Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess and Bronze Goddess Soleil : Perfume Review

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

The ingenuity of Bronze Goddess, a limited edition Estée Lauder fragrance, lies not only in its ability to convey summer indolence with its scent of coconut, gardenia and warm sand, but in making this fantasy wearable and sophisticated. It is elegant and refined, with an interesting twist of dry ambers that give Bronze Goddess its crisp and polished character. While it may lure one with the promise of a beach themed indolence, in reality, it is a versatile fragrance that can easily travel from beach to office, from summer to fall.

Originally, Bronze Goddess was introduced in 2007 as Azurée Soleil Eau Fraiche Skinscent as part of a collaboration between Estée Lauder and Tom Ford. As I mentioned in my review of its body oil version, the fragrance combines the milky sweetness of white tropical flowers with the delicious warmth of amber, oscillating between the opulent sensation of gardenia petals on the skin and the smooth richness of sun bleached woods. The original Azurée Soleil was re-introduced in subsequent years, and Bronze Goddess is its latest iteration. All of these versions were created by perfumer Alberto Morillas, and they are essentially the same fragrance with some minor differences in floral accents. The composition has a playful character, with the sensual touch of musks lending it a caressing sensation. I particularly love the surprising touch of myrrh, which lends a cool facet reminiscent of damp stones and green moss to this voluptuous fragrance. My only qualm with Bronze Goddess is its limited edition status because a perfume of this caliber truly deserves its own permanent place in the collection.

Bronze Goddess Soleil

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Bronze Goddess Soleil, introduced this summer along with Bronze Goddess, is a variation on the gardenia and amber theme of the original. It has a stronger fruity accord that reminds me of sweet oranges and green apples. On the skin, the fragrance exhibits a completely different character from Bronze Goddess, being more of a citrus cologne than a white floral orchestration. The sparkling citrus opening reveals a full spectrum, from juicy mandarin to bergamot, while the fresh floral notes give it a jaunty twist. It is a well-crafted composition, with a pleasant character, yet in comparison to the original, it feels less memorable and unique. I would be glad to wear Bronze Goddess Soleil occasionally in the summer, but the fantasy it weaves is not enough to make me crave it after the beach towels are put away and the tan lines begin to disappear. On the other hand, I would want to have Bronze Goddess on my vanity table all year round to remind me of summer languor and to make the winter more bearable.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess includes notes of coconut milk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver, myrrh, amber, mandarin, bergamot, lemon, orange, tiare flower, jasmine, magnolia, orange blossom and lavender. It is available in 100 ml Eau Fraiche, 100 ml Body Oil and 200 ml Luminous Body Lotion.

Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess Soleil includes notes of citron, bergamot, tangerine, lavender, petitgrain, pittosporum, neroli, orange blossom, jasmine sambac, grapefruit tree blossom, pink lily, blonde woods, iris, ambrette seed and crystalline musks. It is available in 100 ml Eau Fraiche.

Sample source: Estée Lauder

Image: Brigitte Bardot in 1963 film Le Mépris.

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18 Comments

  • Olfactoria: I adore Bronze Goddess, even if nary a ray of sun ever touches me. ;) Great perfume! June 8, 2011 at 3:58am Reply

  • Ines: I was wondering if I was going to see Olfactoria’s comment here. :) I’ve loved this since it came out and I can’t imagine my summers without it.
    I do hope they make it a part of standard collection, I wouldn’t want the original BG to disappear, it’s instant love for everyone I get to try it. And I’m sure it sells great.
    Besides, there’s a whole line of body products in the line (well, at least here, but then, we do lag behind everyone else).
    Maybe I should get another bottle just in case (and the oil, I love that oil in the summer). June 8, 2011 at 4:17am Reply

  • Delfina: Bronze Goddess on my skin, a soft bed, the sun and the birds chirping outside and the breeze coming through the window: that’s most of the beach I need… June 8, 2011 at 4:23am Reply

  • Madelyn E: I was obsessed with the original Azuree EDP for years starting in high school about 1971. I remember how good it made me feel.. I just adored the citrus, green, leather, musk formulation. I don’t find the Bronze Goddess has quite the same effect on me. June 8, 2011 at 8:18am Reply

  • Olive: My SO made her way up the stairs right after I’d sprayed on Bronze Goddess this morning. This very natural girlfriend of mine, the one who, at best, ignores my daily fumes, lit up. “It smells amazing up here,” she said.

