Youth-Dew by Joséphine Catapano for Estée Lauder 1953

Today was odd because Monday was a public holiday and so things started out with me realising the bins had not been put out (my job) and that we have a very full bin already, how were we going to last the week? Not to mention that it’s already high on the whiffo meter!

On a brighter note Evie C and I got together and discussed strategy, weekends, partners, kids (hers), Trivia Nights (mine), fragrances and best of all all the wonderful interviews we have lined up over the coming Mondays, interspersed with all my palaver on other days. So what was I wearing today?

Youth-Dew by Joséphine Catapano for Estée Lauder 1953

The box. Pale aqua, gold and white, the box is old school of the best and worst kind. 70s-80’s classy. Is it tongue in cheek? Are they messing with me? Should I hate it/love it/loathe it. I can’t tell. I am ambivalent, violently opposed forces within me trying to reconcile this box that would look correct in a thrift store or a penthouse armoire. Who do they think they are selling this juice to? It’s schizophrenic marketing to me.The bottle too, with that dickie little bow. I LOVE IT! Although I know it’s awful. Or is it? Bugger, another 15 minutes wasted as I hold the damn bottle up and try to decide whether I adore or abhor it.

Photo Stolen from BaseNotes

In 1953, Youth Dew was released. That is 60 years ago. It was Estee Lauder’s first attempt at fragrance and came as a bath oil. It is a hot, sexy and spicy Oriental. Unashamed at its stupendous wafts of glamour and alluring mystique. A powerhouse perfume that takes courage, poise and a certain savoir faire to be able to pull it off. At the time it bucked the norm, and anyone who dares to wear it today in the face of a multitude of clean musks and sheer scents says loud and proud that they are a contender. Unafraid of you and your wishy washy nothings, no matter how gorgeously crafted and close to the skin it is (see below). So glamorous, seductive and spirited that it was Joan Crawford’s scent of choice! When I wear Youth Dew I feel as though I can rule the world, and that I am decidedly perfumed.

What is it like, I hear you think?

Well it opens with a big fat aldehydic, fruity, spicy, citrus that runs laps around you and plays the cymbals, drums and trumpet in your nose and brain. This fragrance has balls. Almost obnoxious, it is saved by its own good breeding. as the opening notes soften off we are gifted with a sparkly, spicy, almost spiky, floriental that is both red hot and cool green. An oriental fragrance that smells like no part of Asia that I’ve ever been to or sniffed. The spices and incense we come across here are also nothing like we are offered nowadays, it is viscous and luscious. I can’t get the words on the paper. This is perfume! If you ever wanted to take over a room, banquet, board meeting, or country; if you ever wanted to be remembered for the searing and glorious scent that you, and only you, of your age group wears, then this little Mo Fo is the one for you. Currently the aged are having it all to themselves. Try it, this is living.

Fragrantica gives you the details and NowSmellThis did a review back in 2007 that is still worth a look.

ELLIE Eau De Parfum by ELLIE D

Firstly and amusingly, is this name supposed to remind me of LED Lights? Great drag name.

Ellie D donates a portion of its proceeds to entrepreneurs in developing world through www.kiva.com (100% of every dollar you lend on KIVA goes directly towards funding loans; KIVA does not take a cut. Furthermore, KIVA does not charge interest to our Field Partners, who administer the loans)

Photo Stolen from LuckyScent

Ellie EDP came in my February LuckyScent showbag. If you join the mailing list they send you an invitation to order their new stuff in a sample pack. It’s quite addictive because the give you .7 of a ml of each fragrance (I think they should do a 2ml set for those of us who need a couple of wears to become addicted, I’d be willing to pay the extra for the privilege) to try for a day. It keeps you up to date with the newest trends, is pretty inexpensive and is delivered to your door. Be careful though, you will like a few of them. I’ve been so distracted by other stuff though that I have only just got to the February showbag, sorry folks.

Let’s talk about the product then. It is a sheer floral in the modern style. People who are reviewing it say that it harks back to the old days of perfume, enormous florals, great big burst of….. BULLSHIT!! On me it is a severely cool floral, sheer and fresh. It is a luminous, fairy lit, musky floral with a hint of citrus and twig. It will shimmer around you rather than perfume you, does that make sense? I think this is a perfume for people who either don’t really like perfume, or perhaps young (or young at heart) girls who like to smell fresh and lovely, or even workers who need to not broadcast that they are fragrant. Compared to other sheer scents like SJP Lovely and Royal Apothis, City of Angels this is even quieter, and almost milky, but up close is gorgeous. I have a girlfriend I’ve earmarked this sample for, Alice will smell so pretty in it, I’m sure.

Photo Stolen from LetterShop_NYC

For me this is too refined and soft. I understand that many of you like to be dressed in sheerest of sheer but for me it defeats the purpose of being scented. I think as my nose gets more refined that these scents may become more differentiated but currently they are all much of a muchness and practically interchangeable. As lovely, soft and dewy as Ellie is I can’t see why it needed to be produced at all with such a plethora of similar scent in the marketplace. Sorry. Although they are slightly improved in my eyes through their generous donations to KIVA, there is no percentage given and a one off donation of $25 could facilitate the tag line.

LuckyScent has a great review, notes etc and you can buy from them, PerfumeSmellingThings agrees with me but says it better; AromaScope says something else.

Thanks for sharing what’s in my stinky old mind. Glad to have you along,

Portia xx

 

9 comments on “Youth-Dew by Joséphine Catapano for Estée Lauder 1953

  1. David Watson says:

    Fab post darling! Loved it xxx

  2. Dionne says:

    Portia, I thoroughly enjoy your hilarious and insightful posts and the way you pull no punches. You’re a welcome new addition to my Google Reader. (Plus, I get to brush up on Aussie slang. My MIL was from Australia, and I miss her terribly.)

  3. keyboardaddict says:

    So if I end up posting 2x comments it’s because of the stoopid website making me log in and all the rest of it.

    What I originally said was I’m excited to smell that perfume cos it sounds perfect for me, especially as a work perfume. I sound less excited now that I’ve said it twice, but it’s still there honest.

    Oh and I like the EL box, I think cos I’m a sucker for aqua <3 XX

  4. Ari says:

    I love Youth Dew! My very sassy Sicilian grandmother used to wear it. She gave her bottle to me last year, but I don’t think I quite carry it off. By the way, I fall on the “bottle is adorable” side! That boooooow!!!

  5. […] At the jump you can read a lovely APJ review of Youth-Dew […]

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