Leonard Lauder on Tuesday evening reminisced about how a personal experience can blossom into an act of charity.
This story first appeared in the June 7, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
At an event held at Laura and Harry Slatkin’s Upper East Side townhouse, Lauder recalled, “Peonies were Evelyn’s favorite flower, and they have a particular and distinctive smell and there are very few chances to use the peony fragrance.” Lauder, chairman emeritus of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., noted that his late wife discovered the little-known pittosporum flower while on holiday in the South of France nearly 25 years ago.
“There was a bush with the flower on it, and she was so entranced with it. She clipped off the flower, put it into a Ziploc bag and brought it back with us….[It became] the base fragrance of the Estée Lauder Knowing fragrance.”
Laura Slatkin’s Nest Fragrances plans to honor Evelyn Lauder and the organization she founded, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, with a bright pink flower-scented candle. The Nest Passion candle, slated to launch in October, features fragrance notes of both peony and pittosporum, inspired directly by memories shared by the philanthropic couple.
The candle, $28, will be available at luxury specialty department stores and boutiques across the U.S. and Canada. Ten percent of the retail price and 20 percent of the wholesale price will be donated to the BCRF.
“Passion, the driving force behind [the Lauder family’s] work, is the appropriate name for our fragrance candle that will benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation,” said Laura Slatkin. “They say that behind every great man is a great woman, but in Evelyn’s case, behind every woman there’s a great man. Together [they] were unstoppable.”