I couldn't buy a bottle fast enough. The infatuation was wild and delicious. Just released, yes I knew everything. Half way through the bottle we encountered irrevocable differences, I began to smell apples during the 'everything scented apple' phase. And that was it, I gave it away. Sometimes, at the perfume counter, I give it a whirl, but it doesn't rock my world. Now it's somebody that I used to know. It's not you, you're wonderful, it's me.
Knowing by Estée Lauder, 1988
An amalgam of all the best chypres, and more than the sum of its parts, Knowing is among Kerleo's best creations and Lauder's finest releases. Only the most minute dab of the vintage parfum or edp is ever needed to bask in this glorious scent all day long complete with alluring sillage; oh Lauder's glorious economy of scent, as Knowing could be a great Patou with ease or could pass for Caron or vintage Dior at four times the price. The rose chypre par excellence, this rose is dry and evil, seductive but menacing and grim. The odd fruits are Dionysian offerings, nothing ripe or sweet about them. Knowing is crypto-pagan but overtly 90s working woman austere. The Paulina Porizkova commercial from the early 90s portrays a time much like today's: full of upheaval, solemnity, uncertainty, goofy as the ultimate fall into solipsism in the ad is. Knowing is just another perfume, but when I wear it, its strength, boldness, seeming olfactive translation of staring difficulty right in the face and prevailing, gives me a kind of solidity and feeling of steely grace. Knowing is somewhat industrial, sky scrapers and platform heels, but the oakmoss and civet keep on whispering about witchy secrets and sex. There is a divinity and untouchable simplicity to how absolutely right Knowing is when used very sparingly: hours of style and mystery.
I'm crazy for Estee Lauder and Knowing is another wonderful fragrance from this brand. This is a great chypre, barely honeyed, magistrally classy, clerkly, woodsy, animal and detergent at once in all its vintage opacity and subtle fruity-floral sophistication. Floral notes (rose-mimose in particular), oakmoss and a touch of animal and honeyed represent the key elements. Old school and classy for sure in the sliding land populated by complex fragrances joined by an invisible common edge as well as First, Eau de Soir, Diva, Magot, 24 Faubourg, Sweet Redemption, Aromatics Elixir, Cinnabar, Aromatic Lime, Cabotine, krizia, l'Heure Bleue, Mitsouko, Youth Dew and others. There is a green, sharply floral (iris?), waxy (?), animalic and mossy background, that reminds me something neutral and laundry (and the note of rose and mimosa give their contribute in order to cast this olfactory feel), together with a powerful bunch of mellow fruits, spices, hesperides, aromatic herbs, ylang-ylang, patchouli and rose-tuberose and woods. Some vetiver, spices and patchouli impress a well calibrated earthy-dusty vibe. Elegant, shadowy, slightly powdery, highly refined (slightly retro but in a silky and never cloying way). Great longevity and good quality of smell.
Not bad. However, I believe Knowing is a cheaper version of Coriandre by Couturier launched 15 years earlier. These fragrances share almost the exact same base notes: Knowing: Sandalwood, patchouli, civet, oakmoss, vetiver Coriandre: Sandalwood, patchouli, civet, oakmoss, vetiver, musk Of course, the top and middle notes are quite different (with the exception of the rose which is common to both fragrances) but to the untrained nose these two perfumes are oddly similar. Knowing is not as crisp and clean as Coriandre. It is a little heavier and most certainly not as chic and refined as Coriandre. Since Coriandre is not easy to find in some parts of the world, maybe Knowing could be a reasonable second-best but still...
I know I'm in the minority here, but my only experience with Knowing is a quick spray on the wrist at a department store while on lunch break. Despite a thorough scrubbing, when I got back to work I made two of my patients ill, one even asked what was that horrible smell. Its perserverance after washing with industrial soap has convinced me this is not a fragrance for medical care workers.
My first department store purchase of a good perfume back in the 90s. Really only wore Avon scents or drug store scents before finding this. My mom had given me a bottle of Youth Dew, but I didn't care for it and gave it to a friend. That made me look at Estee Lauder's other offerings. Have loved this fragrance ever since and it's my go to scent for special occasions, but wear it to work as well. Very strong, one little spray will go a long way. I can't describe it as well as some others have, but I find it makes me feel strong and sexy and desirable. Has a rosy and woodsy smell. Not a shrinking violet! I wonder if I will ever find another perfume I love as much as this one.
My face is often the look of utter disgust when it comes to sampling Estee Lauder fragrances, with a few exceptions, one being Knowing. I didn't think I would like this fragrances. Chypres are often too dry or too dusty for me, however Knowing is extremely pleasant. I get mostly powdered roses, earthy patchouli and spices. Together they make a rather sensual blend. The scent in itself is quite potent, so it is best approached with a light hand. In small doses this fragrance is breath-taking in a womanly, confident and grandiose way. Towards the drydown, this fragrance loses some of its powderiness, becoming woodsier and drier which gives it further definition. The lasting strength is very good, lasting in terms of days even after a few showers. Miss Dior is a little similar if I had to compare Knowing to anything. There is something about the rose in this fragrance which becomes quite captivating. I'm not usually a rose person, even though I tend to own many rose-based samples these days. But if I were to suggest an interesting dry and powdery rose, somewhat like pot-pourri, I would definitely recommend Knowing.
I started wearing Knowing in the 90's, and fell in love with the reaction it got. Men would come up to me, say I smelled great, then give me their number and walk away as if it were already too embarrassing of an encounter to bear any further risk of embarrassment. To the comment of allergies or sensitivities: I have chronic sinusitis, with few allergies, but TONS of sensitivities. I can not be in the same room with Easter lilies or wild phlox, but I can still wear Knowing. However, my mother is extremely sensitive to the scent, and if there is even the remote possibility I will be around her, I will not wear Knowing.
Knowing is a rose chypre. A large category, rose chypres can be dark, fruity, sweet, leathery, day-glo, animalic. Its a fragrance family that has a large range of tones. Take all the forms a chypre might take and multiply that by all the facets of rose. What distinguishes Knowing is its lack of sweet elements. Ungaros Diva has its honey and Paloma Picassos Paloma has sweet balsams. Knowing has a dry woodiness that perfectly ties the moss to the spiced rose. The key here is the rose. Not a dewy rose, not a flaming rose. This rose is dry verging on bitter and is in perfect accord with the moss. This is the fragrance I'd recommend when people ask for a rose that a man could wear, which is funny because I'd wear anything I like whether targeted to boys or girls. Also funny because the EL fragrances always seem to have that suggestion of solid, practical American femininity (I guess I'm falling for marketing here.) But you know what? Knowing shares as much (categorically) with the rose chypres as it does (in tone) with men's power fragrances of the 80s. It is huge, woody, has preternatural sillage and a half-life of days. My god, this could be Antaeus.
A dark chypre that makes me think of a forest of thorny roses growing in a mossy ground. For some reason it reminds me of Walt Disney's Sleeping Beauty, when Prince Phillip fights with Maleficent in the bush of thorns. It is intoxicatingly feminine, alluding to the scent of a woman and at the same time lush, warm and woody. Powerful at first spritz but with the softest drydown. It sinks into your skin instead of just staying on top, but never losing its aura of self confidence. I think it is a lot more Maleficent than Princess Aurora. Bonus: it is inexpensive but doesn't smell cheap at all.
Knowing by Estée Lauder, 1988
By: Estée Lauder
|Bottle Designer||Ira Levy|
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