Estée Lauder : Pleasures

Date : 1995

Genre : Green floral

Concentration : eau de toilette

Although minimalism in perfume is generally associated with Jean-Claude Elléna, just about every modern perfumer has used it as a strategy at some time or other.  Take Pleasures by Estée Lauder.  It must be one of the most minimalist compositions in my collection.  It’s a green scent with a transparent floral base and that’s about it.  I’m not getting anything more complex or layered than that.  In other reviews, I’ve seen listed just about every flower in the garden but I don’t discuss notes unless I smell them and I’m not getting anything specific.  There is a floral aspect to this fragrance… but which flowers exactly, is not obvious to me.

If you love green scents, you might like it but don’t expect it to develop over time.  It goes on green and stays green.  When I wear Pleasures, at one point during the day I want to shout out like the stage manager does to Natalie Wood as Gypsy Rose Lee during her first strip performance, “Take somethin’ off!”  Or, put something on.  Or, do something!

Although we can all thank Pleasures for moving perfume forward and pushing aside the Amazons of the 80s like Poison and Paris and the even more bombastic Amarige (1991), today I find it hard to appreciate its two-dimensional structure.  It’s like a Mondrian.  It’s beautiful, balanced and colourful and although it grabs my attention it doesn’t hold on to it for very long.

Still, Pleasures is a pleasant fragrance that easily gets me compliments from women at the office (hence, great sillage).  But I just find it fairly flat and after a couple of hours, I’m completely bored with it.

Image : Composition with Red, Blue and Yellow (1930) by Piet Mondrian

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