Sunday, March 21, 2010

Estee Lauder Sensuous



First of all, the bottle is gorgeous, and it's hard to describe the attachment I have formed to it. Something about the way the little glass ridges feel in my hand--it makes the bottle feel almost oily, but in a good way, like I'm caressing some smooth, well-oiled alien skin. The color is perfect too; it is not pink nor copper nor yellow, but somewhere in between all of them, with a sort of mid-century blocky rose gold cap. Mine stays right on my bedside table, and I find myself admiring its form from time to time. Granted, it's no exotic bottle, but something about this perfume just does it for me.


We first fell in love two summers ago, as I wandered the Bloomingdale's on Sixth Ave. in search of a gift to present some Brazilian hosts I had never met, who were putting us up for my brother's wedding to one of their nieces. Well, we didn't fall in love at Bloomingdales; we had to get to know each other better. But despite my better judgement--I was getting on a plane to Brazil later that day, and usually don't like to wear unfamiliar fragrances in case they should make me ill-- I allowed a shopgirl to spritz me. The scent struck me immediately as unpleasantly sweet, and I became concerned that I had made a major error in judgement.But the perfume on my skin stayed, and it miraculously morphed into something rich and strange, as I flew on that yucky overnight to Brazil. Gone was the initial, cloying sweetness, replaced with something deep and incensy and peppery that simply wouldn't go away, and I loved it. No Loooooved it. I mean, this juice sent up a gorgeous olfactory swan song when I stepped into my shower in Rio, -- a day and a half and a whole continent and a nasty sweaty plane ride followed by airport shenanigans followed by long taxi ride later! Serious sillage. I couldn't wait to get back to the states and buy my very own bottle to have and to hold.
According to the fabulous perfume website Basenotes, the topnotes in the Sensuous formula are Ghost Lily Accord, Magnolia, and Jasmine, the middle notes are Molten Woods and Amber, and the basenotes are Black Pepper, Mandarin Pulp, and Honey. The topnotes must be the culprits for that slightly too-sweet opening, but luckily, they fade back and just sweeten the dark core of this frag ever so subtly. Somedays, maybe when my own PH has taken a turn for the sweet side, I feel like it stays too sweet, but most days, it becomes a sort of enveloping comfort shawl; I feel sexier and more grounded when I can sense Sensuous' blanket of peppery, woody incense surrounding me.
One final note. This perfume smells INCREDIBLE on wool, or around wool. Don't ask me why, but its qualities are enhanced by that wooly smell. I know this because I live in a wet, cold climate that requires wool wearing, well, all the time, practically. And Sensuous comes into its own with wool. It becomes just a little more complex, getting an almost burnt quality, or a almost like a roasting coffee-ness that I absolutely adore.

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