Aromatics Elixir (1971) Perfume

Aromatics Elixir (Perfume) by Clinique
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Aromatics Elixir (Perfume) (Clinique)
Aromatics Elixir (Perfume) (Clinique)
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Aromatics Elixir (Perfume) is a popular perfume by Clinique for women and was released in 1971. The scent is spicy-woody. Projection and longevity are above-average. It is being marketed by Estēe Lauder Companies.

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Bernard Chant

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesBergamot, Verbena, Geranium, Chamomile, Coriander, Clary sage, Rosewood
Heart Notes Heart NotesOrris root, Jasmine, Carnation, Orange blossom, Rose, Tuberose, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes Base NotesOakmoss, Musk, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vetiver, Frankincense



7.6 (353 Ratings)


9.3 (251 Ratings)


9.0 (239 Ratings)


6.3 (233 Ratings)
Submitted by Sani, last update on 17.10.2018
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CrypticCryptic 6 years ago

„The Mouse that Roared”

Clinique's Aromatics Elixir has been somewhat of an oddity since its launch in 1971. At the time, perfume houses were splashing out with big ad campaigns...
SorceressSorceress 5 years ago

„Dirty Laundry Scent”

When I was 19, I became a Clinique fanatic. I delved into their skincare diligently. I even allowed an SA to give me a makeover one evening before a date with...
Bottle 8.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
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The scent of scents
That's all I can do. More receptors cannot be selected, more emotions cannot be addressed. A fragrance, stench, beginning, end! Here everything is captured in a sweet-bite bitter essence in a bottle.
Chamomiley Character.
This is basically a good solid oakmossy chypre, with a very strong - stronger than one might suppose on basis of summary assay - undertow of amber - a rather °gassy° amber, and plenty of grit & earthiness. Oh, and what a surprise! there's orris in it ^again^! The 'fumes I choose oblivious to their notes-analysis so very nearly always do!

But a more peculiar & seldom-used ingredient of this is chamomile; and I think it is largely that that is the cause of the distinctive earthy quality of this 'fume. It gets me wishing that chamomile were used more; but on the other hand it might be better that it be used seldom as it is - after all, it's effect on a 'fume is indeed rather peculiar. Another (but _very_ upmarket) instance of the use of the note is in ~Blue Sapphire~ by Boadicea the Victorious. Comparing these two 'fumes, it is readily perceived as a note they have in common, as a °certain earth peculiarity° that both have. And similarly, looking roughly proportionally _down_market, there is ~Aroosah~ by Al Rehab - there is that distinctive °chamomiley character° again!

It's lovely in all these 'fumes, including this one; but I can imagine how it might well be better if just a few have it in, here & there.

Despite my having focussed on one note to a considerable degree, I would say that this is a _superbly_ integrated 'fume: a true _synergy_ of the elements of its rather long notes-list rather than merely a juxtaposition of them. I would say indeed that it is a really quite exceptionally ^synergistic^ 'fume. I understand that it is considered by many to be one of the °Great Classic° 'fumes, and has a cult following: I can clearly perceive why.

I see fræ the note-list that it is very oakmoss-heavy, and I also perceive it so ( which I think is _not_ a contradiction of what I said about its being well-integrated). I don't think the oakmoss panic has wroughten too deleteriously on it, whether it uses some scientifically selectively-bred or genetically engineered oakmoss or some synthetic aromachemical, or whatever they do these days to render the oakmoss note. I'm getting these whiffs that are so very excruciatingly poised between °under-side-of-decaying-fallen-tree° & °freshly-laundered-linen°.
Bottle 5.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Helpful Review    3
Signature scent of my mother!
Aromatics Elixir;
My mom's signature for 30 years. This perfume smells great on her and am jealous of such a beautiful signature fragrance. She always gets tons of compliments and they always ask what scent they on? I wear this scent never when I'm with my mom because it is really her scent. I myself am completely in love with this scent. I spray it sometimes on my scarves or pillowcases. It's really an aromatic smell. A wonderful chypre and there are very few scents that can match her. The only fragrance that I can think of is La Perla La Perla (which unfortunately no longer available, the old version).
I am so glad that there are fragrances are as Aromatics Elixir by Clinique ...
2 Replies
Elixir Encounter
Aromatics Elixir grabs your attention like a carmine overcoat.

