Aromatics Elixir by Clinique 1971

Hiya Posse! One of my great perfume loves that has been in the grab tray for years is Aromatics Elixir by Clinique. It’s a fragrance that instantly whisks me away to far off lands and remembered holiday adventures. Even though it doesn’t smell like anywhere in particular. Pieces of its whole are trademarks of places I’ve been lucky enough to visit. I’m pretty sure Mum never had a bottle but there was at least one Aunt that spritzed with abandon.

Can we talk about how bloody good Aromatics Elixir is please? Sure, it’s not in fashion to smell like this anymore. Honestly though, it’s just so sad that we aren’t smelling people walk by us leaving a sillage that we can swim in. I think we have talked somewhere about my mate Scott daring me to do 35 sprays and going shopping? I did it and though we were both nearly asphyxiated not one person mentioned my aggressive cloud. We laugh about it regularly still. Maybe they were terrified of it and thought it might lash out?!?

Anyway, let’s talk about what a sensible four spritz wear is like. I bought this bottle in the last 5 or 6 years, so pretty modern.

Aromatics Elixir by Clinique 1971

Aromatics Elixir Clinique

Clinique gives these featured accords:
Patchouli, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Ylang ylang, Rose

Elsewhere we get much fuller lists:
Top: Chamomile Aldehydes Clary Sage Coriander Geranium Lemon Verbena Brazilian Rosewood Bergamot
Heart:  Carnation Rose Ylang-Ylang Orris Root Jasmine Tuberose Orange Blossom
Base: Oakmoss Patchouli Incense Vetiver Sandalwood Musk

One chest, one back neck and both my forearms. I’m smiling from ear to ear. Aromatics Elixir never fails to please. Spicy amber floral delight. It has hints of greenery; herbs, leaves, grass, broken twigs and bark. There are floral wafts but none of them stand above the bouquet. Rather, they are an amalgam, a glorious chorus.

As we head through the heart and to the dry down the patchouli becomes noticeable. There’s a Trivia player that has never commented on my fragrance until wearing Aromatics Elixir last week and she asked if my perfume was patchouli heavy. I was utterly gobsmacked. She went on to reminisce about her headshot patchouli oils in the 1970s and how I’d inspired her to go find some again.

Aromatics Elixir

Aromatics Elixir is a wonderkind. Totally unisex in 2024, longevity and projection are off the charts for the first hour or so and then it recedes to a dull roar for the rest of the day.

Should you not be near a Clinique counter Surrender To Chance has samples.

Did you ever Aromatics Elixir?
Portia xx



  • Rose says:

    Rose here ………… I have had Aromatics Elixir forever … just adore the memory evoked by it, but as I age have worn it less as it is a powerhouse, ( fear of offending) but perhaps it needs to return to the light ? You have stirred my senses ??? thankyou ?

  • Mals86 says:

    Hi, Portia! Holy Moses, is Elixir of Doom ever a patch bomb! I have trouble with it because I’m one of those people for whom sage smells like, you know, urine. I did once spritz a blotter with it in the store, stuck it in my shopping bag, took it home and kept horrifying myself with it… until about three days later, when it smelled absolutely glorious. And nothing else for sale now has even a tenth of the presence of the stuff.

    • Portia says:

      Heya Mals86! What a lovely sight to see you commenting! Welcome back.
      Bummer about the sage.
      You poor bugger, I did laugh though. Three days! You’re a sucker for punishment.
      Portia xx

  • Holly says:

    Aromatics Elixir was one of the first perfumes gifted to me as a teenager by my future mother in law, I received the gift set complete with powder and lotion. I loved it immediately and remember feeling so sophisticated wearing it. It is still one of those perfumes I recognize immediately…and can tell if anyone within 50 feet is wearing. I think it smells the best on hot days given the chance to really warm up and open fully on your skin. Le Lion…hot days…wow…it too totally transforms! Thank you for your fabulous impressions Portia! I always enjoy!

    • Holly says:

      Oh…and YOWZA…35 SPRAYS…EPIC! I bet I could smell you 3 football fields away! ?? Too funny!

    • Portia says:

      YAY Holly, love that you have such a long history with Aromatics Elixir. It still smell sophisticated to me. Not for the faint of heart or wallflowers, it’s a definite statement piece.

