You may well remember your mum, auntie, grandma, or yourself wearing scents in the 1980s that left such a cloying long trail that it was hard to breathe next to the person wearing these overly rich fragrances. The 90s changed all that not just with niche scents (small independent labels) creating less obvious perfumes but the advance in new scent ingredients that allowed for ‘cleaner’ or water-inspired scents, even ones that felt more as if they echoed the body’s natural smell, more laid back easy going and chilled. It was all changed but the latest trend in perfumery sees the return to ‘large’ scents, this time not cloying but versions of extreme excellence, favorites in collections taken ‘up a notch’. Find out more in The Scent Comes Back Stronger, Fuller, and More Vibrant, here
The regular EDT (Eau de Toilette) comes in with around 5% to 15 % of the actual perfume essence included in the bottle. An EDP (Eau de Parfum) comes in between 10% to 20% of perfume essence within the mix. This obviously means the EDT is lighter than the EDP. Usually, the perfume ingredients are the same but sometimes the balance of ithem needs to be slightly changed so that the EDP lasts longer than the EDT. An EDT should last around 4 to 7 hours whilst an EDP can last 6 to 8 hours.
For some, this is just not only not long enough, but not intense enough. If you have a scent you are truly in love with then you want to feel its presence fully through the day.
So along came the Elixiers to the world of fragrance, and it’s fair to say this is one of the big trends for 2024. It started a few years ago but it’s finding a very welcome audience from niche to popular big brand perfumes, the growth of bolder longer scents is expanding.
Elixirs have the largest concentration of perfume essence typically between 20% to 40%. Sometimes re are referred to as a Parfum, or an Absolute, but the different names still usually mean very high concentrates of core perfume oils. They will, of course, embody heavier notes compared to traditional EDTs and EDPs.
One of the first rebirths of this richer fuller style was Dior’s Sauvage, by perfumer Dior Francois Demachy in 2021. This new Elixir is a highly concentrated version of the original Eau Savage with its fresh spicy lavender woody facets and putting it on ‘steroids’ if you like. Francois Demachy took his initial iconic scent and blew it up with superb raw materials that made this extra concentrate a possibility.
Chanel also took their iconic Bleu de Chanel and added an EDP and then a Parfum to the collection and was again an early adopter of bringing high-strength scents to the market targeted at men. The original Bleu de Chanel EDT by Jacques Polge a mix of woodsy and citrus scents, with a touch of spice, think Calabrian bergamot, Geranium leaves and Haitian vetiver. Next in 2014, an EDP version was also created and again was formulated by Jacques Polge. By 2018 a full Parfum version was formulated by Jacques’s son Olivier Polge who is the head perfumer at Chanel.
Jean-Paul Gaultier Le Male Elixir, Gucci Guilty For Her and Mugler Angel Elixir are all examples of elixirs new to the market. These are well-known perfumes from big fragrance houses, but what about the niche, smaller more intimate brands? They have also created elixirs of usually their best performer, which means there is a ready-made audience already in love with the ‘juice’ who love these stronger versions of their own best-loved scents.
Dimitri Weber originally from Belgium, totally fell in love with the Australian coastline and botanical life, so he decided to encapsulate the stimulating aromas of the outdoors into fragrance form. He went on to form the brand Goldfield & Banks Australia
The brand is a total celebration of the flora and fauna of Australia. A country known for its perfume ingredient production but initially not known especially for producing its own fragrances.
Their Botanical Series focuses on the organic vegetation of Australia. Its highly successful and debut fragrance Silky Woods is infused with notes of Tahitian Vanilla, Agarwood from Australia along with Madagascan Ylang Ylang, Australian Sandalwood and Tobacco leaves. Created to capture the sensorial essence of the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, it is a sensual gourmand and lush fragrance.
Silky Woods the original perfume came out in 2021 with perfumer Hamid Merati Kashani as the nose and the brand’s director Belgian Dimitri Weber at the helm.
It opens with an excellent blend of soft spice from Saffron and sweet jammy notes of Fig which follows through with delicate Rose earthy powdery Orris and offset by resinous Peru Balm and a gourmand note of Praline.
The base brings the joy of woods to the fore once settled with smokey Austrailian Oud, Oakmoss, Oud Assafi, herbaceous Cyrpiol, woody depth from Guaiacwood (Palo Santo), and a warm wrapping feeling to end with Vanilla and Musk.
The warming notes of Oud and Musk set with sweeter, more delicate tones of Fig and Rose to finish in a blaze of woods make for an alluring scent for both men and women.
Encased in an angular modern lavish bottle wrapped in gold reminiscent of the golden sunshine of the majestic island that is Australia as well as a nod to the romance of the Australian Gold Rush
If you prefer a bit more of a classic scent that has been ‘exploded’, then the elixir from Creed Absolu Aventus may just be what you are looking for, and it is the brand’s most loved and lauded fragrance.
James Henry Creed founded the House of Creed in London in 1760 as a tailoring establishment making a pair of scented leather gloves for King George III but left the world of tailoring to blossom in the world of perfumery.
The original Aventus Eau de Parfum opens by combining rich fruity juicy notes of Apple and Blackcurrant, with the soft spice of pink Pepper and bright Bergamot.
Rich and juicy fruit also sits in the heart of this scent with Pineapple alongside the most elegant queen of flowers Jasmine and earthy Patchouli. A perfect fruity chypre fragrance, created in 2010 by Olivier Creed who claims it was Napoleon Bonaparte who was the starting inspiration for the majestic masculine scent.
Creed also totally understood the needs of their customers and for Christmas 2023 launched an absolut of the enigmatic Aventus as a limited edition. This Absolu is a rarer edition to the collection which will delight Aventus devotees and invite a fortunate few to join its discerning community as it is literally a limited edition and once sold no more will be made.
Absolu Aventus offers a complex twist that creatively pays homage to Aventus’ iconic signature notes. Initially, the introduction of a burst of citrus via Lemon, Grapefruit, and fizz from Ginger at the top adds a heightened experience.
Fruit and spice as before are exposed and expanded with the warmth of Cardamom & Cinnamon added to the familiar notes of Pineapple, Patchouli, and Pink Pepper.
Alongside the original blend find added exposure of earthy grasses almost smokey via Haitian Vetiver, which brings another facet to the Cashmeran Wood, Labdanum, Ambroxan, Musk & Oakmoss.
The added notes bring a new nuanced blend of warm and sensuous notes that spontaneously reimagine an icon. Taking its name from the Latin ‘Absolvere’ meaning ‘to set free’, an Absolut is typically made using a solvent extraction process that involves soaking the plant material in a solvent making it a highly concentrated complex type of perfume extract.
So if your New Year resolves to stand up and be counted then Elixirs, Absoluts, and Parfums are the way forward. Searches online in the third quarter of 2023 saw a massive 38% soar in those looking for stronger scents. If your favorite is not here yet hold your horses it is probably not far away
These powerhouses of scents are stronger and more intense and allow you to dive deeper into a perfume you love.