Its rose - coriander - patchouli profile is unique and instantly recognisable and it still divides opinion today, 45 years after it was created. Many people are confounded by Aromatics Elixir and detest it; others appreciate the challenge wearing it poses; some find its strange beauty almost mystical.

Aromatics is a kind of Herm, a milestone that Parfumista's may encounter on their journey; the experience can be for some, like me, a rite of passage.

It is, without doubt, a perfume of huge significance; an outstanding achievement that's transcended its era to attain canonical status in the history of perfumery. But is it really a masterpiece?

For a work of art to be a masterpiece it should either be an utterly sublime rendition of a perfect (Platonic) form, or it must be a revolutionary tour de force capable of articulating a new type of beauty. Unfortunately Aromatics fails on both of these counts because a) the profile is still perfectible - it lacks a certain refinement, and b) its structure is derived from the chypre - and so it embodies no unique vision.

Consequently, its very good indeed, but not a masterpiece.
Bottle 7.5/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
The Anointed One
Aromatic Elixir is not only limited for old ladies. It can be worn even by young adults. You only need to be patient to experience its wonderful revelation, that is if you treat AE with utmost respect, care and blend with it perfectly.

AE blooms its goddess character half an hour and only when applied with a couple of spritz to 1 spray. For a woman who will smell like a top executive. For a woman who walks the streets on a cold day and night to turn to her men's attention. For an intimate woman ready for her secret moment with her man. For a daring yet very smart woman, anywhere she goes. For a confident man, with the right skin chemistry to AE. Men who are tired of conventional fresh aquatic/marine fruity synthetic based scents but will be noticed by women. AE grants class, seduction and sophistication. Many will regret, will be dismayed and will fail to bring out the alluring and tempting deity in AE for only a few can trigger its beauty. To those who fail, no matter what you do, your skin will never make it sensually ignite. AE is too picky of it's wearers. So test it on you for some hours before you buy.

AE is often misunderstood until/unless you have been chosen. AE is liquid gold to the anointed.
Mrs Dora
Allow me to describe the person who always wore this perfume.

We had just moved back to Greece and I got in the sixth grade of elementary school where ofcourse I didn't know anyone back then. My mother started talking to this big confident lady who assured her she will convince her son Bill to sit next to me. I still remember Bill's disapproval since he had already arranged with who he would sit. (just for the record Bill is still one of my dearest and closest friends)

Mrs Dora.
A wonderful single mother who raised her 2 children all by herself with minimal support from her husband. Fearless in whatever life was throwing at her, absolute and bentless in her opinions, with fair and imposing personal traits and always clean and sharp in appearance. Very organized in all aspects and always using her mind over her heart. (well who can blame her for that)
Everytime we met at Bill's house as a kid to play for the 1000001th time Alex Kidd in master system, I always was catching some whiffs of this heavy powdery flowery smell which I hated at that time. Every time I visited (even today), the whole house smells like Elixir!!

