17th January 2011

Project Perfume: Clinique Aromatics Elixir

By Get Lippie

The week before last, I announced the start of “Project Perfume“, where I’m going to attempt to sniff about 10 new (to me) perfumes a month in an attempt to educate myself about scents, their composition, and to see if I can finally, once and for all, identify that particular ingredient in certain perfumes that makes me want to vomit.  I’m a one-woman perfume machine armed only with a fragrance A-Z, a nose and a desire not to throw up in any more department store perfume departments ….

But first I thought I’d cheat a little and write about what is, probably, my “signature scent”, and that is Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir.  Over the years since I first bought a bottle of this – aged around 15 – I’ve owned it in every format, perfume, shower gel, body lotion, solid perfume, talc, deodorant (what can I say, layering scents was big in the 80’s), but I’m kicking myself at the moment as I missed buying it in scented candle form this year.  I think the only format that it’s not appeared in is bath oil, and I’d adore a massive bottle of Bath Elixir, it’d be right at home in my tardis-bath!

Aromatics is a “big” scent, and it’s instantly recognisable at even the merest whiff. It’s classified as a “floral chypre”, but I don’t get even the faintest hint of flowers, at least not until the scent has been on my skin for several hours, and ironically, this is what I like about it.  On first spray, it’s intensely smoky, and reminds me of a spicy incense, which is intensely evocative.  Because it’s strong, I like to save it for winter (though I used to wear it year-round layered constantly over itself) , and as a result, I have a wardrobe full of scarves, coats and sweater which are impregnated delightfully with the stuff, it’s a wonderful thing to be able to stick your nose into something you’ve not worn for a while, and be reminded of occasions where you’ve worn them before.

After a while on the skin, the smokiness fades, and there’s a balsamic, almost medicinal, resinous scent, which lingers around for a while, reminding me of woods and the dense boskyness of walking on mulchy leaves in the autumn countryside.  Eventually, after about 8 hours on the skin I’m left with just the faintest hint of sandalwood and roses – maybe a hint of hippy-free patchouli – and I’m a happy woman.

When I first smelled Aromatics Elixir, I couldn’t resist it, as it was so very “different” to everything else I’d smelled at that point, and it remains beautifully different to most of the perfumes you find in department stores today, and I revel in that very “differentness” to this day, nearly 25 years later.

What’s your “signature scent”?
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