Josephine Esther Mentzer, better known as Estée Lauder is a woman I would have loved to have met. Despite having no formal training she launched one of the world’s most successful beauty brands in 1946 and started trends that endure to this day. She was a marketing genius, credited with introducing the idea of ‘Gift with Purchase’ and she understood the importance of ‘word of mouth’ among consumers with one of her most famous quotes being “Telephone, Telegraph, Tell a Woman”.
Estée Lauder loved creating fragrances and understood that women saw fragrance as something that was bought for them and worn on special occasions so when she launched Youth Dew she marketed it as a Bath Oil that you could just so happen to be use as a perfume as well.
Estée Lauder often created fragrances with a special kind of woman in mind and the House of Estée Lauder Classic Parfums celebrates these fragrances and women. There are 8 fragrances in the collection, many of whom were created in conjunction with Mrs Lauder herself.
- Created in 1968 Estée was the 2nd fragrance created by Mrs Lauder. As the story goes, Estée Lauder wanted to create a fragrance to capture an image of light from 2 crystal chandeliers shimmering in a glass of champagne. Top notes of Jasmine & Rose, middle notes of Ylang Ylang & Coriander and base notes of Sandalwood & Moss this fragrance is classicly feminine.
- Inspiration for Azurée came from the Mediterranean sun. Mrs Lauder describes this character as “A golden girl, languorously basking in the warm Mediterranean sun. She is the eternal optimist, spreading sunshine wherever she goes”. This fragrance is a combination of citrus and earth tones.
- Aliage was considered the first sports fragrance for the active women. Created in 1972 Estee Lauder was again ahead of her time. Top notes of Fresh Greens, Jasmine and Citrus lead to notes of Nutmeg and Rose, with base notes of Oakmoss, Vetiver and Cedarwood.
- Cinnabar, created in 1978, was described by Mrs Lauder as “a fragrance that fulfills every woman’s yearning for the exotic and the mysterious”. This oriental fragrance combines notes of Jasmine, Orange Flower, Clove & Patchouli.
- “Spellbound redefines sensuality and romance” said Evelyn Lauder, Estee’s daughter-in-law. Created in 1991 this fragrance was for the woman who wanted to fall in love. Top notes include Rose, Muguet & Apricot, middle notes of Orange Blossom, Carnation & Cardamon and base notes of Sandalwood, Vanilla & Amber.
- Tuscany Per Donna created in 1994 by Evelyn Lauder is the only fragrance in the collection I have yet to experience but is described as “the image of a totally feminine woman, firmly rooted in the world, but with an aura of serene, classic elegance”.
- Intuition opens with Bergamot, Mandarin & Fresh Green Garden Notes. Middle notes include Rose, Gardenia & Freesia and base notes are Amber & Precious Woods. Who is the character? “She is a woman who listens to her inner voice and pushes forward by following the path intuition takes her”.
- The final fragrance in the collection is Beyond Paradise, a fragrance of optimism and wonder. Notes include Blue Hyacinth, Orange Flower, Laelia Orchid, Crepe Jasmin and Zebrano Wood create a fragrance described as an “intoxication of the senses”.
Each of these classic fragrances has been encased in an elegant and exquisite bottle inspired by the vintage fragrance bottles that stood on Estée Lauder’s desk. The collection is a celebration of the heritage of the brand and indeed of Mrs Lauder herself.