Estee Lauder Sensuous ~ perfume review

Estee Lauder Sensuous fragrance ad

Sensuous is the latest feminine release from Estee Lauder. It launches this month under the tag line "Every Woman Wears It Her Way"; to drive that point home, four models representing different age groups (Gwyneth Paltrow, Elizabeth Hurley, Hilary Rhoda and Carolyn Murphy) are featured in the fragrance advertising.

According to Karyn Khoury, Estee Lauder's Senior Vice President of Corporate Fragrance Development, Sensuous hopes to "re-invent the idea of feminine woods". Noting that feminine wood fragrances have typically been restricted to the niche sector and that woods can be too "dark and solid" to appeal to women, Khoury's brief called for something less ponderous:

For Sensuous we imagined a fabulous wooden sculpture, and wondered, if you could take all that sleekness, all that sensuality, but then melt it so that it was fluid, almost like a river of wood, what would that smell like?*

The resulting fragrance, which was developed by perfumer Annie Buzantian, features notes of ghost lily accord, magnolia, jasmine petals, molten woods, amber, sandalwood, black pepper, juicy mandarin pulp and honey. It starts out rich and syrupy and sweet — it is vaguely reminiscent of the spiced stewed fruits opening that characterizes so many Serge Lutens fragrances, albeit done here in a lighter, less exotic cast — and for a brief time I was puzzled as to why on earth they would launch such a thing in summer.

Sensuous calms rapidly, though, and the result, while not exactly sheer, is much lighter than you might expect from the opening. What you smell about 20 minutes in is for the most part what you'll smell for the remainder of the experience (and the lasting power is excellent, so you're going to smell it most of the day): it is very nearly linear. I would describe it as a honeyed amber woods, no more than middling dark, no more than middling sweet. It is a stylized portrait of woods; that is, it doesn't smell like any particular wood, and while the heart has a floral character, it doesn't smell like any particular flower either (Khoury described it as having an "atmospheric floralcy", and that's about right).

Sensuous is extremely smooth and polished — absolutely nothing ruffles the surface once the top notes have faded off — and so while it has some sillage to it, it wears almost like a skin scent. The danger with such a thing, I suppose, is that it could too easily veer off into dull, but I did not find Sensuous dull at all. It is one of those rare scents that I'd call pleasant and wearable and interesting, and it seems likely to appeal to niche-snob perfumistas as well as the general public; more to the point, it smells great. It wore beautifully in the (disgusting!) heat wave we're experiencing on the East Coast this week, and although I haven't had time to play with it yet, I have a feeling it will lend itself well to layering. It's easily my favorite mainstream launch this year (although granted, it is not like the competition has been exactly fierce).

Sensuous fragrance by Estee Lauder, bottle

The bottle, I suppose, is fine. It has a wavy ribbed pattern on the back that lends some interest when seen from the front. But there's nothing fabulous (or fun, or sexy) about it; you don't look at it and think Wow, I need me one of those as you might with say, Marc Jacobs Daisy or Burberry The Beat, nor does it have the same kind of classic appeal as last year's Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. To me it looks dependable but dull, which is a shame. Props to Estee Lauder, however, for the 30 ml size — we perfumistas love small bottles, and this one is very reasonably priced at $39.50.

Estee Lauder Sensuous is also available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum and in matching body products (so far, Shower Creme and Body Lotion). A 7.5 ml Parfum (extrait) will be added to the range later. Sensuous is currently exclusive to Bloomingdales; it goes into wider release in mid-June/early-July, at which point it should be at Estee Lauder counters everywhere.

* Note: all quotes via moodiereport.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


Leave a comment, or read more about commenting at Now Smell This. Here's a handy emoticon chart.

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Anonymous says:

    My thoughts exactly. :-)

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hope you'll both like it! I think they've done a great job.

  4. Anonymous says:

    How exciting! No way I can make it to the mall tonight, but I hope to be able to get a bottle tomorrow after work. I'll report back!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hmm… I might be tempted to test it when it reaches our shores. It doesn't happen often these days.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Don't forget — Bloomies only. Do come back & tell me what you think!

  7. Anonymous says:


    So we won't be getting any splinters in this river of woods, I take it, Robin? Tee hee.

    Sounds just perfect for me in every way. Yippee, EL. Thanks for such an evocative description.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I like a lot of EL scents and glory be, they usually last on me for a reasonable length of time….If it lasted all day on you, Robin, I should be able to count on a few hours at least! And nationally available just in time for my anniversary! Sounds like it's meant to be.

  9. Anonymous says:

    sounds exciting and I love the poster ads (even thought i'd have thought they're shirts ads).. EL's perfumes seem to be pretty well done, aren't they? which age group do you think this one suits best? The bottle and the ads give me a feeling that EL is targeting 30+ (which is brill cos so many fruity florals out there seem to be targeting teens) but then I haven't tried the juice so…

  10. Anonymous says:

    Oh, it's a sign…I bought it un-sniffed this morning online!!!! My first un-sniffed purchase of the year and I think I will not regret it from the sound of this review.

