Aromatics Elixir is the cult perfume by Clinique brand that left its mark on the second part of the 20th century and it can be found even today in perfume shops, neglected, on the lowest shelves far away from customers dazzled by the fake glitter and luxury bottles of contemporary editions. Sadly, only seasoned fans and admirers of this perfume classic know what lies in that plain bottle…an unusual and delightful perfume.

As with all unusual, and I’ll dare say genius perfumes (although sometimes that genius lies in the simplicity of the idea and the production), Aromatics Elixir is a very polarizing perfume. While there are those who are spellbound by its slightly bitter, dark, mystical and exotic side, there are others who, when they smell it, believe something curled up in the bottle and died. Even my first encounter with this perfume ended in me thinking I got the wrong tester but eventually I learned to love it. Now, after years of smelling it casually every time I see it in perfume shops that still keep it, I can safely say that Aromatics Elixir is one of the best perfumes ever made even though it shares the same sad destiny of all old perfumes whose quality diminishes after numerous irrational reformulations.

Aromatics Elixir appeared in 1971 after hippy revolution stormed through the planet leaving behind a scented trail of sexual liberties and patchouli. Aromatics Elixir is in a way interpretation of both. In the very heart of the perfume is the patchouli around which are entwined and mixed the fragrant notes of oakmoss, jasmine and rose. Perfume opening is like an aromatic, healing concoction of traditional Chinese medicine made of refreshing bergamot and soothing chamomile. There is something mystical in a way the perfume moves from upper to middle notes, like entering an Indian shop. An explosion of colors and shapes, the dance of light and darkness can be felt in the dark, earthy and wood tones of patchouli and vetiver and light floral notes of jasmine, rose and ylang-ylang.

Aromatics Elixir is not for every woman. Especially not for those whose nose is used to the modern perfumes that dictate us to smell like raspberries and chocolate. This perfume is for those truly strong and daring women, highly individual, full of integrity and with a slightly manly cheeky attitude. Women who wore perfumes like Paloma Picasso, Knowing, Magie Noire. I believe Coco Chanel would wear this perfume. My advice is for the guys to try it too because, despite a large dose of flowers, it does not have the quality of contemporary female fragrances and no one could tell you that you smell like a girl. Only that you smell delicious. Besides it is more manly than 99% of modern perfumes but that doesn’t say much about Aromatics Elixir as much as it says about modern male perfume editions. If you’re looking for a perfume that will stand out, this could be the one. It is old enough not to be popular and not old enough to be outdated. A scented jewel from the time perfumes, like people, had character.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: chamomile, sage, verbena, coriander, bergamot, aldehydes, rosewood, geranium; middle notes: ylang-ylang, rose, carnation, tuberose, jasmine, iris root, neroli; base notes: patchouli, musk, oakmoss, thyme, vetiver.

[Scent grupe] chypre floral

Perfume creator is Bernard Chant.