Estee Lauder Beautiful Love : Perfume Review

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Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Though I normally look at flankers with disdain expecting yet another bland variation, the sequels to the classical Estée Lauder fragrances have been quite lovely. Youth Dew Amber Nude offered an interesting twist on the oriental ambery theme of the original Youth Dew. Pure White Linen is a crisp, musky veil, in contrast to the richer 1978 classic, White Linen. Beautiful Love is a modern take on Beautiful, a lush white floral underpinned by woods and iris.

Beautiful Love opens with a verdant, crisp accord. It has immediate appeal, though the top notes are miles away from fresh and delicate. They explode and retain amazing intensity. The floral heart is all about the white petal brushing against the skin—soft, cool and airy. The crisp and fresh quality does not dissipate even in the drydown, which like that of Beautiful is marked by sweet musky woods and iris. The lack of animalic effects lends Beautiful Love the same well-scrubbed and wholesome quality possessed by the original Beautiful.

In the tradition of most Estée Lauder flankers, Beautiful Love does not venture outside the familiar domain. The crisp and bright floral theme of the composition recalls fragrances like Estée Lauder Pleasures, Marc Jacobs for Her and Ralph Lauren Blue that seem to be quite popular in the American market. It is also more lighthearted in character than the original Beautiful, lacking its assertiveness. At a time when flankers tend to end up as diluted and cheapened versions of the successful original, it is a pleasant surprise to discover deviations from this trend. Not surprisingly, it is one of the reasons why many Lauder flankers have found commercial success.

Another company that offers interesting flankers is Kenzo. Kenzo Flower Oriental, perfumer Alberto Morillas’s take on his original creation, Flower, and KenzoAir Intense, Maurice Roucel’s richer version of KenzoAir are excellent.

I should note that Beautiful Love is not the first Beautiful flanker. Beautiful Sheer, Beautiful Summer Bouquet and Beautiful in Bloom have seen the light of day previously. Beautiful Love features notes of pomelo, cantaloupe, mango mist, white freesia, magnolia, marigold, ivy leaves and pink pepper; Tahitian tiare, tuberose, jasmin absolute, jasmin Sambac, rose, osmanthus, carnation and black violet; white orris, vetiver, Cashmeran, heliotrope, tonka bean, whipped cream accord, sandalwood, white moss and patchouli. Estée Lauder fragrances are available directly from Estée Lauder as well as at Neiman Marcus, Bergdoft Goodman, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.

Beautiful Love advertising from Basenotes.

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21 Comments

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    I don’t know why, but I am a purist . That is to say , I usually don’t care for flankers or evolving slightly tweaked versions of a great classic – whatever it is. I wrote yesterday that following many years from 1988 Brautifyl’s launch to about 2005 I did not care for or understand EL’as classic. I always associated Beautiful – with a noninspired wearer unlike the appeal of a more French. exotic. vintage or niche event. Having now finally develooed a taste for Beautiful to the point of wearing it 3-4 tmes a week.. i am now a believer.
    I don’t really understand EL’s marketing. )Obviously they do alot right or they wouldn’t be so successful. I sniffed Beautiful Love. Yes V ,you are always on target : crsip green notes appear and melt into a nondescript muddy , similar like EL essence. Like a me too product.
    I will probably stick to the original Beautiful.
    Thanks dear V – for giving EL such nice attention !
    PS I grew up in the 60′ and 70’s was married in the eighties. i loved the original Youth Dew – thought it was a mature masterpiece . Estee was the most gorgeous sensual scent I ‘d ever experienced . I love it’s Estee pur perfume spray . it was like a dazzlimg crystalline chandelier hanging majestically like in Versailles. White Linen. did not like. Loved Azuree. addicted to the original, knowing – no pleasures m\no.
    Cinnabar no . Pavillion – yes- great. (d’c’ed).
    Clinique Aromatics – magical – Still is – the origunal.
    I hope you will not ire of my road down memory lane but for some of us over .gasp.. 50. many scents many memories.
    When will you review Creed’s Fleurissimo = Princess Grace ‘s signature ?
    Have a warm happy day ! January 30, 2007 at 1:06am Reply

  • carmencanada: You’re right, of course, dear V., Estée Lauder is the true originator of the American school of perfumery. I don’t travel that route very often but having grown up in Canada, each and every one of her classics is an olfactory flashback. So much so that I can only wear Azurée, though I also own Youth Dew for memory’s sake. I met a very beautiful and filthy rich Lebanese lady who made Private Collection her signature fragrance twenty years ago and has never looked back. I caught a whiff when kissing her cheek and it is indeed a very distinctive scent. She told me it was very difficult to get hold of. Are you going to review it? January 30, 2007 at 2:58am Reply

  • Marina: Another Lauder flanker that I personally loved (and still do) is White Linen Breeze. Did you see how google ads reacted to the post? “Love is beautiful”, “find beautiful love”…Awww. :-) January 30, 2007 at 9:25am Reply

  • Linda: How I love your wonderful reviews – every morning I log on to see what is the treat for the day! The writing is like a prose poem and has really made me regard fragrance in a different way. Yesterday I took time out from work at lunchtime to visit the Estee Lauder counter and investigate “Beautiful”: one thing led to another and I eventually bought an eau de parfum of “Estee” which I adored. Today, while wearing it, I felt quite elegant and “grown up”! I have found out so much about perfume since I began reading this lovely website. Thnk you again for making a perfume beginner so happy. January 30, 2007 at 11:36am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, I can understand why you feel this way. I tend to dislike most flankers myself, especially if they are endless variations on the same boring theme. For instance, how many flankers to Guerlain Cherry Blossom can we take? Yet, I liked Shalimar Eau Legere very much, and I am taken with both Pure White Linen and Youth Dew Amber Nude. Beautiful Love is a bit too crisp and familiar (all of the modern florals take this approach these days) to be exciting. Yet, it is still better than most florals. The green part is my favourite aspect.

