Thursday 18 August 2016

LAUDER FOR MEN - The 1985 Powerhouse

Estée Lauder built her entire empire with the sole aim of making "every woman beautiful" and encouraging their independence. What is interesting is that a nod to the men in her customers' lives came much later, thirty-nine years later to be precise, but it was worth the wait. Lauder for Men arrived in 1985, thirty-two years after the debut of the famous Youth Dew, but why did it take so long? Well, Ms Lauder had been toying with men's fragrances since 1964, under another guise, but her first male fragrance under the name of Estée Lauder had to be something special, and it was. So, it's time to rediscover the magic of Lauder for Men.

When Youth Dew launched in 1953 it was a huge departure for women's fragrance. At that time perfume was usually bought by gentlemen for their ladies, rather than by women for themselves. It was seen as an extravagance, but Estée Lauder had other plans. She launched a bath oil that doubled as a "pure parfum", so finally women could buy their own little piece of luxury. It was Youth Dew that really put Estée Lauder on the map, and it was the first of many perfumes to come. Being seen as a feminine brand though made it difficult for them to introduce a masculine scent, but that was something that Lauder knew she had to overcome.

Lauder's way of introducing a men's fragrance was to create an entirely new brand. In 1964 this was achieved with the birth of Aramis. Created by perfumer Bernard Chant, it was described recently by Trudi Loren, Estée Lauder's Senior Vice President of Corporate Fragrance Development, as “a pioneer in men’s fragrance which can transcend trend and fads". It's still here fifty-two years later and so it would seem that the public agree. With the continued success of Aramis the decision was finally taken in 1985 to include a male fragrance in the main Estée Lauder range, and it would simply be called Lauder for Men.

No one seems to be able to agree on how to classify this fragrance, which could be a sign of why it has lasted. Aromatic Fougere, Herbaceous Woody, even Aromatic Chypre, they all point towards the same result. Lauder for Men is an unashamed eighties powerhouse, and yet there is also a subtlety which keeps you coming back for more. It opens with a punch of lemon before the aromatics literally sprint past. The coriander and cardamon scream authority and, alongside a piercingly green galbanum, really make you sit up and take notice. Oakmoss and patchouli then make a bold appearance and they’re with you right up until the end.

It’s interesting that some floral touches sit amongst all of this in the form of rose, jasmine and carnation, although the later is more clove than carnation. An earthy vetiver, which is one of my favourite ingredients, adds even more depth but a good dose of sandalwood and an amber accord provide a sexy quality to the dry down. Unfortunately there’s no perfumer attributed to this fragrance, and that’s a shame because they deserve serious credit for this. If you have never tried Lauder for Men then I would really encourage you to experience "the confidence behind the image", and ladies who love their chypre fragrances should also treat themselves on its thirty-first birthday, you might just be surprised.

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