Mainstream Monday: Clinique’s Aromatics in Black

Aromatics in BlackHappy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Some of you have the day off, so enjoy the extended weekend. *** My perfumista ears perked up way back when as I read that Clinique was launching an Aromatics in White and Aromatics in Black. Mostly because while I respect and admire (from afar) the original, it was just too-too much for me. Musette has referred to is as the Elixir of Doooom. 🙂 And if they were going to create more wearable (for me, at least) versions of it, all to the good. I’ve long been a big fan of another scent in their stable, Clinique Wrappings, and was thrilled to bits when they took over Prescriptives’ Calyx and made sure it had a future on their counter. Not a huge lover of Happy and its iterations, so I was glad to see them expand their fragrance family in this direction.

So while I tried Clinique Aromatics in White last fall and liked it, I wasn’t able to wear it enough to get a good reading on it; then when I misplaced my sample, I gave up. I’ve got another one now, but think I’ll just hold off on it until warmer weather comes calling.

Now let’s see about this Aromatics in Black. Couldn’t seem to find this at Clinique counters in mid-2015, although as of late last year it showed up on Clinique’s U.S. web site (and is also an exclusive at Saks now, I believe), but I snagged a sample from Surrender to Chance.

There’s nothing really all that black (or “noir”) about it, but it does have what I think of as a “dark lite” (“lite dark”?) vibe. The notes list fruit at the top, but I didn’t get much of that — well, perhaps an echo of something near Tom Ford’s Plum Japonais, but easing quickly into a warm, smooth mix of myrrh, vetiver and jasmine, with a creamy but almost masculine drydown with the teeniest hint of sweetness. It’s not terribly complicated, but I found it to be a very wearable fall/winter entry from Clinique, covering a versatile range of wear, from dressing up for dinner to a warming spritz on a chilly night when you want a snuggle scent. Heck, it’s even lulled me to sleep a night or two.

It’s that great no-brainer fragrance: a cashmere-wrap-of-cozy scent that you can reach for whenever needed. I’ve drained several samples and am contemplating a decant. This one also might be a good entry point for perfume newbies venturing into slightly deeper scents. I also could see this as nice gift for a young woman who’s outgrown (or never cared for) the fruity-floral fluff out there. And it won’t break the bank either, so that’s another plus. And if it does well enough, body products might come down the pike — Aromatics in Black body cream or lotion? Sign me up.

One slightly irritating thought occurred to me as I was typing along, however. Please, no one pull my perfumista card for saying so, but if Chanel Coco Noir had smelled closer to this, I would have been far more pleased. As I said above, Aromatics Black only skirts noir territory, but it feels closer than Chanel’s and smells a bit richer overall to me. But I know some of you out there really like CN, so no harm, no foul — it’s all good.

BTW, I’m green with envy of you folks in the UK. Several of the big department stores over there had the Aromatics in Black in a candle late last year. I began frantically searching the Web and got all excited for about 15 minutes — until I saw that none of those retailers ships across the Pond. Sigh. Maybe by the holiday season of 2016 this lovely black candle will arrive on our shores.

Notes per Fragrantica: Fruits, jasmine, osmanthus, myrrh and vetiver.

Have any of you tried either of the new Aromatics? Or sniffed a good mainstream scent lately? What’s keeping you afloat in the mid-January blahs?

P.S. Thanks to all of you for your good wishes and helpful hints last week — I’m feeling back to normal and so happy to be sniffing again!

  • Rina says:

    I too, failed out of AE School and I REALLY tried. Just nope. The AiB intrigues me, but I’m skeert… I’m crushing hard this Jan. on DK Black Cashmere, scooping up the new bottle and lotion before it disappears to the Internet netherworld..
    Glad you feel better!

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Rina! Do not be scared of the Aromatics Black — really, it’s mostly a cozy teddy bear of a scent. And yumm-o to the Black Cashmere. I’ve always loved that and Chaos but sometimes end up forgetting about them. So glad you got some!

      • Rina says:

        Chaos (new) is still in the boutiques and 20% off till they close for good on Weds (mine, anyway. I was told Vegas will be open a few weeks more). Let me know if you need one..