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Follow the Scent: Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss

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Remember hearing Michael Kors and Tim Gunn tell Project Runway contestants that their designs were “a whole lot of look” (an observation that could sometimes work to their advantage and, other times, to their detriment)? Well, Estée Lauder’s new Private Collection Jasmine White Moss Eau de Parfum spray is a whole lot of scent. Though, in essence, it’s a green floral scent, its initial impression is so strong that it can border on jarring. When I first sprayed it, I found the scent a bit overwhelming (particularly due to the heady bergamot notes I detected), and I worried it might turn into one of those headache-inducing fragrances. But, rather than call it quits and reach for the soap (and an Aleve bottle), I allowed the perfume some time to settle, for the notes to rear their heads and the olfactory story to unfold. And I was pleasantly surprised by the result: a clean, adult, luxurious scent. This is one fragrance that actually only starts to hit its stride about 30-40 minutes after you apply it (and yes, it will last for quite some time).

But don’t get it twisted, ladies: this is not a wallflower of a fragrance. It’s not a powdery floral or a light, citrus-y mist. It’s headstrong and gregarious, commanding attention and flaunting its dominant mindset. It’s the type of fragrance that makes you feel authoritative and empowered. Ideal for the woman who appreciates luxury and who carries herself with a controlled poise and a palpable sense of confidence, Estée Lauder’s Private Collection Jasmine White Moss perfume will most likely find its core audience in the over-30 crowd.

The latest installment in the Private Collection fragrance series, Jasmine White Moss is a fragrance Estée Lauder herself was purportedly tinkering with throughout the ’80s and which Aerin Lauder rediscovered and completed. Billed as a “green floral chypre” scent, the eau de parfum spray features top notes of black currant bud absolute, galbanum absolute and bergamot absolute, which give way to a heart of Aerin’s special jasmine sambac absolute, Estée’s jasmine absolute and ylang ylang absolute, orange flower absolute, violet and orris. Base notes include patchouli absolute, vetiver absolute and white moss absolute (the last of which is the equivalent of a “secret sauce” in this complex scent). The white moss adds a new dimension to the fragrance, enveloping the floral elements in a lush greenery and hence steering the fragrance away from the romanticism associated with the jasmine notes.

I personally prefer the Private Collection Amber Ylang Ylang scent, but the more I wear this, the greater my appreciation for it. For me, it’s like an acquired taste, but once you allow your sensory palate to develop and you really start to appreciate the new flavors (or, in this case, scents), there’s no going back.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss Eau de Parfum, $80 for 1 oz.; $135 for 2.5 oz. Visit EsteeLauder.com

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