Estée Lauder never ceases to capitalize on tried & tested concepts and Bronze Goddess (the revamp of Tom Ford's formula for Azurée Soleil) was among the very best: a truly beachy scent that imitated skin baked under the sun. Bronze Goddess Soleil for summer 2011 however despite the similar name is a quite different fragrance and although the concept is a good one (refreshing splashing on and sunny cheeriness), I admit I was spoilt by the past into expecting something more than a simple lemon and light musks cologne.
The line is confusing enough since the company is re-issuing last year's Bronze Goddess for the summer at the same time that they're launching the new Bronze Goddess Soleil. [To see a comparison between the original Azurée Soleil and Bronze Goddess formulae read this article]. Last year's Bronze Goddess Eau Fraiche formula has a bright citrus quickly mollified by tropical tiare and milky coconut. It's the definition of a "skin scent", a vision of biscuit-hued flesh sprawled under tropical skies sunning itself at some beach where the sand is as fine as spun sugar and there's not a care in the world. It quickly became a cult favourite and deservedly so.
On the other hand, Bronze Goddess Soleil is more of a simplistic light and tart hesperidic scent, a boost of lemon freshness upfront (rather unlike the sweet cupcake note of Shalimar Light) prolonged via the easy solution of clean white musk and dewy notes. The bitterish accents of lavender and petit-grain are indeed a very distinct throwback to the classic Eau de Cologne "recipe", from 4711 to Jean Marie Farrina's.
Even though the idea is not bad, Lauder already had a cute citrus cologne with clean musks and blond woods in their line-up, Pure White Linen Light Breeze (a flanker to a flanker, imagine that!) which served as that "can't bother to think about fragrance" pick-me-up for days when the monsoon-like canopy of humidity seems inescapable. To provide another lemony lean cologne is a bit of a redundancy and the main reason I'm rather underwhelmed from this year's Bronze Goddess Soleil. Contrary to the established Bronze Goddess, it lacks both warmth and sexiness. It also lacks the classic coconut & vanilla sun tan lotion note (i.e.Coppertone in this case), which might make it preferable for those who have an aversion to that note in their summery splashes.
Still, not badly made, but my own buck is put elsewhere this summer...
Notes for Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Soleil:
Top: Sicilian lemon, Calabrian bergamot, sweet tangerine, lavender and petit grain.
Heart: Mediterranean pittosporum, Tunisian neroli, Indian Sambac jasmine, Moroccan orange blossom, grapefruit blossom and pink lily nectar.
Base: blonde woods, iris, ambrette seed and crystalline musk.
The bottle of Bronze Goddess Soleil features a greener degradé on the base and the cap exhibits matte gold rings, to differentiate it from the other versions (well, apart from that soleil in the name of course). The concentration is marked as Eau Fraiche (it lasted about three hours on my skin, after eight hours I was vaguely sniffing a light muskiness) in 100ml/2.4oz. Available at Lauder counters while stocks last.