Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

Total Reviews: 106
In the 1980s I would have described heavy oriental fragrances, particularly Opium pure perfume, as my favourites. Since then my tastes have changed in favour of chypre and floral fragrances. However, recently I have fancied revisiting Opium, but have found many online reviews which refer to its recent, and apparently very inferior reformulation very offputting, and also the pure perfume seems to have been discontinued. Therefore, I have bought Youth Dew (which I had never tried, but had seen described as similar to Opium many times), in the Bath Oil strength, as I read on the Estee Lauder site that it can be worn as a pure perfume strength skin fragrance, as well as being used in the bath. I'm wearing it for the first time today and I have to say, I'm thrilled with it: I'd describe Youth Dew as somewhere between the original formulation of Opium and Cinnabar: a little sweeter, lighter, and a little less pungently spicy than Opium, but heavier and definitely not nearly as sweet as Cinnabar, which I have always found rather sickly. Very impressed, especially as I have never been an Estee Lauder fan. The body cream is next on my list.
21st March, 2018
I look forward to winter, not for the rain and the cold and the miserably cut off days, but for the chance to dig down to the bottom of my wardrobe and bring out some thick, resinous, spicy oriental; a rich, full bodied composition that would be too heavy and stifling in the heat of July but makes an ideal comfort blanket in January. And among them, one of the stand outs must be Youth-Dew.

It's an amber composite of pale sweet powder, sour-dry orangey resins, and cinnamon. At first there is a nuance of white floral, but that soon fades and incense comes through to back up a cold black spice that adds bite to the cinnamon. Later, a peculiar waxy note emerges, resembling the one that can be found in some 1920's aldehydics - which may show that Lauder haven't messed with the original formula too much. Finally a white musk down at the bottom suggests they may have tweaked it after all...

It's a bit pointless to speak of a traditional head and base structure to Youth-Dew, there isn't much to separate one from the other, it's mostly one long flow of balsamics, powder and spice, and what makes this stolid profile a success is the contrast set up by the two opposing chords of sweet powder and dry resin. They create an internal tension which is then supported by a secondary contrast between the sweet cinnamon and the cold black spice & incense. This allows Youth-Dew to continue in the same vein for hours without becoming dull or boring; it all depends on striking - and then maintaining - the right balance, and perfumer Josephine Catapano has got it spot on in this, her chef d'oeuvre.

This sub-genre of oriental - the spicy resinous amber, first appeared in the guise of Tabu by Dana. Now that a decent formulation of Tabu is a collectors item, it's fair to say that Youth-Dew has become the de-facto grandmother of the lineage. There are two reasons why Youth-Dew has acceded to this status: firstly, Estée Lauder still produce a good formulation of Youth-Dew, and it's available everywhere, and the second reason is that the perfume has benefitted from the way our olfactory tastes have changed since it was released in 1953. Today, it feels not so much like an antiquated feminine but more like a gender-neutral spicy oriental in the manner of Serge Lutens' Arabie or the resinous balsamics of Comme des Garçons Parfum. The similarity between Y-D and these two is palpable.

Because of its age (sixty four this year) Youth-Dew may not be so popular any more - it's not on the cutting edge of fashion after all, but this sweet and comfy feelgood fume could still be worn by anyone looking for an alternative to the Shalimar style oriental.

Youth-Dew the veritable old timer is like a camel coat - a timeless classic. It deserves to be known better.

21st December, 2017
Not quite as good as Shalimar or My Sin, the woody makes it a bit masculine. Still overall an enjoyable fragrance. The color should warn you that it will be strong. I dislike the peach top note, but luckily it is gone fairly quickly. There is a slight fecal note that makes it a rich deep complex fragrance. A classic, but not quite on par with Shalimar
09th August, 2017
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

Thanks to an impulse buy at Nordstrom's, I finally got my hands on a fragrance that made my nose clench as a child. I hated the aldehydic classics like Chanel No5. Maybe growing older has dulled my senses, but I've fallen in love with Youth Dew. It's dense and richly textured, lasting for ages on the skin.

It moves when I move. Just when you think you are comfortable with the scent, any movement unmasks different layers that mingle in the air. I always spray in my hair and on the nape of my neck, so just running my fingers through my hair wakes me up and keeps me present.

