Tag Archives: Clinique

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, FragranceX.com and John Lewis to name but a few.

Clinique Aromatics in White



I have almost, but not quite, given up on new releases on the High Street.  Whilst not blinding myself with prejudices, too many disappointments have rendered me cautious and jaded.

However, Clinique Aromatics in White caught me off guard.  I sniffed it, sprayed it, sniffed it again and went back the next day to spray it again and wheedle a sample or two from the nice sales assistant.

Don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it reminded me strongly of Chanel Les Exclusifs Coromandel.  Yes Coromandel- that Holy Grail that is so exclusive they even put exclusive in the name. You have to travel to a major city just to try them.


I haven’t gone mad I can assure you.  Allow me to plead my case.  In my earlier review of Coromandel I said it reminded me of damp castle walls and a Milky Bar.  Clinique Aromatics in White has a distinct milkiness that stops short of being rich and creamy.  Coromandel has spiky patchouli and an underlying heat, as does Aromatics in White. Both have delicate watercolour roses radiating subtly throughout: enough to intrigue and just enough to stop these warm scents from going down the manly chest route, but  at the same time, both  have enough Benzoin to make them appealingly unisex.

I should point out at this stage that Aromatics in White is in no way a duplicate or even a copy of Coromandel, but they had enough qualities in common to remind me of each other.

As far as the original Aromatics Elixir goes, this is not similar, apart from a certain retro chypre feel to it that smacks of a classic already. If you like Aromatics Elixir, first of all, may I congratulate you on your great taste? And secondly, Aromatics in White may or may not be your thing, but I wholeheartedly recommend giving it a good go.  Launch time is usually when its easiest to get samples from the sales assistants so strike while the iron is hot.  It’s Limited Edition, which worries me, because I want it to stick around.

In a blind test I would have said Aromatics in White was either a Serge Lutens or an Eau Legere type thingy of Coromandel.  You can imagine how thrilled I am that I can bag something of such calibre on my High Street for around £55 for 50ml. Sniff and sigh.  Sniff and sigh…


Clinique Aromatics in White is available from House of Fraser, Selfridges, the Clinique website and Amazon, to name but four.

Avon Week: Absynthe by Christian Lacroix


Christian LaCroix has created several fragrances exclusively for Avon: Noir for Men, Rouge for Women, Nuit For Women,  Nuit for Men, and Christian La Croix Absynthe. It’s not the usual run of the mill Avon stuff either.  Absynthe has guts and gusto and isn’t afraid to tread a tightrope away from being A Safe Bet.

 Absynthe is one of Avon’s most expensive fragrances, yet it can still be bought for as little as £12 for 50ml in some brochures.  It was created in  2009 by Laurent Le Guernec,  who has also worked on  Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker,  twelve fragrances for Bond No 9, four for Liz Claiborne,  and  Aromatics Elixir Parfumer’s Reserve for Clinique to name but a few of his successes. Despite it’s affordability and ubiquity, Absynthe is a decent scent that can stand shoulder to shoulder with more expensive contemporaries.

My lasting impression of Absynthe is that it reminds me of the bitter Greek Wine, Retsina, made of pine resin.  It opens with dry, bitter notes: Myrrh and a hint of Wood and Anise. Wormwood is strong too, as you would find in the notorious namesake drink.  Middle notes are softer and more feminine introducing flowers and a hint of pretty White Musk. The base is clearly  Amber and Musk, and the Wormwood from the opening stays true throughout.   There is a sweet note in there too, that I cannot name. I would have said Vanilla or Tonka Bean. It’s not overpoweringly sweet though, more like the sweetness of a glass of Chardonnay. I would also have described Absynthe as having Green notes too. The drydown is, to my nose, a dry, Green and Woody combination that has a refreshing bitterness. There’s a faint hint of Liquorice too, from the Anise in the opening blast.

Although LaCroix has also created Absynthe for Him, I don’t know why he bothered since this would comfortably merge from one to the other. I could easily pretend I bought this for my husband and then steal the whole damn bottle.