Perfume Directory

Beautiful (1985)
by Estée Lauder


Beautiful information

Year of Launch1985
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 277 votes)

People and companies

HouseEstée Lauder
PerfumerSophia Grojsman
PerfumerBernard Chant
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About Beautiful

The fragrance of a thousand flowers

Beautiful fragrance notes

Reviews of Beautiful

Really intense, old-school ladies' fougere that screams for attention!

Beautiful by Estee Lauder is shaped greatly by the ylang's sweet-powdery edge, tuberose's creamy fleshy touch, loud lily, loud bright jasmine, and warmed a tad by sandalwood and straight green vetiver.

Imagine your typical 1980's MEN's fougeres - Trussardi Uomo comes quickly to mind - and you'll get a good picture of Beautiful's character. Personally, it's bordering on gawdy and too bold. Perfect for the woman who wants to relive the vibe of bright, yester-decade perfumes without fear.
06th February, 2019
I love tuberose, but I don’t like when it’s treated this way. It’s an average vintage bitter fragrance, with too many different flowers and some spices. There’s itchy greenness. Very good performances.
26th December, 2018
Sophia Grojsman is a pretty divisive perfumer in the fragrance community despite her many achievements, because her compositions are all feminine, and mostly represent an uncompromising floral loudness married to aromachemical boosts. Her perfumes have a resplendence suited for the dominant take-charge woman of the 1980's, and in a new millennium of apologetic fruity airy patchouli fare, feel too imposing for many, but in Beautiful by Estée Lauder, Grojsman's style feels more moderated thanks to house stalwart Bernard Chant, who worked with her on this scent. Beautiful was also part of a huge sweet tuberose wave that hit the 1980's feminine perfume scene thanks to scents like Giorgio Beverly Hills (1981), Grojsman's own Gloria Vanderbilt (1982) and Yves Saint Laurent Paris (1983), plus Givenchy Ysatis (1984), but Beautiful comes across more balanced with it's green woodsy base than many of it's peers, hence why it has persevered while many of the others in its class come across as relics. It's really interesting that Grojsman, who is often considered a prolific master of blending rose in all of its facets, and the creator of the famous "hug me" Iso E Super accord found in many perfumes of the 90's, took a co-pilot seat with the old guard perfumer of Estée Lauder, but the results here are pretty memorable. Most tuberose-led fragrances from this era are often considered monsters, but this is likely the least so in it's respective micro-category, since Beautiful is just much less aggressive than many examples built around the note.

Estée Lauder Beautiful is as the name suggests, a very gorgeous yellow floral brimming with rose and tuberose top notes, a hedionic jasmine and white floral middle, laid on a sandalwood vetiver base. Many florals of this kind rely heavily on aldehydes or musks, but not Beautiful, and there isn't even a heavy oakmoss plonk here to date this like many of its contemporaries, but one thing Beautiful doesn't have is a lot of unisex appeal, since it doesn't rely on a lot of green notes of woody pencil shavings base elements to keep it from being too sweet like many florals of the day. Instead, Beautiful just has an immaculate amount of blending, with the rose and marigold/tagetes slickly coating that round tuberose note in the top, placing it very much in the 1980's, but being smooth enough that it doesn't feel like a "tuberose bomb" a la Giorgio Beverly Hills. The dusty white florals follow, with ylang-ylang, muguet, and neroli playing on a layer of jasmine hedione. There's a tiny speck of indole from the jasmine here, to keep the roundness of the top, but it's not funky like indole in large amounts can be. The base is a very soft sandalwood and vetiver, which add the desiccating quality to the juicy flowers above it needs to keep Beautiful from becoming heavy, although over-application can definitely happen here. Wear time is a good 8+ hours, and this has decent enough fall through springtime legs, but in summer it might be too cloying. Sillage is also pretty good, and a little goes a long way with tuberose fragrances anyway so go easy on the trigger.

