Tag Archives: Estee Lauder perfumes

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.

Givenchy Ysatis: File Under Classics


I was inspired to review Givenchy Ysatis by a kind reader who wrote in and told me how much she loves it.  It prompted me to ask why on earth I have left this wonderful classic so long?


Created in 1984, Givenchy Ysatis ( “Eeh-Sah-Teece”) was down among the brash Eighties hard hitters such as Dior Poison, Giorgio Beverly Hills and YSL Opium (which is technically late 70s, but was very suited to the excesses of 80s life). Eighties perfumes still have a what-the-heck nostalgia about them ( I will always have a bottle of Cacharel LouLou), but Givenchy Ysatis has somehow quietly acquired a bit of a classic status and still holds it own to this day, but not as a gimmick,  more out of sheer respect.  In fact, if I smelled it blind I would have attributed it to Estee Lauder.  It reminds me of Private Collection, Knowing and White Linen.

The notes in Ysatis are too numerous to list here, so I will tell you my impressions of it (which are, as always subjective).  Ysatis opens with strong aldehydes, lemon and woods. This phase lingers on for over an hour (reminding me very much of Taylor of London Tweed).  In the middle, the notes blend into a woody, green phase with a few flowers around the powdery edges.  Not girly freesias or peony though: spiky geraniums and rooty Iris, still with a background of aldehydes and greenery (think ferns and greenhouses).

The finish lasts for several more hours and has more of that delightful powderiness to it. It is rounded off with a hint of rich resins, a soupcon of honey, more woods, vetiver, oakmoss and even a hint of tobacco.

I tried this on my skin and my coat sleeves a few days ago and again today and every time my coat touched my skin, a bit more Ysatis would waft up deliciously.  Use sparingly on skin, and add to a scarf and coat sleeve for a scent that lasts all winter.

Ysatis has die hard fans and is here to stay, I hope ( although you can never say for sure in PerfumeLand).  From the glitzy excesses of the eighties, we found elegance and daring that still looks good today.  Oh and don’t worry about the eau de toilette version being weak, it absolutely is not!

Stockists: in the UK you can get Ysatis online or in store from Boots at 24.99 for the 30ml EDT, or  the 100ml can be ordered from Escentual for only 47.33. In the USA you can get it from  Amazon.com, and in Canada, from Amazon.ca.