Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 17 January 2011

Project Perfume: Clinique Aromatics Elixir

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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  1. I love this scent too! I find that these days, I tend to stick to what I know I like and don't experiment too much! I also like Chanel No. 5.

    My signature fragrance is Miss Dior by Dior but it's getting difficult to get these days. I first started wearing it when I was 19 and felt terribly grown up. I'm 56 now and yes, I've been wearing it all these years. Sigh....

  2. I love AE...gorgeous elegant and unmistakeable. Clinique/Lauder scents are so under rated. I revisited the original Azuree recently and was swooning. It is my next purchase for sure- talk about bang for your buck! I wish I had a signature scent but there are just too many scents, too little time. I have come close with Guerlain Apres l'Ondee and Balmain Ivoire though...

    Great blog btw, so happy to have found it!

  3. I am never really sure about AE-I read the descriptions and think, yes it is about time I tried that, try it and remember that it is that bit too heady for me. I love it on others but on me it takes over and fells me with a deep headache. Keep up the perfume posts, I love them. Jan x

  4. I don't have a signature scent - I have a ton of scents and I like to chop and change. My favourite - and the one I probably wear most often - is Miller Harris Fleur Oriental.

  5. Love it. Although I used to keep a little mini-bottle in my cello case for its strings, so it does make me feel guilty for neglecting said cello everytime I get a whiff of it from somewhere.

    I'm in a Serge Lutens phase now and alternate between L'Eau Serge Lutens and Bois de Violette. Yum.

  6. It's a wonder this one is still around and at a conventional makeup counter! I like it after it's calmed down a bit...

  7. That perfume was the biggest dissapointment when I got it in highschool, it was heavy, unbalanced, and reminded me of some old lady-I hate it!


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