Neutral Reviews of Youth Dew by Estée Lauder

    Find out more about Youth Dew by Estée Lauder in the Basenotes Fragrance Directory


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    justbeq's avatar

    United States United States

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    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!

    08 September, 2013

    Vaporesque's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was hoping to like this because of the oh so cute bottle. I tried it via a store tester during three separate shopping trips to accommodate for different stress/hormone profiles. I eventually broke out in a rash on all three occasions. I still have not pinpointed the offending ingredient(s), but will permanently move it to my bottle-only wish list.

    03 March, 2012

    lady love's avatar

    Argentina Argentina

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    Opium smell very similar to Youth Dew(Edp 2010)..

    Overall both Fragrances smell practically the same. On the one hand there's Opium placing more emphasis on Citruses,Coconut and Pepper notes, and in the other hand Balsam notes, vetiver, patchouli and Ylang Ylang shine more on Youth Dew. I think Opium is more shiny , intense and Youth Dew more gloomy, mysterious. Both Fragances are amazingly well done.


    Spices are present but not in a intense way. Is not overwhelming if you aply just a little. Anyway i think Opium outshine Youth dew.

    28 January, 2011

    California Chris's avatar



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    I don't know this particular perfume, but thought its wearers might like to know it's one Joan Crawford wore.

    08 July, 2010

    Ms Rochambeau's avatar

    United States United States

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    Vintage Youth Dew is warm incense with spicy clove and cinnamon. On me it's pretty linear in its developement, (until the end, when the ambery vanilla and tolu take over), but that's okay because it has enough going on that those who love dense Orientals should like this.

    Tom Ford's reformulated version, Youth Dew Amber Nude, rounds out the sharp edges with an amped up amber that's fruitier and mustier

    09 June, 2010

    foetidus's avatar

    United States United States

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    The naming of perfumes (or anything else) is interesting but tricky when the passage of time is considered: I remember my twenty-year-old sister wearing Youth Dew in the early ‘50s. Then “Youth Dew” was an appropriate name for the fragrance worn by my beautiful sister. The name doesn’t fit now days because changing fashion is the one constant in fashion. I don’t want to call this “dated” although I don’t have a problem with that particular vocabulary word, but I do get ‘50s images in my mind in conjunction with the aroma of Youth Dew. It opens citrus and then very quickly moves to a spicy floral – cinnamon, clove, and ylang-ylang prominent with strong indolic colorings. But as soon as the heart notes show up, they are shadowed by the ‘50s vibrations from the base – the ‘50s version of patchouli and balsam, I believe. The heart and base fix the fragrance at a point in time, and I can do little more with this fragrance because it is has become more of a memory rather than a present reality. In trying to be objective, I would say that I like Youth Dew, but there are several others of its era and type that I prefer, because Youth Dew doesn’t seem to have very much uniqueness in its composition or delivery. Thumb’s up for the memory, but neutral for the actual fragrance.

    21st August, 2009

    creekside22's avatar

    United States United States

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    I used to love Youth Dew! I had SO many compliments on it. I even had a man follow me one time and said he LOVED the scent and wanted to get some for his wife:)

    But what has happened to it? It's a shadow of it's former self. It started when they watered down their lotions and creams and now . .. it's more like Cinnabar. It's lost it's essense. And what a shame. Youth Dew was just such a classic and unique scent.

    Is it cost? The makers want to save a few bucks and scrimp on essential oils? I grew up in the 60s and perfumes like Tigress and Emeraude were just heavenly! Now days they smell NOTHING like they used to. That's why I buy vintage on ebay!

    14 April, 2009

    Indiscreet's avatar

    United Kingdom United Kingdom

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    Back in the fifties, the name “Youth Dew” may have conjured up hope – a magical potion in a bottle, perhaps. These days, it smacks of desperation. I imagine middle aged women spraying themselves with this in an attempt to cling to the last vestiges of their fading beauty. Or Countess Bathory bathing in the blood of virgins.
    I bought this untested because I liked the sound of the ingredients, but unfortunately, they are put together in such a way that they do not like me. From start to finish, this perfume is soapy. It’s not particularly unpleasant, but it’s not particularly nice either. There’s a sharp burst of citrus that (as Ron Burgundy says in Anchorman) stings the nostrils. After a while this is replaced by a spicy carnation scent (the clove), with a dollop of sweetness (the vanilla) and a lot of soap.
    I don’t get any of the gorgeous, mulchy earthiness you normally get with patchouli-based scents. In fact, with the patchouli, citrus and peach, I was hoping it would be a little like Mitsouko, but it just doesn’t even compare.
    Youth Dew may be a classic fragrance, but it just doesn’t work for me.

