Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Bronze Goddess is a summer limited edition fragrance, which Estée Lauder brings back every year with a flanker. This year’s variation is Bronze Goddess Capri, a “solar Oriental fragrance inspired by the seductive Isle of Capri.” Neither Capri nor summer flankers (the perfume equivalent of movie sequels) tempt me much, but the original Bronze Goddess is such a brilliant composition of creamy coconut and dry amber that every year I anticipate its sister fragrance as well.
Last year’s Bronze Goddess Soleil presented a citrusy variation on the amber-tuberose theme. Bronze Goddess Capri is similarly ebullient and zesty, but the accent here is on the tart green notes. The berry sweetness flashes in the top notes, but the main impression is of crushed stems, lemon peel and green sticky buds. Set against the familiar Bronze Goddess’s melody of suntan lotion and warm sand sticking to salty skin, the lemony sharpness is an interesting contrast. The zesty notes linger into the drydown, giving an occasionally prickly feeling.
The drydown is smooth and elegant, with the sweetness of musk and patchouli lending a new rococo facet to Bronze Goddess Capri. The original creates a fantasy of white sugar beach, azure sea and myself wrapped in a sarong and sunshine. By contrast, Bronze Goddess Capri transports me to the Riviera at high season when the goal is to be glamorous, rather than relaxed. Its sweet vanilla and jasmine notes feel as ostentatious as thick gold bangles on the perfectly bronzed arms of fashionable beachgoers.
If you’ve smelled a couple of summer flankers, you’ve smelled them all, but next to most, this fragrance feels refined and sophisticated. However, I can live without it, and if I don’t see it at the perfume counter at the end of the summer, I will not long for it to return. Bronze Goddess, on the other hand, has a permanent place among my favorites. I’m considering a picket outside the Lauder offices on Fifth Avenue to prompt them to add it to the permanent collection.
Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Capri includes notes of blackcurrant, mandarin, lemon leaves, jasmine sambac, lily of the valley, peony, vanilla, amberwood, patchouli, and musk. It is available in 100 ml Eau Fraiche, $57. Available at Estee Lauder counters nationwide, directly from esteelauder.com and duty-free shops .
Estee 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 ($57), 100 ml Body Oil and 200 ml Luminous Body Lotion.
Sample source: Estée Lauder