Fun in the Car with Youth Dew

Even though there were at least a couple of guest writers on Undina’s Looking Glass, over the last couple of years I was a sole contributor, so for a while I will be reminding my readers to look at the By line (Undina).

* * *

“You’re a perfume snob”. So said my friend as we drove to lunch together. I was quite taken aback, “What, no! I’m not!” but my friend continued on seemingly enjoying herself. “Oh yes, you are, you are absolutely a perfume snob!”

This was hard to take, especially so as I was asphyxiating under a roiling cloud of Estee Lauder‘s Youth Dew, my friend’s favourite perfume. I had given her a bottle as a gift, even though I feared being in just this situation, trapped in a car full of Youth Dew, which I very much disliked. Neither youthful nor dewy to my nose, I thought it did not suit my friend at all but she loved it.

Trying to prove my lack of snobbery I informed her that I was wearing Britney Spears Curious in Control (a pleasant apple custard scent), so therefore I could not possibly be a snob. She laughed, “Oh, you’re 100% a snob!” Ugh, this was getting uncomfortable. I started worrying that offering up Britney as an example of my willingness to embrace  the cheapest celebuscent was actually proof of my snobbery, “Some of my best friends are celbuscents!” But then I got a grip and realized I didn’t have to prove myself to anyone. The word my friend was probably looking for was aficianado aka someone who knows too much and talks too much on a topic other people don’t deem worthy of a conversation. Sometimes (who am I kidding, most of the time) it’s better to just agree that Youth Dew is enchanting without harping on about oakmoss. It’s straight back to my childhood when I thought spouting facts about krill was a good response to a kid saying “penguins are nice”.

I love perfume and I love smells, some days it feels like I love every single smell in the world. I try to appear a little less of a weirdo, to pocket the leaf or cheese rind or odd flinty rock and not inhale them deeply in front of people. I think many of us who started out on this perfume journey because something smelled pretty have ended up here. Nose deep in a stout thinking about oud. Analyzing funk and and oils and laughing when connections are made. Once your brain and your nose start having deep and meaningfuls, there’s no going back.

So I must declare I am not a snob. I am just someone with too many facts and too many opinions on too many topics and one of them is perfume.


Gold Plated Bathroom


Photo is of my GOLD PLATED BATHROOM. Not really, but did you know that pure gold has no smell of its own?


25 thoughts on “Fun in the Car with Youth Dew

  1. Hah, Narth (I got it right this time!!)! So very true, every word you write. That is exactly what I have always thought about Youth Dew – I had assumed that a fragrance with a name like that would smell light, airy and fresh, but then finally realised that the miasma clinging to all forms of public transport (this is a long time ago) was this.

    Yes, I am obsessed with smells. There are worse things!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ah I feel that way now about Red Door on public transport. I have been known to change carriages. Youth Dew I rarely smell these days!


  3. I love smells of all kinds as well. My family thinks I’m weird when I sniff everything I see (or eat). My husband has a poor nose so he just doesn’t appreciate it and my teenage son just rolls his eyes. I haven’t smelled Youth Dew in some time, I always thought I should love it but never could.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hahaha! Maybe it is a PA thing (I’m from PA too)? My husband gives me the eye roll, as I tend to do the same thing. It is a sensory thing…Lol!


  4. I think I’d cope if I were locked in a car with Youth Dew😉 It is one that I associate with my mother from way back in childhood. Also, my dance teacher wore it. I agree that it’s a curious name for such a voluptuous and ‘womanly’ perfume. I couldn’t ever envisage a girly girl rocking this. Thought I’m happy to be corrected on that. I could, however, imagine a boho or goth girl wearing it in small amounts. It’s still out on its own in perfumeland imo.

