Monday, January 14, 2008

Estée Lauder Azurée

In 1969, much more in keeping with that year and the decade that was to follow, Estée Lauder launched Azurée, which was "inspired by the blue of the Mediterranean near her vacation home in Cap d'Antibes, off the coast of France." The notes are as follows:

Top: basil, jasmine, citrus
Heart: armoise, vetiver, rose
Base: patchouli, moss, amber

Pardon me for getting right down to business, but I have to tell you that if I were cruising around looking for something to buy based on notes, I would dismiss Azurée from the get go. Why? Well, let's start with "citrus." That's rather elusive, and doesn't bode well for me in general. It's not that I don't or won't wear fragrances with "citrus," but I must admit, I like to know what my "citrus" is made of. If it's mandarin or lime, we're probably okay. Grapefruit--we're moving into iffy territory. Lemon? Probably not going to happen. I'm just saying.

To "citrus" add "basil," and I'm doubly unsure. I know that by now I should know better than to dismiss (or love, for that matter) any scent based on its list of notes, but I must admit to certain prejudices. "Herbal citrus" usually means disaster for me. Usually. In this case, I was committed, because A) I already own the little bottle, as it came with my collection, and B) I promised myself and all of you that I would try everything and tell you what I thought.

Lucky for me, in the top notes, the jasmine softens the tang of citrus, and the basil adds sweet spice rather than a green herbal quality, rendering this scent a warm, sunny yellow. The vetiver is quite prominent, so if you're not a fan, you might want to stay away, while the rose serves to temper it just a bit. Armoise--or its alias, wormwood--I cannot say I have ever smelled, but upon research I found that it is in the absinthe family, and is also sometimes referred to as green ginger. I think it lends to the spice in the heart, and there's a slight peppery-ness to it as well. No worries, those of you who fear the licorice-like qualities of absinthe. The dry-down is cozy and rather classical as the amber shines through.

I liked Azurée much, much more than I would have expected. I'm anxious to try it in warm weather, although I wonder if it might not be a bit too much in the Georgia heat. No matter, for it's warmed me all through the cool days I've worn it, and I could see it being a go-to scent when the weather turns nasty. I have not sniffed its sister, Azurée (Soleil? According to osMoz, TF created a "new" Azurée in 2006, followed by Azurée Soleil in 2007, but they appear to have the same notes), created by Tom Ford. Reading some of the notes (Tahetian Gardenia, coconut, orange blossom, vetiver, sandalwood and myrrh), I am guessing that although it smells nothing like the classic scent, it offers the same promise of escape for its wearer, albeit an escape to different shores. I will hunt down a sample and try my hand at a comparison before it's all said and done, but in the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts on either scent.

*image from