Well don't get me wrong. I still hate it even today only with one exception: I do understand it. Maybe I need another 20 years to like it, I don't know. What I do know is I can't see anyone being able to wear it with less character than the lovely beautifully strong Mrs Dora.
Bottle 7.5/10 Scent 8.0/10
Helpful Review    2
Loved, Hated
This was my ultimate favorite 40 years ago. But somewhere along the way I started hating it and still do. This bothers me because I'm worried the ones I love today, I'll hate tomorrow.
Scent 10.0/10
rejected by your odd embrace
why oh WHY have the gods damned my chemistry with this one!? every year i try and try again to be accepted by this cocktail of odd juice and year after year it rejects me. *SOB* i've gone as far as to walk around the department store for hours at a time, cellophane sealed box clutched in hand, credit card at the ready... patiently *sniff sniffing* my wrists in intervals and BLECH... it just WON'T LOVE ME. why elixir??? what have i ever done to you but want your odd embrace! i dejectedly return the box and hope that next year will be the year we fall in love.
Bottle 2.5/10 Sillage 2.5/10 Longevity 2.5/10 Scent 1.0/10
Dirty Laundry Scent
When I was 19, I became a Clinique fanatic. I delved into their skincare diligently. I even allowed an SA to give me a makeover one evening before a date with my future husband one summer evening. (Oh the horrors of that make-up job she did-I still remember wanting to scrub it off!) I sprayed myself with Aromatics Elixir that night and went off to meet my guy. I remember not particularly enjoying this perfume and I am a hard-core patchouli fan from back-in-the-day. I never wore it again. It was an unpleasant aroma to me.
Fast forward to today. After receiving another sample, I happily put this on, thinking I might recapture a time, a moment, a memory. How wrong of me to think so. This formulation is so weak, so linear on me that I keep wondering where has the glory gone? Certainly there must be something in this perfume that would stick to my chemistry to give me something to extoll its virtues? After all, so many love this. After numerous attempts, nothing has changed. Dirty patchouli, stale perfume odor and gone in an hour (thankfully). It does remind me of one other scent-dirty laundry.
This Elixir doesn't cure my ills. It brings them on. It didn't work back then and it still doesn't now.
Very helpful Review    7
40 years and counting
Great reviews about AE. Lots of insights. I stumbled on this forum to find out what the essences arethat I live so much. My sister loves to get letters or hand me downs from me. When my 40 yr old Green Beret was 4 , he came running into the house, stopped in his tracks, and demanded "what is that smell?!?" I asked if it was a good smell or a bad smell. He said "It's a great smell. I love it!" I said "Darlin' a good smell is a fragrance". He repeated it and off he went. I have women and men ask me what fragrance I wear. Always hear lots of compliments.
What i cannot stand is the hand lotion and other incarnations. I put some zero fragrance lotion in my palm, give it a spritz, mix it up and layer it very subtly. I do not have have to use the fragrance everyday because it works so well with my body chemistry it lingers and never overwhelms.
I have received other fragrances over the years ( but never from my husband - he knows ) and I regift or exchange it. I have tried others that give me headaches, sneezing fits, or reason to reshower.
If Clinique has ever changed the formula it is not obvious to me. I am not aware of produce made in Switzerland vs USA - though I did get the embossed bottle. Also found a bulb sprayer which i like.
Thanks for listening. Happy to find your forum
Speaking of Happy m- it smells like Raid to me. For a while they had one that smelled like fresh mown lawn - did di not care for either.
If there is anything else like AE I am not aware of it. Glad I looked for the 'notes'. This complexity and simplicity are a winning combination
3 Replies
Scent 7.0/10
Helpful Review    4
Aquired taste
You're either going to love or hate this fragrance. This is not a safe blind buy at all. The scent has too much going on and reminds me of an old medicine chest of 100 years ago. I think the combination of geranium with corriander is what pushed this over the edge of being tolerable. On the other hand there is an abundance of plesant notes and this is a very rich aromatic and complex fragrance. It could become an aquired taste with some extended wear. It reminds me of Rochas Femme but with bitter herbal green notes
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 10.0/10
Very helpful Review    14
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!
5 Replies
Sillage 10.0/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 8.0/10
Greatly helpful Review    15
The Mouse that Roared
Clinique's Aromatics Elixir has been somewhat of an oddity since its launch in 1971. At the time, perfume houses were splashing out with big ad campaigns that featured either a celebrity or a supermodel. Chanel No.5 had Deneuve, Charlie had Shelley Hack, Ciara had Lauren Hutton, Tigress had Lola Falana and Chantilly had Kim Alexis.

Meanwhile, AE's advertisements consisted of a bare bones photo of the product itself with no slogan, no artwork and no humans to be seen. However, behind the scenes in the Clinique marketing department some genius hit upon the brilliant idea of promoting AE by inclusion of a small bottle as a "Gift with Purchase" when the customer bought Clinique cosmetics. The gesture was bound to generate good will, as few if any of us can resist a freebie. Although Estee Lauder and other houses soon adopted the GWP strategy, they continued to advertise their perfumes in catchy, colorful fashion while AE stubbornly maintained its plain Jane approach. Fast forward 40 years, and Chantilly, Charlie and Ciara are now languishing on the drugstore shelves while AE still enjoys its cult status from behind department store counters.

