My Basenotes.net friend Perfaddict wrote a really good review of Elixir there, and in his review, he stressed that you shouldn't compare it to the original Azzaro Pour Homme, because if you do that you're just going to be disappointed. I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, that's precisely the reason I didn't like Elixir before. Trying to measure up any fragrance to Azzaro Pour Homme, one of my favorite scents, is bound to lead to my being disappointed.
Elixir smells a lot different from Azzaro Pour Homme, but they do have similarities. The big similarity is that both fragrances have strong aromatic qualities. Whereas Azzaro Pour Homme is a benchmark aromatic fougere, Elixir is an aromatic oriental. Most orientals focus purely on being sweet and smooth, and few try to be aromatic, other than containing a patchouli note.
Elixir's aromatic facets are what grab me. The strong, dry lavender in it makes for a perfect opening, segueing seamlessly to an unusual middle stage that contains both herbal and warm woody notes. Together, they create a smell that I can only describe as nutty, almost like the smell of hazelnuts with dry herbs. It's a beautiful smell, and surprisingly it blends perfectly with the warm, rich amber, vanilla and tonka bean notes in the base. There's oakmoss in the base too, and it acts like a unifying bridge between two accords - herbal/woody and sweet/ambery - that are so different from one another. Elixir is a perfume made up of notes that shouldn't work together at all, but they do. Hats off to whoever created it.
Both sillage and longevity are substantial, so this is good value. It smells exotic, and though the herbal notes fade over time, the hazelnut-like smell remains through the drydown, so Elixir smells unique and beautiful from start to finish. You don't get stuck with some banal, boring amber drydown like you do with Obsession For Men.
If you decide to try Azzaro Pour Homme Elixir, don't make the mistake I did by comparing it to Azzaro Pour Homme. Pretend it's got another name and judge it on its own merits. That way you're more likely to discover its many lovely and distinctive qualities.
MY RATING: 8.5/10
Fragrance House: Azzaro