Group: Oriental floral
Whilst living in London I've had regular facials with Elemis in Debenhams, London so when I visited friends a couple of months ago I couldn't resist treating myself again which I did. After every facial, Elemis will make you a little goodie bag with some samples in and inside the package I found a sample of Elemis Exotic Eau de Parfum to try.
Elemis is known for their fuss-free, streamlined packaging designs and the perfume bottle is no exception. The simple clear glass with a purple tinge at the bottom and the rectangular shape including the square top isn't really pretty and won't stand out at all. The packaging, as well as the vial card is deep-purple to add a dash of colour. A dense, colored bottle would have matched the fragrance better.
Top notes: clove, cinnamon, pink pepper
Exotic starts out with a burst of cedarwood and dark, oily clove in a generous cloud of warm, dense and honeyed ylang-ylang that reminded me immediately of the lovely and powerful start of Kenzo Jungle Elephant only Exotic was lighter and airier and somewhat darker too.
The spices don't linger around as they should as the more insistent floral accord from the heart drowns them out which is too bad as I really wanted them to last, especially the cinnamon listed here which I can't even pick up. Overall, a dominant spiced ylang-ylang made up the first accord that lasted for about 5 - 10 minutes.
Heart notes: ylang-ylang, jasmine, tuberose
Within the next hour, Exotic developed a big, full-blown floral heart dominated by a heady, almost syrupy sweet, creamy and slightly bitter ylang-ylang with a hint of clove-like spiciness to it in the vein of Mahora or Jungle Elephant with Exotic being the most natural and discreet smelling ylang-ylang of the bunch.
It finally lost its oily and somewhat cloying edge and settled into a still fleshy but more buttery, velvety and almost edible white floral that you could almost bite into so real and close it was. The loud and proud ylang-ylang only left some room for the other white florals later on which added a more powdery feel and softness to the composition that altogether stayed detectable for about 4 hours and had a lovely, noticeable projection too.
Base notes: frankincense, sandalwood, cedarwood
The cosy but exotic-smelling floral phase finally turned into a tempered, creamy white floral accord laced with a gentle, powdery and woody cedar note, a welcome treat after all that bold floral bouquet statement. The rest of the woods never really surfaced, apart from a hint of dark, resin-like presence. At this point the fragrance stayed close to the skin and compleletely disappeared after about 8 hours of wear in total.
Perfume-making is a lot more than just blending some essential oils or essences together. It involves scores or even hundreds of aromachemicals carefully added that bring out the best of each note, accord and overall effect and balance out the composition so that the each of the main ingredients can have their intended role. Especially when dealing with ylang-ylang which is one powerful beast and can easily overwhelm and ruin a composition.
Elemis is a cosmetic brand that brings natural ingredients to the science lab incorporating the best of both worlds into their products. Therefore, Elemis Exotic Eau de Parfum is meant to be enjoyed as an extension to their product range as it's nicely blended and natural. However, it lacks real structure, fixation and concept so it will never be on par with the full-blown, elaborately created exotic floral compositions from big houses such as Kenzo or Guerlain.
If you like Elemis and their lovely smelling bath soaks and moisture melts, you'll probably like Elemis Exotic. You'll also have to like ylang-ylang though as this is the main signature of the fragrance. The real drawbacks for me however were the lack of balance, the missing structure and the overpowering ylang note. I would have preferred a distinctly woodier and more resinous base that would have balanced out the florals better and given Exotic a deeper, more exotic oriental feel.
To sum up, Exotic Eau de Parfum is quite expensive for what it is albeit being natural. When I need my ylang-ylang fix, I'd reach for Kenzo or Guerlain or if in an especially natural mood, I'd be probably better off throwing together a blend of ylang-ylang, spices, cedar and frankincense without making a huge dent in my wallet.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
Available at Elemis concessions in selected department stores such as John Lewis, House of Fraser or Harrods or online at www.timetospa.co.uk retailing at £35 / 28ml Eau de Parfum
Thanks for reading.
©powered by lillybee also posted on ciao.co.uk
Elemis' second fragrance! A sultry, intoxicating fragrance with woody floral notes woven together in an blend of forbidden fruits, exotic flowers and warm woods that transport you away to a faraway place / Spicy Pink Pepper, Clove Bud and Cinnamon Bark, Fresh Indian Jasmine Sambuc, Ylang Ylang and Tuberose, Warming Cedar wood, Somali Incense and Sandalwood, / Includes an exquisite deep purple velvet travel pouch making it the perfect handbag companion.