Sometimes revisiting an old fragrance is like meeting an old friend after years of separation, or picking up a well-loved old book that have been read numerous times. In all these, I cannot help but feel a sense of nostalgia – for good or bad, it brings back memories of old, and elicits involuntary expressions within. What could be interesting, is when the old returns with something new, and allows itself to be appreciated from a fresh perspective. Let me bring you a tale of how I grew up with a classic fragrance, and how the new Estée Lauder Pleasures Florals feels to me.
Once upon a time I wore Estée Lauder Pleasures (the original 1995 brew) like uniform on a daily basis, for years it was my bff and soul-mate, traveling with me as I went off for college and experience the world. Then one day, I woke up and realized I could not stand the scent any longer. Over the years, I have picked up the bottle fondly and tried to wear it again with the same happy, carefree spirit but found that I simply couldn’t. Something in me had shifted fundamentally – where before Pleasures felt like my idealized femme fatale – it now felt too wholesome, too rich. So it was with trepidation that I picked up the latest flanker before me and took a tentative whiff…. Oh!!
Estée Lauder Pleasures Florals, the latest flanker to the classic 1995 scent, is at once recognizable and yet… new. Fresh is the accurate description as it opens with Naartjie mandarin, a sparkling citrus that feels juicy and crisp. It is accompanied by delicate tagete blossoms that lend a fresh green light-hearted touch. The floral heart that is quintessential to Pleasures is still there, but subtly altered in a more playful manner. Honeysuckle, water lily and 2 varietals of jasmine form an uplifting bouquet. It is sweet and feminine, true to the aesthetics of Pleasures, but also feels more chic and modern. At the base is a creamy mix of warm cedarwood, ambrox and delicate musk which keeps the sweetness in check, grounds the fragrance without weighing it down.
Estée Lauder Pleasures Florals is beautiful, modern re-interpretation of a classic scent, and a very apt way to celebrate Pleasures’ 20th anniversary. For me, it is a lovely way to re-immerse myself in the beauty of Pleasures, a fragrance that had shaped the olfactory landscape of the floral genre in its time. And it is a wonderful way to grow up, unbelievable but yes, it has been 20 years since I first met Pleasures. The new Estée Lauder Pleasures Florals is billed as an EDP, but remains very close to the skin, and lasts about 6 hours on me. If there is a hair mist, I’d gladly wear that too. But as it is, Estée Lauder Pleasures Florals is limited edition, and available now for the Spring-Summer season. Do check it out at an Estée Lauder counter near you!