I realize that I'm one flanker behind. Aromatics In Black was a 2015 release, followed by Aromatics Black Cherry last year. Prior to that Clinique has released Aromatics In White (2014) which I couldn't stand because of its generic musky rose note and the extremely limited Aromatics Elixir Perfumer's Reserve (2011) which I should have bought but didn't (kicks self). The regular Clinique Aromatics Elixir is still a great perfume, even if only loosely related to the original 1971 version. When I first heard about Aromatics In Black I sort of expected (hoped) that it would take the easygoing modern Aromatics back to darker and sexier realms. The listed notes could have gone many ways: Plum Leaf Accord, Pink Grapefruit, Bergamot, Osmanthus, Jasmine, Neroli, Myrrh, Vetiver and Tonka Bean. The actual perfume surprised me by being a floriental, kind of like a light and non-funky Black Orchid.
If I were blindly testing this fragrance I doubt I'd ever find the Aromatics Elixir connection. It's just not there. It doesn't matter, though. In Black is right up my alley with its satisfying sweetness and rich floral heart that are quite perfumy and velvety. It gives me a feeling of biting into something juicy (fruit, not steak) without being too literal. The fruit facet is abstract enough, the flowers well-blended with the osmanthus leaning to its peachy side. I think that's what made me fall in love with this fragrance from the very first go and why I bought the larger bottle (which I rarely do). I want to feel like that (and smell like that), and I want to do it often.
The base in the late dry-down is more tonka than myrrh, though I do get a hint of the latter here and there. The composition ends up as a warm and inviting, reasonably sexy, and comfortable to wear for those who like me enjoy this style. It's more modern than the lush florientals of the late 80s or early 90s (I'm thinking of Jil Sander No.4), since there's no trace of a cannibal tuberose. I'm okay with that and with the polite projection, but I do wish it lasted longer. As it is, Aromatics In Black retreats to skin-level after less than three hours and stays there for the rest of the day or night. Those who faceplant into your neck/cleavage will still get a good whiff, but I want more of scent bubble, especially this time of year when I'm covered in layers of clothes and outerwear.
Clinique- Aromatics In Black ($59 for the 50ml or $79 for the 100ml) is available from clinique.com, most Clinique counters, and various online retailers.
Artwork: La Garçonne by Jean-Gabriel Domergue, 1925