With the tagline “a perfume to celebrate the love that you share”, Esteé Lauder is trying to catch the Valentine’s Day shoppers this year with its latest interpretation of one of her established perfumes, the intensely floral Beautiful.
Beautiful has always been presented as a wedding perfume, sometimes set to beauties such as gorgeous Paulina Porizkova, other times accompanying less gorgeous Elizabeth Hurley. It has proven to be a bestseller for ladies who want a romantic touch and the images of the advertising have proved very receptive from males about to purchase fragrance for their wives and fiancées, according to Lauder reports.
The fragrance came out originally in 1986 and it purportedly contained over 200 ingredients that took 4 years to find their proper place in the “perfect” formula that elicited the comment “beautiful!” upon being smelled by friends of Mrs.Lauder sampling it. So the name stuck. Or so the legend goes…
Personally I have always found Beautiful a little (OK, a lot) over the top in its big, bright, groaning with white florals (tuberose, jasmine, orange flower, lily of the valley) composition and although it reacted well on my skin on various testings, I never gave it the benefit of a doubt, never purchasing a bottle for myself.
Beautiful Love comes exactly 20 years after its big sister as the prodigy to follow in the successful steps of the revered relative.
This marketing technique of flankers, companion perfumes to already established ones bearing a variation on the original’s name has worked well for Lauder. With the exception of White Linen Breeze, all the others worked well and proved commercially viable and even successful. Around the time the company first signed with Elizabeth Hurley there was an attempt to modernize the classic soapy aldehydic White Linen, boosting it with marine notes and making it less potent and abstract. The experiment went well for a while, as it was the 90s and marine frags were de riguer. Lauder had no other marine in its stable. Soon however it became extinct, as Pleasures got launched to a staggering success, bringing back the vogue for “clean” floral smells.
Then came Garden of Pleasures, around 1999-2000, a limited edition trio of scents each highlighting one specific floral note in the original Pleasures – therefore there was Moon Lily (a glorious floriental whose passing I lament), Peony and Lilac. Being limited editions to coincide with the launch of an homonymous makeup line, they soon disappeared. I still to this day regret I did not stock up on Moon Lily. It was the best of the lot….
The next logical step was Pleasures Intense (a sharper, more intense floral) and soon after Pleasures Exotic for summer, with the addition of tropical fruits and citrus.
When Tom Ford came on wheel, he had the brilliant idea of revolutionizing the classic of the house: Youth Dew. A classic that smelled anything but what its name suggested. As mr.Ford is first and foremost a great marketer he instantly knew that he had to keep the sensual notes, but lighten the load, freshen up the image and inject sexiness in both the smell and the image. Youth Dew Amber Nude was the final result and it was pleasurable enough to re-ignite interest in the Lauder brand in young people’s minds (where the house did not register as hip). His Azurée oil interpretation last summer was also quite successful.
Pure White Linen, fronted by Gwyneth Paltrow, was the house’s latest effort to capitalize on another classic name, especially since White Linen Breeze had long ago disappeared from shelves. The final product is quite decent and I say that straight faced. It’s a likeable clean smell for instances when you don’t want to bother too much with what you wear, you just want to smell carefree and nice. Even the bombastically floral Beyond Paradise came to meet a little cousin by the name Beyond Paradise Blue, which I haven't tested yet.
Beautiful had already experienced a little watering down when the mood for lighter scents became the norm with Beautiful Sheer, one of the formulations that are supposed to be used during the humid season when the original version would seem suffocating.
Beautiful Love is the newest in that long string of “flankers” exposing a modern, creamier and more sensuous side of the Beautiful floral fragrance.
Karyn Khoury, Senior Vice President, Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide, Estée Lauder Companies describes it as having less intense green notes and a greater emphasis on the classic’s white floral elements, ‘Beautiful Love captures the emotional depth of shared love’ she is quoted to say.
The official notes according to Osmoz are:
Top note : Pomelo, Cantaloupe, Mango,Pink Pepper, Freesia,Ivy
Middle note : Tiare, Tuberose, Jasmine,Other Flower, Black Violet
Base note : White Orris,, Whipped Cream, Tonka Bean, Vetiver, Cashmeran,Other Woods
The classification is woody musky floral, which is not sounding bad at all.
The effect is much lighter in feeling and less perfumey, with the fruit notes opening a tart impromptu going on to softer, creamy florals and a velvety base.
Packaged in a bottle that stays close to the feminine lines of the fluid crystal of the original Beautiful one, it features a pink-gold cap.
It comes in eau de parfum strength in bottles of 30ml/1oz, 75ml//2.5oz and 100ml/3.4oz.
Pic of bottle from Osmoz, pic of Beautiful ad courtesy of Parfum de pub.