Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge

Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder

I love Estee Lauder Modern Muse. Modern Muse Chic was pretty good too, with its dewdrop of oudh heating it up. Modern Muse Le Rouge?..hmm..not so much.

This feels like the second time this week I’ve said “meh” about a new mainstream scent (the first was Clinique Aromatics in Black), but truly, nothing much has excited me at the beauty counter for a while now.

Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder

Modern Muse Le Rouge is in a similar bottle to the other two, with a smart red bow. My first impression was a mish mash of floral with a bit of patchouli. Its a good strong opening with deep resonance. This bedded down into two notes that I think have been overused in the past two years: pink pepper and red berries, (specifically redcurrants). I was kind of hoping that train had left the station, but it would seem there are leaves on the line and the carriage is staying put.

The base combines vanilla with the red berries and the pink pepper which immediately made this smell generic to me. Modern Muse had its big white flowers and patchouli/musk base. Modern Muse Chic had all that plus the oudh, but Modern Muse Le Rouge seems to have gone down the crowd pleasing route. To me, this smells like Armani Si, which I also found generic, so no barriers have been broken here. However, this uninspiring base is apparently, a “seductive crème accord” which sadly left me wanting my coffee back with no sugar.

Estee Lauder is a brand I love and for under fifty quid I could happily bag a classic from their counter. But this is certainly not one of them. You may feel differently.  Have a try and see what you think.


Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge is widely available. Try House of Fraser, Harrods or John Lewis.

4 thoughts on “Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge”

  1. I bought the rollerball set of all 3 Modern Muse (original, Chic, and Le Rouge), and for a while the Le Rouge was my favorite. After several weeks, I find that the original Muse is now my fave! I hear a 4th one is out now…Eau de Rouge….Who can keep up? Anyway, I wouldn’t buy a full size of any of them, but the rollerballs are nice to use now and again….

    1. Hello Jada,

      Thank you so much for commenting. I love rollerballs but they don’t seem as common in the UK. I was tempted by the rollerball set before Christmas but my budget was for presents then so I couldn’t justify it. Modern Muse is the best- I agree with you. Maybe flog Le Rouge on eBay? I know someone will like it- its sooo mainstream dahling!
      best wishes

  2. Hiya Sam, i tried this one before christmas and i, like you was totally unimpressed. Somehow i thought with the notes mentioned that i should like it more. Nope – it was a definite no and the the plasticky red ‘bow’ was just plasticky or ‘meh’ to use your phrase. Ah well, i’ll hang on to my Boots voucher – there are a few other scents that i have my eye on!

    1. Hello dear Patsi, thanks for dropping by, it’s always a pleasure to hear from you. Lucky you having Boots voucher! They’ve got some good classics once you wade past the mainstream smellalikes. Yes Modern Muse Le Rouge was a disappointment after the first two. I hope they don’t go flanker mad with it like Givenchy did with Irresistible- 27 flankers and counting!

      warmest wishes as always

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