I think that the name of this really throws people off- it is not a fragrance for "youth", meaning it does not smell like Love's Baby Soft or those other favorites of kids. It is far too sexy smelling for that. I love the spicy smell- it is a winter fragrance and reminds me of Christmas.
Like the others have mentioned, you need to use a very light hand with this one, otherwise it will overpower, and there is NO scent that smells good when you are drifting in a heavy cloud. Use just a little touch. It smells very vintage, and very 60's.
personally am offended by the folks that have to throw Senior citizen insults into their reviews. Let's face it we all (God willing) will be old one day. Get out your Thesaurus for some new adjectives please!!!
While I don't share others hate for this, it isn't my favorite of Estee Lauder's. I find the bath powder isn't as strong as the parfum & gives me just the right amount of spicy scent. Wearing the EDP or EDT with the powder is a little too much for me right now. Definitely a winter scent and smells nice when used with a light hand.
You will most definitely see mixed reviews about this fragrance. I work for Estee Lauder and will admit that I HATE this soooooooo much, but you will not believe how much of it is still sold. The whole collection is still made and purchased by women of all ages. I once had a girl (early 30s) who works upstairs in our store, come down and douse herself with the scent that lingered at the counter for at least an hour. My head was screaming: MAKE IT GO AWAY! MAKE IT STOP! This is a strong fragrance that may work on some and others, like me, will simply hate. Use at your own risk. That said, I agree with what SummerSailing wrote below about this fragrance.
I bought my first bottle of Youth Dew when I was 28 years old, so I am living proof that it is NOT an old lady perfume! My husband and I bought a used car from a woman who doused herself in Youth Dew, so much so, that the car still smelled of it after we bought it. I knew what it was because my step-grandmother wore it and I had also thought of it as being a more "mature" fragrance. Day after day of driving this car caused me to go and buy a bottle of Youth Dew - and I loved it. I'm now 44 and today I bought another bottle. It has nothing to do with "old lady" smell. In the 50s when this came out it was just after WWII and perfume had been really hard to come by during the war years. From what I understand women flocked to the stores to buy it. These women were our mothers and grandmothers which is why we associate it with "older" women. It has nothing to do with the actual fragrance itself, but because we associate it with women who are older than us. In 25 years our granddaughters are going to be calling all the fruity-florals like Happy, Curious, etc. "old lady" smelling because they will associate it with us who will then be their mothers and grandmothers. In this day and age of perfumers all trying to get their piece of the billion dollar fragrance pie and turning out cookie cutter fruity-florals by the gallon, to me Youth Dew is a breath of fresh air, an original, and you don't smell it on everyone and her sister!
First, rather than babble tritely about "old lady" etc., let's begin with the actual notes. Per Basenotes: "Top: Orange, Bergamot, Peach, Aldehydes; Middle: Clove, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Cinnamon; Base: Amber, Tolu, Patchouli, Peru Balsam" Per Scentiments, the notes are "Rose, Jonquil, Lavender, Jasmine, Muguet, Spices, Moss, Vetiver, Patchouli," and Jan Moran at PerfumeMart lists them as "Top: Orange, bergamot, peach, spices; Heart: Clove, cinnamon, cassie, rose, ylang-ylang, orchid, jasmine; Base: Frankincense, amber, vanilla, oakmoss, clove, musk, patchouli, vetiver, spices."
There now, that doesn't sound like the nadir of all wickedness, the centre of the axis of evil, the heart of the destroyer, does it? It's just a perfume. For those who have remained in control of their brains and not gone into autospeak ("I Hate It It Smells Like Old Lady I Hate It It Smells Like Old Lady" and so forth), YD in fact sounds rather progressive and delicious, doesn't it? That's because it is.
YD is heavy, rich, sweet. It doesn't really "open" and then shift, it starts, for the most part, exactly as it will go on. There's a resinous balsamic accord not unlike cola, a dark bulgarian rose, patchouli, spice -- probably cloves, allspice, cinnamon -- ylang-ylang, vanilla, and a warm laundry/clean skin musk. As it dries down, the musk fades in more, so that after a few hours, the primary is the scent of clean skin right after a bath, and the secondary is the resin.
A little drop will do you. And if used sparingly, it smells incredibly expensive. Kind of french/arabian, if you can imagine that - a rich bottom accord with flourishes of spice. Now, for all of you still reading (who apparently have gotten through this unscathed), could we form a club dedicated to real reviews of things we've REALLY smelled and thought about, instead of turned-off-nose autospeak? And can we prosthletize?
I was given a bottle of this as a gift by a younger friend, and at first, I was a bit taken aback. "Youth Dew"? Was this some sort of snarky commentary on my thirtysomethingness? Then when I smelled the product in the bottle, I thought, "My God, this smells like something my eighty-five-year-old grandmother would wear!" So, again, I wondered again if my young friend was jabbing at my, um, increasing maturity.
But then I started thinking .... after all, my grandmother wasn't always eighty-five, and I know she has worn the same kinds of "signature scents" since she was in her twenties. And, I should add, my grandmother was quite the diva in her day! So, impulsively, I decided to try some "Youth Dew" one day.
I received compliments continually ... from my co-workers, from my students, from the guy who stood behind me in line at the grocery store. Whatever I thought it had smelled like in the bottle was NOT how it smelled on my person.
So it's a keeper.
Postscript: I finally asked my early-twentysomething friend why she chose that scent for me. "I asked the saleswoman for a scent for a strong, confident, sexy woman, and that's what she suggested."
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...