      HA! It was a LOT. 35 sprays, we almost died but it was also terrific.
      Portia xx

  • Pam says:

    I love AE and yet have never owned a full bottle. I have a little sample and I always spray it when I’m near a tester. Hmmmm. Maybe I should actually BUY a bottle.

  • Maya says:

    I’m pretty sure I tried AE at the Clinique counter a very long time ago but I don’t really remember it. I would remember if I loved it or hated it, either extreme. It was obvious not something that interested me very much at the time, though I think I might have leaned a bit towards the negative side.

  • Dina C. says:

    I had to return something to Macy’s today, so I stopped by the Clinique counter and asked the SA for a spritz of AE on a blotter. It’s still the same great powerhouse scent! We both agreed it would be better in winter, and she said they sell a lot more of it in the colder months!

  • Musette says:


    I love you beyond all loving.
    But I would’ve shot you, right in the cereal aisle, were I to chance upon you wearing THIRTY FIVE sprays of Elixir of Doom. I usually would just knife you – but I probably couldn’t have gotten that close.
    AE is my bete noire – it’s one of the few perfumes that can trigger a migraine in my poor ol’ head. Which is a shame because it is gorgeous- terrifyingly gorgeous.

    And strong.

    Godzilla-level strong.

    (and.. okay.. I wouldn’t shoot (or knife) my Portia… but I would’ve been mad as FIRE!)

    • Portia says:

      OH NOOOOO Musette, well I will not wear Aromatics Elixir in your company. Perfume headaches are bad. I’ve found this out over the past few years with my beloved CHANEL No22. It’s a bummer.
      Portia xx

  • Tom says:

    I have to write that I never have tried this one. I never even noticed it at the Clinique counter, but then I don’t think I have paid attention to Clinique since the 70’s when I tried it. I wasn’t totally spotty but would attack whatever blemish dared raise a red head like John Wayne taking the battlements. I tried Clinique and it was drying as all hell, which just made everything worse. (oh that clarifying lotion could strip the paint (and the rust) off an old Packard..

    But this one I will have to try. I may even do 35 spritzes..

  • March says:

    THIRTY-FIVE sprays?!?! Holy guacamole, I’m amazed you could still breathe! AE is too, too big for my comfort (on me) but I’ve definitely caught whiffs of it from a distance and loved it. Hey maybe I was smelling your 35 sprays all the way from home 😀 What a classic, and I’m glad it’s still being made.

  • Jennifer S says:

    I love AE but I’m a ‘cautious’ user lol. I tend to wear it in the warmer weather as it brings out just the loveliest rose note, and I’m not so much a rose person per se, but this one smells so good.

  • Dina C. says:

    I never wore AE myself, but I remember smelling it on other grown ups. I think this one can be oversprayed until it chokes everyone in a 8 ft diameter, but the right amount is just beautiful. Has it been reformulated due to oakmoss?

  • MMKinPA says:

    I have not smelled AE since I was a kid and my mom was shopping at the Clinique counter. I remember thinking it was awful – way too big for my kid nose. I should really head to the mall and check it out again, my tastes have certainly changed and I’ll bet I would like it now!

  • cinnamon says:

    I am sure I sampled this … a lifetime ago. Absolutely no memory. I recall Prescriptives Calyx and EL Youth Dew but from this genre not a whisper of AE. Now on the list for next visit to town.

  • Cassieflower says:

    An absolute barnstormer. It is still quite popular here, I smell it in the wild frequently, though only worn by a certain age group (mine, and beyond, not spring chickens). I really think the young ones are missing a trick here. I have an older edt and a perfume which is oily. Still packed away though, so can’t get my mitts on it easily.

  • alityke says:

    Been a regular in my wardrobe since the 80s. The “chip fat” version of oak moss in the 2018/19 version meant I sold that bottle. As with Azuree, that has now been fixed & AE is now back on form.
    I was followed round a supermarket recently, until I heard the conversation
    Husband-for Gods sake what are you doing?
    Wife-I want to know who is wearing that gorgeous perfume.
    Husband-tsk & eye roll
    Me to wife- Is this what you can smell? Offers wrist
    Wife-yes, it’s lovely. Never smelt anything like it
    Me-Clinique Aromatic Elixir. Shows her 25ml bottle
    Wife- writes it down.
    I do wonder if she bought it.

    AE is great in hot weather too

  • Richard Potter says:

    Aromatics Elixir is one of the very best!