Ever since I bought Coco EDP several months ago, I’ve been searching for another spicy Oriental to add to my collection. After reading countless polarizing reviews of Youth Dew here on MUA, Basenotes & Fragrantica, my interest in this notorious love/hate classic was definitely piqued. But seeing as to how I’ve never been a fan of Estee Lauder, I just couldn’t rouse myself to go to their counter to test the EDP (besides, my perfume tastes have always leaned towards the French houses, ever since I was a teenager). However, after browsing perfumer Michael Edwards’ Fragrance Directory website (http://www.fragrancedirectory.info/usadirectory/Index.aspx - VERY helpful site for fragrance fanatics, by the way) & seeing Youth Dew listed in the same fragrance family as my beloved Coco, Opium & Cinnabar among others (Edwards classifies them as ‘Classical Soft Oriental’), I knew right then that I HAD to buy this perfume.
Since so many had raved about the bath oil being the original 1953 formula & thus far superior to the EDP, I decided to take the plunge & bought the 30ml bottle un-sniffed from a local discounted perfume website a couple of months ago (the oil is not available at the counters in my country). Well, NO regrets WHATSOEVER. The oil may be a little more expensive than even the smallest bottle of the EDP, but boy, it is TOTALLY worth it. Absolutely DIVINE spicy vanilla Oriental. Starts out bright & a tad soapy (EL lists the top notes as rose, lavender & jonquil – I DO get the rose & lavender, but I have no idea what the jonquil flower smells like), then proceeds to a floral/spicy heart where cinnamon, cloves & jasmine dominate, before settling down to the piece-de-resistance: a mossy/resinous/amber-y/vanillic base sooo dreamy & scrumptious, you will have a hard time trying to pry your nose off your wrists.
As for it having a retro feel… well, the turquoise color of the box it comes in is about the only reference to the 1950s, as far as I can see. From the opaque, brown-black color of the juice to the equally rich, dark nature of the scent, the bath oil doesn’t spell out ‘vintage’ so much as ‘ancient’. Indeed, it smells more like the kind of perfume that women of royalty in ancient Egypt or Babylon might have scented themselves with. I truly feel sexy, mysterious & powerful like Cleopatra herself whenever I wear this.
My only complaint is the relatively short shelf life of the bath oil: 2 years once opened compared to normal perfumes that can be kept for years & years without going rancid if stored properly. I really LOATHE the thought of having to pour this precious elixir into my bath water & watch it disappear down the drain…(*sob*). But there is NO WAY I’ll be able to finish the whole bottle on time if used solely as a perfume (heck, even a 30ml EDP/EDT SPRAY takes me an eternity to use up), so I really don’t have a choice, do I? (*sigh*). I also disagree with criticisms that the EDP bottle looks outdated. In this age of corporate greed & commercialization, where SO many gorgeous, iconic perfume bottles have been mutilated & cheapened in the name of cost & profit (think Shalimar’s unbelievably ugly, Batman logo-ish new EDP & EDT bottles, to name one sacrilegious example), I salute Estee Lauder for honoring the memory of their late founder & the company’s first perfume which she lovingly created for women everywhere by retaining the classic packaging… the hour glass-shaped ribbed bottle with the bow & gold screw top is elegant & pretty & perfectly matches the dark, heavenly nectar it contains. Now, if only they would market the bath oil in the same bottle instead of the current plain, rectangular one, I would be a VERY happy camper… LOL.
To lovers of rich, old-world Orientals, you definitely can’t go wrong with the bath oil. It is, without a doubt, one of the true hidden gems of classic perfumery.
The official notes from Estee Lauder:
Top : Rose, Jonquil, Lavender.
Middle : Jasmine, Muguet, Spices.
Base : Moss, Vetiver, Patchouli.
The notes from Fragrantica:
Top : Aldehydes, Orange, Spices, Peach, Bergamot.
