Life is sweet. Treat yourself to something delicious... a playful side of pleasures that's simply irresistible. This floral confection blends notes of juicy pomegranate, whipped strawberry meringue and tempting caramel with a sprinkling of sugared rose petals, dewy freesia, white peony and fresh greens. How can you resist?
That's the description of Estee Lauder's new Pleasures Delight, and I have to say it sounds like something I'd have no trouble resisting at all. Strawberry + caramel isn't even vaguely appealing to me (yes, I'm looking at you, Miss Dior Cherie).
But Pleasures Delight was actually something of a pleasant surprise. It is more of an oriental gourmand than the description above implies (other notes include lily, muguet, heliotrope, marshmallow, vanilla and patchouli). I said on Monday that Sarah Jessica Parker's Covet makes a vague nod to Thierry Mugler Angel in the dry down; Pleasures Delight is waving its head in Angel's direction a bit more enthusiastically. But like many of the "spawn of Angel", as I like to think of them, it isn't a slavish copy so much as a variation on a theme, and in this case, the results are immensely likable.
The top notes are sweet, but kept from being achingly so by the tartness of the pomegranate and a little flash of citrus. After that, we get sheer floral notes and more dessert: it smells to me rather like vanilla cake with caramel-sugar icing, dotted with a few strawberry slices and flower petals. It isn't an entirely transparent scent, but still, the foody notes are neither heavy nor cloying, and it wears well in the summer heat.
The base is woody and musky, with a healthy dose of patchouli. If patchouli scares you (and it often does me), Pleasures Delight might not suit you, but the patchouli used here is clean and polished, and only slightly earthy. It adds depth, and anchors the sweet notes without adding any of the disturbing elements that make Angel a love-it-or-hate-it fragrance. Those disturbing elements, of course, are what make Angel sexy. Pleasures Delight doesn't strike me as sexy — playful might be more accurate — but nor does it degenerate into silly, or feel so youthful that a grown woman would have a hard time wearing it.
Pleasures Delight isn't my sort of thing, really, but I like it considerably better than many of the sweet fruity things I've tried recently. I don't suppose it is helpful to say that if it is the sort of thing you'd like, you'll like it? It is worth a try, at any rate.
Estee Lauder Pleasures Delight is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Parfum.