Clinique Aromatics in Black

Photo by Fragrantica

Clinique has my full respect, if only for the iconic Aromatics Elixir and the newer Aromatics in White, which had a mixed reception but was much admired by yours truly (see my earlier review).

However today I tried Aromatics in Black whilst accidentally ending up in my local House of Fraser Fragrance Department (even though I was buying pyjamas for a large nine year old. Oops).

I had a few sprays on skin and enjoyed the opening notes which packed a punch and had some nice grapefruit and plum with a hint of powdery white flowers. However, twenty minutes later I couldn’t helping wondering if I was wearing Aromatics in Black or Avon Mesmerize Black For Her.

Aromatics in Black has something for everyone, which may be its failing, at least in my opinion. Is it fruity? Is it floral? Is it oriental? It’s all of them. It does opens beautifully with grapefruit and plum, but then quickly segues into something a bit non descript and, for want of a better word, “meh”.

On my skin now, and its barely there three hours later, is a kind of muted plum with some rich myrhh that has gone a bit bland. Reading the notes, I was excited to try this, but the results were disappointing. The plum seems to murder its rivals and stamp on the flowers, which leaves the myrhh and grassy vetiver into a dry, muted fuzz.

At around £50 a bottle, you’d have to really love this to buy it and just because I don’t like it, doesn’t mean you won’t, but If I had money to spend at the Clinique counter, it wouldn’t be on this. Sorry Clinique, I do love you, but I don’t love this.


Aromatics in Black is widely available. You can buy it from from House of Fraser, and John Lewis to name but a few.

11 thoughts on “Clinique Aromatics in Black”

  1. In White was interesting and referenced vaguely the original. In Black was a horrible sweet mess for me. Why all these new “black” perfumes, feminine and masculine, are usually so devastatingly sweet? Black refers to something very sensuous, but with such sweetness, it could be sensuous only for someone bulimic. And if black is supposed to conjure danger, Aromatics in Black could only be dangerous if one suffers from diabetes

    1. Hi Christos

      I quite agree, and let us not speak of the horror that is Black Opium! That one was a horrible shock.

      Yes I think Aromatics in Black should have stayed in the lab. For fifty quid a bottle I expect more. And it really does smell like Avon Mesmerize Black which is under a tenner.

      best wishes

  2. I was not a great lover of White (which I finally tested thanks to you) and have to say I was not tempted to buy, I tried Black a few days ago and whilst the fragrance was pleasant for a moment in then became somewhat odd, it didnt make me want it and it was fleeting on my skin. Nothing will match the original and I think they are just hoping and trying to pull in old devotees. These are so similar to other perfumes only Aromatics original will ride the test of time.

    1. Margaret i totally agree. Only Elixir will still remain a classic. Aromatics in Black is not even in the race.

  3. I liked the aromatics in white. At first test I was pleasantly surprised but not enough to get a bottle, however I tested it again over the break and liked the way it develops on the skin, so might invest (it helps that I also like the bottle!). So I approached black with some enthusiasm, but was hugely dissappointed. To me it seemed sweet and rather suffocating, but as you say, rather nondescript.

    1. I felt exactly the same Alice. I liked In White and wouldn’t turn down a full bottle, so had high hopes for this. It’s looking that “meh” is unanimous!

      You clearly have great taste, just like me x

      1. Call me devil’s advocate here, but I adore Aromatics in Black. It’s a different scent, no doubt, with the warm spicyness I love from Coco (another love) and Opium. It has that plum opening as mentioned, but as it dries down, an incense-y (the myrrh and patchoult notes) smokiness that pleases my senses. I still love the original Aromatics Elixir but this one snuck up on me and bopped me on my head and I fell in love.

        Aromatics in White? YUCK. I’ll pass. That initial blast of rose and amber made me gag..the rose smelled like, (and this is a morbid statement, sorry) stale funeral home flowers…one spray and I hurried to my face bowl to wash, no, SCRUB off that hideous scent. Um, no thanks lol

      2. It’s funny becuase I love Coco and opium (though not Black Opium) but never saw any similarity between those two beautiful and Aromatics in Black. I love to hear a mix of opinions on scent. The ebauty of fragrance is that you are never wrong for liking or hating something! Sam xxx

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