If you like Narcisco Rodriguez or Sarah Jessica Parker's Lovely, then I think you would love Estee Lauder's Modern Muse.
This fragrance has been getting a lot of traction lately. Arizona Muse, the face of the perfume, has been plastered over ad campaign space.
I was introduced to it a few weeks ago over dinner with Karyn Khoury, the Senior Vice President of Fragrance Development for Estee Lauder. She gave a beautiful presentation, telling us about the story of Modern Muse and it went something like this...
a) It is a scent designed to reflect the dynamic nature of modern life.
b) In order to do this Modern Muse has an innovative dual impression structure featuring Sparkling Jasmine Accord and Woods accord (Patchouli, Amber Wood, Musk). This allows a woman to connect with the fragrance in her own way with some focussing on the white florals and others the warm, rich woodiness.
b) Duality is also part of the packaging. In colour, two contrasting shades of blush pink and deep navy blue and in shape a strong, tall glass bottle with soft rounded sides.
It was a lovely event - they had me at the table setting :) - and after a few weeks of wear I have reached a conclusion...
So first of all, the marketing concept is an appealing one. I love the idea of a fragrance that celebrates women and every element of the campaign harnesses onto that warm, fuzzy idea of supporting the sisterhood. If you look at the #modernmuse hashtag on Twitter you will see stories from consumers, stating who they think is their muse in life - and it's almost always a woman. That kind of sentiment would easily push a bottle into my hands.
Aesthetically I also love Modern Muse. The colour combination and the addition of a bow, inspired by the iconic bow on Estee Lauder's first fragrance, Youth Dew, is a charming touch.
But fragrance wise what do I think?
I mentioned the dupes at the beginning of this post - Narcisco Rodriquez and SJP's Lovely - and this really reminds me of those, albeit a lighter, more subtle version. When I spray this I get the burst of patchouli and white florals but the dry down is more on the Jasmine side. I have no issue with this because Jasmine is one of my very favourite notes. Perhaps because of the way it reacts on me, and whispers as a scent, I would describe this as an ideal day perfume.
This isn't a bad thing at all. Flowerbomb/Angel/Black Orchid et al are the type of fragrances that scream and when you are in close proximity to others (travelling to work/in the office etc.) it can come across as almost aggressive. Modern Muse, just like Calvin Klein Beauty, is one of those more subtle, understated perfumes that would not offend anyone but would still make you feel confident and "dressed".
I do wonder how others experience this though. The aforementioned duality that defines it might mean that some get a stronger, woodier take and have a totally different impression. That might explain the love/hate reviews that I have come across online and with that kind of polarised opinion this is definitely one to try in store. Let me know how you get on :)
See more information about Modern Muse on the Facebook page and on the official website.