Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Capri : Fragrance Review

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Elc

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

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30 Comments

  • Carla: I loved last year’s Soleil, so I’m disappointed that it isn’t going to come back. At least we have the original BG back. February 28, 2012 at 11:19am Reply

  • Robin: I wonder if they will ever best the original…wish they’d go darker instead of lighter. February 28, 2012 at 11:41am Reply

  • Victoria: I’m glad that the original comes back every year, but it’s such a wonderful fragrance that it should be available permanently. February 28, 2012 at 11:46am Reply

  • Susan: I take you find Bronze Goddess Capri to be a stronger entry than last year’s Bronze Goddess Soleil? I too am a fan and own a full bottle of the original, but did not care for Capri very much. Hoping that Soleil will be more enjoyable. February 28, 2012 at 11:50am Reply

  • Victoria: Not with these fresh fruity variations, which take BG closer to what everyone else is doing with their summer flankers. I also wish that they would go for something darker and sultrier. February 28, 2012 at 11:50am Reply

  • Victoria: They are about the same for me–nicely made, but too predictable. I’m not a big fan of the neon bright fruity citrus top notes, which make me think of artificially flavored candy. The drydown of both Capri and Soleil is appealing, but it isn’t worth the wait for me. I get the same caressing warmth in the original BG and more! February 28, 2012 at 11:57am Reply

  • Elisa: This sounds worth smelling if only because I love blackcurrant and it’s not in that many fragrances. February 28, 2012 at 12:02pm Reply

  • Victoria: Have you smelled Hermes Amazone or Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau? If you like blackcurrant, you probably will enjoy these more, as it’s more prominent. February 28, 2012 at 12:17pm Reply

  • marlena: I’m the opposite. I liked the top notes of Capri for their summery feel and didn’t like the drydown. Too much musk for me. But I enjoy your reviews nomatter what you write about. 🙂 February 28, 2012 at 1:44pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you. 🙂 I’m sure that Capri will have its fans. It’s a fun fragrance. February 28, 2012 at 2:22pm Reply

  • bulldoggirl: Interesting assessment! I’m intrigued by what you described as its green facets. The original BG is one of my all time favorite fumes. About the best of its kind, perfectly constructed, evocative, and with amazing lasting power and just the right “throw.” Soleil on the other hand was way too grapefruit-ey upfront and lasted about a minute on my skin. Maybe Capri will be different. Must sniff soon! February 28, 2012 at 8:21pm Reply

  • Kathleen: Just the bottle of Bronze Goddess on its own makes me smile! February 28, 2012 at 9:35pm Reply

  • Victoria: I like big square bottles. I only wish that the cap were better quality. My bottle is not that old, but the cap already cracked and lost some of the gold leaf. February 28, 2012 at 9:47pm Reply

  • Victoria: You should, of course, smell Capri, if you like the original. The sharp fruitiness that turned me off Soleil is also present in this year’s version. But the drydown is nice. February 28, 2012 at 9:49pm Reply

  • Rowanhill: Thank you for the review. They are always such a pleasure to read. Bronze Goddess original is lovely, summer in a bottle, however even better was/is the Azurée Soleil. I am so glad I bought a couple of back up bottles when it still was available. Also the AS turquoise bottles are so elegant, be it the fragrance, dry oil or moisturizer. February 29, 2012 at 4:01am Reply

  • Elisa: Never tried Amazone, but L’Ombre dans L’Eau is one of my favorites! Those top notes are just spectacular. I also love Byredo Pulp, which is so tangy it makes my jaw tense up. February 29, 2012 at 9:31am Reply

  • OperaFan: Looks like I need to try Bronze Goddess just to say, at least, that I know what everyone is waxing poetic about!

    I’m not much of a beach fragrance gal, since I prefer hiking in the mountains than laying on the beach. Recently, I was introduced to Terracotta Vd’E which I enjoyed very much.

