To my great surprise, I have been won over to the Clinique AROMATICS ELIXIR cult. For years, I scoffed at the very concept of a Clinique perfume--weren't they the company that eschewed all fragrance in their skin line? So what in the world were they doing producing not only a fragrance but an incredibly potent "perfume spray"?! No, I stayed very far away and was further deterred from visiting the Clinique perfume counter (a contradiction in terms!) by my sister's "gift" of about a dozen HAPPY minis which she had received in GWPs. Clearly, I thought, Clinique had no business meddling in perfume.
After reading so many glowing reviews of AROMATICS ELIXIR by so many of my favorite reviewers, and also being intrigued by the naysayers, I finally coughed up the modest sum for a bottle. Initially I was shocked at the chamomile opening: sour and unpleasant, to put it mildly. I compared the scent in my mind to a variety of former classics whose reformulations have been less than felicitous: Balenciaga (now Ted Lapidus) RUMBA, Emmanuel Ungaro DIVA (the eau de toilette), the list goes on and on. I was ready to head for the bath, when it happened.
Suddenly AROMATICS ELIXIR had struck a harmonic chord with my nose. The sour chamomile and bitter grass had managed to blend in with the patchouli and a million other rich floral and chypre notes to produce a gloriously rich cloud of, well, aromatic elixir! So now, believe it or not, after being totally put off by the opening, I have fallen head over heels in love with this stuff!
Anyone who loves patchouli--and one must, to wear this composition--needs to get their nose on AROMATICS ELIXIR. It is the perfect respite from all of the fruitchouli and ANGELESQUE perfumes, offering the patchouli without the caramel or the fruity syrup. AROMATICS ELIXIR is much closer to unreformulated LA PERLA, to give an indication of its integrity. It is strong beyond belief, and I am not sure whether I'll ever wear this creation outside my house, but it is a dream to wear and enjoy in the privacy of my home, especially late at night after a long, hot bath.
I noticed one night before retiring that I must have been experiencing olfactory fatigue, because I considered reapplying right before going to sleep. I opted not to, and when I woke up I discovered that my pajamas were seriously redolent of the scent. This is an advisory caution to those who wear AROMATICS ELIXIR in public venues: the fact that you are not detecting it does not mean that others will not! If you prefer not to be pegged by the naysayers--those poor souls who have yet to see the AROMATICS ELIXIR light--as "an old lady", I'd advise wearing this perfume very sparingly in public, or else reserving it for your private use at home where you can apply with reckless abandon. ;-)
Why is this perfume so beautiful? I do believe that it has a magical effect upon one's mind. AROMATICS ELIXIR epitomizes both luxury and comfort. Wearing it is like being wrapped in piles of cashmere on a frosty winter day. Gorgeous! I love it! In fact I love it so much that this past holiday season I purchased the special edition flower-embossed bottle, which, it turns out, is produced in Switzerland, not the United States. Both formulations smell and wear wonderfully on me, and I believe that this perfume is much better than hundreds of niche offerings at two, three, or even four times the price.
For savory patchouli lovers only!