Tag Archives: Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit



I’m a huge Estee Lauder fan.  With consistently high quality, a versatile range with something for everyone and a generous handful of classics, in my view a trip to the Lauder counter is never a waste of time.

That doesn’t mean I have to like everything though, does it? Because unfortunately, the latest Estée Lauder release was very much not my cup of tea. And I love my cup of tea.  I’m sorry Modern Muse Nuit, but you won’t be coming home with me tonight.

nuitModern Muse Nuit opens with mandarin and cassis, although on my skin it opens with synthetic vanilla, Tonka bean and amber.  Some nameless dark fruit notes do creep in towards the end however. There are some very synthetic smelling woods in here too, which sadly added to the overall generic nothing-to-see-here effect.  The jasmine makes its presence felt: jasmine sambac for clarity, which seems to be ubiquitous this year. Last year’s trend of vanilla overkill doesn’t seem to have piped down much either so between the two, I cannot, hand on heart, say that Modern Muse Nuit has anything to offer me.

It reminds me a bit of Marc Jacobs Decadence and  a little of Clinique Aromatics in Black.  When everything’s calmed down, what I’m left with is  a woody jasmine vanilla with dark fruit, that sadly smells a lot cheaper than it costs. Avon does this better- try Avon Mesmerize Black For Her: it smells very similar and is under ten quid.

Just because I didn’t like this, doesn’t mean you won’t. All scent is subjective and there are no right or wrong answers.  One woman’s Paris is another woman’s Poison!


You can buy Modern Muse Nuit in House of Fraser and from the Estee Lauder site. Prices are £99 for 100ml.




Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 2016

bronze goddess

I last reviewed Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess when it was the 2013 version (There’s a new version every year). Back then, I compared it to Hawaiian Tropic. I could see no further.  However, its popularity is indisputable and since foolishly writing it off, I have walked past the queue of people buying it many a time. However, this week I turned on my heel and gave it another chance. I liberally slathered on Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess 2016 Eau Fraiche Skin Scent and I was transported.

Now I only have my blog post to remind me what the 2013 version smelled like, and it was sun lotion. I was a bit flummoxed really. However, coming back to it with three years’ more experience of sniffage and far fewer prejudices, I can say that I really adored the 2016 version and it took me a couple of days to understand why.

bronze disaply
First of all, the long list of notes is pretty true to form. If you look, you can find lavender, amber, jasmine, citrus fruit and orange flower in Bronze Goddess. Naturally the coconut and tiare flower comes out straight away: certain notes are never allowed to leave, regardless of annual edits. I also got a hint of celery, which can happen when white flowers really show their muscles.

However, it took me all day to realise why I love this so much: it’s the sandalwood. That delicately aromatic woodiness that’s lighter than just woods and with less bite than spice lingered for around nine hours. It reminded me of what I consider to be the best sandalwood scent of all time: Diptyque Tam Dao. Take the best bits of Tam Dao, add white flowers and coconut and some warm amber and that to me, is this year’s Bronze Goddess. Bear in mind, that each year is a limited edition, although this year’s was allegedly similar to the 2011, if we’re going to sound like wine buffs. This has proved to me that I should never rule anything out and that I should really try more stuff I didn’t used to like.

It looks like I’ll be joining that queue.


Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche Skin Scent is is widely available. Try John Lewis or House of Fraser or the Estee Lauder website.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Chic



Estee Lauder Modern Muse was one of my favourite launches in recent years and it would appear that I wasn’t alone in my admiration of it. Modern Muse has now reached that milestone of approval and success and has spawned a flanker.

Estee Lauder has a fairly safe Go-To image for the mainstream perfume buyer, although I think the brand is one of the best on the High Street.  On every Estee Lauder counter you can find consistently good classics and I can name at least five scents that I would buy without hesitation if someone gave me a voucher for my wedding anniversary on Wednesday for example (Ahem).   Too often Estee Lauder has been overlooked as an “Old Lady” brand, but hopefully Modern Muse will attract some new, younger appreciation in the same way as Pleasures did in the Nineties.

Having said all that, Modern Muse Chic dips its ladylike toe into Lake Daring and sticks a bit of Oud in there.  Pearls may be clutched, but Estee Lauder has pulled it off.

I have been wearing Modern Muse Chic all day- two spritzes of Eau de Parfum this morning are still going strong seven hours later with no need for a top up.


