What’s better than an affordable, beautiful, and easily accessible fragrance? This Clinique perfume guide will walk you through the options available within the brand and help you choose the right one (or ones) for you.
Clinique has a range of scents to satisfy any personality type, and they’re usually fairly easy to find, at (somewhat) reasonable prices.
Clinique Perfume Guide: What’s Available
Happy is cheerful and warm, and it’s been brightening people’s days since its release in 1998. It’s considered a fruity-floral, but it doesn’t have the same sweetness as the fruity-florals that became popular a little later.
- Blood grapefruit
- Indian mandarin
- Orchid Rose
- Warm and cheerful, but not sweet
- Inexpensive, comparatively speaking (and there are smaller bottles, so you don’t have to commit to the most expensive ones if you’re just trying it out)
- Easy to find
- Feminine, light, and fresh
- There’s a rollerball option for travel and trying the scent out without committing to a whole bottle.
- May seem outdated to some (it’s a classic, though, so is it really possible for it to be outdated?)
- Easily recognizable due to past popularity, which some people may not like
In 2003, Clinique somehow took the scent of happiness and made it different without losing its overall effect. This one can still make you feel happy but it’s different from the original Happy scent. It feels sharper and sweeter than the original all at the same time.
- Mandarin orange
- Water hyacinth
- White woods
- Yellow primrose
- Warm, but still fresh
- Not quite as recognizable as the original
- Easy to find
- It can be overpowering, even with its fresh notes
- May not last all day
Happy in Bloom
Another Happy flanker, Happy in Bloom is, as the tulip print on the bottle indicates, the perfect spring scent. It’s listed as a floral, though there is still fruit (yellow plum) and some base notes that are reminiscent of the original to give it warmth.
- Yellow plum
- Watery green notes
- White wood
- Reminiscent of the original, but not as widely popular (therefore, less recognizable, but still lovely)
- More floral than citrus than the original, but has similar notes (this change in balance may not be a pro for everyone, however)
- Relatively inexpensive
- May not last all day
Aromatics Elixir is a chypre fragrance with unexpected notes like coriander, so it stands out in a crowd of sweet fruity-florals and gourmands.
- Clary sage
- Bulgarian rose
- Orris root
- Mini 0.3 oz bottle is available for about half the price of the 1.5 oz one (not the best per-ounce price, but less of a commitment if you’re unsure about the fragrance)
- Unusual notes will help you stand out
- Lasts a long time, especially on fabric
- Expensive (about $65.00 for the 1.5 oz bottle and $85.00 for the 3.4 oz one)
- Heavy on the patchouli and musk (may not always be a con for everyone)
- Very strong
Aromatics in White
If you almost enjoyed Aromatics, but it was a little heavy on the patchouli for you or you just want something a little different, you may like Aromatics in White. There’s still some crossover in notes (and patchouli is still present), but they’re different enough that you may love this one even if the original wasn’t for you.
- Sichuan pepper
- Violet leaf
- Orange blossom
- Complex, interesting scent with warm florals
- Lighter than the original
- Warm, relaxing scent that isn’t too sweet or powdery
- Could be harder to find than the original (Clinique’s website has it, though)
- Though lighter than the original, Aromatics in White is still overpowering to some people
Aromatics in Black
This is a deeper, more sensual and mysterious version of the original Clinique Aromatics perfume. A higher percentage of reviewers on the Clinique website say they would recommend this one than Aromatics in White.
- Plum tree
- Pink grapefruit
- Tonka bean
- Complex, not boring
- Sexy and sensual
- Lasts a long time
- Intense for daytime wear
Clinique My Happy Line
There’s a whole line of My Happy scents you can wear alone or mix and match to create your own signature fragrance.
- Cocoa & Cashmere: Cocoa and musk
- Peony Picnic: Peony and plum
- Lily of the Beach: Solar notes, lily and coconut
- Cookies & Kisses: Cinnamon, rich vanilla and chestnuts
- Indigo Mist: Bluebells, green notes, melon and violet leaf
- Baby Bouquet: Mandarin and orange flower petals
- Not too complex–what you see in the notes is what you get
- Layerable, so you can play around with the fragrances until you get your signature scent or match your mood of the day
- Some fragrances are easy to find
- Not all My Happy perfumes are as easy to find as others
- Though they’re inexpensive My Happy fragrances are so layerable, you’ll probably want more than one, which means you’ll spend more.
- Some may find them boring on their own.
- Only available in 15 ml bottles
Calyx is beautiful for spring and you may find that it brightens your mood when you wear it. It’s an energizing, green, floral scent with citrus notes. It’s in the same vein as Happy, but with less musk and warmth. It’s sharper and greener, but still heavy on the florals.
