I recently attended a very mysterious fragrance launch for Estee Lauder (they didn’t give any clues away beforehand) at Circa Gallery in Rosebank, JHB. Turns out their latest fragrance, Estee Lauder Modern Muse, is still a long way from launching (early October, to be exact) but the excitement around it was so great that I saw fit to do a sneak peek.
We got to listen to Karyn Khoury (Senior VP of fragrance development for the Lauder Group worldwide) introduce the fragrance and explain its background. She’s an absolute lady and all the while she was speaking I kept thinking of the old saying: If you want someone to listen, speak softer (or something like that). Without any gimmicks Karyn had me hanging on her every word for the entire time, and I could happily have listened to her for hours.
Karyn worked alongside Estee Lauder herself for a couple of years and then with daughter Evelyn for many more, and she had only praise for both. Karyn joked that when Estee started on a fragrance she always used to have such a clear vision of the mood of the fragrance and who would wear it, that the years it took them to develop each one was just for the rest of the team to catch up. She also described both of them as her muses when asked in a Q & A afterwards, which slowly brings us back to topic.
Estee Lauder Modern Muse was developed as an ode to the duality of women, and plays off soft vs strong, feminine vs dynamic etc. They’ve ditched the traditional composition method of top, middle and base notes, and have combined two opposite facets that almost clash (and they could be like top and base notes if you think about it). In one corner there’s two types of Jasmine Sambac (one from China, one from India) and some citrus, and when I smelt this I could very happily wear the citrusy goodness on its own. In the other corner there’s two types of Patchouli, Musk, Amber and something else I missed.
Together this makes a decadent, sensual, citrusy scent that dries down to a slightly creamier, richer version of itself. I want to refrain from calling it floral because so many people have a misconception of floral fragrances. You definitely do get the Jasmines, but in the most classic, white-floral, non-gourmand kind of way imaginable.
What possibly excited me the most is that South Africa will be one of the first countries Modern Muse launches in together with the US and UK, Canada and Australia. For once I won’t have to longingly stare at the pages of international beauty blogs and wait impatiently!
Coincidentally Lauder has signed Arizona Muse as the face of Modern Muse.Well, they say it’s a coincidence… The ad visuals are surprisingly whimsical, they’re of Arizona Muse in the Guggenheim Museum. I’ll post them a little later.
I’ll give supplier details and prices much closer to the time