Jaynes Russell and Mansfield, Diana Dors and Doris Day, Joan Collins to Marylin Monroe and even the young Brigitte Bardot..
“Sex” as Mae West once exploded “Sells!!”
Mrs Estee Lauder new this only too well too…
From the hourglass figure flacon, tied tight at the waist with a bow, to the dirty bourbon colour of the liquid within Youth Dew is silver screen sex appeal made scent 1950s style.
Now in its sixties, some today sniff that this smells like a retirement home, if so those folks are the residents of what must be the happiest sunshine establishment on Earth.
This is not so much a fragrance as a full frontal attack on the olfactory faculties.
‘Oriental’ seems the only appropriate term for a perfume that has a hemisphere’s worth of notes in its all conquering harmony.
Oh yes it’s spicy, but search deeper into its endless depths of draped velvet, damask silks and satin petitcoats and you will find a crinoline like structure of oakmoss, aldehyde, patchouli and gunpowdery powerful musk keeping the whole pavlova like creation on the road.
But don’t be fooled into thinking that this is some bright falling star, this is one heavenly body that has the staying power to remain a celestial fixture for generations to come.
Quite apart from all aromatic pyrotechnics on show and the oh-so-not-so-subtle double entendre of the name, this immaculate liquor would earn its place at the top of the perfume tree for another reason alone.
Before Youth Dew, American women did not, as a rule, buy perfume.
A lucky few had fragrance bought for them and the rest did without.
Mrs Estee Lauder was not satisfied with this state of affairs and so set about to change it.
Releasing her 1953 fragrance, she executed a coup de parfum that would change the way that scent was sold forever.
By launching Youth Dew both as a perfume and an eminently affordable perfumed bath oil she liberated women by allowing them buy scent by stealth for themselves en masse for the first time.
Once the American woman was hooked on the intoxicating juice there could be, as Estee foretold, no turning back and the the rest as they say is the perfumed past.
So phenomenally important is this famous and infamous fragrance that The Dandy feels a full scented letter is needed to do justice to its incredible life…
A missive has, therefore, been penned and is in the post with a view to being with you shortly.
The Perfumed Dandy.