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Group: Chypre floral
With the warm weather finally here, I fancied some lighter, fresher fragrance so I picked up Givenchy's latest Ange ou Demon flanker bearing the name, Le Secret Elixir from my miniature collection to wear.
The elongated, waterdrop-shaped bottle used to house all Ange ou Demon editions comes in a light shade of purple this time. The design of the outer box is largely white with a bit of purple on so in feel it's closely following in its predecessors footsteps.
Top notes: neroli, lemon, tea
The fragrance opens up with a fresh, slightly soapy note of orange to my nose that has a king of red, blood-orange feel to it and a sort of bitterness. I don't find the accord natural at all, there's a synthetic feel to the elements that in a few minutes blend into the heart.
Middle notes: frangipani, African orange blossom, jasmine
The jasmine kicks in after about 10 minutes as a fainter, more diluted version of the huge, sweet and synthetic jasmine of Alien. The resemble is striking which is not really a plus in my book. A gourmand and creamy frangipani note with its sweet, almondy facet creeps in some time later and stays fairly noticeable in the background for a couple of hours. The rich, but linear jasmine mixed with a normally strong and powdery orange blossom gives a surprisingly bland, flat and weak result which is surprising for such heady and intense florals. It doesn't appear to be sensual either and the overall texture is neither soft nor sharp but something in between. The floral heart projects well, isn't overpowering and becomes quite subdued after about 4 - 5 hours.
Base notes: musk, patchouli, cedarwood, vanilla
Another couple of hours on, not surprisingly there isn't anything spectacular about the fragrance. The base notes form a light, somewhat sour but creamy and sweet accord of vanilla, tea and musk. The elements don't blend together but stand separately which is a shame as it shows a lack of skilful blending. The light, tart tea note doesn't really work as a base combined with the generic, clean and gentle laundry musk aroma and the faint puff of vanillin. The lasting power of 7 hours isn't impressive either but given I'm not a fan, this I don't really care for. A drydown of frangipani and vanilla stays on clothes the next day though.
Le Secret Elixir is a fragrance that does not provide anything new or different from the existing Le Secret line or any other fragrance in general. There are already a number of similar perfumes available just to mention Alien, Alien flankers and Le Secret itself that play on similar themes. Although seemingly holding the promise of a stronger; more opulent version of Le Secret, in practice, the fragrance is extremely lacklustre, fractionated and doesn't at all live up to its glamorous claims. The packaging and name couldn't be further from this insipid, flanker of a flanker juice either.
I find Elixir rather boring, flat and especially synthetic-feeling which is probably my biggest problem with it as I just can't stand wearing synthetic fragrances for long periods. The fragrance is trying to be several things at the same time (fresh, gourmand and floral) by using borrowed elements and the result just does not work. The instantly recognizable mishmash of Alien's strong synthetic jasmine, the gourmand - creamy influence from Fleur Defendue (frangipani and vanilla) and the remixed Le Secret bit (the dominant tea element) don't mix well and the composition falls into pieces losing its integrity and credibility completely from almost the very start.
There are three criteria that will inevitably make a great fragrance: quality raw materials, masterful blending and originality. Le Secret Elixir fails on all counts. A resonating thumbs down for me.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
The 50ml and 100ml EDP retail in a range of £55 - £70 in perfume shops and department stores. You can get it cheaper at online discounters such as cheapsmells or fragranceNet starting at £38 / 50ml EDP.
©powered by lillybee posted on both dooyoo.co.uk and ciao.co.uk websites
Contents: 50 ml