Reviews of Happy by Clinique

    Find out more about Happy by Clinique in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    rbaker's avatar



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    Initially I was greeted by an unpleasant acidic blast, reminding me of an old white wine that has turned into vinegar. This lasted a few minutes, whereupon a nice grapefruit developed. In the drydown a delightful exotic floral note arose that after a while was mainly mornig-dew and orchid-based. Then a lily note took over, paired with a gorgeous and rich magnolia of impressive beauty. After the first few hours the base notes merged to a beautiful honey aroma, a real twist that remained as the core impression of the second half. Silage and projection are good, and on my skin I get a longevity of about six hours. Once the initial shock was over, this turned into a well-blended treat that would go well on a warm spring evening. My small bottle was about ten years old but hitherto only rarely touched. That might change. 4.25/5

    05 December, 2013

    willaFriend's avatar



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    I used to be very perplexed by this perfume, but after reading some of the reviews here, the mystery is solved--

    --sometimes when I wore this scent, it smelled so delightful, so light and citrusy and wonderful, that it almost made me float away--

    --and then at other times when I wore this scent, it smelled like straight-up rubbing alcohol, or turpentine. Hideous.

    It was very confusing.

    Now, thanks to you other reviewers, I understand: this perfume has a short shelf life. My bottle abruptly died on me, just smelled BAD, and then when I bought a new bottle to replace it, it was almost as awful. So I gave up on it.

    But when it's new, it is the loveliest, HAPPIEST scent I've ever smelled.

    I used to spray a squirt or two of this inside my sweatshirt while I was wearing it and just breathe in deep to get a lift, a jolt of sunshine.

    This perfume really did make me happy.

    And now, when I try a fresh bottle that doesn't stink of alcohol, the joy comes back.

    Citrusy, light, bright. I love it.

    10th December, 2012

    Beehles's avatar

    United States United States

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    As a fan of both white florals and citrus Happy is a 'thumbs up' for me. I have a small sample bottle given as part a a Clinique bonus set. Mine still smells good so I seem to have escaped the problem of the bottles going "off" as some have described (please store your fragrances in dark, cool places!). Would I buy a bottle of Happy? Maybe.

    On me, Happy is linear and uncomplicated. Some days, that's all I'm looking for. Most of my other fragrances have much deeper base notes. I wear my sample of Happy when I am looking for a little divergence from my pattern. I still get the citrus and white floral notes without the patcholli, sandalwood, amber or benzoin. However...without those stronger base notes Happy doesn't last nearly as long as my other citrus/floral regulars. So I have to pack the sample in my purse and reapply mid-day.

    I wear Happy on days that I am looking for that "fresh out of the shower" clean citrus smell for a few hours. If I want the scent to last I must reapply, otherwise Happy seems to just float away...

    12 May, 2012

    howiwondrwhatur's avatar

    United States United States

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    First reaction was.... ok, quite bright. As grapefruit juice is my go to beverage, I gave it a little space where I accepted that tanginess along with the bergamot. Next, it hit me, this is really way too sweet. It seemed to be practically burning my nose. And minutes after that, the plastic/burnt rubber hit me with a vengeance and it was literally all I could smell of Happy. Nothing in my memory banks could make that odor a "happy" smell. I don't know how or why that awful plasticyness is there, but suddenly I couldn't wash or scrub it off fast enough. I was using a sample from a Sephora Sample box, and it was my last fragrance to sample, and the only one that struck me as so stridently sweet and awful that I had to get it off my skin. That said, I think that used very, very lightly, it might be ok, and maybe I just needed to give it time. But it will be awhile before I let us be re-introduced. I need to forget how bad things went the first time around. ;-)

    02 January, 2012

    exciter76's avatar

    United States United States

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    I feel the need to defend Happy's honor. Not because it is the ultimate powerhouse of all women's fragrances--it is far from it. I need to do so because it is a fragrance that defined Generation-X girls as women who did not need to let their fragrance define them nor let their fragrance announce their presence as our mothers' fragrances did in pre-Happy years.

    I do not want to imply that Happy led a revolution of "passive" scents. However, ask any thirty-something woman today what fragrance was prominent in her perfume cache and she will most likely confess Happy was not only in her collection, it was the one used most often. I call it "passive" because most scents that predated Happy were strong "power" scents (see Red Door, Safari, or Red by Giorgio). They were not bad scents but it was time for a change and Happy led the charge along with Sunflowers.

