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The Perfume Society Fashion Fabric and Fragrance Discovery Box: My Review

The Perfume Society

 

I am a helpless addict when it comes to Discovery Boxes and I bless the day Jo Fairley thought “Hmm. That’s funny. There doesn’t seem to be a Perfume Society,” and founded one.  The Perfume Society Discovery Boxes are to me, as an adult, what Sindy Dolls were to me as a child. I can sit there and play with samples and lose track of time and be perfectly lost in my own scented world.

Fashion, Fabric and Fragrance actually arrived a few weeks ago but then half term happened and I had to wrangle some small argumentative people.  Finally, peace reigns and I can stick my nose in the familair white box and share my thoughts.

What I’m going to do is give you a mini review of each one and go into more depth about my favourites in subsequent posts. The box contains the following items:

  • Jasper Conran Nightshade 1.2ml eau de parfum (full price £60)

This opens with sweet, sharp fruit and freesia. There’s the perennial favourite pink pepper, and sharp oranges.  All that blends nicely into a very flowery middle note, which then beds down into a more evening stylee fragrance of cedar, musk and patchouli. This wonderful woody/musky finish was my favourite bit. Funnily enough, although the bottle is purple, this actually smells purple to me as well. Do you ever smell a colour?

  • Elie Saab Girl of Now 1ml eau de parfum (full size £38)

What I like about this flanker is that, unlike many flankers, you can actually recognise the original scent in this.  There’s the original orange flower and patchouli from Le Parfum Elie Saab, but Girl of Now offers a different angle. There is a wonderfully almost-not-quite-marzipan in the opening bars of this. It comes as no surprise to find that there are notes of pistachio and almond here. The white flowers complement the almonds so well, you wonder why it’s not done more.  The base has note du jour cashmeran alongside tonka and patchouli. Cashmeran is that wet-concrete nuance that makes me say “it’s on the tip of my tongue!” as my brain tries to connect a fragrance to a concrete mixer and gets confused. Girl of Now is a wonderful scent and my favourite out of the whole box.

  • By Terry Délectation Splendide 5ml eau de parfum (full size £175) This fragrance comes from Terry de Gunzberg, who also made the wonderful Terry-ific Oud. My first impressions of Délectation Splendide is that it is a gentleman’s cologne that belongs in a very exclusive wood panelled barber shop. It opens with juicy spices: citrus and ginger, and as it calms down it smells of dry, flaked pipe tobacco, black pepper, almonds and patchouli. Like I say, it’s very masculine, but don’t let that stop you. Let’s tear down the walls!

  • Lalique Satine 1.8ml eau de parfum (full size £64)

I’ve never smelled a Lalique I didn’t like. and this lovely scent is no exceptio.   Lalique Satine is a rich feminine fragrance that reminded me of Annick Goutal Tenue de Soiree: a wonderful woody/floral that exudes class and elegance. Satine has beautiful big flowers and on my skin, goes straight into it’s woody patchouli base. In the middle is supposedly pink pepper, vanilla and tonka, but I don’t find this to have vanilla- it’s woodier rather than sweet.  Sometimes in fragrance, you find what you seek so if you look for the vanilla here you might find it..   Lalique Satine was made by genius Nathalie Lorson, who is the goddess responsible for Aedes de Venustas Pelargonium.

fragrantica
  • Estée Lauder Modern Muse 7ml miniature eau de parfum (full size £49)

Modern Muse is a wonderful fragrance that contains a classic selection of flowers: tuberose, jasmine, lily, and then is softened with wood, amber and musk.  It’s one of my favourite Estee Lauder fragrances, although I find the flankers are hit and miss for me.  This is in a similar fragrance family to Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely and Narciso Rodriguez For Her, so you like those, you’ll probably like this too.

  • La Perla La Mia Perla 8ml miniature (full size £39)

La Perla comes in a pearlized box, which had me at hello.  The fragrance is a delicate floral musk, with pretty peony notes and classy orris (I can’t help it, I always think orris is classy). Most of all, though, this is a musk above all else, so musk fans will like this and musk dodgers will not. I’d have liked this to have been a little stronger, but otherwise, it’s rather lovely.

  • MUGLER AURA MUGLER 1.2ml eau de parfum (full size £49)

Using exclusive trademarked Givauden ingredients, namely Tiger Liana and Wolfwood, this rhubarb, vanilla, green and woody scent is beautifully blended and comes in a bottle that looks like a giant emerald.  It reminds me of succulent dark green leaves in a jungle, with sweet fruity edges. You can read my review here.

  • AERIN Evening Rose 2ml eau de parfum (full size £96)

This is my first ever Aerin Lauder, although I’ve heard only positive things about the collection.  Evening Rose is more than just a rose, although the rose is the star. Firstly, two types of roses have been used: Bulgarian and Rose de Mai. Both are known for their uniquely rich facets and together, this is almost like an extrait strength rose. The roses are framed by a touch of cognac, blackberry, black pepper and incense, and that’s pretty much it. The beauty of this heady, rich rose is in its strength and its simplicity.  It’s mega-rose with a European accent.

