I mistakenly posted my review of the vintage bath oil under youth dew fragrance because the bath oil is the only way that I can imagine wearing youth dew as a fragrance. I cannot imagine ever wearing this as a spray EdP. It would be too much. I recommend only wearing one single dab of the bath oil on the wrist (then touching your other wrist or body) in order to get a lush, warm, amber skin scent that is noticeable only up close.
A single dab dries down to an herbal effect that is thematically in the same rough vicinity as vintage vol de nuit extrait. (Youth dew is sharper, more powdery and soapy in comparison to vintage vol de nuit). But, it is also significantly less expensive and easier to obtain.
This does not have a dated 'old lady' connotation to me. My grandmother, one of the most beautiful women I know, preferred white florals and jasmine based perfume. My mother preferred not to wear fragrance. To me, if youth dew has a 'vintage' feeling, it is reminiscent of finely milled european soap found in luxury hotels.
Swanky, boozy, sultry!! I will wear this often. It also doesn't break the bank. It's sort of powdery, I think of red lips & the scent of Coty loose airspun face powder.
I love this because it reminds me of my mother. I used to go sneaking into her perfume drawer and smell this. My mother has a bottle and it's been at least 20 years but when I smelt it again, I was transported back to my childhood.
This bath oil is absolutely divine! Yes, it smells mature but not grandmotherly. It's very comfortating and sensual, dark and mysterious.
I am going to purchase this right now, even though I just bought "Tuscany per donna" (which I love too).
I will wear this and maybe when my daughter grows up, she will love this too. Ít's almost like a family heirloom hahaha
WHAT THE HELL ARE PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT!! This is such a beautiful, complex, and magical perfume at an OK price. I am in love<3! I am a young 19 year old, and i do not think this perfume smells like dead people. I was hoping so much that it wouldn't smell as BAD as people said it would! I was so scared, but this.. this is pure classiness! I am a lover of complex fragrances such as Chanel No. 5, Lolita Lempicka, Tabu, Shalimar, Chanel "Coco" (the first one, not the Coco Mademoiselle), Opium, Hypnotic Poison, Poison, and so much more. THIS perfume, deserves just as much credibility as those other perfumes that i mentioned.
I bought the bath oil (which i recommend more because its a higher concentration meaning you can just apply a tiny finger bad and it will smell as if you sprayed one or two times), and its amazing!! THAT IS ALL YOU NEED, ONE SMALL DAB on either your neck, back of knees, your wrist, or in between your breast and THATS IT!
This perfume smells of patchouli, amber, jasmine, orange, cinnamon, cloves, tabacco, woodiness, ( i get a bit of civet smell), musk, (some aldehydes). I just applied it 20 mins ago so im sure the smell will change to its different notes. BUT THIS PERFUME IS GREAT!
For people that say this is an "old lady perfume", i like do disagree a bit with the wording. Older type of fragrance from a different time, YES. Only old ladies wear this perfume, NO. I wear Tabu, a perfume that smells just a bit similar to this and i have gotten compliments from many males my age, my fathers age, and my grandfathers age. So there is no logic in saying men will dislike this. I am sure those "old ladies" are still getting hit on by those old gentlemen!
I guess now a days, the fragrance companies have changed due to the 90's gourmand movement, creating an audience that likes fruity, candy, sweet smells. Sadly, in my opinion, people now are so used to having people smell so simple, so... ONE note. This perfume is for people who are NOT AFRAID of having a complex smell and sultriness.
I can see this as a unisex perfume because it does have a sort of hippie incense bit to it. I once met a black man who has some hippie musky fragrance on, and let me tell you, HE SMELLED FREAKIN' GREAT!
I do see my mother and grandmother wearing this. My mother (who is 41 years old) says it smells great, and my father who is 42 also agrees. I dont consider them old folk.. i dont know anyone in their young 40's to be old..
Instantly, i get the image of a seductive, spicy, witty, smart, sexy, beautiful woman walking down with lovely hair, red beautiful lips and long eyelashes wearing this. If someone were to make love to someone wearing this, IT WOULD BE A LOVELY smell.
anywho.. i think i have written so much.. so let me just get down to the nitty gritty.
I AM a NINETEEN YEAR OLD YOUNG WOMAN who WEARS "Youth Dew", and gets compliments on THIS PERFUME by many people!
So if you want to smell like the above stated, wear this!
Expand your fragrance experience to complexed smells, soon enough, you will not go back!
PS. I do admit, "Youth Dew" is not a good name for this.. It needs a darker, velvet, mysterious name. "Youth Dew" doesnt give it justice.
The bath oil is the only way to wear Youth Dew. It's all the boozy, rich spices without those metallic-sharp aldehydes, which are so strong in the edp. And a small ounce bottle lasts forever because you need only dab a tiny bit behind your ears and it scents your hair all day with soft spices.
I also want to add that I've noticed my little bottle has gotten better with age. Richer and some of the soapier notes have softened.
Whoa! Why did I stubbornly refuse to even entertain the thought of using this bath oil as a fragrance just because the EDP version of Youth Dew makes me run in the other direction when I encounter someone that has applied it to heavily.
I am still mourning the passing of my favorite and signature scent. Fendi. This is my consolation scent. I use this by putting the slightest of slight drop on a finger and applying it to my pulse points. Judicial application is strongly suggested by me. This is one heavy hitter.
But---what I get is what I loved about Fendi. Smokey spicy warmth. This version is very resinous. Patcholi not of head shops, rather fine and almost soapy.
