Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Estée Lauder Beyond Paradise

What is your idea of paradise?

Is it a tropical island in the South Pacific?

Is it a sunny beach in the Bahamas?

Is it cruising the Mediterranean on a yacht?

Is it the tropical-themed lobby of a Courtyard Marriott in Omaha?

What? If you're suddenly hearing the cheerful strains of "One of These Things Is Not Like the Other" in your head, well, pat yourself on the back.

I don't like to be mean about perfume. In some ways, it seems too easy. I must be honest about something else as well: I don't particularly care for tropical-themed perfumes, any more than I care for hotel lobbies with palms in the planters and bamboo cane and banana leaves on the upholstery. I'm not fooled.

All tropical-themed perfumes are essentially the same, even if some are superior to their cohorts. There's Moneyette Paris (despite the name, rather tropical), Coquette Tropique, Kai, Moea, Michael Kors Island series, Bobbi Brown Beach, even Lauder's own Azurée Soleil. White flowers, aquatic notes, possibly a little coconut or vanilla to warm things up.

The notes is Beyond Paradise are:
Top: Eden's Mist, Blue Hyacinth, Orange Flower Templar, Jabuticaba Fruit
Heart: Laelia Orchid, Crepe Jasmin, Mahonia Japonica, Pink Honeysuckle
Base: Natal Plum Blossoms, Ambrette Seed, Zebrano Wood, Golden Melaleuca Bark

Wha? Who even knows what these things are, let alone how they, as the ad copy says, "[Unfold] on your skin with a fascinating blend of tropical wetness, zesty freshness and bursting floralcy." Really, it's more like this: a sweet aquatic note, followed by a watery tuberose, and then a light woody-fruity thing. It's not beyond paradise; it's beyond boring. If you went on a vacation suffused with such weak smells, I doubt you'd even remember where you had been.

If you want a Lauder perfume that "takes you somewhere," wear Azurée or its flankers.

*image from