Intuition (Estée Lauder)

Here's an equation all perfume lovers will recognize: Estée Lauder = Quality²

Thus far every scent by Lauder has been a quality product, with some better than others of course. The compositions are well arranged, notes usually crystal clear, and ambiance rarely lacking. Even the losers (Dazzling Gold for one) aren't really all that bad, considering what else is out there. They ooze class, even when they're oozing other things, too.

I recently happened across a mini and gave it a whirl. My test notes reflect something very rare - Intuition is extremely difficult for me to classify. I'm tempted to say it's an oriental; the spicy density of the scent definitely begs for judicious application, and preferably not at work. Meanwhile, there's a mossy greenness, a bitter chypre structure, floral and dewy notes grafted to the spices. Parsing my notes further, I see I've written the following sentence: There's certainly more to the name than just a word - the warmth of the oriental accords suggest the dregs of winter, while the greenery that sparkles within implies an unforeseen knowledge of coming change. In other words, and if I may reiterate myself here, this perfume intuits a change of seasons by straddling the best of both worlds.

The EDP opens with chilled grapefruit and bergamot. It's a good beginning to a green perfume. These notes, particularly the bergamot, are analogs of unripe or semi-ripe fruit, and have a vague greenness to them. A darker interpretation of gardenia and spicy carnation prickles through the evaporated citrus, but soon (as in within ten minutes) is tempered by sage and cool freesia. There are mysterious floral notes fluttering in this scent's breeze, but I'm not really sure what they are. I suppose one could say they're just hints of wildflowers. In the end the season goes coastal, and a mild ambergris, meticulously blended with remnants of all the floral notes, warms the base. It's complex, strong, a little astringent, a little cluttered, very spicy, yet breezy and clean. It's lovely stuff.

The oriental aspect of Intuition makes it suitable for men to wear, and I'm realizing as I try them that well-made orientals are generally unisex, despite any marketing to the contrary. However, the floral arrangement is perfect for a strong and independent woman, albeit a mature one. I see this working for the over-30 set. Anyone younger might want to consider trying Pleasures instead. I'm not as enamored with Pleasures, but I'll get to that in another review. Intuition says "I'm smart, easy-going, but serious about life." It's a simple message, conveyed in an ornately suggestive perfume. In short, it's a concise scent for winter wear, and it keeps spring within arm's reach.