My samples of Clinique Aromatics in White1 were ordered from an eBay seller in Italy. As the weeks passed and I received no samples, I began to joke about ordering from an Italian. I pictured a beautiful young woman who had gotten her samples free from the Clinique counter at la Rinascente in Rome. She forgot all about my order till one night at cocktails (with her gorgeous boyfriend) she reached in her huge purse and found the samples: “Dio! L’Americano! Profumo! Clinique!” I imagined she looked up my address on her iPhone, made an envelope on the spot from a stiff paper napkin and tape, then wrote my address on it using her Gucci eye liner. On their way home, she had her beau stop his Vespa at what she thought was a mail box (the box was red, anyway) and tossed in my perfume. Only when she got home did she think: “Merda! Ho dimenticato il francobollo!!!!!” (that’s “S**t! I forgot the postage stamp!”)
Italians, please forgive my one-word sentences and clichés! (If I could switch countries with you tonight, I would!) Plus: the joke was on me. Though the parcel took six weeks to arrive, it, and the perfume inside, were delivered in pristine condition. (For comparison, a parcel from a German perfume company arrived the same week in an envelope with its paper fibers barely holding together, and my name and address looked as if it had been written with a tongue dipped in ink — a miracle the U.S. Postal Service found me!
Now, for those of you still reading, two questions you may want answered:
Does Aromatics in White smell anything like “classic” Clinique Aromatics Elixir?
Was the wait for Aromatics in White worth it?
The answer to both is: “No.”
Aromatics in White does smell white: clean, milky, soapy…then powdery. When first applied, Aromatics in White whispers in aldehydic language — punctuated by sheer/clear rose, scrubbed orange blossom and patchouli (barely noticeable), and a watery, thin ambergris note mixing with a vanilla bean or two. (Aromatics in White’s ingredients seem 'bleached.') The perfume does not develop further…it just fades away in several hours.
The image that came to mind as I wore Aromatics in White was a “bubble bath for baby”…using a department store, not drugstore, soap. Aromatics in White is about as inoffensive (bland) as you can get; I can’t imagine any perfumista getting excited over this one! But: this might be a perfect first perfume for a young girl. No wonder my (imagined) zesty Italian supplier decided to sell her samples and not wear them herself.
Clinique Aromatics in White is not currently available in the US (it should launch here later this year); it is available elsewhere in 30 (€49), 50 (€69) and 100 (€102) ml Eau de Parfum.
Note: middle image of a baby [altered] via Wikimedia Commons.
1. Perfumer: Nicolas Beaulieu; listed notes of Sichuan pepper, violet leaf, labdanum, rose, orange blossom, patchouli, leather musk, grey amber, benzoin and vanilla.