Monday, February 20, 2012

Estee Lauder's Beautiful: The Top 20 Women's Fragrances of 2011 - A Scents of Self Production

*Current Fragrance: Velvet Rose by Sonoma Scent Studio
*Currently Listening: Big Chief (Version 2) by Professor Longhair (I'm all in the Mardi Gras spirit!)

In case you happen to be keeping score, we're now on three of twenty: so far I've covered Angel and Aromatics Elixir. This will be a full week, with Estee Lauder's Beautiful, Burberry's Body, Prada's Candy, Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist & Chanel's Chance. (Why yes, I DO enjoy the structure that alphabetic order provides me!)

Friday before going to dinner in the North End at Dolce Vita Ristorante with Al, the Reed Making Warrior and her parents, I took a 1 hour sample getting, blotter making, wrist & scarf spraying whirl wind trip through the Prudential Center and Copley Place that took me through Lord & Taylor, Sephora, Saks & Neiman Marcus. That's A LOT in one hour! Also, there is a Legal Seafood right next to Sephora...I wasn't really in the mood to smell clam chowdah right before sniffing perfume. I did give myself an olfactory desert though, but more on that in the coming weeks. Before I move on to the actual review I need to today, I have to share: I'm a sucker for flower shaped things and pretty paper goods, so Cartier really got me on this one. I actually made it back to my apartment unscathed.

As you can tell, I'm knee-deep in an Instagram addiction

And...onward we go with Estee Lauder's Beautiful....

1) I didn't outright remember/realize if/that I had any prior connections with Beautiful, but when I first sniffed it in the store, I was immediately transported back to the mid 1980's and Christmas get-togethers for my dad's side of the family. Beautiful reminded me of the smell of one of my Aunt's bathroom. I was well acquainted with the bathroom. My cousin closest to my age (also female) and I would spend a lot of time in there, where we may or may not have tried to pierce one of our younger cousin's (NOT female) ears with a pair of my Aunt's earrings that we had heated the posts up on a curling iron. Oh, don't worry...we were totally sterile, I rubbed doused eveything with rubbing alcohol first! There is a lesson in this to all you parents and grandparents out there: don't let one child open their gifts and make the others wait, they get...ummm..."creative." Beautiful reminds me both of that time, my Aunt and all the Bob Mackie Barbie's I wanted, but never got.

2) When I first spritzed Beautiful on and walked around for a little bit (I wish I would have taken a picture of the ridiculously awesome fur mittens I tried on) I thought, "Well, that's just very pretty isn't it!? It smells so perfume-y, in a good way." I think I equate "perfume-y" to be the mix of aldehydes and florals. (Which now is making nervous about how I'm EVER going to get Chanel No. 5 on my skin without be clobbered by a knitting needle from the heavens by my Granny...) The Lauder website describes the scents feel as "Rich, Romantic, Luxurious" - yeah, I get it...sorta. If I were writing the copy it would be "It, Smells, Like, Pretty, Flowers" Yes, I understand there are other notes in there, but for the majority of the wear it smells like flowers. It's pretty. (I just realized, I don't use the word "beautiful" very often as a descriptor.) The florals listed by Lauder are rose, lily, tuberose, marigold, orange flower, muguet, jasmine & ylang-ylang. I've gotta say, I get carnation too, there's GOTTA be carnation in there.

Admittedly, I really don't have much experience with the Lauder fragrances. I just don't. Perhaps it's a bit of a snobbery thing on my part. Yes. I CAN be a snob. I blame it on my "get me the HELL out of SETX" complex. That's why the Top 20 project is so good for me! :-D You know, my Dad tells my Mom she's a snob; and if my Mom's a snob...then I'm totally cool with being her kind of snob. (You must know my parents to fully understand the layers of "stuff" that goes along with that...)

Given my lack of knowledge about the Lauder's, I was curious to The Muse in Wooden Shoe's objection to the Lauder base on her skin. I get it a bit, the fragrance just sorts to smell sad on me after a while. Like the flowers are wilting and dying. NO, NO, NO! For all that floral-y goodness, I don't want an uber-perfumery-trickery sort of thing and make the bouquet go all bloom-flourish-die on me...NO! Those flowers are supposed to live forever (or settle into some mosses, ambers and other deeper things): the real world is scary enough, don't pop my happy perfume-land bubble! Let my marvel of modern chemistry flowers bloom...BLOOM I SAY!

Needless to say, I'm very curious to see how the other Lauder's in the Top 20 (Knowing, Pleasures and Sensuous Nude) work.

3) I really don't think I could see myself wearing this perfume. I do like it (with the exception of the wilting at the end), but it's just not very me.

4) Given that I don't see myself wearing it, why would I buy a bottle?

5) Al didn't get to smell this one on me....sorry...perfume blogger fail! :-/

6) This one is new. I'm calling it the "Blotter Factor". I have this theory (OK, a hunch) that how the fragrance stays on the blotter is a big contributing factor to how the fragrance sells. This one holds up remarkably well! Smells just like my Aunt's bathroom circa 1985! Translation: It smells like the fragrance smelled about 5ish minutes after spraying it on. It still smells like Beautiful. Not "Beautiful & Paper & Old", which I think some fragrances tend to do.

Here are some other takes on some of the Top:

The Muse in Wooden Shoes had done two sets of mini reviews: one and two.

The Unseen Censor tackles J'Adore.

Our fearless leader at The Scents of Self puts forth her opinion of Dolce and Gabanna's Light Blue.

*Currently Listening: I Need A Dollar by Aloe Blacc

**Photo credits: 1), 2) my own photo, 3), 4) & 5)


  1. Gosh, Beautiful has been popular for so many years now...I remember growing up I think my mom had a bottle, very classic perfumey. Pleasures is a lovely perfume, you should check it out sometime. I wore in HS around sophomore yr and it still evokes fun memories :) It's very soft and feminine, great for spring. Makes me also think of Jessica McClintock which was around a lot during those years, it is sort of in the same vein.

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