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  1. #1

    Default Youth Dew Revisited

    Now that the cold temperatures have finally, and properly, arrived to the Northern Hemisphere, I would imagine that a number of you are taking your supplies of Youth Dew out of storage. (In deference to our Southern members, I wear do wear this fragrance in warm weather, too.)

    Please allow me to revisit this great little classic. I hope this thread wins your interest, collects your posts in reply, and even convinces a few new users to try it. After all, if people stop buying it, they will stop making it. And then we will be saying, "Remember Youth Dew?"

    Youth Dew has been around since 1953 in its original formulation. The juice that you buy today smells exactly the same as the first bottles to roll off the production line. And it is a bargain at only $28 USD/ 22 Euro for 2.25 oz. or 66 ml of really strong EDP.

    First, I would like to give recognition to Tabu, the 1923 forerunner of this genre of sweet, strong, spicy, patchouli and amber Orientals. While Dana has allowed this beauty to degrade into the weaker concentrations sold in drug stores, Estee Lauder has maintained its support for Youth Dew, selling it (alongside its newest creations) in its full-strength glory, an almost black concoction of EDP. As if weren't strong enough, periodically, the amazing pure parfum is sold in limited edition, in small bottles, like little bombs of fragrance.

    Several tests of Youth Dew's popularity occurred over the decades. In 1977, Yves St. Laurent launced Opium. In answer, Estee Lauder introduced Cinnabar, which was arguably a cleaner variation on the Youth Dew theme. Cinnabar failed to catch hold of market share, however.

    A more serious challenge to Youth Dew's existence occured in 2005 in the form of Youth Dew Amber Nude. Again, the newcomer aimed to entice Oriental lovers with a cleaner version of Youth Dew. All the "dirty" notes had been removed, notably the infamous "rubber" ghost note which some wearers report, and the result was a clear, spicy, delicious fragrance without the naughtiness of the original. I liked Amber Nude, but I did not love it. I love the original.

    What, then, does the future hold for this little beauty in the bottle with the nipped in waist and the corset ribbing? Will she be relegated to the trash heap of "old lady perfumes" by the new generation? Or will she carry on, proudly different, in a sea of clean, minimalist fragrances featuring intriguing new, synthetic ingredients? Youth Dew, the standard bearer of the ancient perfume ingredients: orange, clove, rose, cinnamon, amber, patchouli, (civit?), balsam. Long may she wave.

    What do you think?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Youth Dew will Proudly carry on to a new generation, IMO. When YDAN was launched, I began smelling the original on more women, including some very young ones!

    I think the latest rendition spurred interest in the original. I Think the grand dame of ELs still has some great years ahead.

  3. #3
    moondeva's Avatar
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    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    There is a full and frank review of this unique evocative bombshell on my blog.

    In a nutshell: I am the third generation in my family to discover and appreciate the beauty that is Estee Lauder Youth Dew. My Grandmother and Grandfather both wore it as a signature scent, and so did my mother for the first 25 years of my life. It was not worn everyday, but when it was - it was to devastating effect. Luckily, I now enjoy the same pleasure. I hope not to be the last.
    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  4. #4

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    purplebird, thanks for that moving homage to Youth Dew! You have piqued my interest and now I will certainly look to try this classic. I agree that sometimes "we" (the perfume-buying public) needs to step in and do certain things to preserve the frags that are most meaningful and important to us. Perhaps enthusiasts will one day become gatekeepers of the most beloved fragrances. After all, haven't art collectors, classic car enthusiasts, and vintage fashion afficionados done something to keep these pieces of history, culture, and aesthetics alive? We can do the same. There's a fine line between propping up aged (and no longer relevant) relics just because, and protecting those things that are truly milestones in the development of an art.

