It has a consistency of a shower jel that melts into your skin. It is not alcohol free, but has only very little alcohol in it. And unlike Aromatics Elixir in the pure perfume spray - it has none of the aggressiveness and instead has a powerful but not forceful silage.
Aromatics Elixir is indeed aromatic: herbaceously dry and at first even pungent. I will not attempt to compare it to the alcohol parfum formulation as I find that formulation too strong to bear and just never managed to keep it on my skin for long. It's that overwhelming. I think the fact that I've been wearing this slimy velvet sheer liquid for a few days in a row speaks for itself. The dryness of the first few hours does soften in the end and turns into a cozy ambery chypre with obvious vetiver underlining it all, as well as musk (which I never got to notice in the perfume spray).
It may not be as polished or chic as the French Chypre perfumes - it is not as seamless as, say, Miss Dior - but I find its direct crudeness to be charming and reassuring in its lack of pretense. The notes do stand out on their own occasionally, as if they didn't have quite enough time to mingle with one another before being bottled, but that just suits me fine.
I love that this is a subtler, more comforting version than the bombastic AE EDP. I say bombastic as a compliment though, because I think that regardless of the love it or leave it relationship that people have with the EDP version, it is still a great fragrance that has stood the test of time. The velvet sheer is a nice alternative.
First the negatives: too bad this version of the fragrance was limited edition. I've found some bottles at tjmaxx and at cco's. The bottle is gorgeous but I'm a klutz and I'm always afraid I'm gloing to break the stopper or bottle. Now for the positives: this has been for me the best way to wear the fragrance. It's much softer than the edp and it doesn't seem so sharp, the florals stand out more. Like with the edp, I find I need a tiny bit of this and the smell will stay all day long. I wish it was permanently offered at the counter.
The perfect formulation for this Grand Dame of chypres. Alltogether lighter and better to dose than the Perfume Spray and softer than the Eau de Toilette version of Aromatics Elixir. The bottle is a masterpiece of glass art and the stopper is designed for dabbing it on your pulse points.
AE is a patchouli-vetiver-oakmoss laden chypre which evokes the smell of leaves on the floor of an autumn forest and the smell of moist earth and wet moss. Florals and spices come through but for most people it is a love-or-hate fragrance from the first second on. I like it best on warm summer evenings where it has a surprisingly cooling effect and blooms in a beautiful way. Generally an all year-round scent which most of the time has a bad reputation only because its users overdose it. In the Sheer Veil version it reminds of La Perla and Acqua di Parma Profumo.
I received this in a swap, and I absolutely hate it. To quote my husband, "It smells like B.O. covered up with baby powder." NOT the way I want to smell.