Initially Modern Muse Chic is similar to Modern Muse but with the Plum and the Jasmine Sambac cranked up.  Wait an hour though and the Oud and Wormwood emerge and stay put throughout.  I can’t decide if Oud or Jasmine Sambac have been over used lately in new launches, but frankly I can’t find anything to complain about here.

 Modern Muse Chic is pretty much an evening version of Modern Muse, and smells as if Modern Muse has been concentrated and layered over the teeniest drop of pure Oud oil.  It seems to radiate more as the day goes on, which is no bad thing.  This may be too much for the office, but great for a memorable night out.  Nice bottle too.  If you don’t like  even the slightest trace of Oud or Wormwood (think how Absinthe smells) then you might want to side step it, but I think this is rather good.


Estee Lauder Modern Muse Chic is available in widespread locations: in the UK you can buy it from John Lewis, House of Fraser, Selfridges and Debenhams to name but a few.  In the USA and Canada you can buy it from Neiman Marcus (USA only), Macy’s and Sears, and in Europe you can buy it from Sephora, or of course, the Estee Lauder website.

Estee Lauder Sensuous: It’s Just Not That Into Me


It is a fact, universally acknowledged, that I cannot walk past the Estee Lauder counter without pressing a nozzle of some sort.  Today that nozzle was Estee Lauder Sensuous and let’s just say there was no chemistry  during our  first meeting. Sensuous left me within moments of our first introductions without a backward glance.  I don’t think there’s going to be a second date.

There is no rhyme or reason as to why some perfumes are anosmic to some and not others.  Cartier Delices de Cartier was one memorable example ( or should that be unmemorable?).  I sprayed and sprayed and practically used up a whole sample before realising I couldn’t smell it at all.  Luckily, with Estee Lauder Sensuous I judiciously sprayed my sleeve so I can vaguely recall what it smelled like and can report back.

It reminded me a little of Guerlain Shalimar Parfum Initial in that it is a powdery floral with a smoothing hint of vanilla/honey round the edges. It’s very close to skin (that’s an understatement) and disappeared within about three minutes.  Now, I know this is just me as it wouldn’t have been a steady seller since its 2008 launch if it were anosmic on everyone.

The strongest notes I can smell are still very faint and they are sandalwood, honey and magnolia.  If it was stronger I think I would actually like it, and by stronger, I mean noticeable without trying to inhale my entire arm in one snort just to catch a passing zephyr of it.  It’s  reasonably priced however, possibly one of the cheapest Estee Lauders in fact, so if it hangs around you’ve got yourself a  bargain.

My overall verdict? We could have been good together if you’d stuck around to get to know me. Mystifying.


Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia


I first tried Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose and Gardenia (Phew!, can we call it ELPCTG instead?) about a year ago when I wasn’t close friends with Tuberose. I found it too creamy and cloying and dismissed it as Not My Thing.

However, the last year of blogging and discovery has been an education for me and now that I appreciate both Tuberose and Gardenia, I regard this fragrance as something of a modern masterpiece.


It sounds simple enough: just those two leading stars named in the title, but this is so much more than a double act.

First off, Jasmine plays a part in the immediate radiance, but Lilac opens with a solo.  There is a dawn-like morning petal feeling to the bright opening and it’s only after that little showcase that the Tuberose and Gardenia step in and do their number. The genius of this is in the blending.  Gardenia never seems to hang about long, but the Tuberose seems to anchor it.  Tuberose on its own can be creamy and rich, almost to the point of smelling medicinal, but the Gardenia brings out the best in it and calms it down, like a kind friend with a loud drunk.

This not only has big sillage, but is radiant from the first squoosh. Longevity is excellent. It’s still on my arm six hours later and quite comfortably too, in no danger of fading fast. In Perfumes The Guide, Luca Turin, a big fan of ELPCTG, says that both Gardenia and Tuberose are “better sprayed on fabric” and judging by the incredibly lovely scent coming from my coat sleeve, he is right. It’s great on skin, but lasts and lingers on fabric like a dream.

This is a modern classic.  It’s widely available: I found today’s bottle in my local House of Fraser, but as far as High Street perfumes go, this knocks spots off the rest of them. The price is a little steeper than average, but considering the sillage, quality, longevity and the fact that a little goes a very long way, I still call it good value at under £60 for 30ml.  Even a small bottle would last me a very long time. Impossibly pretty, this would make a great wedding day perfume or even an anniversary present*.

*(if you’re reading this darling, it’s only three weeks away, hint, hint).

Estee Lauder Private Collection: The Ultimate Evergreen


Precious and quite rare…like a gathering of flowers, green leaves and spices from your private greenhouse.