    I really appreciated your post and perhaps next time we hear of a house discontinuing a beloved fragrance, the collective power (and love) of perfume enthusiasts will affect the final outcome.
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
    -George Bancroft {1800-1891 American Historian}

    =

    current favorites:
    Balmain Jolie Madame, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by moondeva
    There is a full and frank review of this unique evocative bombshell on my blog.
    Moondeva, could you post the link? I can't find a way to search your blog. Thanks
    Beauty is but the sensible image of the Infinite.
    Like truth and justice it lives within us; like virtue and the moral law it is a companion of the soul.
    -George Bancroft {1800-1891 American Historian}

    =

    current favorites:
    Balmain Jolie Madame, Serge Lutens Muscs Kublai Khan
    =

  6. #6

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Hi Purplebird7 Youth Dew was my mother's favorite and she wore it to excess, but it is a beautiful perfume. Something doesn't last that long and still demand a reasonable price for nothing. It is a true classic.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    I can't imagine Youth Dew ever being discontinued. I almost wore it today after reading this thread (but I went with Angel instead). I have Youth Dew bath oil, which I use as a perfume oil. I usually prefer a very different type of fragrance, but sometimes I like Youth Dew when I'm feeling particularly introverted or introspective and just want to stay home. It reinforces that mood for me.

    A lady I used to work for many years ago always kept a bottle of Youth Dew lotion on her desk. She always smelled so good. One day she bought me a bottle when she was replacing her own. Our office smelled great. I'm sure many people have their Youth Dew reminiscences.

  8. #8
    Basenotes Plus
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    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    I've found a 3ml pure parfum of Youth Dew on eBay. I've always been quite intrigued by this perfume, does the parfum come in 3ml bottles or am i being conned?

  9. #9
    moondeva's Avatar
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    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Spiced jus noire.
    Dew - for a rare bloom in Russe.
    Now, forever young.
    15th March 2006

    Name: Youth Dew House: Estee Lauder

    Launched: 1953 Family: Spicy (Balsamic) Oriental


    General:

    Fruity, Floral, Warm, Spicy, and Balsamic, Estée Lauder Youth Dew, is a deep, feminine and undoubtedly sexy fragrance. The scent has a sharp, bright spicy fruit top note of Aldehydes, Bergamot oil, Orange, Peach, Spice Notes, and Geranium, which thicken, growing richer and spicier in the dense, sultry floral heart notes of Cassis, Cinnamon, Clove, Jasmine, Orchid, Rose, Narcissus, Ylang-Ylang, before lingering on the skin with sensual balsamic base notes of Amber, Benzoin, Cedar, Oakmoss, Oilbanum, Patchouli, Peru Balsam, Tolu Balsam, Vanilla, Civet, and Vetiver.

    Launched at a time when it was not the ‘done ‘ thing for respectable women to buy (or wear) perfume for themselves and compounded by the fact they had little money to spend on perfumeEstée Lauder’s Youth Dew is unique in that it was originally marketed and sold as a lady’s ‘personal grooming’ bath oil. Coupled with this brilliant marketing was the fact that the oil was an unusual deep brown colour which added to its ‘oriental’, sensual, exoticism.

    Another boost to the legend of Youth Dew came from the very famous Hollywood actress Dolores del Rio, who declared that brushing your hair with Youth Dew and then sweeping it all up on top of your head would 'drive men ga-ga'.

    Youth Dew is still selling well currently; over 50 years since it was first launched (it was the 4th biggest selling perfume in 1989). Created by Estée Lauder in 1953, Youth Dew is recommended as an evening fragrance.

    The Eau de Parfum bottle is reminiscent of the neat, feminine fashions which prevailed at the time of its launch – a softly gathered, pleated hourglass silhouette ‘dress’ with a small cinched waist, sweetly accented by a delicate gold bow. In contrast the pure parfum comes in a compact, heavy glass square bottle filled with the potent black treacle coloured essence, topped by a stopper shaped like a simple daisy - very delicate and feminine but at the same time, somehow sinister – like some ancient precious amphora containing deadly Belladonna.