  • Molton Brown Russian Leather Shower Gel 30ml (full size £20), together with Scented Tattoos- scented tattoos! These are so much fun. They are temporary skin transfers that contain a stunning Russian leather fragrance. The shower gel gave me two generous and beautifully scented bubble baths, although you can of course, actually use it as shower gel. I always associate Molton Brown with every expensive hotel I’ve stayed in (not many!). Gorgeous.

  • Percy & Reed’s A Walk in the Rain Shine & Fragrance Mist FULL SIZE (Normally £15 and launches in the UK in October).

Living in Britain, walking in the rain is a pretty common occurrence. In fact, I miss it when it doesn’t happen for a while. This light hair mist from Percy & Reed not only leaves a little bit of gloss on your hair, but also gives little wafts as you move your head. The scent is green, fresh and slightly minty.

When your mini photo shoot gets totally invaded.

So, there you have it. My favourite was Elie Saab Girl of Now, although there were none that I disliked. This makes for a wonderful collection, and once again, the beauty of this is that the choice of perfumes were out of my hands. I was taken out of my comfort zone and made to meet new friends.  And Reader, it feels good to have new friends.

PS Bottom photo is entitled Invasion of the Cats.

Over to you

How about you? Have you had a Discovery Box lately? Or have  you tried any of the scents in this one? Do let me know.  I always love to hear from you.

Stockists

You can buy the Fashion, Fabric and Fragrance Discovery Box exclusively from the Perfume Society website, along with several other rather nice Discovery Boxes that I will be putting under Santa’s nose.  I bought mine and this is an honest review.

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Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge

Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder

I love Estee Lauder Modern Muse. Modern Muse Chic was pretty good too, with its dewdrop of oudh heating it up. Modern Muse Le Rouge?..hmm..not so much.

This feels like the second time this week I’ve said “meh” about a new mainstream scent (the first was Clinique Aromatics in Black), but truly, nothing much has excited me at the beauty counter for a while now.

Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder

Modern Muse Le Rouge is in a similar bottle to the other two, with a smart red bow. My first impression was a mish mash of floral with a bit of patchouli. Its a good strong opening with deep resonance. This bedded down into two notes that I think have been overused in the past two years: pink pepper and red berries, (specifically redcurrants). I was kind of hoping that train had left the station, but it would seem there are leaves on the line and the carriage is staying put.

The base combines vanilla with the red berries and the pink pepper which immediately made this smell generic to me. Modern Muse had its big white flowers and patchouli/musk base. Modern Muse Chic had all that plus the oudh, but Modern Muse Le Rouge seems to have gone down the crowd pleasing route. To me, this smells like Armani Si, which I also found generic, so no barriers have been broken here. However, this uninspiring base is apparently, a “seductive crème accord” which sadly left me wanting my coffee back with no sugar.

Estee Lauder is a brand I love and for under fifty quid I could happily bag a classic from their counter. But this is certainly not one of them. You may feel differently.  Have a try and see what you think.

Stockists

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Le Rouge is widely available. Try House of Fraser, Harrods or John Lewis.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Chic

fragrantica
fragrantica

 

Estee Lauder Modern Muse was one of my favourite launches in recent years and it would appear that I wasn’t alone in my admiration of it. Modern Muse has now reached that milestone of approval and success and has spawned a flanker.

Estee Lauder has a fairly safe Go-To image for the mainstream perfume buyer, although I think the brand is one of the best on the High Street.  On every Estee Lauder counter you can find consistently good classics and I can name at least five scents that I would buy without hesitation if someone gave me a voucher for my wedding anniversary on Wednesday for example (Ahem).   Too often Estee Lauder has been overlooked as an “Old Lady” brand, but hopefully Modern Muse will attract some new, younger appreciation in the same way as Pleasures did in the Nineties.

Having said all that, Modern Muse Chic dips its ladylike toe into Lake Daring and sticks a bit of Oud in there.  Pearls may be clutched, but Estee Lauder has pulled it off.

I have been wearing Modern Muse Chic all day- two spritzes of Eau de Parfum this morning are still going strong seven hours later with no need for a top up.

uk.westfield.com
uk.westfield.com

Initially Modern Muse Chic is similar to Modern Muse but with the Plum and the Jasmine Sambac cranked up.  Wait an hour though and the Oud and Wormwood emerge and stay put throughout.  I can’t decide if Oud or Jasmine Sambac have been over used lately in new launches, but frankly I can’t find anything to complain about here.

