My experience with Modern Muse was a recipe for disaster from the start.

     I was at the mall, hunting down select fragrances for a post I wanted to write about the great perfumes of times past, and I arrived at the Estée Lauder counter. ‘Perfect!’ I thought. ‘I’ll get a sample of Youth Dew and be on my merry way.’

     I don’t mean to steal the spotlight from the fragrance at hand, but you should know that Youth Dew is a fragrance from 1953, done by Josephine Catapano. It’s an old-fashioned powerhouse with nearly 30 individual notes, which is rare in today’s fragrances.

     Unfortunately, because it is so widely known, I think the company decided samples would be unnecessary.

     “We do have a newer fragrance, if you’d like.”

     I was weary of the SA, but accepted the vial anyway. I didn’t think much of it, and I still don’t, considering my only experience with it was spraying it onto a bouquet of roses for a Valentines Day date (I’m so, so embarrassed by this, therefore obviously I’m writing about it on the Internet).

     Modern Muse has a fragrance film, which features the over-the-shoulder staring we’ve seen in Elizabeth Arden’s Untold, and the continuity problems of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Red. Fittingly enough, the actress is none other than Arizona Muse. Watch here if you’d like.

     I am not putting this through an all-day test, mostly because I don’t think my family would appreciate it. Just a quick sniff, and then I’ll give you an opinion.

Estée Lauder Modern Muse sample

Estée Lauder Modern Muse sample

     The 1.5 mL carded sample comes in a clear glass vial with a black cap, with black font.

     A 2013 release, the creator of Modern Muse is Harry Fremont, who also done Ralph Lauren’s Romance, Vera Wang’s Princess, and Juicy Couture by Juicy Couture. Modern Muse is a floral woody musk by definition, with a dominant jasmine note that brings tears to my eyes (and they’re not happy tears, either!). This jasmine, as crude and unforgiving as it is, carries through from the moment you smell it to the moment you wash the fragrance off – this stuff could survive the apocalypse. In the top it is joined by faint woodsy notes, but only if you inhale it so deep into your lungs that you get lightheaded. In conclusion, the most powerful jasmine I’ve smelled to date, and that’s it. As a side-note, I think the bottle looks outdated, and the ‘modern’ in the name is deceiving.

Collective thoughts about what I’ve sniffed today: no thanks. Next time I’m offered a new EL, I’ll be more careful. Then again, I think the clientele the company was going after with this release is definitely not young men, so who am I to judge. Have a sniff!

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