Reader, I think I am in love again. If you could see my dressing table (modest by blogger standards) you would see immediately that greens are my thing. Recently I have tamed my greedy impulse to try on five scents at once and go home muttering that everything smells the same.  These days I’m a one scent woman, at least at the counter (at home I practice perfume promiscuity), and thus I came to really know Estee Lauder Private Collection.


To say it is Green would be an understatement. Bring it on, I say.

As soon as it goes on, it reminds me of the woody base left when O de Lancome has settled down, yet it effervesces as it lands on your skin.

Lemon and Bergamot keep this brisk, and there is a powdery note that arrives after an hour.  This just makes it more wonderful and establishes its status as a classic.  The end is a green, mossy dream, where the green, citrus notes lighten it up whilst it dries down into its woody patchouli finish, like expensive rough green tweed that you just want to keep forever.

I didn’t get the  promised heliotrope, nor the chrysanthemums (thank goodness- I don’t even like them in real life!), but to me this is a masterpiece for green lovers.  Indeed, Mrs Lauder kept it to herself until 1973, but I am very glad she chose to share it.

Longevity is good on my skin: around eight hours and I could NOT stop sniffing it.  My coat sleeve still bears witness several days later and I won’t be getting it dry cleaned anytime soon.

This has made it onto my Top Five  Wish List, (which is almost impossible to whittle down).  It would suit any season, any occasion, and I want ME to smell like THIS all the time.


Estee Lauder Very Estee: We Could Have Been Great Friends


Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my valued US readers!  I hope you all find something to be thankful for.  We could all learn a lot from such a day. In your honour, I am reviewing a good old American brand. A stalwart of quality in the perfume world: yes, it’s the fabulous Estee Lauder.

I tried Very Estee  today on my spare arm (I only have two, but I kept one perfume- free for testing). If evolution is anything to go by, mothers would have at least four arms by now, in any case.

My very first impression of Very Estee was that I could smell Violets, then the Green notes.  My heartbeat quickened as I thought “Could this be another Balmain Jolie Madame?  But I was disappointed. Within minutes of spraying, the scent was so close to skin that it was barely there at all.  What I could smell, I liked very much, but if it fades within a minute what use is it?  I would never be so rude as to expect instant sillage to fill a room, but I would at least like to be able to smell it on myself for more than a few minutes.

Now, I love Estee Lauder as a brand: quality and ingredients are never less than excellent, but Very Estee was a disappointment. I read on Fragrantica that the notes contain Lotus Flower, Rose, Jasmine, Pink Pepper and Freesia, bedding down into Cashmere Woods, Cedar, Sandalwood and Musk.  It all sounds lovely, but all I got was Violet Leaf and Green notes, delicate as a dewdrop on the tongue and gone twice as fast.  Shame, since I love both of those notes and would have loved Very Estee to have hung round a bit longer.

This could be good if it had more resonance, or maybe it was just my cold skin swallowing it up.  I will still be a Lauder counter pest though, I just can’t stay away.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse: A New Launch I Love


It’s finally happened. A new fragrance has been launched that I love. There wasn’t even a free tote bag to bribe me with. My sample was free from the lovely lady at my local Estee Lauder concession. No obligation to write a nice review, but I will because I love it. (I may have accidentally agreed to a makeover in order to get the sample, however).

I do apologise if I have been sounding like a grumpy old lady when it comes to new launches of late. Muttering away about everything smelling the same and too much vanilla, and too much fruit, and then finally…a miracle! Estee Lauder Modern Muse has only a touch of citrus orange to its name. No red berries. No candy floss, no discernible vanilla, and no overloaded sugary Baby Angel finish.


For every person that thinks new launches are either a Britney or an Angel homage (i.e me), there are equally those who think many new launches are copies of the much revered Narciso Rodriguez For Her. Modern Muse could be accused of such. Indeed, there are many Fragrantica users who vote that it smells like NR for Her.

However, as much as I love fragrances in the style of NR for Her (SJP Lovely is a permafixture on my dressing table), I feel it would be unfair to simply label Modern Muse as a smellalike. It is in fact, only the base notes which hold any similarity to NR for Her.

Modern Muse opens with clean Petals, Jasmine (in spades) and Tuberose. It is a bouquet of a smell, prevented from being too cloying with a spritz of orange in there somewhere. The middle notes retain the Jasmine and Tuberose, but are now turning woodier as the Patchouli starts to gradually make its present felt.


