Sunday, October 05, 2008

Estée Lauder Aliage


Estée Lauder's 1972 "sports fragrance" had nothing to do with sportif or an aqueous, marine accord but an aesthetic that correlated the smells of nature (green) with being an outdoorsy individual. Naturally, people played tennis, golf or polo outdoors, on the green, and Aliage would be perfect for such events. By today's standard, Aliage wouldn't seem like activewear but more like a thoroughly vintage green Chypre perfume, but it has a freshness that you might not expect to smell in such a retro, classic 1970s scent. Compared to Estée Lauder Estée, Aliage has more clarity and less floralcy. It's a foresty, leafy scent, almost as freshly leafy as Pierre Balmain Vent Vert but not quite, much darker, more foresty. Imagine O de Lancome in all its citric, mossy green glory, and bring it down two octaves. Aliage smells like a woman in tweed who has an athletic build underneath the wide legged pants that camouflage her figure the way a long skirt would have a decade or two before. Although Jean Patou had made a sports perfume for women back in the 1930s, with Aliage, American beauty guru Estée Lauder brought back the image of the strong, active woman when the idea of a woman wearing pants was still far from mainstream. Acceptance takes a long time where people are reluctant to change, but thank goodness for Aliage and fabulous pantsuits that boldly took women to the workplace. Revlon Charlie would be born just a year later, in 1973.