Tuberose comes across intrinsically feminine in the same way gardenia does to my nose, but that's not to say a man couldn't wear Beautiful, just that he would unequivocally be judged as wearing a woman's perfume when he does, which might actually be the desired impression for you dandies out there. Modern women might see Beautiful as a bit too mature for anything outside business meetings, weddings, or other formal gatherings, and the bridal advertisements of the day declaring Beautiful as a "bouquet of a thousand flowers" sure don't help with that perception. Beautiful came out opposite Lauder for Men (1985) in the same year, and although named different, form a layering pair if worn by a couple, with Lauder's green floral chypre leanings (oddly feminine for an 80's masculine) mixing well with the soft and mannered tuberose glow of Beautiful, creating a lush unisex accord for anyone passing such a scented pair. Beautiful is also an example which runs counter to the stereotype that all Estée Lauder feminines are loud and brash, something probably cultivated since 1953's sex bomb known as Youth Dew, and provides a bit of quietus to what is admittedly a pretty dynamic catalog from the house. A ton of flankers and limited editions of this have been spawned, but none of them really capture the golden glow of this perfume, which is just one of several game-changers Sophia Grojsman was involved with creating throughout the prime of her career as perfumer. A gorgeous, if fairly serious-feeling powerhouse classic. Thumbs up!
05th November, 2018
A beautiful, deep floral. Lots of rose and tuberose. I think it's a heavier flower scent, more suited for wintertime. Has a woody, green base. One of Estee lauder's classics. I adore it because my Mother loved it...
18th February, 2018 (last edited: 05th April, 2019)
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is a review of the vintage perfum:
The opening is a sensory explosion of an extraordinary potpourri: marigold, a pleasant rose and a delightful lily; all intensive and very rich, creamy and sweet. Soon a lovely tuberose adds added opulence and completes a gorgeous symphony of olfactory delights. This tuberose is neither too heavy nor too waxy, is gives the whose a luxuriant character.

The drydown sees a shift towards more white florals, with a creamy ylang-ylang competing with the top notes in richness, whilst an intense likely-of-the-valley aroma is the dominant heart note on my skin; it is accompanied by an orange flower that blends in very well.

Transiently fresher moment occur, contributed to by an orangey undertone as well as aldehydic components that give it a nigh-Chanel-No.5-feel at times.

The base turns woodsy, but reminiscence of the marigold, the rose and the orange flower linger on and combine with the sandalwood very harmoniously. There is a slightly powdery feel to it, especially in the second half of it’s development.

I get strong sillage, splendid projection and a sensational longevity of fifteen hours on my skin.

This is a floral beauty: a spring evening creation that is rich, opulent but also elegant at the same time. Maybe a little too sticky at times, but this is mainly at the beginning. Very much full-on, it is unashamedly floral, soft, voluptuous, luxurious, but not devoid of elegance. Indubitably one of Estée Lauder's best. 4/5.
16th July, 2017
To anyone who disses Estee Lauder perfumes, I say bollocks. Beautiful is my proof that this house knows how to make stunners--and make them available at prices that should make you look twice. I admit that I'm as guilty as the next perfume snob of overlooking this stuff. I remember those 1980s ads with Paulina Porizkova in the wedding veil; and I remember young, cynical me thinking that I didn't want anything to do with that kind of ad agency "romance." It's ridiculous--90s me would have loved this stuff. I'm still kicking myself, thinking of the vintage parfum I missed out on.

Although I believe Beautiful is technically a "floral bouquet," it reads as a Complicated Rose perfumes, in the same neighborhood, if not exactly the same address, as YSL Paris (a great favorite of 90s me, by the way). All Beautiful's lily/muguet/ylang/jasmine notes seem to contribute toward, and accentuate, a full-bodied rose decked out with all the trimmings. Even tuberose and orange blossom, divas that they are, get pressed into service, adding texture and carnality to the rose at the center, instead of calling attention to themselves--quite a balancing act, and exactly stuff of which great classical perfume is made.

The opening borders on harsh; no doubt EL aldehydes can really rattle your teeth. But once it simmers down a little, Beautiful works as a perfume that's both well-behaved and sexy. The rosiness exudes a sense of slightly damp freshness for hours, gradually calming down until it gives off a slightly powdered quality. The celery-like note of vetiver adds a bit of crispness to the mix. I smell next to no sandalwood in my relatively contemporary bottle. I bet true vintage has it in spades.

I can't think of a time of year that you can't wear Beautiful, but I prefer it in early summer, when we have just enough heat to enhance its buttery, tropical heart. It's dressy enough for special occasions, but ladylike enough for everyday use. The next time you're near an Estee Lauder counter, check it out; Beautiful gives you a gorgeous excuse to stop and smell the rose(s).

07th June, 2017

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