By  on April 27, 2007

Aerin Lauder is taking a page out of her iconic grandmother's playbook in reinventing Private Collection, which was Estée Lauder's most aspirational fragrance.

Named Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, the scent will be launched in August and plays on a concept Estée started in 1973, said Lauder, who is senior vice president and creative director of the brand founded by her grandmother in 1946. In fact, so intertwined are the two that Lauder will appear in the print advertising for the new fragrance, the first time a Lauder family member has done so.

"It was a wonderful fragrance that Estée kept for herself and her close friends," said Lauder. "She then decided to launch it, and the whole idea was, after you smell it, you know why she kept it for herself. When I was a little girl, Estée told me that the formula for Private Collection was kept in the safe, and as a six-year-old, obviously I believed her. And as an adult, I love the idea, and thought it would be interesting to re-create the Private Collection concept of a high-end, limited-distribution fragrance that feels special and luxurious."

The centerpiece of the new version of Private Collection is Tuberose Gardenia, a fragrance that Lauder — who has long enjoyed concocting scents for herself and her friends — actually came up with about two years ago; the commercial version was created by Lauder and Karyn Khoury, senior vice president of corporate fragrance development worldwide for the Estée Lauder Cos., in partnership with Firmenich. Its top notes are of neroli, lilac and rosewood; the heart is of tuberose, gardenia, orange flower, jasmine and white lily, and the drydown is of carnation and vanilla bourbon.

"I wore gardenias in my hair when I got married, and I've always loved tuberose," said Lauder. The key florals in the mix are special to her for another reason, too: "They were Estée's favorite flowers," she said. "She always had them in her front hallway [and] next to her bed. Those were the flowers that she loved — the white florals. So, in a way, this fragrance is really in honor of her."

The collection's key product is Tuberose Gardenia Perfume, which Lauder calls "the jewel of the collection." The glass bottle has a gem-encrusted gold cap inspired by a Josef Hoffmann brooch. "We're using aventurine, yellow and green jade, citrine and lemon stones," said Lauder, "and every cap is different, because every stone is different." A 1-oz. bottle will retail for $300.

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