The basenotes are a wonderful mix of Patchouli, Wood, Musk and Tuberose. It’s at this point that I feel it must be said that whilst the Musky Patchouli base has much in common with NR for Her, the flowers make Modern Muse, dare I say it, a cut above.

Impossibly feminine, with good longevity and arms’ length sillage, this is a great buy and an important launch.

Estee Lauder still remains, in my eyes, the best quality fragrance you can buy on the High Street. Among all the ubiquitous brands and newbies and celebuscents, Estee Lauder can still provide accessible classics such as Cinnabar, Youth Dew, Private Collection , Alliage, White Linen and Pleasures.  Modern Muse can stand alongside the EL greats without a blush.


Estee Lauder Pleasures: Practically Perfect In Every Way


Estee Lauder Pleasures was launched in 1995 and was a huge hit. After the excesses of the Look At Me 80s, this 90s fragrance was all about everything that was light, airy and pure. You know, like Gwyneth Paltrow.

 Pleasures was everywhere in the 90s including on me: I had a 100ml bottle and a body lotion no less.  It even tempted me away from my steadfast Chanel Cristalle for a  whole summer. There was a new optimism in the 90s. Everything was environmentally sound, and people were hugging trees and taking up Yoga and wearing white floaty shirts. You know, like Gwyneth Paltrow.

So what does it smell like? It smells like a photoshopped meadow on a summer’s day, all delicate blossom and green grass and fluffy clouds. It smells just like its advertising campaign, with original spokesmodel Elizabeth Hurley in the middle, looking ethereal all over billboards and fragrance shop windows.

To me Pleasures smells of Violet and Peony. It’s pretty as a picture. There are no dark or challenging notes, all is light as air. There are Green notes in the opening and  Violet Leaf making its presence felt. Lilac and Lily of The Valley make an appearance, and the basenotes introduce a little White Musk to this delightful bed of flower petals. It is impossibly feminine, almost bridal in its innocence and beauty.

Image I tried Pleasures recently and thought there was a silvery note in it. It’s hard to explain but it was more metallic than I remember, but not to any extreme, more of a tinkly silver wind chime.

Disappointingly, EL has seen the need to produce no less than SIXTEEN Pleasures flankers.  I’ve tried two: Pleasures Bloom and Pleasures Intense. Neither were a success for me.  It was as if someone had bulldozed my pretty meadow. It was as if someone had taken a Jane Austen novel, discovered people liked it and decided to make it into a Musical, a TV series and a range of dolls. Enough already!

 Pleasures is a classic. But leave the flankers well alone. You can have way too much of a good thing.  You know, like Gwyneth Paltrow.



You can buy Pleasures from  allbeauty.com or Fragrance Direct.


Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche 2013: Hello Miss Hawaiian Tropic!


A Sales Assistant in John Lewis recently told me that the current Estee Lauder best seller in the Cardiff branch is Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche 2013. In fact they had sold out and were awaiting stock. She told me that would quickly sell out too and they would have to order even more in. Naturally, I had to try it.

It seems almost too obvious that a perfume that smells like sun lotion would be popular towards summer. It seems so obvious that I wonder why the obvious wasn’t said in the boardroom “but surely if a woman wants to smell of sun cream, she will just apply sun cream?”

It also seems obvious that Estee Lauder knows their consumers better than I do, for this stuff is flying off the shelves, and has even sold out on the Estee Lauder website (at the time of going to press. I’ve always wanted to write that)

On first spraying from the gorgeous bronze opaque bottle, my first impression was Coconut. My second was Tuberose. After that it stayed Coconutty and creamy and didn’t really change. There were some pretty and faint florals in there, however. Just enough to stop you smelling like a cake. Lasting power was good at around five hours.

Looking at the description on Fragrantica, I have to wonder if we are talking about the same scent. Fragrantica lists no Tuberose and no Coconut. It does list Lemon, Orange, Milk, Flowers and Amber.  The Estee Lauder website is downright poetic in its listing of flowers and fruits and exoticisms.  I can assure you dear reader that the fragrance name is an exact match to the bottle I tried. But I would never recognise this beachy Malibu scent from its notes in a hundred years.

There have been many flankers and many editions of Bronze Goddess. I can’t help feeling slightly cynical here, perhaps all I can smell is the cash needed to buy each year’s limited edition version and its flanker.

In any case, if you like smelling of sun lotion when the skies are gloomy and the rain patters down, this is fine quality. It is escapism after all.

I still call it Coconuts though.