Not to get too lofty, but I appreciate YD's restrained power. When worn lightly, it doesn't have to announce itself. Instead, it draws people in. Yes, I was naive enough to wear it to work, but even in the sterile clinical setting, Youth Dew found a way to fit in. Still employed!
27th July, 2017
It's neither youthful, nor dewy. What were they thinking with that name?

It's Opium, but harsher (clove is to blame). Unlike Opium, it loses it's depth in the dry-down.

For me, it's ballsy and old-fashioned - spiced in a slapdash way. It's never really beautiful.

Of course, each to their own. Perhaps it smells divine on the right person.

My lasting impression? Bold, dry, loud spice. Too much clove. Like Opium but not as good. BUT it is a good price.

'Youth Dew' should become 'Elderly Parch', which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Silage and longevity very good.
09th June, 2017
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Review of the vintage formulation.

An explosion of rich, intense darkness characterises the opening blast: ripe orange flavour and a deep but soft, resinous spiciness appear in tune; and an overripe peachy undertone adds a fruity undertone. This spiciness is the result of a mix of clove and a gently balsamic overlay, nigh-camphorated but with an only minimally medicinal hint at times.

The concept reminds me a bit of Creed's Orange Spice, but the more clove-based and balsamic nature of the spiciness as well as the judicious addition of uplifting bergamot with a modicum of aldehyds distinguishes it favourably from the Creed: this original Youth Dew is the more complexly layered and construed product of the two.

Whilst the top notes a rich and dark, the drydown sees the lightening of the mood ito a brighter, very floral range. A bouquet of flowers emanates: a dark and velvety rose expresses reminiscences of the ealier moments, but the subsequently added carnation, and especially the orchid with a comparatively restrained ylang-ylang cast off the shadows and move towards a brighter momentum.

The base comes in two phases on my skin: initially a vanilla impression is added, and subsequently a soft and light patchouli with an ambery background note develop gradually. The floral heart notes, now attenuated considerably, are nonetheless still present, and towards the end they they merge with the slightly dusty amber to create light, feathery and bright whiffs of a slim, modern powderiness.

The sillage is moderate, he projection excellent, and the longevity a splendid thirteen hours.

This autumnal evening vintage scent, a dark, thick and viscous oily juice, is of wonderful richness, complexity and with a neverending development of permutations and variations. The contemporaneous version, whilst still very respectable, is not of the same high standard. The vintage formulation is masterfully blended whilst maintaining excellent structure, and is constituted of ingredients of superb quality.

Whilst this is at times a bit heavy and can be a touch overbearing, and is probably not everyone's cup of tea - that's the colour of the juice anyway - and whilst one should definitely try this product before one buys it, this is indubitably one of Estée Lauder's finest creations. 4.25/5.
14th May, 2017
For me this is all built around the Clove. No matter where I am taken with the numerous notes and accords the Clove remains at the stationary centre. Wonderfully created as a Feminine Amber, however as a man, I love wearing it. Carefully of course, as it is certainly, a "Bomb".
11th October, 2016
My rating is neutral only because this one either works for you in a big way or doesn't.

My stylish aunt wears this beautifully and has ever since I can remember. But on me? The leather that is so prominent in Azuree (and Aramis, for that matter) is always lurking beneath the florals, spices, and incense. It chokes them out completely within an hour. Too bad, because the only leather I wear well is on my shoes!

As far as "dated" is concerned, I no longer worry about such things. (How could I when Giorgio Red, Passion, and Jontue are in my regular rotation?)

If you haven't tried it, you should. You just might be one of the lucky ones.
02nd September, 2016
I have always found the name Youth Dew silly and if someone asks about it or compliments it I feel silly saying it. That said, I like the juice. I've worn YD on and off over some decades, edp, parfum, body cream and bath oil (as parfum). Also used the yearly solid perfume compacts and long ago there was a YD cologne, which was my favourite form as it had a crispness that snapped your neck around when you smelled it. :D

YD always had a place in my repertoire until coming up on its 50th Anniversary in 2003. The bottles I bought were sometimes made in Canada, sometimes in the US. One bottle I bought I had to return, it just wasn't right. When I bought the anniversary gilded bottle it said made in Switzerland. Mistake again. It didn't smell right either. YD had lost the exhilarating floral opening and distinctive woody note that differentiated it from every other spicy oriental out there and it smelled generic and blah.

