digging (into) vintage: Estée Lauder for Men, 1985

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(image of Esther Quek)

Perfumer not cited.

Lauder for Men is a typically smart and category-merging fragrance from Estée Lauder.

A bright citrus note gives this fougère a gorgeous start. Lauder for Men has a strong green spirit and the citric opening segues easily into the three-part heart. 1) A simple, confident, muguet/carnation mix. 2)  A concise, cool green mix (galbanum, juniper, clary sage). 3) A broad woody base that grounds both the flowers and the green/herbal mix and allows them to keep their identities separate. It’s a beautiful construction that provides synergy but allows you to continue to make out the individual notes.

By the heart of Lauder for Men, the florals rise fully to the surface. Who thought of putting that odd combination of delicacy and potency that the muget conveys in the middle of this potent chypre née fougère? Brilliant move! The heavy, almost waxy floral quality that muguet imparts is the ideal piece to transform the heart slowly to a woody/tobacco base.

People call this a brute, a Masculine Power Frag, a knuckle-dragger? Wow, I know my gender sensors might be calibrated differently than most, but I find Lauder a wonderfully assured, long-lasting fragrance that is ultimately a floral chypre that could easily be worn within current American gender norms by both men and women.

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