Bebe Sheer Eau de Parfum by Bebe Review

Collage of Bebe Sheer perfume and its notes, including freesia, apple, jasmine, peony, sandalwood, citruses, and amber.

On first spray, this reminds me of trips to the indoor pool at the YMCA.

Does Bebe Sheer by Bebe smell like chlorine?

No, not really.

Then what is it?

Ah! Artificial apple! A note that always makes me think of Suave Kids Dutch Apple hair detangler spray, an ambrosia used often on those wretched post-pool knots. The bottle of the stuff is green, but the smell of the apples without that influence feels fresh, juicy, and just a little blush pink.

Of all the apple notes I’ve smelled, this is not nearly the worst. It’s still quite artificial, but less in your face about it than some others are. It reminds me of the similarly tolerable apple note in Perry Ellis’ Perry Man, although that one has a distinctly green nuance to it, with more sourness, whereas this is a distinctly sweet red.

Two green apples and a red apple.

(As an aside, just once I’d like to smell an apple note with the tone and texture of a genuine apple and not a vaguely faux apple hair product. Any kind of apple, really. Just once, I want more believable dusty apple skin and less apple bottom jeans, boots with the fur. But I digress.)

This is perfectly fine for what it is: a sweetish apple-floral. Amazingly, it keeps from being soapy or shampoo-ey, all the way through, and the apple note is better than what I’ve come to expect. It’s light, carefree, and summery.

Three stalks of dark pink and white freesia flowers.

The floral notes of Bebe Sheer — peony, jasmine, and freesia — are fresh and nondescript. There’s no strong indolic white jasmine here to be found. No, this is a soft, gentle floral pink petal scent, a bed of inoffensive and feathery peony and freesia petals.

The note pyramid of Bebe Sheer is uninspired and the genre is simply not my thing, but there’s nothing in particular about this for me to strictly dislike. I’m impressed with the way the floral notes here hold their own and avoid sliding into shampoo territory.

Especially that apple note. This, to me, is a more versatile and likable apple note than the one in Kayali’s Eden Juicy Apple | 01. It’s a basket filled with red and pink apples, clearly synthetic, but not poke-your-eye-out bright.

Bebe Sheer maintains a certain delicate nature while capitalizing on the utterly staid genre of light-pink-colored apples-and-peonies perfumes. That, alone, is laudable. It is so easy for fruity-forward perfumes to get so incredibly loud, but Bebe Sheer is not. No, this is a light and juicy apple-floral summer scent, blush pink and gentle.

This feels like a light dogwood-pink polyester sundress printed with fruit and flowers that’s been selected as a young girl’s outfit for a summer evening picnic.

A heart-shaped amber charm on a pendant and chunky wire chain.

I will say that this is another one of those fruity floral freshies that goes all amber, sandalwood, and musk in the drydown for no reason at all, except that those were popular base notes of the time, and why not? (The time, by the way, is 2010, and it feels like that way. Bebe Sheer isn’t necessarily dated, but there’s a certain early-2000s spirit to the juicy pink apple scent that leaves me surprised this wasn’t composed right around Y2K.)

The sandalwood-amber-musk drydown just feels like a complete temperature change from light, breezy floral to that boring 2000s drydown musk, sitting warm and close and sweet on the skin. There’s nothing offensive about it; it’s just an odd and uninspired choice I’ve seen in a good number of perfumes of the era. Did no one in the designer labs have any other ideas besides sandalwood-amber-musk? Were the focus groups really having a musk craving that year? The world may never know.

So, is Bebe Sheer truly sheer? I’d say so. At least, kind of. Until the drydown. The fruity and floral notes are light and refreshing, pink in a way that’s gauzy and doesn’t bang you over the head. The citruses provide a faint fizzy sparkling edge to the apple note in the opening, but this quickly fades into a background gauze of synthetic Pink Lady apple fruit.

A small, bright orange mandarin orange, a type of clementine, with two green leaves attached.

If you like the notes of Bebe Sheer and want an apple-central light floral designer perfume, this is for you. It’s a pretty sundress of a scent, juicy without being blaringly loud. It is simultaneously a product of its time and entirely re-wearable today.

This is not for me — I’m just not into the juicy apple fresh genre — but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t have a whole lot of complaints about Bebe Sheer. It’s not soapy, it’s not shampooey, it’s not screechy or headache-inducing. It’s a simple, light, synthetic pink apple with quiet background flowers and amber. Fair enough.

Burberry’s Burberry Brit Sheer is another perfume flanker that capitalizes on the mid-2000s “sheer” trend with a pink fruity scent. That one, however, smells to me very much like liquid hand soap and tropical fruity shampoo for young children. The fruity notes there are much more brazen and tinged with glycerin.

Bebe Sheer, on the other hand, feels a little more put-together to me. It’s still a cute sort of perfume I could see a young teen really enjoying, but she’s intentionally wearing it as perfume, not thoughtlessly using it as hand soap before dinner.

An opalescent, filmy soap bubble.

This is a juicy splash of something to throw on before running outside barefoot to hang out with the girls up the street, hoping your crush will be there. And then when your crush is there, you’re not sure what you’re more afraid of: them smelling you and making fun of you for wearing perfume, or them not smelling you at all.

Ah, the late summer sounds of cicadas and teenage insecurity. In this world, Bebe Sheer is right at home. But it’s not so stereotypically juvenile as to be unacceptable worn by a grown woman. Juicy and fruity and cute, yes, but that’s still all the rage, isn’t it? Just in a slightly different way now than ten or twenty years ago.

A straw basket full of fresh pink apples.

This is clean and polite enough to pass as an adequate daily or office wear scent, with a synthetic fruity accord that is far less obnoxious than most designer scents of its caliber.

If you’ve always secretly loved the smell of Dutch Apple detangler, you need to smell Bebe Sheer. It’s not my sort of perfume, but the memory is gloriously nostalgic. And if you love juicy fresh apple scents, this is one you won’t want to miss. Especially as something pretty and fresh to wear on a dusky midsummer evening, with your skin unevenly tanned and your hair in beachy chlorinated waves.

A light pink metallic heart-shaped bottle of Bebe Sheer Eau de Parfum with a tall cylindrical cap encrusted with rhinestones.

Where to Find Bebe Sheer Eau de Parfum by Bebe

You can find full bottles of Bebe Sheer EdP at Palm Beach Perfumes, The Perfume Spot, and Jomashop.

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