    My Thoughts:
    My mother wore Youth Dew as her only signature (Holy Grail) for the majority of my life, so it is a very special, evocative scent for me but not one that I can personally wear comfortably that often. So I sadly retired it to the ‘much admired but just doesn’t work with my chemistry’ home for (a rare number of) perfumes, even though I have and enjoy many other ‘powerhouse’ classic perfumes. Not one to give up, especially knowing as I do that it can take several attempts before a perfume and person ‘click’ - I sampled this again earlier this year. I wrote:

    "This stormy January morning, extra cold and hailing from a grey & sullen sky, Youth Dew revealed its true beauty to me. For a brief time, like a shaft of sunlight breaking through the clouds I was enfolded in a beautiful aromatic cloud of cool musk, rich deep spices with a hint of roses. The whole was warm, womanly, powerful and totally unforgettable. And all this came from the barest kiss of an application - a half 'spritz' upon each wrist and above the heart. Alas, as the sun warmed the sky and the storm cleared, the moment passed. I was left once again wondering why this just didn't work for me even though I love all of the listed notes / ingredients. Sniffing the bottle I immediately think of EL Cinnabar but this is also reminiscent of Donna Karan Black Cashmere and is a sharper, deeper, less softly floral version of YSL Opium EDT to my nose. It is probably quite similar to Opium EDP. I think this shall have to be one of my deep winter scents, when it is frightfully cold and grey, for me to get the full benefits of this truly classic and individual fragrance. Or I might layer it with one of my musk oils to soften the fragrance. For the real woman, not afraid of her own strength, beauty and sexuality - I recommend! "

    Although it does not have to be stormy or snowing this is still my cold weather winter scent. Carnation (a major note in this perfume) tends to meld with my skin very closely and 'disappear' which is why on warmer days I don't get the full beauty that others rave about. I think my skin needs to be cool, occasionally warmed by gentle exertion for the carnation and therefore Youth Dew to shine. That amazing balsamic carnation, geranium and rose over raw animalic amber with rich, mellow, oriental spices is totally amazing and incredibly sensual.

    To me it is Yves Saint Laurent Opium amplified - but for all the right reasons. Youth Dew has the courage of its convictions - a rich, dense, opiate of a scent. Spicy, rich and totally feminine when wafting up tantalisingly from within thick winter layers.
    I think part of my problem with Estée Lauder perfumes is how they ‘blend’ their scents. I find there is something 'coarse,’ 'jagged' and ‘unfinished’ in their structure with a rawness (when sniffed from the bottle and first applied) that can put me off.

    UPDATE: Since first posting this review, my love and appreciation of Youth Dew has grown and blossomed. This was aided by the discovery of the beauty that is the original bath oil. For those who find the harsh, raw aldehydic opening of the EDP and parfum too much to endure, the bath oil is the perfect introduction / gateway to this uncompromising scent. Just a few drops in the bath is enough to scent you lightly all over for the entire day. It is this method of application that helps to reveal the oddly pristine, clean linen accords which are usually shrouded by the overt aldehydes and spice. The bath oil is wonderfully smooth and almost vanillic. A tiny drop applied to the wrists and stomach is enough to surround you in a delicate seductive veil of exotica. This is a great way of wearing the scent in warmer weather also. Finally, my genes have come home to roost and I am now happy to have this beauty as a staple in my perfume repetoire.

    Similar Scents:
    YSL, Opium (1977)
    Estée Lauder, Cinnabar(1978)
    Caron, Poivre (1954)
    Karl Lagerfeld, KL (1982)
    Christian Dior, Dioressence (1970)
    Basile, Basile (1987)
    Clinique, Aromatics Elixir (1987)














    Copyright 2006 - All written materials on the blog are not to be reproduced without permission of the posting author.
    Last edited by moondeva; 19th January 2007 at 06:33 PM.
    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  10. #10
    moondeva's Avatar
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    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by libertine
    I've found a 3ml pure parfum of Youth Dew on eBay. I've always been quite intrigued by this perfume, does the parfum come in 3ml bottles or am i being conned?
    Yes it does. A small flat frosted glass square shaped bottle with a wee white plastic daisy shaped stopper. 3ml pure parfum will keep you for a while... It is truly potent stuff.

    You may find the bath oil an easier option to explore... £19 for 30ml on the main Estee Lauder website. It can also be picked up on eBay for a song once in a while. There's a lot of demand for it though.
    Favourite (Winter) Crazy Combos

    Tabu + Orange Blossom * Hermes Rouge + Bellodgia* Voleur du Roses+ Rose Ispahan * Rasa Extreme + Paris * Wood Coffee + Cafe Noir *

  11. #11

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by moondeva
    You may find the bath oil an easier option to explore...
    Yes! and that's the one i enjoy the most, both concentration-wise and presentation-wise!
    But i still can only take 2 drops of the oil on each wrist .