    Maybe my age gives me away but it does not smell dated to me. I grew tired of it by the time I was twenty-five. I have rediscovered Happy (and all of its sibling scents) recently and fallen in love all over again.

    It smells simplistic--like a white-floral-tinged glass of Sunny Delight--but it was borne out of a need for scented simplicity. Admirably, though, for such a simple scent it is very distinctive. Happy cannot be confused for any other scent but it is often apparent that many post-Happy fragrances were inspired by it.

    Not bad for the Gen-X slacker of fragrances.

    10th December, 2011

    blood-orange's avatar

    Australia Australia

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    I tried Happy for the first time in a large department store while holidaying in Melbourne, Australia. I instantly loved it and quickly added Happy to my perfume wishlist. I was shocked when I heard how many negative reviews this perfume had been given and I found it extremely hard to understand why... until today. I entered that same department store, (except in a different location), where they had a Happy tester bottle waiting to be sprayed. I tried it, and was utterly shocked! I now know what people meant when they said that Happy smelt like burnt rubber and licorice.

    Happy does not have a very long shelf life. It has been known to go off in as little as 8 months. In the case of tester bottles, they have been exposed to the heat and lighting around the store, and most of the Happy perfumes in their boxes have also been stored in an overlit cosmetic case for god only knows how long.

    My advice is if you have similiar experiences as to what I had with this fragrance, I suggest you buy from a trusted dealer, especially a place that sells Happy at such a rate that they have to renew their stock every 6 months.

    26 April, 2011

    belladonnasweet's avatar



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    I can't believe the negative feedback on this perfume,i have tried a lot of perfumes but this one for me is the best i ger so many compliments on it and i feel good when i wear it.I guess a lot of people feel this perfume might be out of their comfort zone,i myself am bored with all the new fragrances that are out there and the boring norm of vanilla based perfumes.I am over thirty five and can't resist this wonderful perfume,it's a pick me up for sure.

    11th September, 2010

    Mimi Gardenia's avatar

    United States United States

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    I love Happy by Clinique because it is instantly wearable. The notes are unduly pretentious in description though ! ( I have edited this because I do not know HOW I could have thought this is anything like Gucci By Gucci in the brown bottle. ! )
    This is simply a citrus floral with great lasting power.
    It's light hearted, summery and a good every day scent when you cannot think of what else to wear. I wish the bottle were more attractive and I do not like the name 'Happy' - it's a name for a pet dog ,rabbit, hamster, gerbil or something cute, one of the seven dwarves or something furry and non vicious .
    So not the height of sophistication but still a pretty scent.

    20th June, 2010 (Last Edited: 25 January, 2011)

    lex's avatar

    United States United States

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    fruit juice and constant florals. blended ok as far as me not detecting the alcohol. not much excitement with this, happy feels like a safe scent in many settings.

    08 April, 2010

    resaur's avatar



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    Terrible scent! It smells so fake and synthetic. I use the word "synthetic" a lot for my perfume reviews, but oh man, this one is the king of all that is synthetic. It's like medicine and plastic. It smells bad. This one makes me want to run the opposite direction.. THAT BAD.

    18 March, 2010

    beautyinthemundane's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Strange how your tastes change as you get older isn't it? Between that ages of 20 and 25 I absolutely adored this scent, wore virtually nothing else and went through quite a few large bottles of it plus the body lotions etc- it was 'my' smell for sure. But now I almost cannot bear it. It smells very citrus/orangey (the colours of the packaging really match it at least) and when I say orangey, I mean in a syrupy kids drink sort of way, like Sunny Delight or similar. The flowery aspect, which was less apparent on me, is also overly sweet. Funnily enough, I remember that I always felt there was a 'mystery smell' in there somewhere and now, after reading these reviews, I know what that smell is- it's the 'latex' smell others have mentioned. I'm not sure I know what latex smells like exactly, but there's definitely a faint whiff of plastic, perhaps hot or burning plastic or maybe even burning sugar. I think I believed this gave it a 'hot edgyness', but now I just think it adds to the sweet, syrupy fruity mess. Definitely wouldn't wear it now, but will give it a neutral as I once loved it so, plus I must admit I did get regularly complimented on how nice I smelled back when I wore it, so I guess it can't be all that bad? Perhaps it's just for the young and I'm getting too old!

