Hot: Spellbound by Estee Lauder
Well, let's play the game of Read The Fragrance Notes and see what happens.
Top: fruit notes, coriander, pimento, orange blossom.
Middle: rosewood, rose, carnation, muguet, jasmine, ylang-ylang, tuberose, heliotrope.
Base: amber, musk, opoponax, civet, cedar, vanilla.
You read the list of ingredients for Spellbound and you think you know what you're going to be smelling. You think it actually sounds a lot like Chanel Coco (mandarin, pimento and coriander: rose, carnation, orange blossom and cinnamon: amber, vanilla, opoponax and honey) or a little like Dior Poison (orange blossom, pimento, fruit notes: coriander, tuberose, ylang-ylang: ambergris, opoponax, labdanum) and there are resemblances, to be sure. You're thinking sultry floral-oriental. And you are right, and wrong.
The opening of Spellbound is fresh and spicy, with a note lasting well into the middle which reminds me of a dry cleaner's shop, in the best possible way--that zingy, modern smell of solvents and cleanliness.
The middle is dark: it's an oriental, no doubt about it. It ought to smell of flowers, but it doesn't, not in any concrete way. It's not a bouquet; there aren't wafting notes of rose and carnation and lily. It's not prettified. It certainly isn't feminine.
In fact, from the middle through the drydown, the primary scent of Spellbound is, intoxicatingly, hot skin. It smells as if you've been sitting by a fireplace. Let me spell that out so I can emphasize just how amazing it is: Spellbound doesn't smell like plants, food, ozone, or animal secretions, it smells like you after you've been doing something for a while.