Fast forward to the other day when idling in a downtown perfume department I chanced to pick up the Youth Dew bottle and lo and behold it smelled a lot like it used to in the beginning. The bottle said made in USA. I had heard that Lauder had been "restoring" some original scents and wondered if YD was one of them. Whatever they had done to it, it smelled more like itself again. Bought the edp on the spot and am enjoying it once more. And add my voice to the chorus that says: Apply lightly, please!
11th August, 2016
Oviatt Show all reviews
United States
The name is a strange choice because there is nothing youthful about this rich, mature, heavy scent. Nor is it fresh like a dew drop. It is a rich, ambery oriental that feels heavy handed and over-ripe. This is a child of Tabu and the precursor to Opium and the sister to Replique, Interlude, Pour Une Femme, etc., but is not as good as those, in my opinion. Hugely popular in its day, this is not the timeless classic that some other orientals are, but a good, but out-dated period piece. This is for the ladies who favor big hair, heavy makeup, chunky jewelry and shoulderpads, regardless of what is in style at the time.
20th June, 2015

A moment of madness where succumbing to temptation. YOUTH-DEW is a richly sensual experience.this is definitely a love it or you hate it.if you ask me,i love it because i love femme fatale scents per is without a doubt one of the best classic scent a woman can wear.this creative mixture to arouse unprecedented and unforgettable sensations through the power of scent.the wearer of YOUTH-DEW is a hero who sees this emblem as an incitement to provoke, challenging convention.she is also Voluptuous,Hot, Alluring,Bold,Oriental and Intriguing.

An irresistible first impression of fusing freshness opens the fragrance combining fruity notes of bergamot,peach and sparkling orange with spicy notes that add an intricate richness.the heart is feast of feminine elements of jasmine,rose,ylang ylang and cinnamon that create a bridge to the sensual and provocative base notes of vanilla,oak moss,vetiver, patchouli and amber that leaving a truly voluptuous aura in its wake in winter evening.this is a must have for a mysterious woman,a powerful and unsettling seductress who is at once ingenuous and dangerous.


Longevity?Excellent on my skin.

13th June, 2015
This is a very sexy scent, if the comments I have received when wearing it are anything to go by. It can be overpowering- a little does go a long way. This is not a prom perfume, more like a second honeymoon scent. Even so, it has a fragrance that you will sniff often with pleasure. Lasts a very long time.
25th February, 2015
A nice spicy and resinous warm amber scent. This is a review for the vintage extrait. It feels like a precursor to the later and more difficult to wear opium. This one is a little sweeter, softer, but still there. This is no wallflower! a little bit dated, but a nice scent. Unisex to my nose.
25th May, 2014
Advertisement — Reviews continue below

The lady from Shangai. A feminine powerhouse, resinous, spicy, with pungent clove notes, luscious intoxicating flower accords of rose and narcissus. Dark, sensual base of patchouli, amber, vetiver. Deeply balsamic, even with a hint of menthol if you inspire it with strength. Slightly cloying camphor feel – the aldehydes. Exotic, shady, dense, animalic, even slightly indolic at first. Even its appearance is just great – brown, sticky, dense like a narcotic liquor. After a while it naturally sweetens and lightens a bit, and you get the same scent just brighter with a more aromatic/poudrée/vanillin feel. Not for everyone – and perhaps, even if still gorgeous, just a bit outdated.

19th April, 2014
At one point I was searching for a spicy rose scent by notes - cinnamon, rose, cloves, and amber were my search terms, I think. I was surprised that Youth Dew came up as one of the only things in that search result. And then it came up again when I searched for some combination of resin-y notes. I had long written off Youth Dew for a lurking bitterness, which I now think must be the civet, and I hadn't tried it again since probably the 80s. So I tested the EDP on paper first, and the next day I couldn't believe how rich, warm, sweet, and smooth the drydown on paper was, just my sort of thing. I then tried it on my skin, and while to this day I don't really pick out rose, I get a wonderful floral accord that reminds me of jonquil more than the listed ylang - very similar to the floral accord in Tabu, my drugstore favorite. That accord and the patchouli combined do create a certain similarity between the two frags, though Tabu is far less spicy and a little daytime cologne by comparison!

