January 08, 2014

Estée Lauder Modern Muse

There is always a bit of a perfume-shaped hole in this blog and, in 2014, I would like to rectify that somewhat. However, I have had my reasons in the past for not bombarding you with fragrance reviews. One reason is that I am so woeful at discerning and describing scents outside of the usual "It smells flowers and...vanilla?" while the other is a bit more unavoidable and not something I can change: most perfumes make me sick to my stomach. 

It's true. I have got nauseous many a time when I smell perfume on myself on the train or bus. Same goes for when I smell it on other people. I hate super sweet scents, super powdery scents and super floral scents. They literally make me gag and I have to breathe through my mouth. However, stand me next to a musky-scented man (preferably tall, dark and handsome!) and I will happily sniff away to my hearts content! With that in mind, I recently purged my perfume collection and have left myself with just four scents that pass the test, the newest of which I want to discuss with you today; Estée Lauder Modern Muse*. 

To me, Modern Muse is the perfect marriage of the heavy, woody, musky scents I adore - think Tom Ford Tuscan Leather, Tabacco Vanille and Violet Blonde - with the florals I usually hate but, are so understated, light and elegant in this perfume that I feel like frolicking through a field of jasmine and lilies. Well, almost. 

That description might sound over-the-top but, as someone who struggles to find wearable perfumes, my enthusiasm is genuine. Once this perfume settles on me, the main accords are like an almost sweet, rich wood. Not too sweet so as to make me feel queasy but, just a hint of something, vanilla maybe, that brings out the darker, more sensual underbelly of the fragrance. Adding to that, as this is an Eau de Parfum, the scent lingers and stays strong throughout the day.

Estée Lauder list the main notes as Mandarin, Honeysuckle Nectar, Dewy Petals, Jasmine Sambac, China Absolute, Tuberose Fleur FirNat, Fresh Lily, Patchouli Coeur, Patchouli Crist, Amber Wood, Soft Musk and Madagascar Vanilla. It seems like a lot to cram into one perfume when you see it written down like but, I think the real merit of Modern Muse is how each and every one of those notes complements the others to produce a very unique, wearable scent.

The relationship between the notes strikes a fine balance between a fragrance that is heady and powerful and one which is soft and feminine. It is this dual-personality if you will; the confident, overpowering woman and the more subtle, gentle woman, that makes Modern Muse a perfume for everyone. It is the only perfume I have worn since receiving it as a sample in early December and I foresee it continuing to be the one I reach for throughout the remainder of winter and into spring.

Estée Lauder Modern Muse is available from Debenhams and priced at €58/30ml, €80/50ml and €115/100ml


  1. I really liked this perfume immediately after spritzing it on my skin - which is rare - and for the next two-three hours. Unfortunately it does like a ninja - another rarity - and disappears. Which is a pity, because I wanted this to work for me.

  2. Sounds lovely I must give it a sniff when I'm in town today!

  3. I love it! Got it for Christmas and wore it everyday since. This and Sensuous are my favorites from Estee.

  4. I am such a huge fan of Estee Lauder fragrances and I loved this as soon as I sniffed it. One of my all time favourite scents is EL Sensuous Nude, if you like subtle inoffensive fragrances, I'd encourage you to try it. I think I'm going to make this my next perfume purchase!

    Emma x


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