“I’m quite serious when I say that I see a fragrance…I saw the light from two crystal chandeliers shimmering in a glass of champagne. Imagine if I could capture that image in a fragrance, I immediately thought. For years I worked on the incredible light.”

– Estée Lauder

Envisioned by Ms. Lauder and brought to fruition by Bernard Chant and/or Betty Busse, Estée is an aldehydic floral. Originally released in 1968 as a parfum, Estée was also available as “Estée Daytime” and “Estée Super Perfume”.

What makes Estée so super? Ms. Lauder shared the secret to super with the New York Times: “…it’s formulation is similar to delayed-action capsules – it is supposed to release itself in a chain reaction for several hours.” Sounds a little too super to me, but I do not have the time, patience and equipment required to test this claim.

True to Estée Lauder’s vision, Estée Super Cologne Spray* is light sparkling in champagne. Pop the cork, er…press the atomizer and suddenly, it’s a party! Champagne, anyone?

The champagne effect is due to aldehydes.They spark, sparkle and tickle your nose, the sensation fading into the smell of blown-out candles. Beyond the sparkle is a touch of something fruity, like a hybrid of elderflower and citron. Muguet provides soapy sunshine, ylang ylang adds a bold floral punch, like a stem of bougainvillea in a bouquet of daisies. Orris adds a touch of powder. The moss – barely there, a whisper of crispness.

Since I don’t run in the champagne and chandelier circles, let me take you to the kind of celebration Estée Super cologne brings to my mind: a child’s birthday party on a warm Summer day…

Ice cubes cracking as you fill a glass with lemonade. The guest-of-honor blowing out the birthday candles. Presents and pretty sundresses. The garden in full bloom. Laughter. Love. Light.

It doesn’t get any more super than that.

*At present, the fragrance is available only as in “Pure Fragrance Spray” concentration. The “Super Cologne Spray” has been discontinued, yet I just purchased a bottle from an Estee Lauder counter.

Estée: A Success Story by Estée Lauder
The Perfect Scent by Chandler Burr
A New Perfume – Estée (by Estée) – The New York Times, Oct. 4, 1968.
New Perfume Handbook by Nigel Groom

Image of  Palazzo Borghese Bal Costume: Margarita Martinez, Florence Costumes
Image of lemonade: Martie Knows Parties