I think Youth Dew must be in the top three or five most potent American scents ever - in bath oil form, it wears almost like a Montale or an Al Rehab oil, and smells like a relic to me. So I actually like the modern EDP for being unmistakably Youth Dew, yet being perhaps a little re-calibrated for what's wearable today.
13th March, 2014 (last edited: 08th August, 2015)
I love this, it was a present from my husband after the birth of our first child. it is quite heady.
31st January, 2014
People always tell me I smell nice.

I bought the Youth Dew bath oil, not really thinking it would still smell on my skin ages after, but surprisingly people tell me I smell great and ask what I'm wearing. They're surprised it's only bath oil and not a perfume.

Pros: Long lasting and very unique.
Cons: I'm told it's old fashioned, but it isn't more old then Channel No 5. "

09th September, 2013
Youth Dew and a Root Beer Float

When I was a little girl my dad would always get these root beer candies shaped like little barrels. And sometimes he would share them with me. Youth-Dew reminds me of that candy and that candy reminds me of my father.

I know what you’re thinking, "really, root beer?!" Yep, root beer! The balsams, the clove, the cinnamon and spices, the cassia…all ingredients in, you got it, root beer. I love a good root beer and I’m very picky with my root beer thanks to my dad.

This is definitely a huge power-fume, a little goes a long way. If I’m not careful it can quickly lead to a headache from hell. The first time I sprayed this in a department store, I found myself in the restroom trying to scrub it off to no avail and thinking, "oh God, what have I done!"

I waited a very long while before giving it another go, a small dose this time. And Magic! Or should I say Root Beer!

08th September, 2013
Try first; a very love-or-hate scent.

Youth Dew was the first perfume that completely kidnapped my senses and made me feel like I was in a magic world where everything smelled fantastic. I feel HAPPY when I wear this. Not only does it remind me of my grandmother, who had great taste in perfumes and particularly liked Estee Lauder, but it reminds me of places I've worn it, and the happy memories I had there. Youth Dew is my all-time favorite fragrance, and I love it so much that I often risk offense by really putting it on heavily. It's already a "heavy" scent, but I just love it so much! I like it even with a light touch, but I like it better when it emanates strongly. Because it isn't like some newer, floral-fruity scents, some people find it too strong for anything. Sadly, this is not office-friendly, although you might be able to get away with wearing it around the winter holidays. I love this so much that there are hardly words to adequately describe it. I know in my head that some people really dislike this scent - and if you put a lot on, they will tell you so - but in my heart, I can't imagine how anyone could dislike this beauty. One of the all-time great perfumes. Try it first, and if you like it, get the strongest concentration you can find. I use this perfume to judge whether a man is compatible with me. If he doesn't like this scent, I know better than to ask him out. Any other perfume might be negotiable, but this one is NOT. It's my must-have.

Pros: Classic, sensual, good sillage, complex, rich, wonderful
Cons: No matter how much you love it, be aware that some people hate it. Not office-friendly!"

28th August, 2013
YouthDew is my new "old" favorite!

Well, at 54 years old, I've come full circle. My Mom, who is now in her late 70's, always wore YouthDew. I remember it as a ubiquitous scent from the 1970's when I was growing up.

My original signature scent was Charlie and I doused myself with that...then Jovan Musk, Love's Fresh Lemon, etc. I loved strong, signature perfumes even as a young girl.

Today I wear Flowerbomb, Giorgio Armani Code, Manifesto and Humanity regularly. I recently bought my first bottle of YouthDew and just love it. I actually have been mixing it with other scents to tone it down a little and have received numerous compliments from men, from women, from young people, from elderly people. "Wow, you smell great!" is what I'm hearing all day, even 5-8 hours after I've sprayed 3-4 times on pulse points. I've been mixing it because I live in North Carolina and it's just so hot and humid here, I'm afraid I'll overpower everyone with such a strong signature scent during the day.

