For four of the world’s most sought-after women — all of whom appear in the advertising campaign for Estée Lauder’s new Sensuous women’s fragrance — sensuality is about more than sex.

This story first appeared in the July 9, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Like what? “Nature,” said Elizabeth Hurley, who appears in the campaign with Gwyneth Paltrow, Carolyn Murphy and Hilary Rhoda. The women gathered at Bloomingdale’s Manhattan flagship Tuesday night to promote the fragrance. Although Lauder didn’t reveal numbers, industry sources estimated the evening’s take at $30,000. “We’re all feeling a real affinity to nature. We’re loving being outside, communing with nature — whether it’s the countryside or by the sea or the mountains, there’s something about that which makes us all really feel relaxed,” Hurley said.

Paltrow, Hurley and Murphy are mothers, too. Did their sense of what’s sensuous change after their children arrived? “I think the most beautiful I’ve ever felt was when I was pregnant — large and happy,” Murphy said.

“Being in constant contact with a child is a very sensuous thing,” Hurley explained. “They’re gorgeous and fresh and unspoiled. It’s a very relaxing thing to be around a child. Except, obviously, when they’re going demented.”

“The skin, the little hands, how affectionate they are — my children are both very tactile,” Paltrow said. “They like to have their feet rubbed and their hair is so fine and soft — it’s like an exercise in sensuality.”

As for their other pursuits, Hurley said of her organic farming venture: “We’re now selling our pork to a few of the very smartest London restaurants — I took a half pig in my Range Rover to a very smart restaurant I’m sure you’ve all eaten at,” she said, gesturing to Paltrow, Murphy and Rhoda.

Paltrow is readying for a turn as one of King Lear’s daughters in a film slated for a 2010 release.

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