Cinnabar (1978)
    by Estée Lauder

    Cinnabar Fragrance Notes

    Shop for Cinnabar products online

    50ml EdP
    50ml EdP
    (*converted from GBP 37.95)
    50ml EdP
    (*converted from GBP 44.00)

    Reviews of Cinnabar

    + Add your Review

    Showing 1 to 6 of 46 reviews.

    JackTwist's avatar
    United States United States

    Show all reviews



    Spicy Oriental similar to Lauder's own Youth Dew and Dana's Tabu

    Like her own Youth Dew of the early 1950s, and the darker Tabu of Dana, this is a spicy oriental, perhaps an attempt to cash in on YSL's classic 1976 oriental, Opium.

    Cinnabar, from 1978, does manage to float a light peachy, plum, clove, cinnamon cloud over its solid amber, patchouli, vanilla base that differentiates it from the more linear Youth Dew.

    Its only drawback, and this is slight, is its price. Not terrible, but twice as much as what Youth Dew and Tabu are asking for in the current market.

    I see Cinnabar as a middle ground between Youth Dew and Opium, straining to duplicate the classy sophistication of the latter, but using the former as its starting point.

    Recommended for any lover of spicy orientals.

    Pros: Wonderful spicy oriental scent
    Cons: Too similar to Youth Dew and Tabu, both less expensive

    21st June, 2013

    anomie et ivoire's avatar
    anomie et ivoire

    Show all reviews



    Thumbs up for a small vintage Cinnabar perfume--a very dark juice that smells like a smiling (American) version of original Opium.

    Thumbs down: I found a just-before-the-most-recent reformulation of the edp on a dusty bottom shelf of an Ulta in the middle of nowhere and excitedly tested out the still oakmoss-laden classic hoping to score a large bottle to use with abandon. While the original radiated warmth and depth and a deceptively wholesome sensuality, this formulation came on with no subtlety. The top notes: a cacophany of citrus and citronella. The drydown grew stronger by the hour somehow, wilting into Christmas potpourri. I believe synthetic sandalwood was mixed with the still real oakmoss extract to dissonant effect. Or perhaps the known enforced reduction of oakmoss content created an imbalance in the formula? At any rate a jarring asymmetry made this Cinnabar unrecognizable.

    The neutral: the newest formulation with more synthetics is in fact more cohesive and post-drydown is recognizably some kind of take on the original Cinnabar, but best of all vintage Cinnabar remains a retro-70s comfort scent for a siren; this penultimate formulation, though, needs an ambulance and is better left unsought. In any incarnation, this is remarkably long-lasting (all day), large (fill a room), fire and spice, and ideally for cold weather and dramatic personalities. A diva doing fondue at a ski lodge.

    01st October, 2012

    Cricketkitty's avatar

    Show all reviews



    Great big old bottle of spices, especially cinnamon. Use a heavy hand and everyone will know where you have been and if you are almost there. If you wore this on a secret tryst, it wouldn't be a secret very long, as it also clings to the clothes of people near you. Not bad, just extremely heavy, and most of the people I knew bathed in it.

    03 September, 2012

    blood-orange's avatar
    Australia Australia

    Show all reviews



    Cinnabar is one of those strong, bold and spicy orientals that emerged along with YSL's Opium and Chanel's Coco way back in the 80's. At the time they were all the rage, however these days they've fallen out of fashion and tend to get labelled as 'old lady' scents.

    I have a great appreciation for these sillage monsters. They may have been made long before I was born, however I find them incredibly hypnotising.

    Cinnabar at first spray is incredibly strong, like a fierce punch to the face. I thought my nose was going to fall off as I felt my eyes water with its strength.

    As the scent settled, I began to find the resemblance to Opium. I expected this fragrance to have a stronger cinnamon note, however I do believe Cinnabar was named after a mercury ore, so perhaps it is not supposed to be primarily cinnamon.

    The scent is very complex and rich, which is both a pleasing and disappointing quality in my opinion. In a way there is too much going on in this fragrance's composition with particular notes clashing with one another. For this reason, I tend to prefer Youth-Dew over Cinnabar as my spicy oriental choice.

    Cinnabar has a rather exotic charm, it's what I imagine an ancient Chinese temple to smell like. The touch of incense in the base, gives Cinnabar that slightly religious feel.

    While I would never term a fragrance 'old lady', I must say that Cinnabar is for a more mature crowd. I just can't imagine a woman under the age of 30 wearing this, especially since soft ambers and fruity florals dominate this age group these days.

    24 March, 2012

    Bartlebooth's avatar
    Germany Germany

    Show all reviews



    The haughty Lauder ladies club countenance is swiftly discarded to display a distinctly wanton side. Cinnabar may well be the couture wearing executive from the top floor, but she is not averse to being pressed against a filing cabinet and manhandled by some clammy-handed salesman.

    Cinnabar takes a little time to slip the tether of the opening,but its classical seventies construction is certainly no chore to endure. With its clipped aldehydes and antique grade bergamot notes, it’s a high horse formality it quickly climbs down from. The conventional and indeed expected opening is supplanted by a world weariness, subtle cynicism and desire to be much more approachable. Latterly,Cinnabar is allowed to cascade into an accessible, perhaps simplistic, soft, buttery cinnamon experience.

    JHL, the male counterpart from Aramis is more anally retentive, and when I want the same sartorial formality, but with the odd casual flourish, Cinnabar is a viable alternative.

    22 September, 2011

    Fleurine's avatar
    United States United States

    Show all reviews



    I ordered an 11 scent Estee Lauder collection of miniatures, and Cinnabar was one of them. What a little treasure! Like a Youth Dew from another era, Cinnabar is one of those transformative fragrances that will put you directly in touch with the past. You can read through the notes listed, but when you smell this wonderfully abstract elixir, so many emotions rush in.

    03 July, 2011

    Add your review of Cinnabar

    You need to be logged in to add a review

    Related Cinnabar products on eBay