Whew! I'm one down on my New Year's perfume resolutions: sampling fragrances from Estée Lauder. I was unable to catch everything--in order to do so, I would have had to keep going, and going, like that bunny (you know the one)--but I think I hit all the highlights, and I'm happy I did. I have to say, though, that for the rest of the perfume houses on my list, I think I'll test in smaller groupings and mix it up a bit. Although all these scents were quite different from one another, near the end I was starting to go mad for something that wasn't Lauder.
My favorites? Honestly, I have to go with Estée, Private Collection, and Youth Dew. Estée especially was a surprise for me, as I most likely never would have tried it otherwise. I'd like to start a one-woman campaign to make this perfume popular again. Private Collection needs no help from little old me, but I'm happy to know I can wear another classic, if the mood strikes. Youth Dew was wonderful, but I think I'd lay down money for Youth Dew Amber Nude first (guess I had better hurry, too, as it's disappearing quickly), and then the classic. I suppose one good thing about some of the less popular Lauder fragrances is their price, which is unbelievably reasonable, given the quality.
Full disclosure: I bought this gift set. I am in no way associated with Estée Lauder, not have I ever accepted gifts from them. I don't know if you saw the article in today's New York Times, about beauty bloggers who suddenly seem to be blogging for swag. I'm not a beauty blogger, and my--uh, fan base--is what you might call tiny, but I want you to know up front I am not in it for the swag, and not just because I rarely get any. (I did get samples for Saks DNA for Her and for Him, and a sample of Silver Factory from Bond, but I didn't rave about Saks DNA for Her, so I'm pretty sure that cut off my supply.) And to be honest, I don't think some of these beauty bloggers got into it for the swag, either.
The thing that bothers me about a lot of bloggers getting swag from these companies is that it kills the blogging spirit. I've noticed several really good blogs I used to read regularly have gone from writing unique reviews to...well, advertising. The other thing that bothers me is clicking around and reading about the same MAC collection or the same Prescriptives collection, with the same pictures and the same information, on blog after blog. It's no different than seeing the same ad in several different magazines.
Anyhow, enough ranting. I'm off to pick through my samples (more full disclosure: some of this is awesome reader swag from my Texas pal Gail) and decide what comes next. Dior? Hermes? Penhaligon's? Stay tuned!
*image from esteelauder.com (set was a holiday promo and is no longer offered on that site)