    I must say, from pictures, I find this bottle very sensuous. The roundness reminds me very much of the curves of a woman. The ridges on the back remind me of the ridges of a handprint. Maybe in person it won't thrill but I can't wait for it to get here now ;-)

  11. Anonymous says:

    Man, Estee Lauder has been ON IT for the past year or two. Tuberose Gardenia, Bronze Goddess, Pleasures Delight, and now this. There must have been some internal shifting in the company after the whole Tom Ford thing, because everything out since then has been solid.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Yesterday at my local Macy's they already had a tiny tester of it. I was there to get a bottle of Bronze Goddess, but I couldn't get my nose away from where I sprayed this. I agree that it's incredibly smooth and honeyed. My first impression was of honeyed white flowers. I'm usually not a white flowers kind of gal, but I really liked this and think it might make a good comfort scent for me.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No splinters, LOL, and I wouldn't have used the word “molten” either — that sounds heavy & warm, doesn't it? “Fluid” is more apt, I think.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bela, never hurts to try :-)

  15. Anonymous says:

    Two sprays on one arm lasted at least 6 hours on me (maybe longer, that is as long as I kept track) bearing in mind that it doesn't have *tons* of sillage. If you do turn out to love it, I hope the Parfum will launch in time for your anniversary — I'm very curious to try that version.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hey, at least it was reasonably priced. If you hate it, I think it will be swappable — it seems to be getting favorable comments at MakeupAlley. Let me know what you think of the bottle when you get it — I think it is more attractive in the picture (as they usually are).

  17. Anonymous says:

    Agree on the shirts! I think they're really trying to position this as ageless, and it certainly doesn't have a particularly “young” or “mature” feel. But the bottle seems more likely to attract an older crowd, maybe (?)

  18. Anonymous says:

    Agree on EL, although I'd date it farther back than that — I think they do a really solid job in general and always have. Pleasures, for what it is, is a fabulously well-done scent — when you smell it next to the competition, it really stands out. It just isn't my sort of thing, and I'd say the same for Beyond Paradise & Beautiful too.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it does almost feel like a comfort scent. If they'd made it creamier, it would be solidly in that category, but then it might also move into more cold weather territory so I'm glad it is the way it is.

  20. Anonymous says:

    It is really not a good year so far, sadly! All of the other 30 ml bottles I'm seeing lately seem to be Sephora-only, so really glad to see one in general distribution. And, for once, it is available right when the fragrance launches, which is also nice — so frequently they've only got the 100 ml in the beginning.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Oops…see below, looks like some other stores have testers already. Maybe all the EL counters do…

  22. Anonymous says:

    I forgot to ask, is it sexy?

  23. Anonymous says:

    FINALLY! Lauder (the company) is going back to the kind of fragrances that Madame Estee loved! Deeper, darker, lasting. I have not been moved by the newest Lauder fragrances finding them boring. But this………..well, I may have to buy a bottle of this one!

  24. Anonymous says:

    I'd have to take a whif (or two) before purchasing and thank goodness it comes in a smaller size and the price point is pretty good!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Good question, that seems like a “date night” sort of frag…

  26. Anonymous says:

    And…it's a hit! Watch it sell very, very well.


  27. Anonymous says:

    It smells so much like Nina Ricci Les Belles de Ricci Delice Epices or whatever is the name (yellow one) on me.

  28. Anonymous says:

    OMG! Marina, I still to this day look in every Perfumania I come across for that fragrance! The last place I found was in Boston on a lay-over. I love that one!

    Okay, now my hopes are way too high :-(

  29. Anonymous says:

    Well…I don't know. To me, it's a casual scent, so maybe more sexy in a white shirt kind of way, like in the ads…it isn't “steamy” or obvious, if you know what I mean.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Always best to sniff first :-)

  31. Anonymous says:

    I hope so, it ought to. Hugs to you :-)

  32. Anonymous says:

    Thanks – I must smell this soon, sounds exciting.

    Honey woods huh…sounds like a toned down Mechant Loup (L'Artisan).

    And I hate the Avon-esque bottle…but I love the fact that you can get it under $50.

    Hopefully Lauder won't dumb this one down too quickly (Sensuous Summer, Sensuous Light, Sensuous Pure….)

  33. Anonymous says:

    You know, it reminded me of a number of things…there are a fair number of “honeyed woods” scents out there. But it isn't a dead ringer for anything I know of (although see Columbina's remark above).

    Yes — the bottle could be Avon!

    But I would take a Sensuous Extreme w/ a tad more dark woods in the base, or a bit of smoke or something. Or a Sensuous Spice, although that's a really dumb name!

  34. Anonymous says:

    It could happen. Flankers abound.