  12. #12

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by purplebird7
    What, then, does the future hold for this little beauty in the bottle with the nipped in waist and the corset ribbing? Will she be relegated to the trash heap of "old lady perfumes" by the new generation? Or will she carry on, proudly different, in a sea of clean, minimalist fragrances featuring intriguing new, synthetic ingredients? Youth Dew, the standard bearer of the ancient perfume ingredients: orange, clove, rose, cinnamon, amber, patchouli, (civit?), balsam. Long may she wave.
    excellent, thoughtful post, purplebird! i think as long as people keep talking about it, it won't go anywhere. i had never heard of YD before basenotes, and now, thanks to reviews on here and on ayala's blog, i proudly own the bath oil. and i love it. it makes me feel like....cleopatra (i just realized) when i wear it!

    i do also love YDAN, i have to say.they are different, though, to me.
    Seeking: woods patchouli fresh tuberose


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by moondeva
    Yes it does. A small flat frosted glass square shaped bottle with a wee white plastic daisy shaped stopper. 3ml pure parfum will keep you for a while... It is truly potent stuff.

    You may find the bath oil an easier option to explore... £19 for 30ml on the main Estee Lauder website. It can also be picked up on eBay for a song once in a while. There's a lot of demand for it though.
    Oooh thanks Moondeva, full of info as always ! I paid about £7 for the 3ml pure parfum which i think is a bit of a bargain :P

  14. #14

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    *GAG* that stuff is one of the most god awful smells, in my opinion

    that is one of the fragrances that shows how diffrent generations are to what smells good and what smells horrible
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Tink
    *GAG* that stuff is one of the most god awful smells, in my opinion

    that is one of the fragrances that shows how diffrent generations are to what smells good and what smells horrible
    LOL! I like your honesty!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by libertine
    I've found a 3ml pure parfum of Youth Dew on eBay. I've always been quite intrigued by this perfume, does the parfum come in 3ml bottles or am i being conned?
    There is a limited edition with a crystal flower on top. I have one, paid $40 for it.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Zibeline
    When YDAN was launched, I began smelling the original on more women, including some very young ones!...I think the latest rendition spurred interest in the original.
    I'm glad to hear that.
    Thank you everyone for your comments. It was fun to talk about Youth Dew again.
    And thanks Moondeva for the most inclusive list of ingredients I have seen to date. I have copied it down.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Well, I like Youth Dew, used to use it. I think it will be around forever. It's a classic.

    HOWEVER, I sampled Amber Nude yesterday and that is enough to frighten anyone from EVER sniffing the original .......If I thought this was the only smelly left on earth, I'd never wear it. I got nothing but burnt rubber, burning wood, burnt everything from it. I hope this doesn't turn future generations away from the nice original.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    i loathe youth dew. my grandmother and her 90 year old aunt BATHED in the stuff so every time i smell anything resembling the scent i immediately think of 90 year old women soaking their clothes in it. perhaps if people wouldnt wear so much of it it wouldnt be so bad but sheesh why do old ladies feel the need to use 2 ounces of fragrance per application???

  20. #20

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Maybe their noses don't smell so well anymore, like their eyes don't see or their ears don't hear. That doesn't bode well for me when I'm old. I already put too much perfume on. OMG. I'm going to be like a human fumigation bomb. I'd better remember this for the future.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Youth Dew Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by Zibeline
    Youth Dew will Proudly carry on to a new generation, IMO. When YDAN was launched, I began smelling the original on more women, including some very young ones!

    I think the latest rendition spurred interest in the original. I Think the grand dame of ELs still has some great years ahead.
    I have to agree. This is what YDAN did for me - made me seek out the pure parfum and fall head over heels for it.
    The ladies at the Estee Lauder counter at Holt Renfrew told me that Youth Dew is very popular with younger generation. Apparently I am not the only young lady buying it. I hope it will live long and strong - it's such a big part of perfume history and deserves to remain alive and well.
    Ayala Moriel, Perfumer
    Ayala Moriel Parfums http://www.ayalamoriel.com/
    Visit my SmellyBlog: http://www.smellyblog.com/

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