Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Estee Lauder Beautiful

Beautiful by Estee Lauder made perfect sense when it came out in the big and loud 1980s, and it still smells good on those who've been loyal to it for years. Beautiful is instantly recognizable and it seems like everyone known at least one woman who wears it as her signature scent. I fully get why, considering my own wardrobe includes a few perfumes from this much maligned genre, big (BIG) floriental. I wear and love Panthere de Cartier, Tiffany by Tiffany and Jil Sander No. 4, to name a few. So why not Beautiful?

Part of is because, indeed, Beautiful was too common. I never liked smelling like everyone else, and since I was already of perfume wearing age when Lauder launched it in 1985, it was part of the olfactory background everywhere. My Estee Lauder of choice back then used to be White Linen (can't stand it now). Then there was something a bit off with the way Beautiful behaved on my skin. It's too much too quickly and made me feel it was trying too hard to be beautiful- all those aggressive floral notes together, mixed with something green and something sweet for good measure... It makes me think of that style rule of taking off one item or accessory just before leaving the house, to make sure you haven't overdone it.

Maybe that's it. I always felt Beautiful is pretty but not stylish enough. It lacks a little restraint to make it truly elegant, which I guess I did find in my other favorite florientals. That said, nowadays that you no longer smell it in every teachers lounge and office elevator I find myself enjoying it a lot more. There's not enough happy tuberose in the world and one little spray of Beautiful can sometimes make my day.

Notes: bergamot, lemon, galbanum, cassis, fruit accord, jasmine, tuberose, muguet, orris, ylang-ylang, carnation, vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, musk, vanilla.

Beautiful by Estee Lauder can be found anywhere under the sun, online and offline.

Assorted Beautiful ads from the 1980/early 1990s-


  1. You've nailed my feelings on Beautiful. It is lovely, but was always a bit common. It is nice that it has faded into the background a bit but it is still unmistakeable when I encounter it. I've always thought I would enjoy a big honking Beautiful candle. Estee Lauder scents would lend themselves to candles so well! I used to use Beautiful bath gel and the best part was how it scented my house. On the White Linen topic, I have been wanting this in the solid. EL had perfume pens/sticks years ago and I had White Linen. It was so pretty and such a nice way to wear it.

  2. I'm going to give Beautiful another whirl , G !


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