    07 March, 2010

    Carrie's avatar



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    I find it difficult to get happy about this fragrance. For all its sickly sweetness, it's just plain boring. I find it's the kind of fragrance that doesn't have an identity of its own; a generic blend of sickly sweet floral and even sweeter citrus. It reminds me of alcopops and the binge drinking-induced morning hangover. Should have a teenage age limit.

    05 November, 2009

    arabesque's avatar

    United States United States

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    My mom got a free bottle of this when I was a kid and she gave it to me. I was 10 or 11 years old. I wore it because it was perfume, not because it smelled wonderful. I agree with kmfdm10392, it does smell like a latex balloon, which I find to be a bad thing. I developed an aversion to the perfume after owning a bottle for a couple of years. Synthetic, unpleasant and plastic.... seems almost carcinogenic.

    27 October, 2009

    laral28's avatar

    United States United States

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    Honestly this scent is for the young. I owned it when it first came out and loved it. Now it gives me a headache and makes me nauseous. It is just too sweet.

    25 July, 2009

    kmfdm10392's avatar



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    Every time I wear this I get the faintest hint of the smell of a child's latex balloon. I have no idea where that comes from, or why I like it so much. But I do. As with most fragrances geared towards women, I really have to watch the atomizer, as a little of this goes a VERY long way.

    17 July, 2009

    MFJ's avatar



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    This smells weirdly of powdered cosmetics. However I find the synthetic qualities quite appealing. A definite floral-based scent. One of the few plastic-smelling fragrances that I enjoy. I find the citrus notes very weak and hardly detectable.

    18 June, 2009

    Tony T's avatar

    United States United States

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    safe fresh i just washed my hair and i feel casual with a sexual feel and appeal also.in the same realmas cool water and a definate safe pick.

    27 April, 2009

    tsar_perknip's avatar

    United States United States

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    I don't know what happened. I had several small samples of Happy — which I wore when I got married and all throughout my honeymoon, and I adored it. When the sample-sized bottles ran out, I took the plunge and bought a bottle.

    It smells... like hair spray. Cheap, alcoholic, hair spray, like the smell of a girls' gym locker room during the the big hair of the late 1980s. I cant imagine it changed between the samples and the bottle, so I'm guessing it was me who changed.

    08 April, 2009 (Last Edited: 11th January, 2011)

    Cute_cute_baby's avatar

    Vietnam Vietnam

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    The only perfume spray I own and the least I'd wear. Can not stand it (yeah I wonder why I bought it, ekkk).
    It smells too strong, harsh and heady. Can't smell anything citrus in it, it's all about floral, very floral, not in a sweet way though.
    I totally don't feel happy while wearing it.

    25 February, 2009 (Last Edited: 07 October, 2009)

    tvlampboy's avatar

    United States United States

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    First off, let me say on an "off note" just how much I loved the original ad campaign with Judy Garland singing "C'mon Get Happy" in the background.

    That said, on to the fragrance itself. :)

    Delicious white florals and grapefruit here -- almost effervescent. This is the kind of thing I could imagine on a young Audrey Hepburn: sparkling, fun, crisp and never cloying.

    Many hate this one because it was among the first in a long line of "fresh" women's frags in the Nineties. But don't shoot Happy down simply because inferior clones came behind it. Revere it instead for the lovely scent that it is.

    16 January, 2009

    Dr. Pat's avatar

    United States United States

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    Bought on impulse, now seems thin and bland floral to me, but I get many compliments about this. Twice I've been stopped by men and asked the name so they could buy it for girlfriends.

    01st January, 2009

    mis.anderson's avatar

    United States United States

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    This is the most boring fragrance I know (so far). Stupid name, stupid bottle and stupid font. When I was in sixth grade, this was THE popular fragrance for all us little girls, and of course, not having developed my own tastes, or apparently any taste at all, I had to have Clinique Happy, or as the bottle calls it "cliniquehappy." I guess it's always a warning sign when the fragrance's own makers don't even bother themselves over capitalization, punctuation and spacing.

    Anyway, about the smell: it has a weird way of forcefully ramming its most screechy and vile notes up inside my nasal cavities.

    10th October, 2008

    Tovah's avatar

    United States United States

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    I like it a lot. I wore it on my wedding day, (it was brand new back then, so no one was sick of it yet). Happy is energetic, sparkling, fresh, and pleasant. Often I find myself complimenting others on their fragrance, which I find out is Happy. It smells quite different on others. My skin brings out the wood notes, but I smell the citrus notes on lots of other wearers. As long as it's not overapplied, Happy is perfect for any environment.

