The Noses: Elie Roger and Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’

For many years in her life, my sister used Estée Lauder’s White Linen, created by the legendary Sophia Grojsman for Estée Lauder in 1978, and: Knowing

But who was the perfumer behind Estée Lauder’s Knowing, a chypre of roses tangled up with dark moss? For many years, Lauder, like many other companies, didn’t put the perfumers into the limelight, and this is why Elie Roger’s name is not often linked with Knowing if you search for the information online. Roger worked for the fragrance house of Firmenich, and he signed both Knowing (1988) and Clinique Wrappings (1990). While his portfolio wasn’t as extensive as that of some other perfumers, he had a distinctive style, and both Knowing and Wrappings remain beloved classics.

Estee Lauder Knowing Paulina Porizkova ad, 1994

Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’ ad, with model Paulina Porizkova, 1994 (Click photo to enlarge)

Estee Lauder Knowing EDP Spray

Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’ Eau de Parfum in it’s legendary beautiful bottle (Click photo to enlarge)

A real beautiful creation. The top notes begin with the floral freshness of mimoza, pittosporum, sweet rose and tuberose, combined with sparkling fruty notes of plum and melon. There are floral notes mingling with a sweet woodsy note of patchouli and iris and spicy clove and laurel. The chypre base includes precious woods (sandalwood), vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss and civet. Knowing is a warm and elegant woodsy scent for a sophisticated and self-confident woman.

Elie Roger passed away on Nov. 19, 2010, five years ago, after a long career, which started in 1946 in Grasse, France, his hometown. He worked for 20 years at Firmenich, both in New York and Paris, and he received the American Society of Perfumers’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2001. Since he crafted two American classics as well as some other interesting fragrances, it’s well-deserved recognition.

by Jean Amr

One thought on “The Noses: Elie Roger and Estee Lauder ‘Knowing’

  1. I was lucky enough to be a compounder in Ellie’s lab at Firmenich in the Princeton, NJ area. What a beautiful facility they had there. It was exciting to work there. He was a friendly boss, of course very serious about his work. I remember compounding a perfume he intended to gift a visitor at the facility, I made an error and used the wrong rose oil, of course he noticed right away when he sampled the finished product. Due to time constraints, there was no time to redo. He did lecture me about the high cost of the oil used. Overall it was a wonderful experience working there being exposed to the international flair there and introduced to the world of perfumes.

    Liked by 1 person

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