But I find myself all day catching whiffs of my concoction and just loving it. It actually makes me smile a lot because it reminds me of my younger self and younger Mom.

Pros: Long lasting, lingering scent that even I as the wearer enjoy
Cons: Heavy scent for summer"

09th August, 2013
If you love it, it keeps reminding you why

I've come back to this one recently, after previously writing it off as too much.

Truth be told, it's hard to have a neutral opinion on YD - it's too strong and significant, worn by so many women from the post-war years onwards, that everybody has a granny-auntie-mum memory of it, and this doesn't necessarily make it 'old' either.

So first, the scent - it's famously a mostly-basenote smell, accounting for its strength and longevity. I notice the aldehydes at its top for only about a second, and get some rose in the heart notes, but it's mainly a petrol-oakmoss-resin-animalic creature to me.

For some reason, YD makes me think of New York from the 50s through to the 70s - a city full of independent women with character, sauntering along with trench coat and cigarettes. In a similar way, Youth Dew is direct, meaningful, but unpretentious (I got mine for $60!). People will remember you with this, and it's the kind of perfume that puts songs and memories in your head.

Pros: Deep, rich, memorable, relatively cheap
Cons: Can be too strong on some people"

14th July, 2013

Youth Dew smells like dirty diapers on me. Period. The only time it doesn't smell like dirty diapers is when it smells like dirty diapers but only because it smells like dirty diapers because it smells like dirty diapers. Period.

Don't buy it. Spend 15 more dollars and buy the Beautiful or White Linen. Youth Dew is heinous on me, whether is be a single "dab" or just one spray.

Pros: Longevity

31st May, 2013
My husband bought this for me last Christmas, along with Cinnabar (which I love in the colder months). I really didn't have the heart to tell him that I hated this perfume. To me it just smells like nasty old lady perfume that you can't get away from. Recently I got the courage to tell him it didn't react well with my chemistry (I didn't want to hurt his feelings, as he picked it out for me, so I did the old "it's not you, it's me" thing), which actually worked to my advantage, because he didn't mind a bit when I gave it away (thank GOD that horrid stuff is gone!)
10th May, 2013
About fifteen years ago a lady passed me on the street and I caught a whiff of her perfume. I had to ask her what it was. It was Youth dew perfume. I was lucky enough a while later to be able to buy my first bottle of Youth Dew Perfume. I did try it on in the store first and I walked away to let the scent settle and I loved it. I kept inhaling it over and over. To this day I still absolutely love this fragrance. I recently bought the perfumed body crème and it is identical to the perfume and the crème is nice to wear too and softens my skin.

I love the different notes and at the end of the day the patchouli is prominent on me and I love it.

Sears had a promotion for free Estee Lauder products with my purchase. This is my second such promotion, and I am thrilled with the free products and make up bag. The products are not tiny sample sizes and I was able to chose either light or dark for the make up products, nice to have a choice.

I use to up until the last year use Tabu as my favourite perfume, I love the Youth Dew but Tabu was much more affordable for me. Well Tabu over the years changed their ingredients from natural to synthetic, so the scent was just slightly different but still recognizable as Tabu. Well it is now impossible to find even during the holidays. So Youth Dew is now the one I own, and the crème goes much further than the perfume and is ten dollars less, so I am a happy, happy lady.

