Sunday, February 6, 2011

Estee Lauder Wild Elixir: fragrance review

A limited edition from Estée Lauder comes this month in the form of Pure Color Wild Elixir, or for short Wild Elixir, a vibrant floral Eau de Toilette that accompanies their Pure Color make-up line. Even though travel-retail and/or LE fragrances by Lauder (see Bali Dream) are not reserved for their more intuitive compositions (for those one has to look into the Private Collection more upscale line), they do not fail from a technical standpoint: The scents have good sillage and tenacity, they have a concrete idea which they express in a straightforward manner and they provide that feel-good factor which we associate with boarding planes in exotic locales of azure skies which necessitate a big straw hat, even if back home it's pouring madly; or with the easy elegance of clothes hot off the January cruise collections. Wild Elixir is no exception.

Lauder describes the scent thus: "The radiant, free spirit of today's woman with her deep passion for life is captured in a fragrance as expressive, individual and modern as she is. Pure radiance bursts from this vivid creation of genet flowers contrasted against soft, sophisticated amberwood.From the vibrant top notes, to the rich floral middle notes, to the dramatic yet smooth end notes, the feeling is vibrant, luminous and irrepressibly alive".

All you need to know is that Wild Elixir is a light, vivacious floral that doesn't feel "retro", but which isn't vulgary sweet either nor juvenile. The succulent juiciness of mandarin dominates at first, providing the sweet citric touch that reads as instant sunshine in the middle of winter when you're cussing finding your feet buried in snow first thing out of the door. The genet (broom) note provides the essential backdrop of bracken feel that keeps it interesting and contributes to a certain similarity with the juicy brightness of Coach Signature rather than with the serenely deserted landscape of Dior's Dune (which is also based on an interplay of broom and amber). No other flowers are clearly discernible, the notes more a product of imaginative creation than true reflection of essences. The drydown is nothing extraordinary, smooth tactile woody-amber (Lauder excells at this kind of base) but it pleasantly keeps the composition anchored for hours and hours on end, especially for something so bubbly and vividly fresh. In short, they could have done much worse. I predict it will be popular.

Notes for Lauder Wild Elixir:
Top: Mandarin, marigold, purple freesia, violet leaves
Heart: Genet flower (broom), wild gardenia, orris, pink muguet, blue jasmine, waterlily
Base: Amberwood, musk, sandalwood.

Available at the official Lauder site 55$ for 1.7oz Eau de Toilette

Related reading on Perfume Shrine: Lauder news & reviews


  1. I wanted it to be wilder. I hoped to like it more than I did. I will try it again since a SA was kind enough to offer me a sample. But so far I think it's just nice.

  2. Helo Undinaba and welcome to the Shrine!

    Yeah, not really wild. Then again, how could it be with the brief being so bright and shiny and youth-oriented? It's nice enough though and not completely boring, which is a plus.
    I think Lauder saves their best for the major releases (Sensuous) or PC line.

  3. I find it to be SO similar to Coach Signature. I still like it though, and it's far cheaper, so I will probably pick it up during the Estee Lauder gift promotion at Macy's next month.

  4. The perfume sounds nice but the state of mainstream perfumes are pretty sad. Estee Lauder perfumes were really nice way back when but have gotten boring. In a sense, my wallet is thanking me for that, but not loving my recent purchase of Amouage Epic!

  5. I haven't sampled Wild Elixer yet, but one thing is for sure - the ultra bright lipstick pink bottle is gorgeous!

    ~ Susan

  6. it sounds pleasant but it's so pink!

  7. Susan,

    I suppose the success of one frag makes others take note! If there is a superior motive (advantageous price, GWP etc), all the better!
    I found WE a tiny bit woodier, more Ambrox?

  8. Eldarwen22,

    welcome to the Shrine and thanks for commenting! (love your lipstick smudge avatar btw!)

    WE isn't anything groundbreaking, but it's well-done for what it is: a bright, vivacious thing for reaching when it's all gloomy outside and you need something to perk you up. Sometimes that's a welcome surprise (I had zero expectations at the beginning I admit)

    I agree that the state of perfumery isn't very exciting lately and it's very sad....I suppose Lauder has mellowed a bit as everyone, to go with the times (some of the flankers are rather predictable), although I'd need to point out that the time of Alliage and the original Private Collection (the chypre I mean) are times when daring and a certain swagger were in style throughout all brands.
    Ah...if only there were fewer releases today, we could perhaps have fewer duds!

  9. Susan,

    I haven't seen the bottle up close (was sent a sample by a friend) but it does look optimistic, that's for sure!

  10. K,

    it is pleasant (and not just wallpaper-like) but pink I should think is de riguer in today's market ("hey, just put it in a pink bottle, women will flock to it!"). I much prefer this bright shocking pink shade to the pastel ones that look wimpy and anemic nevertheless.

    Now, imagine if it was put in a bright yellow bottle! (really bright, maybe even opaque to highlight the shade) That's a colour that while still "youth-oriented" (a necessity nowadays given the demographics) hasn't been done so much yet. I wonder why!

  11. agreed- yellow would be lovely! I do agree this shade is better than the little girl's bedroom type colours but still... though to be fair to the companies I bet if they put the same juice in a pink bottle and a day orange one they'd sell more pink

  12. I used to love Estee Lauder's original Pleasures and wore it quite often in High school. But moved away from it shortly after I graduated because I got sick of it. I still engoy it from time to time. I think that Estee Lauder has run out of ideas to make a really great perfume. I think that niche perfumes and reading perfume blogs have ruined my bank account and I.

  13. K,

    true, true! Now why would a pink juice sell more than orange? Is it because we're conditionned as little girls to equate pink with feminine and cute? Orange is thankfully left free of any such associations. I should suggest that it's to the detriment of anyone who doesn't want to be perceived as "cute" (and I bet there are many) that almost all modern scents come in shades of pink...

  14. Eld,

    the original PLeasures is a very concrete semi-genius idea: an icy landscape of sudsy aldehydes, rendered through a light medium (lighter than White Linen which is sharper). But it's been done to death since and the flankers weren't distinctive.
    Have you tried Jasmine White Moss by EL? I think this is their most innovative scent today on the counter, the White Moss accord substitutes well the oakmoss of yore. It's a well-made idea.
    Of course I don't expect Lauder to come up with the iconoclastic ideas that I expect (and hope for!) from Lutens, Etat Libre d'Orange, Ormonde Jayne etc etc.

    LOL on ruining the bank account and raising the bar by reading online: happens to me too!! :D


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