Estee Lauder Knowing: A Glorious Chypre Hiding on the High Street


Many moons ago, when I was at university, a fellow student wore Estee Lauder Knowing.  She was also eighteen like me, and I felt it was wayyy too old for her. My Mum also wore it at the time and she was ancient- forty years old! (Three years younger than I am now).  I remember thinking it was OK for Mum to wear as she was “old” but not for my eighteen year old friend to wear it.

Fast forward 25 years and I am wearing Knowing today.  It’s a whole different story. I have a bit of a thing for greeny  retro chypres and Knowing doesn’t disappoint.  It opens with a full on blast of aldehydes that I initially thought nobody should be subjected to before cocktail hour.  However, after an hour, this becomes a wearable daytime chypre and it’s still there ten hours later.

Knowing makes its presence felt immediately: there is bergamot, aldehydes and green notes in the opening.  However thankfully, I could find none of the melon described (phew!).  It’s the base notes that are a real treat: patchouli, oakmoss and vetiver. In fact, all my favourites are in today, “Hello at the back!”

It’s almost as if Knowing was made with me in mind.  Not only greeny aldehydes, but then oakmoss and  a musty,  woody finish.  I adore it and despite its wide availability, it knocks hundreds of other High Street scents into a cocked hat.


As for my fellow student back in 1988 (the year of its launch), she was way ahead of her time and really Imageonto something, whilst little old me was still wafting round in either LouLou or  Body Shop White Musk (which I still do sometimes, just for old times sake).


Estee Lauder Knowing is widely available on the High Street and online.  Try for the best price ( at time of posting).


7 thoughts on “Estee Lauder Knowing: A Glorious Chypre Hiding on the High Street”

  1. Dearest Iscent
    I adore knowing.
    And I adore Estee Lauder for allowing such a prickly individual to persist on the High Street amongst all those anodyne young things.
    But no rose?
    I get a veritable bush deep in the heart of the scent…
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      If there was Rose I was too busy eyeing up the Mossy Greens to notice! I just adored Knowing, especially since it has demonstrated to me how our tastes change with age. Once upon time this was “old and too heady” and now its “Gimme, I want some”.

      Your friend


      1. You’re welcome Gail.

        Estee Lauder is one of those steadfast brands that are always consistently good quality. Knowing is fantastic, but I only like it now I am in the forties. When i was a teen I wasn’t so keen!

        best wishes

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