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.
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.