    I wish I had this on video. June 8, 2011 at 11:30am Reply

  • key change: Ooh, thanks for this review. I actually just picked up a bottle of bronze goddess soleil on Monday and love it. I didn’t like the original bg nearly as much, but that’s because I’m not a huge fan of the strong coconut note. How do you feel about bg soleil’s lasting power? June 8, 2011 at 1:09pm Reply

  • glitteralex: The format is now very readable, but never veers toward the formulaic due to your wonderful writing. Each perfume comes alive and jumps off the pages~ Thank you again for these daily gems that arrive in my Inbox! June 8, 2011 at 1:47pm Reply

  • dee: I LOVE Bronze Goddess! Thank you for the review, Victoria! :) June 8, 2011 at 3:40pm Reply

  • Bulldoggirl: I couldn’t agree with you more.

    Bronze Goddess is in my opinion one of the all time great beachy summer scents, with surprising lasting power and just the right amount of sillage. I adore it. By contrast BG Soleil boasts no sillage and literally lasts 2.5 seconds on my skin: after a sparkly and complex opening, it quickly dries down to a one-track grapefruit note before disappearing completely. After about a week of continual spritzing in order to justify my keeping it, I finally decided I didn’t see the need for it, and I sold it on eBay. June 8, 2011 at 6:31pm Reply

  • axum: I do like Bronze Goddess, but find it works better when it’s not really that hot out, ie below 30c. Right now it’s 37c – 40c and humid, and that coconut note is just too oily…and too much like the loads of copra (coconut meat from which coconut oil is extracted) stewing under tarpaulins down at the shipping wharves. Here, coconut is less fantasy and more everyday reality, which takes away from this fragrance. Back in N.America or Europe, I love wearing BG! June 8, 2011 at 8:07pm Reply

  • Marle: I think a great part of the ingenuity is in their very clever “limitation” each year. Making it available in the spring so that it sells out and we all talk about it all summer so that it becomes a Holy Grail of Suntan Lotion Legend. I know that’s how they got me hooked. I hoard my precious supply and make mental notes to buy early next year. It might be different if it was available in gallon jugs all year long from discounters. June 8, 2011 at 9:46pm Reply

  • Aubrey: I use Bronze Goddess to convince non-purfume-addicts that fragrances can transport you and be addictive. So far, it works on everyone. Everyone instantly loves it. I didn’t care for Soliel, which reminded me a little bit of a Clinique Happy flanker. June 9, 2011 at 8:22am Reply

  • Undina: Ii like Bronze Goddess a lot despite the fact that usually I like coconut only as in “food” and not in my perfume.
    Recently I got a sample of the Soleil version but haven’t tried it yet. It will be interesting to see how it behaves on my skin. June 12, 2011 at 6:28pm Reply

  • Rowanhill: I stocked up on all the 2007 Azurée Soleil products when they were available. :-) Great year around but especially in the summer. June 27, 2011 at 11:51am Reply

  • Wendy: I’ve always wanted to try Azuree Soleil. I’m going to have to invest in some. July 3, 2011 at 10:52pm Reply

  • Keren Courtland: Most sites and reviews seem to sing the high praises of Bronze Goddess. Ironically, I was not impressed at all. However, ONE reviewer somewhere gave a loose comparison of BG: Soliel to Estee’s Pure White Linen: Light Breeze which I love. It was pretty accurate! I just ordered the Soliel with low expectations and WOW!!! I love it. It is indeed fruity yet still “warm”. I think it’s perfectly summery. Scents tend to go either very sweet or very bitter on my skin. The original Bronze Goddess does the later which is extremely off-putting. I fail to get any of the rich, lush coconut people keep raving about at all. It just smells stale-oily and musky on me. I wanted to love Bronze Goddess, but instead, it is the BG: Soliel that has taken over my perfume heart. I will be buying more before it is truly gone forever (the prices are high even now, 2 years later, but still do-able). For those who like the similar Estee fragrance but with more “summer” notes…I will stand in virtual solitude in admiration of the BG: Soliel. Sweet, summery, light & warm. LOVELY! March 22, 2013 at 10:17am Reply

  • BasiaS: Every year it’s re-introduced, Bronze Goddess appears to have different notes (at least according to Fragrantica). Is the bottle that you based your review on the one with the bullseye? Or is it the one with the plain writing on it and the cap with orange and teal rings? Anyhow, the fragrance sounds like something I’d love to try. Thanks for the review! May 8, 2014 at 5:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s the one in the photo. It may have different notes, but the fragrance really doesn’t smell dramatically different. At least, to my nose. May 9, 2014 at 4:13am Reply

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