    From my current fragrance wardrobe, I would probably wear Mahora to the beach. The opening of Mahora belongs indoor, fully dressed, but once the “bigness” wears off, I find myself transported to a tropical paradise complete with wardrobe change. February 29, 2012 at 10:22am Reply

  • Victoria: A, I’m not a beach bunny at all. Besides the fact that I like active vacations, I can’t stand the heat and my skin is sensitive. I wear sunscreen even indoors. But Bronze Goddess (the original!) is one of the few fragrances that makes me feel as if I’m bathed by soft sunshine. How is this for waxing poetic? 🙂

    If you like white flora notes and amber, definitely give it a try. February 29, 2012 at 10:28am Reply

  • Victoria: 🙂 I also loved the packaging, and Azurée Soleil in the dry oil form was fantastic. February 29, 2012 at 10:29am Reply

  • Victoria: Amazone was one of the first to use a bold note of blackcurrant. You can also smell a great blackcurrant bud note in VC&A First, where it plays up the effervescence of aldehydes and the berry accents in jasmine. February 29, 2012 at 10:30am Reply

  • Yelena: How prominent is the black currant note? I am a sucker for crisp black currant although I generally avoid Estee Lauder releases. However, lately, I, too have been craving sunshine. I always vacilitate between Bronze Goddess and CB At the Beach 1966- that one is a little more notstalgic for me while the BG is more of a glamorous beach fragrance. Sometimes the glamour wins and I give in the Estee begrudgingly- I have gone through a bottle of the oil when it was originally released. February 29, 2012 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: It isn't that prominent! 
    CB At the Beach 1966 sounds wonderful, by the way. You know, the fragrance that makes me think of summer is Jo Malone Orange Blossom. It isn't a classical beach scent with marine and suntan lotion notes, but it's very refreshing and uplifting. February 29, 2012 at 2:25pm Reply

  • Andrea: I remember when I moved away from Miami to go to college, I used to wear Hawaiian Tropic as perfume (I missed the beach!)… Bronze Goddess is certainly more refined, but gives me the same feeling. I love it! Thanks for the review, I intend to upgrade my decant of BG to a full bottle. Thank you, as well, for ideas of blackcurrant perfumes. I just discovered L’Ombre Dans L’Eau and I really like it; now I need to try the other ones mentioned. The search never ends! February 29, 2012 at 8:39pm Reply

  • bulldoggirl: Oh, boo. Sniffed this today and it’s a major disappointment. To me, it smells like it has more in common with Sensuous and all its flanker friends than it does with the original BG, only with a much more shrill fruity opening. I never got any of that lovely green that you describe. It dried down to something only slightly less shrill, with a smooth musk eventually taking over. But not interesting enough to be FB bottle worthy. I’ll stick to the original. February 29, 2012 at 10:03pm Reply

  • OperaFan: Sounds poetically ideal! I can’t stand the heat and prefer the shade even if my skin tans instead of burn.

    So the BG Eau Fraiche Skin Scent that’s being sold now is the same as the original BG? Would it be fair to compare BG against Terracotta Voile d’Ete? i.e., if you have one, is it worth having the other? February 29, 2012 at 11:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: They smell pretty much the same to me, taking into the account that the bottle is older and the perfume must have aged.

    As for Voile d’Ete, it is much more of a vanilla floral, whereas BG is about woods and amber.

    You’re lucky to get some tan. I burn and then peel! March 1, 2012 at 11:47am Reply

  • Victoria: Blackcurrant is such an evocative note for me, because it reminds me of my childhood. We grew blackcurrants in our garden, and I was always sent to pick them. Even the leaves smell wonderful and they can be infused in water with lemon and sugar for a delicious lemonade. March 1, 2012 at 11:48am Reply

  • Victoria: Yes, I’m sticking to the original too. As Robin said above, they still haven’t improved on it. March 1, 2012 at 11:49am Reply

  • Hilal Uzdilli: Hi Ladies,

    i have a question about the BG. 18 months ago in a department store in Australia
    i tried the body oil and it as the most amazing thing ever. it have top notes
    of coconut, caramel, vertiver and base notes of the tiaree flower.

    some time ago i purchased a bottle from ebay and it was nothing like the
    first one i tired. This was very floral high notes of tiaree and bergamot. I am
    no begining to wonder how many flankers have there been other than the Soleil and the Capri ? I have searched high and low for the first one i tested and so far 3 bottles later they all smell of the
    heady gardenia. i can barely smell the coconut.

    The name on the bottle was no different and the it was the bottle with thesand spray like the one in the above picture.

    can someone please clarify this for me if they know of a variance? March 4, 2012 at 7:30pm Reply

  • Michelle: I am back in Capri for vacation and again loving the scent in the air – a florist near the Piazzetta told me the flower I am smelling is jasmine – ill be buying this when I get home to Cancun next month May 2, 2012 at 3:56pm Reply

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