    This one could come to a mall near me. Must try! Great price and size option.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Great review, Robin. I can't wait to try this. For some reason your description is making me think of Sensi. I wonder how the two compare…

  36. Anonymous says:

    They certainly do abound…even for scents that as near as I can tell aren't selling anyway.

  37. Anonymous says:

    This sounds very nice – I seem to find woody scents comforting, so I might like this one. Yay for the smaller 30ml size! I won't have to spend a fortune if I wind up liking it!

  38. Anonymous says:

    It sort of sounds like what I imagine a “light” Organza Indecence to be, lol. I am looking forward to trying it, though….

  39. Anonymous says:

    OI was one of the first things I thought to put on to compare. Sensuous is nowhere near as spicy, and less creamy, and probably less of a comfort scent.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Aha, how interesting! Even if it loses some of the “oomph” of OI, the lightness may be a great way to carry the same feeling into the warmer months. Thanks, Robin :)

  41. Anonymous says:

    Molten again, it seems like the summer heat is pre-melting the brains of the ad execs!



  42. Anonymous says:

    Yay yay yay!!! Late to the party, and you have me so excited, this sounds absolutely like something I will love. I will conspire to make a trip to the mall on the morrow… it seems to me almost all Estee scents have extraordinary lasting power. What do you think? Wonder what the secret is… and yay also for the small bottle and price point.

    btw did you know Hilary Rhoda is a Chevy Chase girl? Field hockey at Holy Cross, I think. I love her because although she's model tall, she looks athletic.

  43. Anonymous says:

    If the bottle were blue with a silver lid, I'd venture to name it “Meditteranean” by Elizabeth Arden. Perhaps I'm wrong, but a honeyed sweetness followed by smooth woods could've been a way of describing it (“Mediterranean” was simple, slightly smooth but too sweet for me). Estee Lauder tends to surprise me, though (I suppose that wouldn't constitute it as “surprise”, then ;) ).

  44. Anonymous says:

    “Mediterranean” not “Meditteranean”.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Lots of enthusiasm. . .AND 30 ml. bottle. Couldn't be better. Wonder if they have it at Nordstrom's yet. . .

  46. Anonymous says:

    a nice fast gripe – FOUR age groups, EL? Paltrow is only three years older than Carolyn Murphy, who is my age, 32 going on 33 shortly! I guess that means 35 (and Paltrow hasn't even turned that, yet) is officially the cutoff for going up one age group.

  47. Anonymous says:

    I should have tried layering them, actually — will try to do that later this week.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Even the 50 ml is not badly priced, really, but I'll always take the smallest amount they'll sell me ;-)

  49. Anonymous says:

    It is always worth asking at EL if they've a tester behind the counter…they sometimes keep upcoming releases hidden.

  50. Anonymous says:

    I did not like the EA take on the theme though, LOL…I don't think this will remind you of that scent, or of the Mediterranean in general.

  51. Anonymous says:

    I think it is because EL takes fragrance development more seriously than most brands. I think they want to make money like everyone else, but they try to do it by making a great product. I sound like a booster, don't I? But I was struck by how many people were puzzled by the EL love in Perfumes: The Guide — I think it is warranted. Still don't want to wear Beyond Paradise though.

    Did not know that about Rhoda! And just learned that some famous actress was from the DC suburbs, but in my typical fashion I've already forgotten who it is.

  52. Anonymous says:


  53. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a nice autumn fragrance. Is it an autumn fragrance?

    I've been trying to replace Contradiction as an autumn fragrance for ever and Sensuous may be just the thing.

    No purchase planned though. I have just bought the gift set of Un Jardin Sur Le Nil yesterday, after deciding Un Jardin Apres Le Monsoon is not for me. And the fragrance is awesome, classy, I feel like Nefertiti, not the slightest need for anything new at this point. JCE is a God!

    PS Just before the end of the month I'll have a make-up session with EL's summer makeup collection and most probably will give Sensuous a sniff.

  54. Anonymous says:

    I was a little puzzled, too, R. Good to great perfumes, distinctive, excellent lasting power, cheap – what's not to like? They're not all my thing, obviously – I like BP, actually, but Pleasures and Beautiful are certainly not me – but some people seem to speculate about a “Lauder base” that they don't like. I think many people have memory baggage, too – their grandma wore Youth Dew or something.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Shirley MacLaine? And Sandra Bullock went to my high school, the year behind me.

    Just tried Sensuous (am I pathetic or what?) Yummy. I tried the new Bobbi Brown too, which … I dunno.

  56. Anonymous says:

    But say what you will about Youth Dew (and it isn't my thing either) — it's a classic. EL has made any number of classics. I am told EL allows the perfumers far more money for ingredients than other brands, and I think it really shows in the final result. They never smell cheap, in fact, there are far more expensive brands whose output consistently smells “cheap”. So, I complain about the Sensuous bottle, but in the end, I'm glad they put their time and effort into the juice & not the packaging.

