Thursday 29 September 2016

MODERN MUSE NUIT by Estée Lauder

October is the month for the Winter blockbuster to launch. I'm talking about fragrance rather than film, although both share a similar strategy. A film's trailer is designed to excite an audience into attending, whilst an October fragrance launch is intended to make it onto that all important Christmas list. One of the first cabs off the rank this year is MODERN MUSE NUIT by Estée Lauder. It continues the popular series and is described as "Modern Muse at her most glamorous and mysterious", but is it really? There's only one way to find out ... dim the lights, grab your sequins, and experience the night.

Modern Muse launched in 2013 and was trumpeted as Estée Lauder's attempt to attract a new generation of customers. In the same way that Youth Dew had blazed a trail in 1956 so the company had high hopes for the latest arrival. The perfumer, Harry Fremont, wanted to create a duality between two different accords, sparkling jasmine and sleek woods, and so display two different sides of a woman's femininity. One of the first to take its lead from Lancome's La Vie Est Belle, it proved a popular fragrance and the Bronze Goddess youngsters were again attracted to the brand.

The following year saw Modern Muse Chic join the family, which was a peppery suede interpretation, and in 2015 Estée Lauder released Modern Muse Le Rouge, which introduced a red berry and velvet wood that would also be used in the 2016 Eau de Toilette edition. Now, the fifth release is technically Modern Muse Le Rouge Gloss, which gives a lipstick-like creaminess to a berry floral, but as it's a limited release until January we'll call it number six and take a closer look at MODERN MUSE NUIT.

The thing to remember with MODERN MUSE NUIT is that it's designed to be a sultry fragrance, so you don't get the top notes for very long. Mandarin presents itself very happily at the beginning, alongside a touch of blackcurrant, although very quickly a beautifully realised heliotrope takes over. The jasmine that joins is subtle and not at all intrusive, but almost immediately the sandalwood and "woody" base makes itself known. There is a lot of sweetness in this Modern Muse, an overdose of tonka bean and vanilla grab onto the amber notes, although the amber accord used here is very clean which to me makes it sexy rather than sultry.

The final development of the fragrance is the appearance of Clearwood and musk. Now Clearwood is a new ingredient that is supposed to capture the essence of patchouli in a more contemporary way. It magnifies the heart but discards the rough edges. I personally like the "rough edges" of patchouli so I'm yet to be convinced by this ingredient, although it does blend very nicely with the oriental notes here. MODERN MUSE NUIT has been coloured blue, which always brings to mind later editions of Je Reviens by Worth, and as it's a very easy to wear fragrance I think it will be found under many Christmas trees this year.

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