Category: Estée Lauder

Estée Lauder Cinnabar, 1978

Perfumer Bernard Chant? Spicy, resinous amber perfumes are a feel-good genre in perfumery. The individual components (vanilla, benzoin, labdanum…) are like prefab bases and can single-handedly provide the blueprint for an Oriental perfume. The risk is the kitchen-sink syndrome. Cinnabar’s topnotes juxtapose a bright, aldehyde/bergamot accord against a boozy amber mix, a trick learned from Youth Dew. The segue from citrus to…

Bernard Chant and the Cabochard Family Tree

Images lifted from Thomas Allen. The start: Grès Cabochard, 1959. Expectation works against Grès Cabochard, poor dear. Many compare it in its current form to a vintage model.  I’ve never smelled vintage Cabochard, so that expectation isn’t an issue. Cabochard is the reference leather chypre of the mid-20th century.  It was popular, critically acclaimed and directly influenced the decades of…

Estée Lauder Beyond Paradise Men, 2004

(image source unknown) Perfumer Calice Becker High art/low art. Pop culture/classical art. My expectations of an episode of Dancing With the Stars, a December Nutcracker and A Merce Cunningham retrospective will be different. It’s not just art versus entertainment. It has to do with the intention implicit to the work, the meaning surrounding the creation and performance of the work,…

Estée Lauder Youth Dew Amber Nude, 2005

Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel Estée Lauder turned to Tom Ford for an image face-lift.  How to bring the classic Youth Dew into the 21st century?  In descending order of importance:  1)  Change the image.  2) Get someone or other to fiddle with the perfume.  While neither of the above photos are from the YDAN campaign, they help to explain the strategy.  Youth Dew conjures…

Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, 2007

Perfumer Harry Frémont The gardenia at the opening of this perfume smells remarkably like the real deal.  In the topnotes, the gardenia and the tuberose circle each other at a short distance, but each remains distinct.  The topnotes, though, have one of the shortest half-lives ever found in perfumery.  Very soon, a blended white floral with a large tannic note…

digging (into) vintage: Estée Lauder Youth Dew, 1953

Perfumer Josephone Catapano Be careful wearing a perfume made almost entirely of basenotes.  A little bergamot can hardly be heard behind the heavy amber/vanillic /spice stage curtain.  Likewise, a bit of aldehyde can’t lift the 800 pound gorilla.  Dense and proud, sister Youth Dew. This stuff must have been a spectacular accessory in the good-girl/bad-girl, loud-subtext barbarity of the mid…

digging (into) vintage: Estée Lauder White Linen, 1978

(image, Mick ricking white linen) I enjoy White Linen for the fact that it is cheapness done well.  Conceptually so downmarket (soap) yet executed so brashly (1 part aldehyde, 1 part laundry detergent musk, one part whatever your notion of a bar of “floral” soap is.)  This is the olfactory equivalent of holding a large tuning fork to your skull,…