Aerin Lauder has fond memories of her grandmother, Estée Lauder, having small samples of fragrance everywhere, next to her bed, on her vanity, on her desk and in her handbag. Now, 20 years on, Aerin (the senior vice-president and creative director of Estée Lauder, the company her grandmother started in 1946) has completed a fragrance that her late grandmother began creating in the late 1980s, but abandoned.
The fragrance, Jasmine White Moss, a lush green floral chrype, is the third installation and the perfect complement to the Private Collection – a niche, luxurious perfume range created with the most faithful Lauder customer in mind. Jasmine White Moss joins Tuberose Gardenia, a sensual floral bouquet and Amber Ylang Ylang, a heady, spicy perfume.
After discovering the abandoned formula in the fragrance archives, Aerin set about finishing what was known as Formula 546AQ, in honour of her grandmother. “There’s a great story behind this fragrance,” says Aerin. “Basically it’s a fragrance that Estée started, but never finished. She worked on it for years, and then stopped working on it in 1989. I found it in the archives about a year and a half ago and that’s when I began working on it to finish what she started. I thought it would be interesting to finish a fragrance that my grandmother had worked on, but never quite completed.
“When I smelled it, I immediately fell in love with the scent. It was a very green, very floral chypre – classically timeless, rich and elegant. It had all the qualities that reminded me of the fragrances Estée created and inspired my own love of fragrance.”
Keeping her grandmother in mind, Aerin ensured that the scent, as well as the bottle, reflected Estée’s taste and intentions. “I wanted to feel her blessing. I think Estée would love it. It’s very inspired by and true to what she created, but slightly more floral,” says Aerin. “We’ve added many elements to the existing fragrance Estée created. Two of the key elements that I think are really beautiful and distinctive are the blend of natural jasmine and the unique white moss accord, which was created especially for this fragrance. Achieving the classically rich white moss is made possible by a unique technology we have in France that enables us to use the moss note, but in a very clean, fresh and unique way. The jasmine is a wonderful warm note that makes the fragrance feel very feminine, floral and rich. It has the feel of modern sophistication with an incredible, almost intoxicating spirit.”
Even the semi-precious lapis and pearl-stone embellishments on the golden lid are a nod to Estée’s love of blue and white, her sense of detail, and the world of luxury that she really loved. “The blue and white stones and gold details are very much the symbol of what Estée stood for,” says Aerin.
“They are the signature of the brand and that’s one of the reasons why we selected them for this fragrance. The designs are retro, in a sense, because of the blue and white, but the way the stones are laid out, and the way the body cream has that wonderful basket weave texture on it, is very modern. Even the pendant we’ve created looks like a piece of jewellery that you’re seeing at the fashion shows now. There’s something really contemporary about it. I think Estée would be very proud.”