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July 16, 2010



Great review. I totally know what you mean about it being used for annoiting! This is the fragrance that all the Southern matriarchs in my family wore. Smelling this on them seemed a bit formal and churchy. That being said, I do like it. I like balsmy, mossy scents.
I assumed by the name and the juice that I smell from both modern and vintage bottles is that maybe "youth" smelled differenty in the early 50's. Knowing what I know now, that can't be it. I mean look at the lily if the valley Coty scents around the time. Now those seem youthful and dewey! Estee had a blend, name, and plan and it was made a success.


Victoria, I love the new association I now have with Youth Dew: Southern matriarchs! That's awesome. It is a difficult perfume for me to love, but I can appreciate it. (On a separate note — love your blog's name! And the vintage looks section is incredible. Dorothy Lamour was swoon-worthy. (Her skin! The dreamy eyes!) For those interested: http://www.eaumg.net/?cat=22)


Great review - thanks! - and what a gorgeous little bottle that is in your picture! It must be vintage? I have a mini of the bath oil, bought at a junk shop so age unknown, but it is the rectangular bottle. It smells deeper and and maybe a bit more floral than the new stuff.

How easy it is to imagine a woman who perhaps did not have much fun in her life but who treasured a little bottle like that. The thing about YD is that it is cheap, and I love the fact that women were encouraged to buy it for themselves and not wait for some man to buy it for them. The bath oil especially is fantastic value for money. No wonder so many people recognise it and have a story to tell about it, good or bad. EL must have sold a gazillion bottles and associated products over the years. I love hearing stories about it - it has such a great heritage, more interesting even than other big sellers like No 5, Shalimar and Arpege b/c YD has been worn by generations women (like my mother) who couldn't afford the French heavy-hitters.

I have the bath oil and only use it as bath oil. In the winter, after a tough day, there is nothing more wonderful than the smell of YD oil as it hits the hot running water. Glorious!


Hi Anne, it is wonderful that Youth Dew was cheap enough that it encouraged women to buy the perfume for themselves rather than waiting for a man to buy her perfume. Thanks for reminding me about that! That photo is indeed for a vintageYD; I forgot to add the link to eBay, where it is a live auction now. I'd like to try the oil. Very curious about how its different from the perfume in effect. Thanks for commenting!

Carole Fallon

I am and have been a Youth Dew fan since my teens....and now I am nearing 60! Youth Dew is an intimate, sexy, WARM scent that lasts and lasts. It seems to be a love-hate scent, very few perfumistas are neutral about Ms. Lauder's 1952 creation. Personally I love the deep spicey, floral, dark juice!


I couldn't wear it, Carole, but I think its beautiful and warm, too.


I did not add Youth Dew to my scrubber list for one reason:although I did not like it in its perfume form the dusting powder was absolutely divine! I had a room mate who wore the powder which prompted me to purchase it for myself. I never wore it,though. I just sniffed it on a regular basis (I'm sure that wasn't the healthiest thing to do!).

Sara A.

I find that Youth Dew smells differently on me during different times of year or even different times of the month. I find that it smells really nice during fall, winter, or the surly early part of spring and during the first two weeks of my cycle. It's too heavy for summer. During the second two weeks of my cycle it smells like it can't find a cohesive whole... all the ingredients are fighting with each other: the sweet flowers aren't talking to the spices and the woods and resins are yelling above the rest. But during those first two weeks all the components are working together with my skin to make this beautiful sweet, spicy, resinous smell like chai tea with sandalwood. I seriously think it was waving this perfume under my husband's nose when we were still flirting that caused him to ask me out.


This was my mother's signature scent in the 1970s, and I remember going with her to the department store to buy bottle of it, or better yet, get the gift with purchase that contained a mini of it. As a bottle of it always sat on her dressing table, I recall smelling the bottle but never wanting to spray it because it seemed too overwhelming. I now appreciate how the bitterness offset the traditional vanilla/amber base. Ironically, i bought my mother a vintage bottle of this five or six years ago as a present, and she wanted nothing to do with it, saying it was too much and too heavy. I agree with your alcohol analogy; to me this is a Manhattan, which I like the idea of, but can't stand to drink a whole glass of. I'm thinking a heavy scent like youth dew made sense in anworld where everyone smoked and drank and dry cleaning was expensive. It's just not today's world.


Hi Perfumeaddicted. Youth Dew is something else. I snagged a vintage gift set with soap, bath oil and perfume for a couple bucks a few years ago. Yowza. Some potent stuff!

Sweet Tea

I like Victoria's description of this as a Southern matriarch fragrance. However, for me anyway, it doesn't seem churchy or biblical. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just associate it with all of the great women I grew up admiring. This was the first 'real perfume' I was introduced to. My older sister had a bottle and I snuck a spritz. I was mesmerized! After that, I knew the scent immediately whenever I would smell it on other women. Spicy and bold when first applied (like autumn), it would soften down to a powdery sweetness (like spring). I buy it for my mom because she is a sweet, classy Southern lady and this is a very special scent that I enjoy smelling on her. She loves it too, and always gets compliments.


It's a bold fragrance, Sweet Tea, and encompasses both softness and strength, just like a great woman! I believe Josephine Catapano was the composer (along with Ernest Shiftan). She also did Norell, Fidji and Zen. Thanks for stopping by! (Sad. I just learned that she passed away in May.)

Sea Wolf

I became intrigued by this one because I read that it was Joan Crawfords signature frag in her later years. It reminds me so much of her now, professional, ballsy, gutsy, elegant, rich, mature, wise. I sampled the new version and it made me turn my head the other way. But I am bidding on a vintage bottle of it right now, I still want it even though I doubt I'll wear it.


I would like to know where to get it
in witch city

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