Warm by the Fire: Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang - Beauty Addict

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warm by the Fire: Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang

Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang is a fragrance that evokes so much mood, wearing it anytime other than a cozy evening would just seem...wrong.

This fragrance in the summer? Vile.

Out in the sun? Blasphemous.

While enjoying a glass of champagne? Nope.

Along with a satiny party dress? Wrong, wrong, wrong.

This is both its greatest strength and its biggest downfall. It's wearable, but not versatile. Save it for the evenings when you're at home, in the winter, curled up on the couch, wearing a cashmere sweater, and drinking a glass of Cabernet or possibly Sauternes.

Seriously, I could not imagine Amber Ylang Ylang under circumstances that differ too greatly from what I described above. Smell it and you'll understand. Read the reviews and you'll understand. The Scented Salamander likened it to "an elegant and comfortable cashmere throw sitting next to a bouquet of subtly heady flowers." Angela at Now Smell This said it's "as close to a pale gold cashmere sweater as you can get in smell." These assessments are exactly on point.

Amber Ylang Ylang is not festive, not showy, not crisp or sparkling. It is a very elegant scent for a very elegant homebody.

Notes include golden amber, ylang ylang, Bulgarian rose, honey, incense, vanilla, and sandalwood. The opening is powdery, but the fragrance soon develops into something warm, rich and resinous, with honeyed vanilla and a lovely "non-stuffy" floral aspect. (Yes, non-stuffy. I made that up, but it makes sense to me.)

Overall, it's nicely done and very pretty, though I can't say I like it as much as this year's earlier launch, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia.

Now, on to the packaging. The Parfum Spray bottle is stunning, with an embellished cap sporting tiger eye, smokey quartz and red agate. At $300 it's a bit of an indulgence, but if you also sprung for the embellished Tuberose Gardenia bottle a few months ago, these two would look just perfect together.

For $65 you can pick up the "regular" 1 oz bottle, with a hammered gold cap inspired by a necklace and bracelet that Aerin Lauder received as a gift from her grandmother Estee. The 2.5 oz size is $120.

Have you sniffed Amber Ylang Ylang yet? Share your impressions in the comments!