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.


10 thoughts on “Estee Lauder Sensuous: It’s Just Not That Into Me”

  1. Oooh, how interesting! I remember trying and rather liking Sensuous when it came out. It was in a little clutch of woody fragrances, which I rejoiced about at the time. I think Lancome released Magnifique at the same time and that was a woody rose, while Sensuous was a woody ambery musky kind of thing and I can’t remember what else came out then (oh – was Liz Hurley advertising something?) (and I’m too lazy to search Basenotes, sorry). I haven’t ever bought a bottle because there are so many other things I’d rather spend my pennies on, but I recall it being rather pleasant and definitely much nicer than most things on the market at the time. I wasn’t over-keen on the purple flanker though.

    1. Hello dear Wordbird, I too dislike the purple flanker. It’s sad that this is a woody ambery musk sort of thing as that sounds right up my street, but I only caught a vague willo the wisp, then silence. Bah!

  2. Sensuous doesn’t have anything like the strength of many of the classic Lauders but it’s not shy either, so yes, you must be anosmic. I invested in a small bottle because I liked its lack of overt floral notes and I thought it would do as a ‘wear anywhere any time’ fragrance. In fact I don’t wear it much. It goes through a phase of about half an hour where it smells synthetic on my skin. And to me, it lacks character. I’m not sure what it is that makes the difference between a subtle, graceful fragrance and a boring one – everyone would answer that question differently – but for me Sensuous falls just on the boring side of the line.

    1. Hi AnneMarie- yes! boring is the word I was looking for! Thank you! I caught a wisp, then it was gone and in the split second I caught it on skin and sleeve, I thought “meh, nothing to see here, move along.” You are so right.

  3. I had a bottle of this, but swapped it away in the end. I had had no problems with longevity, but it was just not wowing me. I actually much prefer the Noir version, of which I don’t even possess a sample, sadly.

    1. Hi Vanessa, always lovely to hear from you! I guess it’s one of those perfumes that’s sort of “beige” ( not to confused with the Chanel Beige).

      Like many fumeheads ( I include you in that my friend), I can’t give house room to beige when there are urgent must-haves to be had!

      best wishes

  4. Great headline! It gave me a good laugh on a trying day.

    I know the annoyance of anosmia too well. The most recent perfume that disappeared in minutes on me was Coty Wild Musk. I should say, “disappeared to me, ” because I did a test: I asked other people if they could smell it. My mother got nothing; my father said it was fairly strong; my uncle said, “That’s a good one!” Another reason to dislike wispy, short-lived ‘fumes: you might never know which ones are actually choking at least half of the room.

    1. Hi Laurels, it’s all part of the service, you’re welcome 🙂
      I think you’re right about anosmia. It can strike at any time and is totally bewildering. I had the same thing with Carter Delices de Cartier yet on Fragrantica reviewers were raving about its 12 hour longevity and knockout cherries.

      I remember Coty Wild Musk in those little dark bottle. My mum wore it for years.

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