digging (into) vintage: Clinique Aromatics Elixir, 1971.

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(image Donna Gottschalk by Diana Davies)

Perfumer Bernard Chant.

I got a lesson in love and hate in fragrance from Aromatics Elixir. There are plenty of fragrances that on the first try I found uninteresting. Maybe I came to this conclusion as the top notes faded, maybe boredom set in by drydown. But I disliked Aromatics Elixir. It was bitter chamomile, bitter oakmoss, bitter herbal along with that back-of-the-throat saccharine that you can’t cough out. I just couldn’t stand it, until, without any feeling of transition, I thought it was one of the greatest perfumes I had ever smelled. Not just appreciation. I loved it.

I can’t really dissect this scent. I don’t have the analytical nose for that. But I don’t even want to. One thing I particularly love about Bernard Chant’s work is that I want to get taken for the ride. I don’t want to hear about the notes and all the stuff that’s in it. These are the moments of synergy that are made smaller by investigation. Let Aromatics Elixir drive the car.

The highest compliment I can give Aromatics Elixir is that if I were stranded with $50 and the clothes on my back I’d buy a bottle of Aromatics Elixir and some water.

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