  57. Anonymous says:

    I really liked in in 95+ degree weather…it's fairly seasonless, IMHO. You'll have to see what you think!

    And of course I agree on JCE :-)

  58. Anonymous says:

    Oops…”it in” not “in in”.

  59. Anonymous says:

    So true, EL and Guerlain's are “Legacy” lines, so to speak…

    I can distinctly remember what EL frag I was wearing at a certain point & stage in my life. Youth Dew in H.S., Estee and Aliage in college, Knowing in my mid-20's, etc….

  60. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I very much agree. In your booster corner, me! I even wear Youth Dew :)

  61. Anonymous says:

    Maybe a Sensuous for Men?

  62. Anonymous says:

    I love Youth Dew. It is the most “me” of anything I own, I think.

  63. Anonymous says:

    You've made this sound interesting and worthy of sampling.

    I'll wear *almost* anything, but could you comment on any “unisex” (genderless? ha!) appeal of this? “Honeyed woods” sounds pretty darn good no matter to whom it's marketed.

  64. Anonymous says:

    It depends on the man, of course, but I really think a man could wear it quite easily. Now if you try it and you think I'm wrong, do come back and say.

  65. Anonymous says:

    It was someone “newer” than that. Drat, my memory is SO pathetic.

    Hey, you are quick! Glad you thought it was yummy. That Bobbi Brown did nada for me, although I didn't put it on skin and I guess I ought to.

  66. Anonymous says:

    And it is the only legacy line we've got in the US, really.

  67. Anonymous says:

    They ought to, really — I think a man could wear this one, and if they toned down the florals a wee bit, it'd be more than fine.

  68. Anonymous says:

    No, no. Don't put BB on your skin. ;-)

    Someone newer? Now I feel old, off to blue rinse my hair.

    I wonder: do you think EL gave/gives the creators more breathing room? In addition to more money? They fit together nicely and even though several of them aren't at all my thing they are so well done, as you and others commented on here.

  69. Anonymous says:

    LOL — ok, will skip the BB then!

    I have no idea about the “more breathing room”. I sort of assumed the opposite, that is, that they knew what they wanted and made sure they got it as opposed to taking whatever crapola was offered them. But you know I know nothing. Maybe less than nothing.

  70. Anonymous says:

    No your argument makes sense. The EL line hangs together so well, maybe they are *more* specific about what they want, not less. btw the SA today tells me she likes to layer Sensuous with Bronze Goddess, but I don't know about that — BG is so much stronger on me, I don't think Sensuous would change it much.

  71. Anonymous says:

    I stopped off at Bloomingdales on my way home from work to sample Sensuous. Hats off to Estee Lauder- it's simply lovely. It definitely wears like a skin scent, and the very soft sillage reminds me of the scent of a baby's head. Love it love it love it.

  72. Anonymous says:

    i went, I asked, I was told “not till August.” She then said she has smelled it (claimed EL sent the SL's bottles to their homes), and it was “very musky, very rich.” I said, “Really, it has a lot of musk?” And she said, “It is full of different kinds of musk, all the way through.” Odd, no one has mentioned heavy musk, something that just doesn't work on me. Or maybe she's just making the whole thing up.

  73. Anonymous says:

    So glad you loved it!

  74. Anonymous says:

    I'll have to try them together. Would have thought BG was the lighter…that's interesting.

  75. Anonymous says:

    It's musky, but then, everything is musky — hardly seems worth mentioning, you know? I wouldn't call it rich though, or “heavy musk”.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Whilst I haven't had the chance to sniff it here in Australia(Sensous) I have to say EL does do perfumes well. Who could forget the sexy “Spellbound' which still garners compliments today. One of my all time favourite sexy fragrances.

    Dying to try this new one.

  77. Anonymous says:

    Popped into Dillard's during my lunch hour today. They have not gotten this in, but had a little bottle for testing. Very nice, lovely scent. I also predict it will sell like hotcakes and that I will be getting one of those nice 30 ml…

    Also, I was blown away to see a nearlt empty tester of Azuree Soleil in the mix and asked if they had any left (and they had 8!…well only 7 now…)

    so double thanks for the review and for leading me to a lucky find!

  78. Anonymous says:

    Yep! The blue bottle is dreamy! I was going to go back in a few days and grab one of the 8 (after payday), but I got to my car and had visions of someone happening upon the situation and buying the whole lot…so I ran back in and snagged one…

  79. Anonymous says:

    Good for you, enjoy it!

  80. Anonymous says:

    just got email notification that any online purchase at will get a free “deluxe size” sample of Sensuous…(plus 2 other samples)…

  81. Anonymous says:

    Not a bad deal, thanks!

