This is where she tortured perfumers

“The minute I sold my company to Estée Lauder, I said that I wanted to do this,” says Malle. […]

“This is where she tortured perfumers,” Malle says with a laugh, gesturing around the ornately-decorated, jewel box-like space. (The view of Central Park is so breathtaking, one has to wonder if visitors ever found it distracting during meetings.) Malle is, of course, not being literal, but referring to Lauder’s famously high standards for fragrance. For example, Beautiful, a blend of orange flower, mandarin, and rose that launched in 1985 and went on to become one of the brand’s bestsellers, was the result of “many, many months” of Lauder mixing iterations at the very same desk that sits in the corner of her office today, says Malle.

— Frédéric Malle on the upcoming Estée Lauder Legacy Collection.  Read more in Reinventing a Beloved Fragrance Is Risky Business at Allure.


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