See what I mean about the 20 paces?)

    23 February, 2011