  82. Anonymous says:

    White Linen and Pleasures Delight (in addition to Sensuous) are the other two deluxe fragrance samples available in the online gift with purchase . Also, there's free shipping with a purchase of $35 or more. I purchased a 1 ounce bottle of Pure White Linen (unsniffed!!!) for $35, and it included all three fragrance samples, plus free shipping! Not a bad deal!!! Though, I hope I like PWL! ;-)

  83. Anonymous says:

    Correction – it's not a “gift with purchase”, but as girlheart said, it's a selection of three samples. The above three fragrances are offered, but you can instead choose other samples, i.e., lipstick, eye shadow, etc.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Hope you'll love your Pure White Linen, that's a bargain!

  85. Anonymous says:

    We got carded samples in yesterday, so I was able to try it today. What a beautiful skin scent. We also got a tester of Jasmin Noir (Bvlgari).

  86. Anonymous says:

    Good, will have to check my local Nordstrom for the Bvlgari — did you like it?

  87. Anonymous says:

    I love, love, love the original White Linen. That is all. :)

  88. Anonymous says:

    Hello! I've been lurking on here for months now, and just today have finally signed up for an account. First off let me say thank you for the wonderful blog whose content is fresh, unique and continually serves to draw me back. I've found many new and wonderful fragrances because of your blog, and now have many new lemmings — much to the chagrin of my wallet!!!

    I bought a bottle of Sensuous today…love it – the top notes that is…the drawbacks…extremely POOR lasting power. I am so disappointed. And what's far worse, the drydown morphs into a cheap smelling boring fragrance…basic drugstore variety. IMHO anyhow. *sighs* I guess my hopes were just too high.

  89. Anonymous says:

    Hi and welcome! I'm so surprised you found Sensuous short lived, I've found it to have very good lasting power. But if you found the dry down cheap & boring, perhaps it's just as well that it faded away, LOL…and of course, plenty of other fish in the sea :-)

  90. Anonymous says:

    I posed the question over at MUA re longevity and some others replied they too had the same issues with it. One person mentioned they even spray it on like a body spray with the same result! And another was lucky enough to have tried it on at the mall, her DH told her after an hour that “your skin ate up the perfume!” so she wound up buying something else instead. And yes, MANY other fish out in the sea LOL…my counter is already awash with 'wave upon wave' of bottles :->

  91. Anonymous says:

    So funny…it lasts for hours on me. In fact, put it on the other day and could still smell it after swimming, so even chlorine did not remove it. Ah well!

  92. Anonymous says:

    My impression is that most EL scents have very strong and distinctive drydowns, and last a long time, and “Sensuous” is not exception. I was turned off by what I perceived as a sickly honeyed lily middle note on this, and scrubbed it off. After that, I got the most delicious fragrant wood which I loved. On me that lasted after 3 showers! Like I said I'm not terribly crazy about the sweetness but my husband absolutely loves this (and he's very lukewarm about fragrance in general, just says most of the stuff I try “smells like perfume *shrug*). So I went to Nordstrom and they gave me a little carded spray pen sample. But at Neiman's they gave me a MINI! I mean, it must have been a mistake because this is no sample size, but it might not have been so check it out!

  93. Anonymous says:

    Oh, how cute — I want a little mini!

  94. Anonymous says:

    I finally tried the juice, it has a sweet/amber/vanilla drydown on me. A bit too sweet for my liking.

    And 4 hours later, it smells similar to Tuscany per Donna.

  95. Anonymous says:

    Another one you don't have to buy, congrats!

  96. Anonymous says:

    Exactly, I have to go through a few bottles of juice before I purchase anything else. Good to know I'm not adding to my “must have” list! :~)

  97. Anonymous says:

    I finally got around to trying Sensuous at Macy's yesterday, and the drydown smelled exactly like L'Artisan's Safran Troublant except with a larger sillage (and for a smaller price). The first half an hour was syrupy sweet spice (almost cloying), but the drydown was very pleasant and warm — saffron, other spices, and mild milky vanilla. An excellent, cozy fragrance for fall and winter!

  98. Anonymous says:

    Interesting — will have to try them together!

  99. Anonymous says:

    Tried it today…YUP…def think a man could wear this. I didnt find it *overly* floral at all. But then again, I wear Black Orchid.Soooooooo as Robin said, depends on the man. Ciao!

  100. Anonymous says:

    But this is closer to “unisex” than Black Orchid, do you think? For most men, I'm thinking Black Orchid is out on a limb, so to speak.

  101. Anonymous says:

    It's finally out in Australia. Smells meh to me, unfortunately. The uniforms that the poor Lauder staff have to wear to promote Sensuous are downright hideous.

  102. Anonymous says:

    They have to wear uniforms, really? I haven't seen that yet.

    But your reaction isn't unusual — it is not universally loved!

  103. Anonymous says:

    Well, this has *finally* reached our local department store in Devon – I've been wafting past the EL counter on a regular basis to check! On me, it ends up smelling like the inside of some of the Amsterdam cafe's I used to frequent – and I mean that as a compliment! If you've ever been there, I'm thinking about the ones that were styled as being full of Eastern promise – dark, Indonesian woods and very low lighting. There's a real incense kick to it – very like Nag Champa (hence the Amsterdam connection!) but not half so strong or cloying.
    I kind of like it. And doubtless will end up buying at least a small bottle to see me through the winter months…

  104. Anonymous says:

    I love that they did the 30 ml, and that you can find it at all their counters — most brands that make 30 ml don't seem to distribute them widely. I bought one!

