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Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude vs Sensuous: Ultimate Comparison

Estee Lauder often gets an unfair reputation as an “old lady” perfume. But that reputation doesn’t reflect reality – Estee Lauder produces fragrances that are classic, feminine, and a bit dreamlike.

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Nowhere is that touch more apparent than in the Sensuous collection. Both the original and Sensuous Nude are a complex meeting of woods and florals, but in a scent light enough to wear every day.

Read on to learn more about Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude vs. Sensuous!

The Perfumes in a Nutshell

Estee Lauder Sensuous EDP

Estee Lauder Sensuous

When we say that Estee Lauder Sensuous is a perfume that everyone can like, it may come off as a backhanded compliment about how safe and plain it is. Nothing could be further from the truth, though.

What does Estee Lauder Sensuous smell like? The intent was to create a new scent by marrying slightly toned-down woods with the typical Estee Lauder floral profile. The initial notes are sweet white florals, but the fragrance unfolds to reveal warmer notes of amber, honey, and spice.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

That may sound heavy, but this fragrance is anything but. It wears close to the skin, especially in the dry down, but it’s also long-lasting. It’s even light enough to wear in the summer or to the office.

  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: The office, day-to-evening, date night
  • Price: $$$-$$$$ (Best price for Estee Lauder Sensuous perfume may vary)

Fragrance Notes

  • Top Notes – White florals, jasmine, lily, magnolia
  • Middle Notes – Amber, woods, ylang-ylang
  • Base Notes – Pepper, mandarin orange, honey, sandalwood

The Pros and Cons

Long-wearing (6 hours plus)Not for those who want a fruity or straight floral scent
Great mix of floral, woody, and spicy notes – there’s something for everyone in this fragranceInitial scent notes can be overwhelming
Close-to-the-skin projection (i.e. it won’t overwhelm your coworkers)Projection may not be enough for date nights or special occasions

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Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude Perfume

Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude

As you might expect from the name, Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude is a lighter, more sheer take on the original fragrance. Those woody florals are still there, mind you, but the volume’s turned down, and there are also vanilla and coconut notes – almost like it just came back from summer vacation.

Fruity and gourmand notes, largely missing from the original, are present but not overwhelming. The initial notes are a mix of bright citruses and peppery spices. It transitions to a powdery musk with faint coconut and white floral notes pretty quickly. 

  • Sillage: Good
  • Longevity: Very good
  • Appropriate for: Daily wear, workouts, vacation
  • Price: $$$-$$$$ (Best price for Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude perfume may vary)

Fragrance Notes

  • Top Notes – Bergamot, mandarin orange, pink pepper, pepper 
  • Middle Notes – Musk, honey, coconut, white florals, jasmine
  • Base Notes –  Vanilla, sandalwood, amber, musk, woodsy notes

The Pros and Cons

Close-to-the-skin projection, perfect for daily wearNot for those who want a full-on fruity or tropical scent
Light, powdery fragrance that won’t overwhelmCan fade too quickly for some
Fruit and coconut notes make for a summery feelMight be a bit too simple for date nights or special occasions

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Comparing Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude vs Sensuous Perfume

We love both these scents; they’re great everyday fragrances. But, if you can only choose one, which is the one for you?


Both Sensuous and Nude are made by Estee Lauder, a storied American cosmetics brand. The company is known for its signature floral scents that evoke classic femininity.

Estee Lauder Outlet

Sensuous is made by Annie Buzantanian, a longtime master perfumer known for both men’s and women’s scents.

Nude is made by the Estee Lauder perfume team as an homage to the original.

Differences in Scent Notes

If you prefer woody and spicy scents, Sensuous is your best bet. While Nude also features woody and peppery notes, they’re not nearly as strong as the original.

On the other hand, if you prefer fruity, tropical, or powdery scents, you might be better off giving Nude a chance.

And while both scents wear fairly close to the skin, Nude is the better choice if you really like to keep your scent within your personal bubble.

Who Are These Scents Made For?

If you need a perfume that transitions well from day to night, the original is perfect for you.

Woman exploring a beautiful beach

Nude might be a bit too sheer for date night, but it’s a great scent to wear to the beach or take on vacation.

Packaging and Presentation

The Sensuous bottle is small and round, with a wavy ribbed pattern on the back. It’s not the flashiest bottle on the market, but it has a chic vintage feel that will look great on your dressing table.

The bottle for Nude is a similar round shape to the original and has the same retro vibes. Again, it’s not as wild a bottle as some perfumes, but it’s a classic design that looks great on your dresser or bedside table.

Personal Impressions of Each

Though the original debuted in 2008, we think the smell is reminiscent of today’s niche perfumes. It’s not as specific as some of those scents, but the mix of floral and woody feels surprisingly modern. 

Though Nude isn’t a fruity scent, it was still too fruity for some of us. If you’re not typically a fan of coconut or vanilla notes, definitely try this one out before buying. Your feelings about Nude will also depend on how you respond to powdery scents. 

Coconut - Middle note in Estee Lauder Sensuous Perfume

We think both scents are light enough to layer, especially Nude. Try it out for yourself!


Final Thoughts

Both scents wear relatively close to the skin and have good staying power. Sensuous is better than Nude, though, both in terms of sillage and longevity.

When it comes to Estee Lauder’s Sensuous Nude vs. Sensuous, there’s no right or wrong answer. They’re both tremendous everyday scents from a storied cosmetics brand. Go with your gut and choose the one that calls to you the most.


Is Estee Lauder Sensuous Discontinued? 

Not at all! You can purchase it via our affiliate links and in many brick-and-mortar stores.

Where Can I Buy Estee Lauder Sensuous Perfume?

Simply click on our affiliate links for Sensuous Estee Lauder 100 ml, Estee Lauder Sensuous gift sets, and more.

Has Estee Lauder Sensuous Noir Been Discontinued?

Like Estee Lauder Sensuous, Noir is still available for purchase!

Fernweh Editions Candles

Estee Lauder Sensuous Nude vs Sensuous: Ultimate Comparison

Selena Marc is a fragrance enthusiast, freelance writer, and dog mom living in Houston, Texas. When she's not writing about her favorite new perfumes, you can find her enjoying yoga or a morning hike.