- Green leaves
- Mandarin orange
- Orris root
- Fresh and light
- A classic, but not as universally recognized and worn as Happy, so you won’t smell like everyone else (fair warning that it seems to be experiencing an increase in interest, however, so that may change)
- Not overly sweet, though the notes may suggest that it is
- Lasts a long time
- One of the more expensive Clinique perfumes
- Doesn’t provide the same amount of warmth and comfort the other Clinique perfumes tend to (not always a bad thing)
- If the fruity notes excite you, you may be let down when you finally smell this one, since the green notes and florals tend to overshadow everything else. However, some people think the fruity notes are the most prominent. It’s different on everyone, so sampling this one before making a purchase is recommended. (On me, freesia was almost all I smelled.)
Where to Buy Clinique Perfume
Clinique fragrances are widely available. Anywhere there’s a Clinique counter (and sometimes where there’s not, if perfumes are sold there), you should be able to pick up a Clinique perfume.
Review what each store has in stock before you go, however, as not all fragrances will be available wherever Clinique perfumes are sold. For example, the whole My Happy line isn’t available at Clinique.com, but you can find several more fragrances within the line at Ulta.
Alternatives to Clinique Perfumes
If none of the fragrances in this Clinique perfume guide sound like what you’re looking for, but they’re close, you may be able to find your perfect match within another line. You may like to try:
Clinique is an Estée Lauder company, so it makes sense that their perfumes would have similarities. There are a few beautiful, clean florals that have been around for decades that have similarities with some of the Clinique perfumes, like Beautiful and Pleasures.
Pleasures has the green notes and patchouli some of the Clinique fragrances are known for.
Estée Lauder’s Knowing has similar notes to Aromatics Elixir, including coriander, aldehydes, green notes, and a variety of florals and woods. It’s also listed as a chypre floral.
Some of Ralph Lauren perfumes–like Romance–are beautiful, sparkling concoctions of warm floral notes that make you feel happy, just like Clinique’s Happy line. If the original Romance isn’t your ideal fragrance, there’s the fresher Romance Rosé and the sweeter, juicier Beyond Romance.
If you found the Aromatics line the most intriguing, you might enjoy some of the classic Chanel scents that feature aldehydes and a complex mix of florals, woods, and other notes. Chanel No. 5 comes to mind, but there are flankers like Eau Première and L’Eau that may better suit your personal preferences.
Expect to pay more for Chanel, though.
The Ellis Brooklyn Library Discovery Set may be the solution for you if you almost found what you’re looking for within the My Happy line and love the idea of mixing and matching simpler scents to create something just for you.
These are layerable, paraben-free, phthlalate-free, vegan, and clean. The sampler kit is less than $30.00 at Sephora, too, so it’s low-risk.
Question: What Does Clinique Happy Smell Like?
Answer: Clinique Happy smells like the designers were able to take actual happiness and put it in a bottle, but to be a bit more specific, it’s warm and inviting without being too heavy. It’s a well-rounded, beautiful scent.
Notes include: orange, blood grapefruit, Indian mandarin, bergamot, apple, plum, lily-of-the-valley, freesia, orchid rose, mimosa, lily, magnolia, musk, and amber.
Question: Does Clinique Perfume Smell Good?
Answer: Yes, Clinique perfumes smell good. There’s a range of them, so you may love some and not like others (there’s no fragrance that’s a complete crowd pleaser within any line), but overall, they do smell good.
Question: Is Clinique Happy Nice?
Answer: Very nice. It smells like happiness, bottled. It’s sunshine and wildflowers on a day with perfect spring or early summer weather. It’s not overpowering. It’s just warm, inviting, and a good mood-booster.
Question: Is Clinique Happy Outdated?
Answer: Some people may think so (but hey, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life), but it’s not outdated. If you like a scent, wear it! If you’re worried about it being recognizable and feeling dated, try one of the flankers, like Happy Heart or Happy in Bloom.
Question: How Much Does Clinique Happy Perfume Cost?
Answer: As of this writing, you can expect to pay around $23.00 for a rollerball, $47.00 for a 1 oz bottle, $59.00 for a 1.7 oz bottle, or $77.00 for a 3.4 oz. bottle.
Question: Does Clinique Happy Contain Alcohol?
Answer: Yes, there is alcohol in Clinique Happy.
Question: Is Clinique Happy good for teens?
Answer: Yes. It’s bright, warm, clean, feminine, and floral, but it’s not too strong or sultry. It’s a good choice for teens.
Question: Who makes the perfume Happy?
Answer: Clinique makes Happy perfume (in Switzerland).
Conclusion: Which Clinique Perfume Should You Buy?
My personal favorite Clinique perfumes are Happy and Happy Heart–I can’t choose a favorite between those two. They just sparkle and do, in fact, make you feel happy when you wear them. However, if you want something sweeter and cozier, or if you just like to layer scents to create something of your own, you may want to check out a few of the My Happy options. Cocoa & Cashmere is a good place to start there.
If you want your fragrance to make a statement and you love unusual notes and perfumes that veer away from fruity-floral territory, you’re going to want to choose one from the Aromatics line. Clinique has something for every situation and almost every personality and style. It’s a matter of finding the one that works for you.