Estee Lauder: 18 posts

Estee Lauder Private Collection : Perfume Review

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Today’s guest post is brought to you by Anne-Marie. She is a museum curator and historian living in Canberra, Australia. Her mother wore Yardley’s April Violets for over fifty years, and this is what sparked Anne-Marie’s interest in perfume. You  can also find Anne-Marie’s reviews at Beauty on the Outside.

“Oh, it’s from my private collection.”

Thus would Estée Lauder reply when people asked her about the intriguing perfume was wearing. It could not be bought. At first she shared it only with Princess Grace of Monaco and the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Simpson). In 1973 Mrs Lauder was finally persuaded to put the fragrance on the market and she kept the name, Private Collection.

Whether or not this is true, Private Collection is a brilliant example of fragrance marketing. Its story makes me think of Givenchy’s L’Interdit, a bespoke fragrance created for Audrey Hepburn and launched commercially in 1957. We are told that Estée Lauder tried to keep Private Collection “to herself”, just like Hepburn, who upon heard the proposal to release her fragrance cried, “But that is my perfume, I forbid it! (Mais c’est mon parfum, je vous l’interdis!)”

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Estee Lauder Azuree (Vintage) : Perfume Review

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When you approach the Estée Lauder counter you will see the slender bottles of Pleasures, the heavy flacons of Knowing, the ribbed orbs of Sensuous. Occasionally, you spot an hourglass bottle filled with dark as molasses Youth Dew. But to smell Azurée you often have to ask the sales associate for the tester. At many Lauder counters I’ve visited it is kept under the counter, reminding me of Soviet-era shopping. “From under the counter” was the magical phrase that produced things rarely seen on the store shelves. Something as commonplace as a packet of sugar obtained in this way seemed even sweeter.

Its special “under the counter” status isn’t the reason I crave Azurée. It’s big and bold, with a distinctive presence. Since it has been around since 1969, it bears a whiff of the era—you will not mistake this moss festooned beauty for another pink fruity floral, but it’s stunning. Anyone who loves woods, earthy notes and leather would enjoy Azurée’s generous presence. Among great chypres (the mossy and earthy perfumes that are the scent equivalents of film noir), Azurée holds a special place.

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Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess Capri : Fragrance Review

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Elc

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Bronze Goddess is a summer limited edition fragrance, which Estée Lauder brings back every year with a flanker. This year’s variation is Bronze Goddess Capri, a “solar Oriental fragrance inspired by the seductive Isle of Capri.” Neither Capri nor summer flankers (the perfume equivalent of movie sequels) tempt me much, but the original Bronze Goddess is such a brilliant composition of creamy coconut and dry amber that every year I anticipate its sister fragrance as well.

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Estee Lauder Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang : Perfume Review

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Amberylang

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The combination of sweet amber and flowers is the olfactory equivalent of hot chocolate with whipped cream, where the heavy richness of one component is balanced out against the airy softness of the other. Amber Ylang Ylang, a fragrance from Estée Lauder’s Private Collection, is a great example of how this sumptuous pairing works. Amber Ylang Ylang was created in 2008 by Annie Buzantian and Honorine Blanc-Hattab and it is a comforting, enveloping veil of a fragrance, with a gourmand twist.

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Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess and Bronze Goddess Soleil : Perfume Review

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BardotStar rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The ingenuity of Bronze Goddess, a limited edition Estée Lauder fragrance, lies not only in its ability to convey summer indolence with its scent of coconut, gardenia and warm sand, but in making this fantasy wearable and sophisticated. It is elegant and refined, with an interesting twist of dry ambers that give Bronze Goddess its crisp and polished character. While it may lure one with the promise of a beach themed indolence, in reality, it is a versatile fragrance that can easily travel from beach to office, from summer to fall.

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