Middle : Cinnamon, Cassia, Orchid, Jasmine, Cloves, Ylang-Ylang,
Base : Tolu Balsam, Peru Balsam, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Vanilla,
Oakmoss, Vetiver, Incense.
Absolutely Magical and Mysterious. Use just the tiniest bit of the bath oil as perfume.
My mother was a hairdresser, and when anyone wore this scent in her chair, it would cause her an almost bronchial reaction. Horrid scent that smells vaguely of bug spray. And, it's been around forever. Why??
I have never tried this perfume myself and never will. I am writing because I cannot put into words how obscene the smell of this is. I am a dental assistant and had a patient the other day who was wearing this. It is the worst smelling perfume. EVER. I asked her what she was wearing so I'd know to never ever go near it again. I actually think she thought I was asking as a compliment but I tried to not for it to seem that way without being rude. The dentist and I double masked it was so offensive. We did a 1.5 hour procedure on her and by the time we were done, I was literally sick to my stomach and we both had headaches. The smell lingered in the office the whole day, we even had to open a window for a few minutes. I'm sure it wouldn't have been so bad if she hadn't had so much on, but it's still not a very pleasant smell IMO.
I have tried to like Youth Dew but always detect a very strong amonia smell in it!. This perfume would probably suit a lady of 'very' mature years... but younger women who want to smell fresh and sexy should steer WELL clear of this perfume ......
A lady of a certain age (more mature) walked passed me yesterday wearing this and she smelled absolutely beautiful..... I asked what she was wearing and her reply was Youth Dew !!!
This is obviously one of those perfumes that smells brilliant on the right person.......
They could do with relaunching it (with some trendy advertising) as Im begining to think that this classic perfume doesnt deserve the 'dated' negative reviews that we give it ........
I had to select that I wouldn't be purchasing this fragrance again. I had a bottle many years ago.
This fragrance is an epic aldehyde. I adore aldehyde's. Worship them practically however this one isn't for me. Just because it isn't for my chemisty doesn't mean it isn't a lovely fragrance and on the right person it's amazing.
As for the aldehyde in this fragrance (one of your opening notes) I liken it to the following:
1. The aldehyde in Chanel No. 5 is like a snap close to your ears-soft but an immediate "pay attention-here it comes".
2. The aldehyde in Fendi (now disc.) was a sharp clap of the hands, a definate command for attention.
3. The aldehyde in Youth Dew is cannon shot over your head at close range. You can't miss it. LOL.
I love the fragrance, it just doesn't love me unfortuantely.
I read Estee Lauder's autobio many years ago--its now out of print--and she said the fragrance was really created with men in mind. She would wear it in public while still developing the formula and from cab drivers to CEOs they all loved it. The Duke of Windsor, a friend of hers, always wanted the Duchess to wear Youth Dew
This fragrance has sentimental value to me. It is my mother's favorite fragrance. She is not one to overdo the perfume and it smells lovely on her. Every time I smell it, I think of her. But, this is not a fragrance I would choose for myself.
Youth Dew is THE classic Estee Lauder fragrance. Love it or hate it, it is the one which put Estee Lauder fragrance on the map! It's a nice floriental with what we've come to know as the typical Estee Lauder accord. This was always on my mother's dresser and I thought smelled nice on her. Mind you, my mother is not the type to overdo it--just a spritz or two was all she used. I echo that not overspraying and/or overlayering (with the host of great bath and body products available) is critical with this one. Either the powder or the edp--not both--if you are going to get the beautiful, delicate effect. The price for the quality is awesome, but poor little Youth Dew's packaging could stand a makeover. I read there was at one time a cute 50's retro bottle but haven't been able to locate one for my collection.
Teeny squirts of this is best. Used this starting in high school in the '60's...and, yes, it is that old. Love the scent, but you really have to be careful how much you put on. This is definitely not a scent you can wear in hot weather, but works so well in cold winter weather. Sexy smell...very musty and all that.