This improbably successful fragrance is distinctive and unmistakable, characterized by one of the most bizarre openings in fragrant memory. AE's top notes have been compared to everything from nail polish remover to Chinese herbal medicine. The one thing everyone can agree on is that for better of worse, AE grabs your attention straight out of the bottle with its unusual combo of chamomile and sage. Perhaps Mr. Chant was attempting to tap into the early 70s nature vibe that celebrated the likes of macrame and earth shoes when he crafted those herbal top notes.

After the challenging start, AE rewards the wearer's patience with a blissful floral heart in which a dark rose is the standout but jasmine and ylang are also featured. The earthiness has been replaced by sophisticated elegance, only to cleverly revert back to earthiness with the patchouli and oakmoss dry down. Throughout the perfume's development, the sillage is so enormous that sales associates advised the customer to apply AE by spraying it in the air and walking through the mist instead of putting it directly on the skin.

If AE were launched by a mainstream house today, it would probably flop, as most mainstream fragrances cater to the need for instant impulse gratification with lovely but fleeting top notes. On the other hand, as a contemporary niche release, AE would probably flourish at twice its current modest price. In any event, I suspect that forty years from now, AE will still be part of the fragrant landscape. It is one of those unique perfumes that every fragrance lover ought to try at least once.
6 Replies
Greatly helpful Review    7
If I were stranded with $50 and the clothes on my back, I'd buy Aromatics Elixir and some water.
I got a lesson in love and hate in fragrance from Aromatics Elixir. There are plenty of fragrances that on the first try I found uninteresting. Maybe I came to this conclusion as the top notes faded, maybe boredom set in by drydown. But I disliked AE. It was bitter chamomile, bitter oakmoss, bitter herbal along with that earthy/sacharrine imbalance that patchouli can have. I just couldn’t stand it. Until, without any feeling of transition, I thought it was one of the greatest perfumes I had ever smelled. Not just appreciation. I loved it.

I can’t really dissect this scent. I don’t have the analytical nose for that. But I don’t even want to. One thing I particularly love about Bernard Chant’s work is that I want to get taken for the ride. I don’t want to hear about the notes and all the stuff that’s in it. These are the moments of synergy that are made smaller by investigation. Let AE drive the car.
Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 7.5/10 Scent 4.0/10
Nail polish remover anyone?
I can't understand this fragrance. I can almost see why people love it, yet at the same time I can see why people dislike it.

The opening is bitter, strong and alcoholic. To me it smelt like nail polish remover complete with hints of acetone. Not a particulary pleasant olfactory experience.

The heart is fierce and powerful. It's like a floral explosion on your skin. I found it confusing and disturbing to say the least.

I get the medicinal and herbaceous quality that other reviewers have described, in the drydown. It was too green and musty for my liking. In fact it was very difficult for me to identify any particular notes. Aromatics Elixir can be quite messy at times.

I wanted to experience a rich, warming and unique fragrance, but what I received was unwelcoming and strange. I still for the life of me, can't understand this scent. Definitely not my cup of tea.
3 Replies
Bottle 10.0/10 Sillage 7.5/10 Longevity 10.0/10 Scent 8.0/10
The longer, the kinder
What a luck that I already have the certain, desired age!
Many mothers have been mentioned here. Like a pity, I cannot ask my mother any more. Did she have this smell when I was still child?

I find the smell very special and very beautiful.
Aldehydes at the beginning combine with herbaceous roses. Times of the Chypre are interwoven strongly with each other. It smells of hay strongly and accompanies me on a woods walk again. I breathe earth; hmmmm, smells like a man . . . the longer, the kinder . . . . . . , . . .

My husband gives up just (of necessity) smoking. What happens if he would be aware of this smoky flavor mentioned here repeatedly at me? ;-) )

Oh yes, I only have applied very little . . .


DorothyGrace 3 years ago
Love and wear my bottle from the 1990s. Formula from last year brings me up in angry red welts. Used to be my go to perfume.+1
Bottle 10.0
Sillage 10.0
Longevity 10.0
Scent 10.0
Cym 13 months ago
Reminiscent of the scent used in some museums to evoke a medieval village scene: dirt, hay, decaying vegetation, animal funk and excrement.

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