DorothyGrace's Perfume Blog
Aromatics Elixir 2016
Yesterday, I was looking sadly at my pc screen showing a shopping basket with yet another set of 10 samples. 'What's the point? ', I thought.
Looking for something
But I don't know what
Means I try
A lot of toot.
True they were a bargain set of niche from a perfume shop, costing £12 plus post and packing but looking at them I knew there was only one that I was likely to like. Several I had tried before and disliked so all in all not such a bargain.
A bargain's not a bargain
If it turns out to be
90% of it
Is not for me.
I tested Aromatics Elixir a couple of years ago and it brought my wrist up in an angry red rash. I tested it again earlier this year (my local department store) and that one pulled Marmite on me. Casting misgivings aside, telling myself that I could use it as a lovely room spray, I purchased from Amazon (sold by and dispatched by Amazon) a 100 ml bottle of the aromatic delight that is A.E. at the heavily discounted price of £46.77.
The bottle arrived today and had a code indicating a manufacturing date of April 2016 (C46). I was expecting it to be older and was surprised that it is actually fresh stock.
Of course it is very different from the part filled bottle I have remaining of my stash which is dryer, more mossy, more woody (according to the code on the bottle this was from 2009 although I thought I bought it earlier - it was one of the years they came out with an embossed bottle and a candle which was really expensive but burnt for ages and fragranced a room most beautifully).
It is also quite different from the tester I tried earlier this year and different again to the one I tried a couple of years ago as this one hasn't brought my skin up in a rash. Of course regarding the recent department store testers I have no idea whether the differences between them indicate a different recipe or absolutely appalling storage under red hot display lights.
Compared to the 2009 one I have, this 2016 one has a sharper more green smell and is reminding me of a powerful lily of the valley. No lily of the valley on the notes list so I am interested to know whether or not anyone else gets that from the latest incarnation of this beauty as I have never noticed that with other bottles I have owned. There is also a tang that is reminding me of black-current bushes in full bloom. It almost feels like A.E. with a tiny dab of the modern Magie Noir. This bottle of A.E. is quite savoury (lily of the valley) but not pulling meaty/umami/Marmite on me.
I am not too disappointed as I did not expect to get something as good as my 2009 and earlier purchases (but was sub-consciously hoping), nevertheless I am surprised how different this one smells to me (and it really is very different) when doing a side by side comparison. The very green lily-of-the-valley savoury smell is something I have never smelt before and totally changes the feel of the fragrance. The LOTV is very strong on me and thickens rather than dissipates over the hours. There is also a very sweet note that I can't place and can best describ as a sweet shampoo like rose (not had this before either). This 2016 one seems to be lacking in patchouli and oak-moss.
Anyway, all in all pleased with it as it is a very nice perfume and a considerable improvement on some of the niche perfumes I have tested this year, however it is not my beloved A.E. so I will be using this rather than my 2009 which I will be saving for best.
Having written my review I decided to have a look at the ingredient lists on the back of the boxes to see just what the changes were and whether or not any of them could account for some of the smell differences I could detect between 2009 and 2016. To my surprise it is possible that these listed changes (there are probably many others) might in conjunction with others be responsible for two of the main changes I detected (Aromatics aficionados will understand).
The first most noticeable change to me is the list of colourants. Green 5 (ci 61570), yellow 5 (ci 19140), red 4 (ci 14700), iln41925. The first three are lake dyes. I didn't know that Aromatics Elixir had dye in it; I rather naively thought the colour came from essential oils.
I don't know what iln41925 is but wonder if it is one of the rose ionones. If so then previously the ionone was iln32206 and that might account for the very sweet shampoo like rose I am picking up on the 2016 bottle that isn't present in my 2009.
Lyral (hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene carboxaldehyde) has been dropped from the list and seems to have been replaced with butylphenyl methylpropional. From what I can glean from various websites (wiki, pubchem, chemicalbook) these two chemicals are florals often used to re-create lily-of-the-valley. I wonder if that is responsible for the extra green, lily-of-the-valley, savoury smell I get in the 2016 but not the 2009.
cinnamyl alcohol has been dropped and wiki says it has a sweet, balsamic smell.
Anyway, I found it all very interesting especially the green lily-of-the-valley scent. I would actually have to smell some of the neat chemicals to really know what I am talking about (which I don't).
I am not at all surprised that many reviewers are disappointed with their re-purchase. The changes must have come as a bit of a shock. Having had so many old loves bite the dust over the last few years I knew what to expect but even so I really am surprised at how different I find this 2016 compared to my 2009.
Rather a long ramble so here is a snowy picture my son took a few winters ago to cool us all down.