Estée Lauder Modern Muse

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting and having dinner with Karyn Khoury, the Senior Vice President of Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide for The Estée Lauder Companies Inc at the Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse launch events. That was a mouthful even for me to swallow and comprehend because Karyn Khoury is a living legend in the world of perfumers. Having been at the Estée Lauder company for just over thirty years, she has worked closely with Estée Lauder and Evelyn Lauder and is literally the “nose” behind the creation of some of the most famous fragrances worldwide as she overseas fragrance development for seven brands in the Estée Lauder company.

She is a pretty incredible lady, but you know who is also pretty incredible? My mother. A modern muse in her own right as she is independent, strong, inspiring, funny and to quote my brother in a tweet about my mother, she is “superhuman that one!” She is also completely obsessed with Estée Lauder products. From the moment I became aware of anything beauty related I remember Estée Lauder products very clearly in my mother’s beauty regime. I don’t know anyone who is a bigger Estée Lauder fan than my mother. She has tried and owned almost every fragrance and beauty product they have produced and released in South Africa, which is why I knew that the one person who I would need to get an opinion from with regards to Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse would be her.

With its floral woody scent comprising of a sparkling jasmine accord which is made up of two extractions of Jasmine Sambac (including one new to the perfumery palette: Jasmine Sambac China Absolute) paired with a sleek wood accord that is a blend of two Patchouli essences wrapped in the creaminess of Madagascar Vanilla, rich Amber Wood and soft Musk; this fragrance focuses on duality and richness of texture. This isn’t something you pick up on immediately, because the first time I smelt Modern Muse, it reminded me of Elie Saab. However the more I wore it (before handing it over the ultimate critic my mother), the more I started to experience the fragrance’s richness of texture, with the floral accord dominating on some days and on others the more woody accord reigning supreme. After giving the fragrance a trial run I handed it over to my mother for a couple of words from her, which seemed like an apt thing to do considering that the fragrance itself pays homage to the yesteryears by bringing in the iconic bow on Estée Lauder’s first fragrance, Youth Dew, which launched in 1953 into the design of the Modern Muse fragrance.

After years of being a Pleasures fan, all my mother had to say about Modern Muse was it is different. The bottle is different, the scent is different. A woman of little words, but I will say two weeks after handing the bottle over to her, I caught a whiff of Modern Muse walk past me the other day as she left for work. That means she likes it.

Estée Lauder’s Modern Muse will be available in South Africa from October 2013

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