Perfume Directory

Cinnabar (1978)
by Estée Lauder


Cinnabar information

Year of Launch1978
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 199 votes)

People and companies

HouseEstée Lauder
PackagingIra Levy
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Cinnabar

Cinnabar is a feminine perfume by Estée Lauder. The scent was launched in 1978 and the bottle was designed by Ira Levy

Cinnabar fragrance notes

Reviews of Cinnabar

This is how I'd hoped Opium pour homme would smell, spicy with a bit of funk in a way that recalls Kouros.
07th June, 2016
bFlay Show all reviews
United States
Cheap cinnamon air freshener and vinegar/floral feminine deodorant spray! Foul all around...
18th May, 2016 (last edited: 21st May, 2016)
The current version is a will-o'-the-wisp compared to its original self. I recently bought a bottle for old times' sake, and expected to like it in spite of reformulation, but no. It's pleasant, but it barely even smells spicy to me and I can't differentiate any of the dissonant notes that used to make it interesting. Very little remains of the storied olfactory resemblance between Cinnabar and Opium or Youth Dew. Such a shame.
16th December, 2015 (last edited: 27th December, 2015)

Another great fragrnce by Estée Lauder.CINNABAR is a mysterious realm of temptation and intrigue. everything about it says of seductive.It is similiar OPIUM but less strong and hypnotic than it. A real head turner for a femme fatale.Complex, Heady,Spicy, bewitching,timeless,Rich,Sensual, and Classic.

A heady and strong opening of spices,peach,bergmot and Orange blossom into a floral heart of rose,lily, jasmine,ylang-ylang and cinnamon,can reveal some of its alluring potential.finally an sensual base notes of incense,vanilla,amber,patchouli and sandalwood bring sex appeal to this perfume.

This sensual timeless classic is for a cold evening in a dark cabaret as this perfume is absolutely intoxicating.I absolutely love this perfume and recommend it to any woman who wants to leave a lasting impression on those she meets.sensuality in a bottle.


Longevity?Very good on my skin.

13th June, 2015
A very similar type perfume to Opium, but sweeter, softer and sickly. I remember that when Cinnabar was first made, it had the subtitle "Soft Youth Dew", on the box and bottle. (I haven't smelled Youth Dew for a long time, and I remember it as almost identical to Opium, but less sweet; and not cloying like Cinnabar).

Though I used to love Opium in the 1980s, I have never been fond of Cinnabar, despite their similarities. Pungent and not very pleasant - I'm afraid I have to give Cinnabar a thumbs down.
31st July, 2014
Genre: Oriental

Cinnabar is a product of the same grand scale oriental aesthetic as Opium and Chanel’s Coco. Which is to say that it’s a dense, sweet, spicy scent with a heavy amber foundation. The heart is an opaque blend of cinnamon, clove, jasmine, patchouli, and vanilla with a highly uniform texture and a syrupy olfactory consistency. Like Opium and Coco it is extremely potent, but of the three it is perhaps the least angular, with more emphasis on floral notes in the heart and a more powdery vanilla, amber, and opoponax drydown. While it is a measure less garish than Opium, it can also feel somewhat dull or nondescript by comparison. Prettier in conventional terms perhaps, but leaving less of an impression once it’s gone. On the other hand, Cinnabar is decidedly more dense than Coco, next to which it strikes me as a little bit blocky, crude, or awkward.

I’ve read it posited on Basenotes and elsewhere that Cinnabar may have been the template for Aramis’s JHL. If that’s the case, more conspicuous woods and more differentiated spices lend JHL a sharper and more distinctive profile, and now that it’s once again available, I recommend JHL as a viable alternative to Cinnabar for both men and women. For a more nuanced approach to the spicy oriental, I also advocate Parfums de Nicolaï’s Maharanih and Maharadjah or Diptyque’s magnificent Eau Lente. Then of course there’s still always Shalimar…
11th June, 2014

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