Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve Perfume

Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfumer's Reserve

A perfume’s life expectancy is even more brief than a caveman’s. Most perfumes don’t live long enough to blow out five candles on their pink frosted birthday cake. To see a perfume reach it’s 40th anniversary is very rare. And to see a perfume reach its 40th and still be loved is even more aberrant. I’ve always adored Clinique Aromatics Elixir. I have a thing for chypres. And Aromatics Elixir is my “casual” chypre. It’s often a scent that I wear in the fall since it reminds me of dying rose gardens (here’s my review). It’s an iconic fragrance that most people recognize. And I find that you either love it or hate it. It depends if your mother/grandmother/hard-hearted 1st grade teacher wore it or not.

To celebrate Aromatics Elixir’s four decades of “making it on its own”, Clinique launched a limited edition bottle of the original, a solid perfume, and a new limited edition, Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve. The limited editions come in gorgeous packaging. Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve is a smaller amber bottle, think of it as a parfum, and it is has a pulsepoint dabber. It seems that the biggest complaint by those that dislike Aromatics Elixir claim that people overapply. And I agree with this. I’ve tasted this perfume on more elevators than I wish to admit. One only needs a little and it’s difficult to over do it with the new Perfumer’s Reserve because of the dabber.

Clinique Aromatics Elixir

Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve is very much like the original but there are some subtle differences. Perfumer’s Reserve kept everything that I love about the original but smoothed out the edges. Perfumer’s Reserve didn’t add trendy notes like pink pepper and it didn’t add vanilla to sweeten or “modern” it up. This is not a flanker. The scent comes across as smoother, muted but with an equal strength and less dry/musty than the original. The top notes are gone and Perfumer’s Reserve skips right to the rose and heady white florals. And these florals smell really high quality, very rich and thicker than the original. The patchouli is dark and smooth in this as well. And it’s very long-wearing, like I said before, think of it as a parfum.

Described as “fresher, smoother, more modern” with notes of rose, jasmine, myrrh, patchouli, orange flower and peach. PERFUMERLaurent Le Guernac

Do you need both if you are a fan of the original? I don’t know. It’s up to you. I really like both and don’t prefer one over the other. Think of Perfumer’s Reserve as the parfum and the original as a more diluted version. It’s a nice change without totally upsetting your center of gravity. I like the florals in Perfumer’s Reserve but I also like that mustiness and the chypre-ness of the original. I’ve justified having both. My husband hates this since he dry-heaves at all chypres. *Ladies and gentleman, you should really know this about a person before you get married or cohabitate.

Astrud Gilberto in fur

Try Perfumer’s Reserve if you like the original or if you like rich, white florals, “mature” perfumes or perfumes like Dior Diorama, Hermès Calèche, Aqua di Parma Profumo, and/or Clive Christian X. I know that Perfumer’s Reserve is supposed to be modern. It is but at the same time it smells like a beautiful, unused, unspoiled vintage perfume. I love that Clinique didn’t infantilize this cult-classic chypre. I think they did a wonderful job “modernizing”.

Since this is an anniversary fragrance, it’s limited edition. Perfumer’s Reserve retails for $75 for 25ml and is available at Macy’s and Clinique. You can also get the original in the pretty limited edition bottle for $55.

*Macy’s is an affiliate link. Bottles purchased by me. Product pics from Clinique. Astrud Gilberto, one of my favorite pics ever of this amazing woman, is from listal.com.

13 thoughts on “Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve Perfume

  1. I have a soft spot for Lalique and Astrud Gilberto!

    There’s sambac jasmine in the heart and sambac jasmine hates me. Did you pick up any scatole/indole notes?

    • Yes, I picked up on some indoles. It’s weird but sometimes I notice the rose more and other times I notice the jasmine and orange blossom more. I find the jasmine in this a little raunchy.

  2. I want to try and like this because I like the bottle so much. They chose an interesting way to “modernize” without (I love your word) “infantilizing” it. Great review, Victoria.

    • It is so difficult to find this at counter too. I went to like 10, no joke.
      I’m so happy that they didn’t add cotton candy for the baby crowd or pink pepper or some type of “fresh” accord for the under 35 crowd. I’m so happy that Clinique kept it Aromatics Elixir. They just used more expensive ingredients to modernize it. It’s expensive for a Clinique fragrance but it competes with the niche stuff.

  3. I got the limited edition normal AE bottle – I grew up with this stuff, adore it. But it is absolutely easy to overdo!

    And weirdly enough it’s got nothing in it that I usually identify as loving. It’s not none of the pink grapefruit or vanilla or sandalwood that are my usual staples. Adore.

    • I bought that one too :) The bottle is so pretty. And a little goes a looonnng way.

      Maybe that’s why you like it. It’s different than your usual staples :)

  4. I wondered how this was! I found it all sold out everywhere. Thanks for the detailed review — I have affection for that window in time and nice to see that they were able to mark the anniversary with something worthy of the original.

    • It took me forever to find this fragrance. I went to at least 10 Clinique Macy’s counters. A friend bought it unsniffed, I got a sample and knew that I had to have it, ordered on-line. I’m very happy I did. It really is a “smoother” Aromatics Elixir.

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