Estée Lauder Beautiful, 1985

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(image Connecticut tobacco shed by snapshotforsoreeyes)

Perfumers Bernard Chant, Sophia Grojsman.

On a recent day of sniffing some department store staples that I’d never tried, I happened on EL’s Beautiful. I’d never read Tania Sanchez’s review in The Guide, so I laughed out loud once I did since on smelling Beautiful I. It could be Etat Libre’s Jasmin et Cigarette’s long-lost aunt, Rose et Cigar.

I grew up in a time and place in Connecticut where shade-grown tobacco could be smelled drying in tobacco sheds. The summer air was rich with it. Beautiful’s topnotes bring that scent back to me, but in this case the tobacco combines with rose. It’s a gorgeous match, though the tobacco note fades before the rose and Beautiful winds down in stages to a musky floral pastel.

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