I love that Andy Warhol was buried with a copy of Interview magazine and a bottle of Estee Lauder Beautiful perfume. Popular legend (i.e., Wikipedia) doesn't tell me whether he loved this particular perfume, but he was, by all accounts, a perfume lover, and I could see how he might like a big, bright, plastic-y floral like Beautiful. And I've become curious to compare Beautiful with two recent Bond No. 9 perfumes that were inspired by Andy Warhol, i.e., Andy Warhol Union Square and Andy Warhol Silver Factory, so here goes.
First, Andy Warhol Union Square. This perfume is a recent launch, and like nearly all of the Bond No. 9 perfumes I've tried so far, it goes on like gangbusters. Andy would certainly approve. The first blast of top notes is very pleasing to my nose, and includes the smell of grass, sugar, and possibly chlorine. There are also some bold white and green florals here, and maybe a touch of asphalt or other building materials. First impression is that this perfume pretty much nails the smell of Springtime in the city. The middle notes emerge fairly quickly, and include some big, sweet flowers - it's here, especially in the fabulous lily, where I definitely recognize some of Estee Lauder's genetic material. It's also at this point that I realize that what I mistook for chlorine earlier appears to be a wood - a bright, sharp wood that furthers a resemblance to Beautiful. But Union Square has more going on here than just Beautiful's big, bright floral. To me, it smells like the playground and the playground attendant, if it were snack time and the attendant were wearing Beautiful.
Okay, now Andy Warhol Silver Factory. I love this perfume. Although both Silver Factory and Union Square are perfumes that grab one's attention, rather sharply, I don't so much see any resemblance between SF and Beautiful. What I'm struck by instead is that both Silver Factory and Union Square have what seem to me to be very distinctive and well-integrated floral accords, each of which works an unusual job. For Silver Factory, I think the florals are what create that metallic/silver note; in Union Square, they result in more of a dessert note (maybe it's the freesia doing the work there?).
After another couple of hours, I am starting to really fall in love with Union Square. I don't know if it's the amber in the base or what, but it seems as though the combination of bright woods and sweet greens has lasted through to the end, and gained a really wonderful softness. Bond No. 9 calls this perfume warm and cool at the same time, but I would characterize it more as bright and dark - and at the end, it has a very nice depth that manages to elude melancholy. It's a little heavy and sweet for a Springtime fragrance, but I will definitely be wearing this one in the next few months.
One last note on what is probably my own favorite Estee Lauder perfume - i.e., White Linen. White Linen is such a nice, pleasing perfume in the bottle or the air that it makes me chuckle. On me it mostly smells like crayon, for some reason. Which is still a pretty nice smell.