  105. Anonymous says:

    Australia here joining my fellow aussies in a late wave of comments :)

    Yep finally smelled this one, I find it totally boring. I mean it's nice…..but really just a wave of woody creamy sandal stuff and not exciting. I kinda have trouble smelling woods anyway so maybe that's why I tend to go for massive florals like Tuberose Gardenia etc

  106. Anonymous says:

    Sorry it bored you! I'm really enjoying my bottle — I do like the TG better, but I don't wear a massive floral often so getting more use out of the Sensuous.

  107. Anonymous says:

    Robin, you need to go to Nordstrom because they got advance samples of the Private Collection of Amber Ylang Ylang in and it's gorgeous! I like it so much better than Sensuous (which I purchased). The samples came in yesterday.

  108. Anonymous says:

    OOOh, thanks! Hope I can snag a sample, but don't know anyone at that counter so won't be surprised if I can't.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Have someone at Fragrance get you one.. I know EL shipped them out last week and they have 2 kinds of samples as well as the lab sample.

  110. Anonymous says:

    You know, 3 of the 4 dept stores in my mall (including Nordstrom) didn't have any yet…but snagged one at NM, and it was the last one they had. None of the stores had actual testers, and only 1 of the SAs said she had smelled it herself.

  111. Anonymous says:

    I find this scent quite typical and boring. It smells too tropical for me, but I am more inclined to like more classic, deeper fragrances. Being called Sensuous, I was expecting something a little richer and warmer, maybe spicy. This is too sweet for me. It smells like so many other fragrances out there. I prefer Beautiful by Estee Lauder, more of a darker floral, a bit powdery but not too mature.

  112. Anonymous says:

    Well, I *was* thinking about buying Sensuous. But I got waylaid by Private Collection instead! Wow. It's lovely. For years I thought EL was a bit dull and boring but the older I get (and maybe that's the clue?!) the more I realise that they do really good quality perfumes for a 'commercial' brand. PC is just gorgeous through every stage on me. Apart from the very opening squirt which is just a bit too green – but that dies off within minutes and the longer it’s on me, the better it smells! Oh – and even better I bought it with a gift voucher I was given – so it was ‘free’!!!

    (I’m now really looking forward to PC Amber & Ylang Ylang)

  113. Anonymous says:

    Agree it doesn't completely fit with its name, and you're not alone in finding it dull and too sweet. I love it though!

  114. Anonymous says:

    Entirely agree, they do way better than most. Congrats on getting the Tuberose for free, it's a lovely scent. Have a sample of the Amber Ylang Ylang and looking forward to trying it!

  115. Anonymous says:

    Hi Helen, EL just came out with the PCGT soap and it's wonderful. The PC Amber & Ylang Ylang, is nice!

  116. Anonymous says:

    Sensuous is a beautiful, elegant fragrance – what a nice surprise! It's one of those “right for just about any occasion” scents that I will reach for often.

  117. Anonymous says:

    …forgot to mention that Sensuous reminds me of a much more sophisticated Gaultier2 (though I love it, too…).

  118. Anonymous says:

    Glad Sensuous has found another fan. I'll have to try it next to the Gaultier2 — can see how they might be similar, although I didn't love the Gaultier.

  119. Anonymous says:

    I get it now! It seems to be a concentrated version of Armani's Sensi.

  120. Anonymous says:

    I find Sensuous a richer, sweeter and more maple syrup like version of Premier Jour by Nina Ricci. The floral chord is airy and pleasant. Starts about an hour after application but lasts something between 10-15 minutes. One day old drydown of Sensuous reminds me of a cream that you could have bought about 20 years ago in the Czech Republic. It was called Nela Gold and it was approximately 9 Czech Crowns per 150g at that time :-) River of flowing wood? Not this one :-)

  121. Anonymous says:

    Interesting to see all the different opinions on this one — and would love to know if it's selling as well as they'd hoped!

  122. Anonymous says:

    Just tried this one this past weekend. It's lovely on the tester EL ribbon…can't stop smelling it. I def need to go back and test it on my skin. It does seem seasonless to me? I can't really peg it to a particular time of year, or occasion, for that matter. Seems like it could work for anything.

    But there's one drawback. I'm getting a hint of something reminiscent with this one. Remember that cold medicine we used to have to take as kids? The thick orange or bubblegum flavored syrup? *Yuck* LOL…definitely not something I want to pick up in a fragrance. Maybe it's the mandarin pulp??

  123. Anonymous says:

    Many people are finding it too sweet — I love it, and happily don't get anything at all like cold medicine. But obviously you'd better put it on skin before you buy!