    Liked by 2 people

      • I adore Azuree and Aliage as well. I have a few old bottles from the early 1980’s and they still smell wonderful!
        An aunt wore Youth Dew, in copious amounts. For years, I couldn’t stand to smell it without gagging.
        That’s when my mom, who was gravely ill, gave her bottles of perfume to me, including Youth Dew bath oil. This dark, nearly black/brown fluid was intimidating. I thought to myself, ‘what if I lightly dab a bit of this on?’.
        Several hours later, I kept smelling this mysterious and ever-so-light whiff of woods, incense, amber, and resins. That’s when it clicked, it was the YD bath oil I had applied 10 hours previously. The oil, I found, was far more beautiful and grounding (incense) than the spray, and much easier to wear. Longevity is excellent, and dabbed, sillage is modest, but that’s precisely what enabled me to finally enjoy wearing it.
        And you wouldn’t believe how many people, including men, stopped me in the grocery store to ask what I was wearing.


  5. I have two confessions to make.

    First: I am a perfume snob: the only two celebuscents I’ve ever worn were Deneuve and SJP Stash ;). And I’m never tempted even to try any of those, as well as a slew of mass-market perfumes released every year.

    Second: I don’t think I’ve ever smelled Youth Dew. Why? The reason is strange: it looked like an “old lady” perfume (nothing wrong with that part per se), but that name makes it pathetic: it’s like when mature women try to dress up as 25 years old, and I’m not talking about something comfortable or nicely looking but a desperate attempt to look the age they can’t look, no matter what they put on.

    That bathroom is something… :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s the worst name ever! It’s always bothered me. BUT it’s an interesting chypre and some do love it. When the shops open again I will have another sniff as it has been a while.

      I do prefer my cheaper scents to be ones someone created with a vision in mind, Lush or BPAL or Arcana.. many things are like that. Celebuscents I only test now when some buzz has reached me, such as Ariana Grande’s Cloud which perfume land has had an infatuation with. I wouldn’t call it snobbery though, more experience. I know most of them are not exciting. I have yet to smell Stash!

      The bathroom is from a trendy cafe in Haeundae, Korea. It was impressive!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this post! And Curious – though I don’t know the flanker you mention. And I love you with your unflagging *curiosity* about everything. Good job you didn’t get into the semantics of fumeheads vs civilians. ;)


    • Aww you are sweet. And yeah, I think the word “snob” is over used for people who just have formed a taste. Curious in Control was a black bottle it was sweet and apple custardy. It was nice. I swapped it ages ago but I think I would be back to wearing it now if I still had it. Curious itself was a breath of fresh, well done air when it came out! And who could forget Fantasy, now that was some serious cupcake frosting.. haha


    • I don’t think I have any atm, but one of my current faves cost 8.00 from Miniso, a Japanese knick knack shop. As soon as this pandemic has abated I’m going to hunt for some back ups of it.


  7. Your remark about penguins and krill made me chuckle. I’m not sure I have ever tried Youth Dew. It is not a scent I have seen on the department store shelves.

    I love real oakmoss in perfume and a lot of chypre perfumes, so I often enjoy those with a reference to vintage.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Youth Dew was highly revered when I first got into perfume but the folks I was hanging out with (every perfume forum/group has it’s own culture I’ve found). You can try at any Estee Lauder counter. It’s really personal taste for me, I would never say it was bad in itself :D


  8. I don’t recall what Youth Dew smelled like nor can I confidently say I have smelled it. Wait. I did – at Macy’s. Anyway, it sounds like I should not bother to renew my acquaintance. I did hear about a very nice flanker – Amber Youth Dew or something along these lines.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No no, this is quite a personal taste. Youth Dew has a place in history. I know Youth Dew Amber Nude was a huge hit and well regarded, that one I don’t recall the scent of. All the older EL’s are quite classic I think though there’s ones I dislike far more than Youth Dew but never smelled out in public! Azuree is fantastic stuff, glad I have an old bottle of that.


  9. There are a few celebrity scents I find enjoyable. Uninhibited, Lovely by Sarah J. Parker, the first perfume from Kim Kardashian is a very close dupe to the original Michael Kors, and an exquisite green-stemmed gardenia perfume at that.
    As a historial reference, Youth Drew was created when personal care products weren’t all as highly scented, people didn’t bathe as frequently, including their hair (remember nanny’s standing once a week wash and set appointment?), and many people smoked.
    Given Youth Dew’s composition, in that context, it makes sense that YD would be such a powerhouse, it’d need to be to stand up to all the olfactory competition!


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