    27 February, 2007

    pookerella's avatar

    United States United States

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    25 years ago, if I encountered someone wearing Youth Dew I would have to leave the room IMMEDIATELY, else vomit within a few minutes. I am not making a joke, I actually vomited TWICE from someone wearing this fragrance. Later on, I found I could actually wear it, but VERY, VERY sparingly....just the TEENIEST drop, wrists ONLY. I don't love it and I don't wear it, but at least it doesn't make me vomit any longer!

    31st December, 2006

    TDDanae's avatar



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    My mother has always loved Youth Dew and many people would get this for her on Christmas. She'd spray a little on with each package she opened and by the end of the day she'd have about a bottle on. Youth Dew has some marvelous ingredients in it and is very spicy, the kind I usually like, but I have just been Youth Dewed out.

    04 October, 2006

    torchsong's avatar

    United States United States

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    Very spicy scent, very strong and a bit much for me. Gives me a headache after 30 mintues. Not for me, but I would think if you like Opium you would also love this.

    24 August, 2006

    ubuandibeme's avatar

    United States United States

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    The modern formulation of this scent reeks in a very pungent way. Everytime I've tried it, it smells like it's 'turned bad'. I have never been able to enjoy it. With that being said, I have had the good fortune of smelling the original Youth Dew - courtesy of a fellow basenoter - and it is rich, warm, and compelling! I do not know how such a poor evolution has been allowed to take place...maybe that's why Lauder put out Amber Nude...so I have to give a thumbs down for the current fare, and two thumbs way up for the original!

    23 February, 2006 (Last Edited: 17 June, 2009)

    AlthaeaSoaps's avatar

    United States United States

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    I was given a bottle of Youth Dew when I was 12, in a gift packet after working in a runway show. At 12 I was *far* too young for something so intense, and in the hot climate of Austin Texas it was just too much. I should try it again as an adult and see what I think.

    19 February, 2006

    Ayala's avatar

    Canada Canada

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    With its dark juice and dense composition, the name Youth Dew seems a bit out of place - unless the dew drop smells of civet, and adorns a wild narcissus in the middle of winter. The opening of Youth Dew reminds me tightly knotted woolen yarn, soft, warm and inviting - yet you can’t find the end/beginning and start knitting yet!
    As it settles on the skin, it starts opening up, one bit at a time. As the citrus wears off and the spices soften by woody undercurrent, bit by bit the floral heart starts to emerge until reaching a peak – where narcissus and ylang ylang dance to the indolic rhythm of the civet base – sexual to a degree that borders on the impolite, so you need to hold on with self-conviction and dignity. But even the luscious of flowers decompose and return to earth, this time made of muddy puddle of earthy patchouli and vetiver which gradually softens and mellows until finally reaching a delicate dry down phase that is vanillic and surprisingly reminiscent of Chanel no. 5.

    This is the review for the pure parfum – a limited edition in a beautiful, frosted flacon with a delicate frosted flower stopper, filled with the almost black juice this leaves an unforgettable impression!
    I find Youth Dew to be very suitable for winter, and can’t imagine wearing it in any other season and being able to keep my olfactory bulb intact. The indolic heart and the earthy base surprisingly reminds me of sticking my nose into a narcissus, inhaling the scent that smells so delicate from afar, and so deadly from nearby; inhaling it along with the some rare raindrops that clanged to the petals; All this after spending the whole afternoon jumping in puddles after the rain stopped…

    Top notes: Citrus and Spices
    Heart notes: Narcissus, Ylang Ylang, Cloves, Rose
    Base notes: Civet, Patchouli, Vetiver, Vanilla

    p.s. I am giving it only a neutral rating because I don't think it is as original as it is considered to be. Tabu by Dana preceeded it by 20 years; And a similar famous perfume - Opium (20 later) is superior to it in composition. I do appreciate it highly for its breakthrough in American perfumery and the impact it had on women.

    20th December, 2005

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