 Modern Muse Chic is pretty much an evening version of Modern Muse, and smells as if Modern Muse has been concentrated and layered over the teeniest drop of pure Oud oil.  It seems to radiate more as the day goes on, which is no bad thing.  This may be too much for the office, but great for a memorable night out.  Nice bottle too.  If you don’t like  even the slightest trace of Oud or Wormwood (think how Absinthe smells) then you might want to side step it, but I think this is rather good.

Stockists

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Chic is available in widespread locations: in the UK you can buy it from John Lewis, House of Fraser, Selfridges and Debenhams to name but a few.  In the USA and Canada you can buy it from Neiman Marcus (USA only), Macy’s and Sears, and in Europe you can buy it from Sephora, or of course, the Estee Lauder website.

Narciso Rodriguez For Her EDT: About Turn

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 I have often sung the praises of Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely: it is affordable, beautifully packaged and smells wonderful.  However, having finally met Narciso Rodriguez For Her, I feel my credit ought to have gone elsewhere.  They are so alike it is easy to mix them up when tested blind.  I could not tell them apart.

Whilst I still love Lovely, and will always have a bottle of it on my dressing table, it was launched in 2005, whilst NR for Her was launched the year before in 2004.  The similarity could be either coincidence, or homage. I refuse to think of it as olfactory plagiarism as I am so fond of Lovely and its Diffusion Line.

However, a great deal of credit must go to the Narciso Rodriguez Dream Team Christine Nagel and Francis Kurkdjian, both legends in their own right.  Interestingly, I always thought SJP Lovely was also similar to Lanvin Rumeur, which was created by, yes Francis Kurkdjian. And so the happy circle goes on.

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The similarities can be found in the fact that both perfumes start as a  rich floral that becomes Patchouli like and Woody almost as soon as the floral notes have registered.  Rather than being woody in a masculine sense, the prickly Patchouli and the clean florals produce an agreeable vintage note of nail polish, at least to me.  They both remind me of a 1950s dressing table with a layer of fine face powder and open bottles of nail colour and  several glass cut perfume bottles.  Both are impossibly feminine and elegant and I love them.

I am describing them together in one breath because try as I might, I cannot tell them apart. The notes listed for both are very different.  NR For Her purports to contain Bergamot, Neroli and no Patchouli at all.  Lovely is supposed to contain Lavender, Martini and Salt, yet both end results are the same.

The similarities are not necessarily a criticism.  As a diversion from the heaving mass of fruity florals and cheap candy floss patchoulis that the Noughties have drowned us in, these quality scents are worth their weight in gold.

I would go as far as to say that NR For Her was a game changer which spawned SJP Lovely, Estee Lauder Modern Muse, and even Avon bargain scent Rare Diamonds as mentioned earlier in my blog..

We needed NR For Her, and it came.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse: A New Launch I Love

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It’s finally happened. A new fragrance has been launched that I love. There wasn’t even a free tote bag to bribe me with. My sample was free from the lovely lady at my local Estee Lauder concession. No obligation to write a nice review, but I will because I love it. (I may have accidentally agreed to a makeover in order to get the sample, however).

I do apologise if I have been sounding like a grumpy old lady when it comes to new launches of late. Muttering away about everything smelling the same and too much vanilla, and too much fruit, and then finally…a miracle! Estee Lauder Modern Muse has only a touch of citrus orange to its name. No red berries. No candy floss, no discernible vanilla, and no overloaded sugary Baby Angel finish.

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fragrantica.com

For every person that thinks new launches are either a Britney or an Angel homage (i.e me), there are equally those who think many new launches are copies of the much revered Narciso Rodriguez For Her. Modern Muse could be accused of such. Indeed, there are many Fragrantica users who vote that it smells like NR for Her.

However, as much as I love fragrances in the style of NR for Her (SJP Lovely is a permafixture on my dressing table), I feel it would be unfair to simply label Modern Muse as a smellalike. It is in fact, only the base notes which hold any similarity to NR for Her.

Modern Muse opens with clean Petals, Jasmine (in spades) and Tuberose. It is a bouquet of a smell, prevented from being too cloying with a spritz of orange in there somewhere. The middle notes retain the Jasmine and Tuberose, but are now turning woodier as the Patchouli starts to gradually make its present felt.

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pfaf.org

The basenotes are a wonderful mix of Patchouli, Wood, Musk and Tuberose. It’s at this point that I feel it must be said that whilst the Musky Patchouli base has much in common with NR for Her, the flowers make Modern Muse, dare I say it, a cut above.

Impossibly feminine, with good longevity and arms’ length sillage, this is a great buy and an important launch.

Estee Lauder still remains, in my eyes, the best quality fragrance you can buy on the High Street. Among all the ubiquitous brands and newbies and celebuscents, Estee Lauder can still provide accessible classics such as Cinnabar, Youth Dew, Private Collection , Alliage, White Linen and Pleasures.  Modern Muse can stand alongside the EL greats without a blush.