This is a serious fragrance. Seriously sexy almost animalistic in it's warmth when applied very very lightly so that the sillage hovers close to the skin. This isn't Fendi but this will be a lovely substitute. I think I adore the bath oil version of this scent now.
NOTE: This formulation is the only way to wear this fragrance IMHO. The use of aldehydes with the heft of this spice and warmth burns the hair out of my nose. I love aldehydes but this EDP is yikes. Go for the bath oil for sure!
I recently acquired a large unopened gift set of Youth Dew at auction. I remembered Youth Dew as a lovely warm sweet oriental scent that I had worn years ago while living in Cleveland. Why Cleveland? Well, the Winters are long and quite cold in this windy Lake Erie coastal city and Youth Dew is a perfect cold weather scent.
In one word, this scent is exquisite. Warm and earthy, vibrant, bewitching. Just a light dab of the bath oil (the original formulation was bath oil which doubled as perfume, please see below) gives one a lovely full but not overbearing scent. Adding a little body lotion and powder both tones down and evens out the scent.
The beauty of bergamot and tart neroli orange dances with spicy gardenia on first spritz. Aaahhhh....beauty in a bottle. Bewitching jasmine combined with the mysteriously oriental clove at the heart of this unique potion. Then comes the rich base notes of balsams, amber and oakmoss in a supporting roll.
This is the forerunner and flagship perfume to such followers as Opium (Which Estee Lauder referred to as "Youth Dew with tassles"), Christian Dior's Addict and Oscar de la Renta. Predated in the oriental catagory only by Shalimar (launched in 1925) but much more heady and rich.
Opulent like a fine gem, classic, elegant and regal. One thinks of Cleopatra, ancient Egypt, and even the great Czarinas of Russia when the aroma of Youth Dew nobly wafts across a room.
Very rich. Just a little will do. Dab a little of the original bath oil on pulse points. Or spray the EDT into the air and walk through. Monster sillage, just one application lasts all day.
I highly recommend this classic perfume to any lover of fine oriental scents.
From the LA Times at the time of Estee Lauder's death:
Lauder revolutionized the American fragrance industry in the late 1940s with her creation of Youth Dew, a sweet, sensual bath oil formulated so it could double as a perfume. In those years, most fine perfumes were expensive French imports, packed in jewel-like bottles, sealed with wax, ribbons and gold mesh wire. Middle-class women considered it extravagant and self-indulgent to buy such items for themselves. They waited to receive perfume as gifts, and then used the precious fluid only on special occasions.
Deciding to change all that, Lauder developed an inexpensive bath oil ($8.50), with a twist-off cap and a warm, heady scent that clung to the skin for hours. Women bought millions of bottles of the stuff and soon learned to enjoy wearing scent on an everyday basis. They became eager customers for the Youth Dew colognes and perfumes subsequently marketed by Lauder and others who copied her. The American fragrance industry benefited from Lauder's coup.
Before this purchase I've never smelled Youth Dew in any form. I was afraid to with all the mixed reviews (of the different products) but I was no doubt intrigued and had to try it for myself. The best MUA results came with the bath oil so I purchased it at EL's website with my last order. I read the scent description and realized the only thing that might be an obstacle was the patchouli but it was far down on the list. When I first opened the bottle I didn't want to sniff it straight up because sometimes that spoils a fragrance for me so I dabbed it on my wrist and passed it in front of my nose. My first though was, "This smells like Cinnabar" which I happen to love. Actually it's similar in a spicy sense but it's also very different. I would say YD has a sweeter oriental note to it. Yes, I love it, so count me among the many fans of this classic scent.
Update: 4/18/10 - I've received many compliments since I started wearing this scent. It's very long lasting and a little bit goes a long way. I filled a tiny roller ball vial with it so that makes application easier.
Just to be clear on the enormous difference between YD spray and YD bath oil: the spray is by far the worst thing I have ever applied to my skin (the aldehydes remind me of bug spray or disinfectant, and I literally gag!) and the bath oil is among my very favorite scents in the world. So please, if you are intrigued by this non-conformist classic, try the bath oil before you decide! It's a better bargain anyway-- it's nearly 100% pure fragrance oil and lasts forever.
I sprinkle YD bath oil in my bath, and when I get out, I rub a few more drops between my hands and apply all over. The whole bathroom soon has that haunting YD aura of complexity: soft, cool rosy/powdery notes melded with rich spices. It is glamour and sex, old-school style. Makes me want to put on matte red lips and pearls. A beautiful, instantly recognizable scent that has made it nearly 60 years for good reason. A fragrant delight for those who enjoy woodsy, spicy, sillage-rich potions.
As some others have said, YD can be challenging to wear if you are used to sweeter and more sheer modern scents. On me, there is the initial lovely powder, then about 30 minutes of very musky jasmine (not my favorite), and then it settles into a spicy, luscious skin scent. When I dab on Youth-Dew, I feel like I'm having a relationship with a very complicated but stimulating person who is definitely going to keep my interest for the next 8 hours. And I like that!
I purchased this in my Mom's memory as she used to wear the Y.D. Body Cream. Indeed, I echo all the raves below. It is a lovely winter indulgence and could easily become my signature scent. Lovely little 1 oz bottle travels well and the oil doubles as a perfume. $32 here in Canada. EDIT: Hubby loves this on me. He says it smells like "Thrills" gum, ha! After my bath, while dripping wet, I pour a few drops into my palms and rub this all over before towel drying. Makes whatever room I happen to be in lovely and fragrant.