    Keep warm!

    P.S. Can you please describe Pavillion? Thank you. January 30, 2007 at 11:53am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear D, I have recently purchased a small bottle of vintage Youth Dew, and it is heavenly. I am completely in awe of its creator and Lauder herself, especially realizing that she has done something that went completely against the grain. Private Collection is indeed excellent. I think that I shall have to return to it soon. January 30, 2007 at 11:57am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Marina, White Linen Breeze is very lovely. I also liked Pure White Linen, and I have used a whole bottle in the summer. In the fall, I purchased another one, but it seems to work much better in the hot weather.

    Google ads are the constant source of amusement for me! :) January 30, 2007 at 11:59am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Linda, thank you very much for such lovely words! I am very glad that my articles prove helpful and interesting. Moreover, it is great to hear that you have discovered something new. Estee is such a wonderful and elegant fragrance. I love it, and I also feel very elegant and poised whenever I wear it. Enjoy it! January 30, 2007 at 12:01pm Reply

  • violetnoir: Dang! It sounds like they threw in everything but the kitchen sink! How many notes does this fragrance need, V?

    I am not an EL fan. I just never liked them. But I may spritz on a bit of this one the next time I visit Macys or Nordstrom, thanks to your lovely review.

    Hugs! January 30, 2007 at 12:01pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, I think that EL just listed whatever notes/ingredients are included. Most just list the dominant notes. For instance, it is difficult to believe Lancome’s press release when it lists just vetiver, vanilla and passion fruit as notes for Hypnose.

    Let me know what you think if you end up trying it! January 30, 2007 at 12:05pm Reply

  • Robin: Perfect description. It is almost amazing how something so strong (the sillage is AMAZING) can stay so crisp, and yes, wholesome. January 30, 2007 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Madelyn E: Dear Victoria,
    I feel the same way as your new reader Linda : I log in for your treat of the day that reading BDJ is like prose …it truly lends a joyous note to my day !
    In or around 1978 EL introduced a fragrance trio : White Linen, Celadon and Pavillion. Of the three only White Linen was retained. Pavillion was a green, floral , crisp with a bergamot like drydown(if memory serves me correct ) . It was refreshing . no vanilla or sweetness init. Just a fresh rush of springtime. I loved it – As with the other Lauder fragrances – had great sillage. you can find it on ebay. I found it in a vintage perfume shop on Roslyn a few years ago– however it was sadly stale. I wish Lauder retained Pavillion – as it was my favorite. Although I have worn White Linen, out of curiosity – I never truly liked it. I did like White Linen Breeze – on a friend of mine. Like WL, I didn’t like it or had an attraction for it – it was pleasant smelling on the person. well scent is personal as we know .
    I loved Estee though.
    Have a good day ! January 30, 2007 at 1:44pm Reply

  • Tigs: Hello V: Interesting to see that this one might be worth checking out. I’m also very glad to see you marking Flower Oriental for added attention – I love this one and just bought it yesterday (not even discounted ) I always considered myself a philistine for liking Diet Shalimar too, so it’s relieving to see I’m in good company! January 30, 2007 at 4:56pm Reply

  • helg: Hi V!

    What a coincidence! I was talking about Beautiful, Beautiful Love and the Estee Lauder flankers the other day myself.
    It’s good that you judge everything on its own merit. Just because something is a flanker doesn’t mean it can’t be nice. (I too loved Pure White Linen, BTW). January 30, 2007 at 12:51pm Reply

  • Elle: I’m going to have to go sniff this one. I somehow had missed the fact there were so many flankers of Beautiful. Am so glad to see you reviewing these EL scents. I know I don’t wear them due to personal associations, but I’ve always felt they were brilliant scents w/ consistently high quality ingredients (yes, J-P G, am looking at you). Would love to see you review some of the scents Madelyn E mentioned. I’ve never even heard of Pavillion – definitely am going to investigate. January 31, 2007 at 8:28am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, for me that was a very surprising effect. It feel like a breath of fresh air, which is very pleasant. January 31, 2007 at 12:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: H, indeed! January 31, 2007 at 12:29pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, I am off to explore! Thank you very much for such a beautiful description. I could just visualize it as I read your comment. January 31, 2007 at 12:30pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Tigs, what makes it noteworthy for me is that it comes across well-crafted and high-quality. Shalimar Light and Kenzo Flower Oriental are very beautiful! I might even say that I prefer Flower Oriental to the original Flower. January 31, 2007 at 12:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Elle, thank you. While I do not see you in Beautiful Love, I imagine that you might enjoy the vintage and classical Estee Lauder fragrances such as Azuree. I am also excited to explore more of the line. January 31, 2007 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Summer: Hey i was just wondering what the text is on the add i cant find any clear enough images thankyou :) October 28, 2012 at 4:45am Reply

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