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