    06 August, 2008

    unchienne's avatar

    United States United States

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    One of the few perfumes that actually smells like its name, I first came across Happy as a college student but rebelled against it during its prime. Everyone was wearing either this scent or Elizabeth Arden's Sunflowers, and I hated the idea of adding to already pungent cloud of happiness that floated above our classroom every day.

    Thankfully I gave this scent another try a year ago. A saleswoman managed to get me to browse as I was purchasing some Clinique makeup, and I was at once impressed and uplifted by the cheerful boquet of white florals that make up this perfume. On me there's barely a hint of peachy-citrus as most of the florals predominate in both the intial spritz and dry down period. Lovely everyday scent. I only wish it was longer lasting, as I have to refresh the scent twice or more throughout the day.

    24 July, 2008

    JennieJenJamz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Wow! This is some strong stuff! It smells fun and sparkly in the bottle, hence the name Happy. I get it, until I put it on! Whew! It stinks of cheap and sharp chemicals! Too brash and way too strong! This isn't shy at all! In fact, it's loud and in your face. It screams, "Notice me!" And we all do, believe me, we do! It's also sour smelling at the end and so, I just was not happy at all. Not at all.

    20th April, 2008

    margi's avatar

    England England

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    I loved this when it was first launched, but now can take it or leave it. Yes it is very frivolous and flirty, but seems slightly shallow to me. No depth whatsoever, maybe because there are sooo many notes piled into one bottle, I feel it somehow lost its way. I wear this only occasionally but do not really enjoy the experience. Will not repurchase.

    30th April, 2007

    castorpollux's avatar



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    So i won’t care that it’s for women, i won’t care about wether this is marketed for “young” people, if it makes me that happy as the name implies it just cannot be that bad. And thankfully, it’s not bad at all.
    The thing that I like about happy is that despite the strange naming on the notes, you can get and smell all of them in a orderly fashion, the bergamot and other citrus-infused fresh top, the smoother, flowery midnotes, and the more interesting heavy flowers in the basenotes, wich seem to forget about the woods and musks, but were not maketed in here I guess not to scare off some women that might be afraid to get some dark, woody, masculine base. Of course, with happy that’s not the case, as the base is more about fruity-florals but the good kind, the kind that is more about pleasure and comfort than the kind that says: I’m tired of all the fruits and flowers , we’ve had enough, you and I need our separate ways, I need to wash up.
    It has a perfectly neat sillage that’s femenine enough but so light sometimes that it seems that the winds will take it away soon if you don’t pay attention. In general, I don’t think it’s a very unusual fragrance, or that it will be forever revered in the “Fragrance Olympus” of classic scents, but it’s just very attractive.
    The longevity here is the worst part of all. Thank to the Clinique powers-that-be, that issue was resolved (in what a way!) when Happy Holiday (wich is an intense verison of the regular Happy) was released. If you can’t manage to get the amazing, creamy-dreamy-sensual-but still fresh Happy Holiday, just keep spraying some more Happy. That way, you’re happy,I’m happy and we’re all happy.

    30th October, 2006

    zztopp's avatar

    United States United States

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    Happy for women is a better structured fragrance than Happy for men. It opens with a burst of citrus notes - grapefruit is the most noticeable, and some bergamot can be detected too. The opening is bright, fresh, and quite enjoyable. The heart and basenotes are basically well blended flower notes. Theres no musk or sandalwood to be found here - this is an all out fruity-floral to put you in a good mood. Neither the fruits nor the flowers dominate the proceedings - the notes are well balanced.

    Happy for women is a decent fruity floral which is quite appropriate for all seasons and occasions - its not terribly complex, and lacks the wow factor of something like Spring Flower, but it will put you in a good mood and perhaps even make you smile!

    20th October, 2006

    shellygilbert's avatar

    United States United States

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    I avoided this fragrance at all costs when it was first introduced, only because everyone else was wearing it and I want to be unique. It wasn't until a few years later that I was at a co-workers house that I finally spritzed some on myself and fell in love...For a minute! Its very nice, but a little too fruity for me.

    13 October, 2006

    TDDanae's avatar



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    Sour Fruit. A friend raved about it so I have tried to like it and get the smile she gets with it, but no, just sour fruit. I think some young women would like this for it is pleasant if you like sour fruit. I even thought that maybe it might make me a little happy, but no, got a sour attitude.

    03 October, 2006

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