Youth Dew. White Linen. Azurée. It goes without saying that businesswoman Estée Lauder was a fragrance visionary. From masterminding an array of iconic scents that captivate the imagination to pioneering the very notion of a fragrance wardrobe, the trailblazing beauty figure has left an indelible mark on the world of fragrance.
The same can certainly be said of perfumer Frédéric Malle, whose Editions de Parfums scents, like Carnal Flower and Portrait of Lady, have also become the stuff of legend since he burst onto the scene in 2000. So who better to reimagine a stable of Estée fragrances for today’s scent landscape? It’s a cross-century meeting of the minds that has perfume lovers abuzz, to say the least.
The Legacy Collection, a reinterpretation of five of Estée Lauder’s landmark creations, including Azurée, White Linen, and namesake Estée, arrives today. For Malle, the collection’s creation was all about refining and streamlining the originals. He harnessed new cutting-edge ingredients (painting with “new colors of the rainbow,” as he puts it) and meticulously tweaked the scent profiles for today’s fragrance wearers.
Recognizing the stakes of reviving such classics, Malle likens the revamping process to restoring the world’s greatest artworks in The Met. “It’s a bit like working in the archives, cleaning up a Picasso or a Rembrandt with various needs,” says Malle. “It’s just magnifying those perfumes and really showing how good Estée was.”
Below, Malle takes InStyle on a journey through the quintet of Legacy Collection fragrances, revealing how he preserved the spirit and essence of the originals while tailoring them for a new generation. Any great fragrances lives many lives, after all.