Post by Trésor
I usually like to begin my reviews with an abstract impression of the fragrance I going to be speaking of, but for a couple of weeks now I have sat in front of my computer and found myself completely unable to articulate my feelings for this fragrance in any way that made a lick of sense. So now, as I sit here at the eleventh hour, I am going to give this another go and see if I can somehow put into words the inimitable mesmerism contained within the omnipotent fumes captured in this murky amber fluid. Youth Dew, the fragrance I consider to be the matriarch of American perfume royalty, here you are again leaving me breathless and without the words to express how I feel about you once more.
Youth-Dew by Josephine Catapano for Estée Lauder 1955
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Aldehydes, orange, spices, peach, bergamot, narcissus, lavender
Heart: Cinnamon, cassia, orchid, jasmine, cloves, ylang-ylang, rose, lily-of-the-valley, spicy notes
Base: Tolu balsam, peru balsam, amber, patchouli, musk, vanilla, oakmoss, vetiver, incense
The way Youth Dew opens detonates on the skin is simply extraordinary, I can guarantee it is one of the most forcefully dense clouds of fragrance you may ever encounter in your perfume-smelling career. Once the utter onslaught (and I truly mean this in the most complimentary way) of aroma begins to disperse you are greeted with a visceral symphony of resins which seem to swallow the light like some phantasmic quasar. The resins have this incredible sequence of olfactory motion that to my nose resembles the collapse of a star in a continuous loop, imploding and exploding in brilliant succession. As the composition progresses rich and sensuous spices begin to unfold like a blanket of scintillating stars splashed across a mahogany sky, meteor showers of cinnamon and clove raining down from above and setting the atmosphere alight with their luminous eruptions. Though not listed in notes I detect the obvious presence of leather, perhaps it’s just my imagination running wild but I swear I can smell it. The fragrance lives in this state for quite some time until it begins to morph once more into a luxuriant accord of liquid amber infused with vanilla that’s been drizzled atop the smouldering remains of the resins which preceded. It is in this stage where Youth Dew finally begins its lengthy (and I so mean lengthy) decent into a redolent hum of amorphous warmth hovering just above the skin.
Now, onto longevity and sillage. Oh, boy. The sillage on Youth Dew is….enormous, incredibly so. You will be noticed and people will be able to smell you a continent over if you are the slightest bit overzealous with application. A wonderful tip for calming the monster that is Youth Dew’s gargantuan aura is to take a tiny bit, mix it with a fragrance free oil (I find a bit of fractionated coconut does the trick nicely) and apply as you would any other body oil.
Photo stolen Fragrantica
As for longevity, I am almost certain that this fragrance just fuses with your DNA and will never truly disappear. In my attempts to review I have worn Youth Dew a number of times over the past couple of weeks and it’s lasted upwards of 18 hours on my skin and strangely enough even though a shower when I chose to be a bit heavy handed. If you are a density junkie like me or simply want to experience what I consider to be one of the very best compositions in American perfumery I urge you to give Youth Dew a try. Even if you don’t like it you will up your fumehead street cred just by having tried it.
What do you feel when you wear Youth Dew? Do you have memories of it on others?