  124. Anonymous says:

    I just love this fragrance. It does feel like “skin” rather than being layered over my skin. It is earthy and romantic, which is difficult to achieve, I imagine. I like to have several scents on my dressing table to express my daily moods, and this one is a great addition. It is the first scent I've ever purchased after just one sniff at the perfume counter.

  125. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see another fan :-)

  126. Anonymous says:

    I just bought another little bottle of this yesterday. Gorgeous fragrance IMO, but i wish it was a tad stronger. Also, there's no mention of musk in the description, but to my nose – I detect musk? The 1 oz went up a few $, it's now $42.

  127. Anonymous says:

    Oh, I'd say it's musky too. Didn't know it had gone up, but $42 is still a bargain these days!

  128. Anonymous says:

    God, this is gorgeous – I popped out during lunch break to the local department store, and spritzed this and Youth Dew on each wrist. And this is absolutely gorgeous. I agree – it's just so wearable, a perfect office day-time scent. I don't tend towards conventionally pretty, but this has just enough of an interesting edge to suit my tastes. Gorgeous. Now, on to your review of Youth Dew………

  129. Anonymous says:

    Suddenly occurs to me that the 2 are probably quite layerable!

  130. Anonymous says:

    I'm not a fan of Lauder perfumes. I think most of the ones that I smell are way too strong and sort of artificial, but, this one was in one of those magazine fold-overs and I rubbed my wrist over it and… liked it. But, more importantly, a half hour later, I was in the car with my 16 year old, who doesn't take any interest in any of my perfumes and SHE LOVED IT! It's actually quite nice still 4 hours later. Wonder if the actually perfume smells like this? :)

  131. Anonymous says:

    J, their aesthetic does tend towards “perfume-y”, it's true…I like the line better than you do, but if you're after “natural” it's the wrong place to look. I'd say Sensuous stays in that mold, although it's softer than many SLs. Sorry but I never smelled the magazine scent strip so can't tell you how accurate it is!

  132. Blimunda says:

    I’ve never been into the EL scent line. But this is one I would happily wear at the office. I went to a local during lunch today, and sprayed SJP’s ‘Twilight’ on one wrist, and ‘Sensuous’ on the other. In the dry down, they are very, very similar except Sensuous is much sweeter and better! The SJP was OK, absolutely nothing to write home about. I’m quite enjoying Sensuous though!!! it feels like a comfort day-time frag, in the same way I love to spray Dune all over me when I walk past it in a store.

    • Robin says:

      A “day time comfort” scent is a perfect description. I’m surprised by how often I’ve worn it since I bought the 30 ml size.

  133. alltheprettythings says:

    I just found abottle of this while looking through my things, and sprayed some on. I loved it when it first came out, then deemed it too ‘sappy’ and gifted my original bottle… glad to see I still had another left! It smells woody, ambery and a bit – just a tad – soapy on me. Great for casual days.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, perfect for casual days!

  134. I really liked it, a perfect mixture of Hermessence Vetiver Tonka, Pepper (a lot of pepper!) and cocoa butter. Yummie.
    I would love to have the perfume. I would love to have a small bottler even, but I am not willing to spend 42 Euro on an EL scent.

    • Robin says:

      I have not tried the Parfum…bet it’s pretty!

  135. The Extarit it’s 80 Euro compared with 93 on an Chanel Exzrait. This is the usual amount I spend on scents, but I buy only 2-3 a year only.
    I would spend it on a Guerlain Extrait straight away, I do not know if EL or – their chemistry industry… povide such a good qulaity on the extraits.
    Otherwise it would be a nice thing under the christmas tree – only small gifts are accepted :-) small and expensive *lol*

  136. Oh Jesus, sorry for these stupid typos again!
    I guess you know I meant Extrait… and quality.

    • Robin says:

      No need to apologize for typos!

      I am pretty happy with my small bottle of the EdP, don’t feel any need for extrait at all, don’t know why.

  137. FairylyMagical says:

    This reminds me of some dreamy, heavenly fragrance I’ve not smelled before. Initially, it is quite strong, but after about 20-30 minutes, it envelops my skin with its beautiful, romantic, and sensual scent. It really is sort of a “skin scent” and mine reveals itself to be a bit vanillaesque, soapy, ambery, pure delicacy.

    I love this! And I’m only 26, so whether or not this was meant for an older crowd, it’s mine now!

    • Robin says:

      EL was very much hoping it would appeal to all ages…that’s why they chose 4 different models of 4 different decades. So they’d be thrilled to know you love it at 26 :-)

  138. happilykim says:

    I just came across this today. It was suggested by a Sales Associate, she said it was the new Estee Lauder. Maybe it is new in Germany. Anyway, after sniffing my arm for 15 minutes in the store, I nearly purchased a bottle. I rarely buy on the first sniff. Nearly two hours later I still love it. It is rather linear, and it stays very close to the skin. Really well done and I never would have guessed this was a Lauder scent. Guess I will go back to get a bottle :)

    • Robin says:

      How nice to find a love at first sniff! Hope they will have the small 30 ml bottles, they were a good price here.

