Created by : Calice Becker
Date : 2004
Genre : Fruity (melon) wood
Concentration : eau de toilette
In an earlier post I wrote that the perfumes I love and hate are the most difficult to review and Estée Lauder’s Beyond Paradise Men falls into the latter category. Hate is perhaps a harsh word but let us say that if given only Beyond Paradise Men to wear, I’d rather go without. First, let me explain that I purchased this perfume untested. It had such a glowing review by Luca Turin in his Guide that I figured it must be wonderful. It was described as being “more like music than like fragrance” but, like fragrance, music is subjective and this is not the kind of music that I like.
As a wood base, it’s fine. Nothing special. The part that I dislike is the unripe melon heart. It’s just so pervasive! It reminds me of the herb that sends me running for the exit of any restaurant… coriander! When used, coriander takes up all the space. Whether chicken or beef or seafood, if coriander is present, it is all I taste. With Beyond Paradise Men, I only smell the melon note and it drives me crazy.
I wish I could write more but there isn’t much else to say other than the longevity is excellent… which, of course in this specific case, is not a positive for me.
Having said all this, you’ve got to give Calice Becker credit for at least attempting to add a fruity note to the fairly narrow men’s fragrance offering. And seeing that most other fruits had been used in women’s fragrances (strawberries, raspberries, peaches and apples), a melon note probably seemed like a good masculine possibility. But, to me, it just smells like an experiment that didn’t work.
What is likely to happen is that Beyond Paradise Men will be seen in perfume history as a crude but necessary transitional experiment… a stepping stone to greener pastures like an early Italian Renaissance work by Giotto… far from the perfected perspective of High Renaissance painting… but without Giotto, we never would have gotten there.
Approach this one with caution and definitely test before purchasing because it’s probably like nothing else you’ve ever tried.
Top Image : The Pentecost (ca. 1305) by Giotto
Bottom Image : The Last Supper (1498) by Leonardo Da Vinci