Don't be fooled by the name Youth Dew! It has to be one of the biggest misnomers in perfumery. Nothing girly or coy about this scent! As for the juice, it is unique, concentrated and unforgettable. I personally love its woody resinous notes. Very little is required for best effect--it's potent! Used in moderation, it is divine... I particularly enjoy buying the annual Youth Dew cameo solid perfume that comes out for the Holidays. A different cameo every year.
Yes, old-fashioned, but no, not terrible. In fact, it's quite good. The first time I saw and tried this deeply dark and deeply sexy elixir I was hooked. As someone said before, you have to know how to wear it in order to pull it off. Not for little girls, not for those who love light scents. Youth Dew is a sensual, femme fatale-type scent that always announces its entrance and is missed when it leaves. A classic.
Yesterday, I was on the Vineyard, killing time in the incessant pouring rain by going to garage sales. Most of them were raindated, but one of them was inside, so my friend Abby and I went into a house with a big SOLD sign on it and found an enormous fat lady sitting on the couch, with a greyhound at her feet, surrounded by junk, lots of junk, and then again more piles of disgusting useless junk, yammering to someone on her headsets. Then, noticing that we were in her house:
"Don't mind me girls!" she screamed. "I'm not really crazy!"
This was one of those garage sales where the seller is watching every move you make and you feel terribly guilty if you don't buy something....but what?! So Abby grabbed a trowel ($4) and I spied a gigantic bottle of Youth Dew bath oil ($2). We handed the cash over to the nutty lady and fled, happy not to be her.
Me, I had never even heard of Youth Dew, figured it was some innocuous innocent girlygirl scent. But I was intrigued enough by the dark colored stuff in the bottle to dab a bit of the perfumed oil on my wrists.
Youth Dew is to perfume like Sonic Youth is to music. It's like, um, the opposite of youth and dew (shout out to Kim and Thurston—you're great, guys; but still). Youth Dew may have been young and dewy once, back in the day, but right now it is exceedingly old and sophisticated, dry and evocative: not of the Fifties, when it was created, but of the Sixties.
When I smell Youth Dew, it's 1969 and I'm in an old Volkswagen bus. There are 6 people crammed into the bus and the driver is....um, I'm not really sure who the driver is, but he is a friend of a friend of a friend who claims to have been a friend of Charlie Manson, and—picture this!—this guy is wearing the embroidered white leather jacket that Charlie himself used to wear, the jacket that Charlie pulled off his own back and gave him a couple of weeks before he was arrested for murdering Sharon Tate. Ergo, he's creepy, but cool. And here we all are, driving from Reed College in Portland, Oregon down the coast to San Francisco, where the Jefferson Airplane are playing at Fillmore West, blasted out of our minds. Maybe we'll see the Grateful Dead there, too! And go to an anti-war rally!
On me, Youth Dew smells like the inside of that VW bus: like incense, patchouli, pot, bad sex, hashish, and sweat.
Actresses who would have worn Youth Dew, to get into character: Nina Van Pallandt in "The Long Goodbye", Anita Pallenberg in "Performance", Karen Black in "Easy Rider."
this is a heavy & sexy fragrance. i don't think it smells "old", it just isn't the generic bubble gum that most younger people have taken a liking to. & my boyfriend thinks i smell wonderful when i wear this... continued >>
Hey, if Madonna likes it, it can't be all bad. There is a certain allure about something from the 1950's. But then again, I'm a '60s and '70s era gal. I like this stuff and yes, it really lasts.
A dear friend of mine brought this one (back) to my attention, and I'm so glad she did! I used to wear this every now and then, liking it so-so, since I used to find it very soapy-heavy-spicy. Well, here I was, browsing through all my perfume bottles, trying to find something that felt like 'me', when my friend mentioned Youth Dew. I tried it on, reluctantly. And all of a sudden I understand what you ladies are saying about it being extraordinary on the right woman! WOW!!! Gone was the soap and the heaviness – and voilà this lovely, femme fatale fragrance with lush roses by the dozens and transparent jasmine among tender cinnamon and carnations... I couldn't stop sniffing my wrists, hardly believing my nose. DH said: "Mmm... Smells nice... and fresh." I didn't think 'fresh' would ever be said about this fragrance, but it's simply amazing on me now. Thanks, dear, dear B!
UPDATE 05/09/05: Mr. Perfume Connoisseur himself, Luca Turin, calls this "a fragrance for the woman who fears nothing". I choose to interpret that in a positive way and say: I totally agree!
Yes, this can be a heavy fragrance but you have to know how to wear it. I have many of the products: cologne, bath oil, body cream, powder, pure parfum... A little dab will do ya. The powder is top quality, as is the parfum.
Let me start out by saying that this type of scent is really "me" at all. it doesn't suit me, I prefer a softer , more romantic scent. Youth Dew is very spicey and woody. It's a take charge, vixen type of scent. I think it would be easy to overdo this one. I personally have never smelled this on older ladies, most older women I know prefer sharp, sweet florals like Poeme, Boucheron or 24, Faubourg.
I simply must update my review of the divine (but, unfortunately, much-maligned) Youth-Dew. This is not a scent for those who think "youth" must smell like a fruity pink cocktail, or who are afraid to "stand out". It may not work with everyone's body chemistry, but when it works (as it does on me) it's fabulous. Warm, spicy, and complex, this doesn't remind me of "old ladies" at all (matrons of the upper Midwest, where I was raised, preferred big, frilly, sweet frags... not unlike those that are "in" now. Hmm.) Instead, Youth-Dew is bohemian, yet sophisticated, strong, yet not strident. IMO, Youth-Dew is appropriate for day or evening, but is best for the colder months.
The scent of insecticide. Nasty, resinous, nothing "youthful" about it. Smells like old wood in libraries and churches, with a whiff of mothballs thrown in. Not at all something I would ever wear, and I have never met a man who thinks it smells good on a woman.