  139. TeresaaDoDo says:

    This is what I wear everyday! I am in love with this scent. I’m only 17, but I’ve been wearing it since it came out and I get compliments all the time, from male and female and young and old.

    • Robin says:

      Nice, thanks for commenting!

  140. parfumliefhebber says:

    It is great for casual days, not too overwhelming. It stays next to the skin. As I do not much like the scents of Estee Lauder, this was a surprise to me. A couple of years ago I got Pleasures as a gift on my birthday. It was OK, I happily weared it, but I do not want a next bottle.

    • Robin says:

      I think it appeals to many people, even those who don’t usually like EL.

      • I can relate to that. Never cared much for any of the EL fragrances, but Sensuous really appealed to me. It smells different and unique – still, yes, in a comforting way. Thinking about buying the smaller bottle, actually.

        • Robin says:

          I ended up buying a small one!

  141. Owen says:

    this is only two years old?? :o I thought it was a classic, but I guess it smells like a MODERN classic.

    Estee Lauder always have Sensuous in their advertising at places like Debenhams and House Of Fraser. I thought what’s all the fuss about.
    so I’ve always wanted to know what Sensuous smelled like, and there’s definitely plenty of it around, but I could never be bothered going over to the Estee Lauder counter, but after smelling Sensuous I’ll definitley be visiting it often. Estee Lauder appeared to me as a boring brand like Clinique. but Sensuous changed all that.

    youth dew had been the only EL fragrance I smelled (by the bottle, not on skin), and thought, this is what everyone calls fantastic? it smells like the scratch-and-sniffs from horrible histories, the ones that sometimes smell kinda nice but are meant to smell like pigs feet or something.

    but I came across sensuous in Debenhams yesterday in the fragrance department and sprayed some on my Mum’s arm, because I’d been dieying to try it. I actually think this is wonderful, especially on my Mum.

    I think it’s her new favourite, she actually fell in love with it, so I’m getting her it for Christmas instead of Coco mademoiselle. not that I’m complaining, it’s well cheaper than Chanel. £66 for 100ml as opposed to something like £80 for Coco Mademoiselle.

    and woody? I got a load of creamy florals plus some other stuff. and your totally right Robin about fading a bit after 20minutes, because my Mum thought it had gone altogether (she had a cold) but I could still smell it, and it did last ages. and I agree that it is more for Autumn or Spring but Mum will probably wear it all the time lol. and I love the bottle aswell, but I don’t think it looks retro or vintage like a lot of magazines say, I think it looks modern.

  142. OVincze says:

    Well, a bit late to chime in:))) but I do think there is such a thing as a Lauder base, which I personally love, may not wear all of their fragrances but by large I am attracted to them, to some more than others. I too think their fragrances are some of the best done fragrances and do not agree that they are old-lady like, I have heard that from some of their critiques. I have used White Linen and Beautiful in my teens and early twenties. I never liked Pleasures (for some reason it gave me a headache) but I loved Pleasures Delight, to this day my favorite gourmand. I never thought I would like Sensuous as it seemed such a novel idea at the time it came out but I I could not stop sniffing my arms when I first sampled it. I went through several bottles of it, it is my go to winter scent, to me it is sort of iconic in a way. It is definitely a winter scent in my opinion though, love it for its simple perfection (some fragrances do not need to be overly complicated to be perfectly done, see Diorissimo too) and it is a perfect casual scent for days at the office, etc. etc. I have Sensuous Noir too and in a way I like that better and in another way I don’t but really nice frags. I love how unlike any other companies EL always does these beautiful mini bottles which you get as gifts with purchase; so easy to carry in your purse and no need to always buy big bottles. I have always complained about the lack of teeny bottles and I guess that EL listened to people. Why would one want to carry around a 100 ml or even a 50? Not to mention the risk of breaking the bottle (has happened to me twice). EL in general I think has some of the best products and at very decent prices for what you get. I was so looking forward to the Nude but guess that is one I unfortunately do not like (which is rare but it can happen). Well, sorry this became sort of a novel.

  143. OVincze says:

    I know, I think we have similar perfume tastes, well, for the most part, no two identical people exist but that it what makes life exciting, no? I absolutely love your reviews, this site is so wonderful, I was very happy to come across it as it is nice to find people with similar interests.

  144. dchristiok says:

    I bought this and was put-off by it at first. It smells thick, heavy, sweet. So I didn’t wear it for a couple of weeks. Now I’m starting to wear it; but I have a trick. I spray it once, down my shirt, followed by a spray of Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Anisia Bella right over the Sensuous. I did it out of necessity the first time, in order to tamp down the fire of Sensuous. The result pleased me and now I do it on purpose.

Leave a reply