I only like Tabu and Youth Dew, and in the old days, Tigress and one other one I cannot remember right now. I am not a fan of sweet perfumes and many if not most of them are sweet and many of them smell similar, none have tempted me to buy them.
21st April, 2013
Some years ago I was visiting friends my Mom's age and took a squirt of the bottle of Youth Dew I found in the bathroom. it had a wonderfully spicy fragrance reminiscent of the perfumes my Mom wore. I liked it instantly and bought myself some. Youth Dew could almost be a unisex scent. It's very pungent and a little goes a long way. it is very long lasting, too and has become one of my favorite perfumes..
14th February, 2013
I like it. I didn't when I was a kid; it was too intense for me. But it is spicy and rich. It doesn't seem to sweet to me. I am lucky because my mom and grandmothers never wore it. Where I live no one wears it. So its completely novel. It is sophisticated and confident. If the spray overpowers at first, try to find the perfume on ebay or try the bath oil. This seems expensive and complex but is very affordable compared to Guerlain for example. I think of it as a winter scent more than summer but not necessarily an evening scent. A bit like L'Heure Blue by Guerlain.
13th February, 2013
Have always Loved this, warm, spicy, luxurious - I think it's a classic :)
19th January, 2013
The other day I was walking past the EL counter, and decided to take a whiff of Youth Dew. I was expecting to be hit over the head by something repugnant, but was pleasantly surprised by the incense wafting out of the bottle. I passed on trying it on skin that day. Today I found myself back at the EL counter for the express purpose of testing YD on my skin. Wow. On me, I get a deep incenscey fragrance that reminds me of what Opium smelled like when it was initially released. (I'm in my 40's... My Mom wore Opium when I was little and it was fabulous on her.) I saw my Mom after that trip to the mall and she asked me if I was wearing pre-reformulation Opium. She was stunned to learn that I was wearing EL Youth Dew. It is spicy, warm and what I love most, full of incense. My skin has a tendency to devour scent, but that doesn't appear to be a problem with YD. It is still lingering on my skin 7 hours after a single modest spray to my wrist. I definitely see a FB in my future.
18th November, 2012 (last edited: 19th November, 2012)
My mum has been wearing this ever since I was little, and I've always loved it on her. On other women that wear this, it seems strong and incredibly spicy, but on my mum there has always been a sweet undertone. She started wearing it when she turned 20, so for my 20th birthday she bought me a bottle too. I love it! It's a little bit of home whenever I'm away or feeling nostalgic. And luckily enough for me, it's quite sweet and warm on my skin too. My first 'classic' and truly 'grown up' perfume, and definitely more me than any other I've tried. I can see myself wearing this for the rest of my life - please don't ever discontinue, Estée Lauder!
07th November, 2012
First off, let me say, I am far from being 90 years old. I am 35. And I LOVE Youth Dew, it is my signature scent, along with Azuree. For years, I spent a fortune on different perfumes. Most of them are not even around anymore and have been discontinued. So YD interested me. After all, it's been around nearly 60 years and still even has gift sets at the holidays. So something has to be working in it's favor and I refuse to believe it is the 80+ granny market spending their retirement savings.

If you smell YD right from the bottle, yes, you will recoil in horror. Too may folks associate this with old lady scent, I think in part becuase so many older folks drench themselves in it. Please, only two sprays is enough and will last you all day and into the next.

I bought YD (and it is still just $34) and tried it on. After 15 minutes, I was in love with it's powdery amber and spicyness. I went to bed and by the next morning, I was still smelling it. Strangely, it DOES have a cola smell to it, it reminds me of the cola flavored Bottlecaps candy. But it also has an ambery, cinnamony spice.

This scent is perfect for cooler months, like fall and winter. And surprisingly, I get more compliments on this perfume than I have ever gotten from wearing the 100 plus scents I tried in the past. I find that younger men in their 20s and 30s ask me most often. My male coworker says he loves to stand next to me just to get a whiff.

I really wish women would try this. Unfortunately, all folks want is instant gratification. They want fruity and flowery top notes and want to be instantly sold. I have had many perfumes that let me down once I got them, simply because the top notes that roped me in were lost after an hour and left me with a drydown of nothing. Not so from YD! It is the drydown that keeps me hooked.

Funny story......when I first met my now husband......we had no phone numbers for eachother, he simply knew where I worked and would come in for lunch everyday. He kept asking me out. After about a month or so, I stopped by the bar he said he went to after work but he was not there. I stayed for a bit, talking to hs friends. I left and later the next day, he stopped in to say he knew instantly that I had gone looking for him. He knew, because he had missed me by five minutes, yet when he entered the bar, he immediately smelled the trail of my perfume. It was YD! We have been married ever since.

I find YD hold up to storage well, too. Seems my hubby gives me this any chance he can get. I always say thank you. He doesn't seem to realize I have about ten bottles now. I recently opened a new one, from five years ago. It still smells exactly as it should. My Christmas wish list? Nothing but YD bath oil.
18th September, 2012