Beyond Paradise by Calice Becker for Estée Lauder 2003

Hello Hello Hello,

While moving I have rediscovered an old favourite bottle.

Way back in the early years of this century I had a beautiful partner called Varun, we traveled often to his homeland India. On our first journey to India I was taken by the lovely smell of jasmine and marigold that women would wear in ropes in their hair, a thick, rich and intoxicating smell that could become completely overpowering in a small shop with two or three women thus adorned.

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder  taj-mahalPhoto Stolen Pixabay

So 2000, 2001 and 2002 visits were filled with this glorious and enchanting waft at unexpected times, not every woman would wear the garlands and I never found out what prompted it though at weddings they were everywhere. Sadly the practice is seen less and less in modern Incredible India.

Beyond Paradise by Calice Becker for Estée Lauder 2003

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, blue hyacinth, Jaboticaba berry, lemon, bergamot, grapefruit
Heart: Laelia orchid, pink honeysuckle, Japanese mahonia, jasmine, gardenia
Base: Natal plum blossom, golden melaleuca, zebrano wood, ambrette seed, amber

Fast forward now to 2003, and I am traveling alone to meet Varun who has had to go home to run the family business. As I’m walking though the Duty Free an Estee Lauder rep hands me a miniature bottle shaped like a teardrop with my gifting purchases. The bottle itself was so beautiful, exquisite, a rainbow teardrop and inside was a fragrance filled with bittersweet heartache. The smell of glamotous Indian women wearing their jasmine and marigold hair garlands, the hot wet heat of southern India’s spring and the cooling breeze blowing over lotus ponds into Kerala wooden pole houses. On my first sniff I was overcome with nostalgia and nervous tummy butterflies of anticipation.

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder Flower_garland WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Ha ha ha! Of course, I arrive in India and Varun is like, “What for are you wearing that nasty cheap roadside stall jasmine oil?” Ha Ha ha! So away my little bottle went for that holiday but on my return Beyond Paradise became the scent of India for me. Even though I have been to the oldest and most reputable scent wallahs in Old and New Delhi, Jaipur and Kerala it is Beyond Paradise that takes me to the first few visits to India every time.

Beyond Paradise Estée Lauder  Varun PortiaVarun & Portia 2004

Basically Beyond Paradise opens like a vase of flowers, all wet, green leaves, a little crackle of bitterness, crisp white flowers and softly sweet fruits, it goes more white flowers through the heart and then dries down to dry white flowers, a very little bit fleshy and ripe, then fades to nothing musky woods. The story isn’t big and the shifts aren’t monumental, Beyond Paradise is fresh and light but gives you really good sillage and projection for most of the day.

The Little Book of Perfumes LuckyScentPhoto Stolen LuckyScent ($18 at LuckyScent)

Fast forward again to 2011 and I am given a book called The Little Book Of Perfumes by Luca Turin & Tanya Sanchez. Though I had been a mad collector of frags on and off through my life never had I been given such purpose in my collecting as that book gave me. Instantly I wanted to try ALL 100 fragrances in that book, but to find something I have loved so well for so long in that book was a complete surprise.

Further reading: Sweet Diva and Scentualist
Beauty Encounter has $55/50ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Are you a Beyond Paradise fan? What was one of your excited fragrance epiphanies?
Portia xx

13 thoughts on “Beyond Paradise by Calice Becker for Estée Lauder 2003

  1. Portia, what a lovely story and beautiful blog post! This inspires me to stop by the Estee Lauder counter post-haste to take a sniff… Especially as I’m currently obsessed with all things jasmine! 🙂


  2. Oh God, Portia! Beyond Paradise was one of the very first florals that I fell in love with back in the day, and I have ALWAYS had a bottle since then. It never gets old for me, never stale, just a glorious hit of jasmine/summer yumminess that I absolutely adore! And will NEVER be without!


    • Hey there Robert H,
      Yes, I am so glad we share this beauty. It’s a grand dame and seriously gorgeous.
      I’m late to replying but yesterday here in Sydney I wore BP all day. It was super fun.
      Portia xx


  3. I can’t recall what this smells like. I’m going to have to sniff it next time I’m at the mall. I thought I had a little purse spray but its not this one it’s Beautiful.
    It’s great you have a perfume that makes you remember a place you really love.


  4. Ha! Famously, Luca Turin loves Beyond Paradise but when I tried it I thought it was completely horrid. I’ll give it another sniff, even if just to try and understand what it is that I don’t like.

    Wonderful story, thanks for sharing!


    • Hi AnnaMarieC,
      Yes, I can understand Beyond Paradise is not for everyone. There is so much synthetic jasmine that I could see it being a hot mess on someone who wasn’t into it.
      Portia xx


    • Hi MRidula,
      That photo seems like two other people. We were just kids then. Two crazy assed, madly in love fools.
      Yes, remembering is wonderful. We are still best of friends so its easy to reminisce.

      Portia xx


  5. What a great story, dear Portia! Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading it very much.

    I remember liking Beyond Paradise when it was first released and planning to get a bottle once my samples are gone… But I never had a chance to finish all the samples (somehow I got enough those with other purchases) – and then my interests went elsewhere. But I still remember the warm feeling towards this perfume.


    • Hi Undina! Great to see you.
      I loved your beautiful home, the USA. Jin, Kath & I are all going to enter the Green Card Lottery and see where that gets us.
      It’s excellent that they were so generous with samples. We are so freaking flighty that I reckon a few samples is all we need of most things.
      Portia xx


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