Private Collection 1973Eau de Parfum

Private Collection (Eau de Parfum) by Estēe Lauder
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8.4 / 10     229 RatingsRatingsRatings
Private Collection (Eau de Parfum) is a popular perfume by Estēe Lauder for women and was released in 1973. The scent is floral-green. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.
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Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesHoneysuckle, Jasmine, Citrus notes
Heart Notes Heart NotesCoriander, Orange blossom, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes Base NotesPatchouli, Sandalwood

Ratings

Scent

8.4 (229 Ratings)

Longevity

8.6 (180 Ratings)

Sillage

8.0 (167 Ratings)

Bottle

6.8 (164 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 20.11.2020.
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Reviews

9
Scent
9
Longevity
9
Sillage
10
Bottle
Ttfortwo
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Ttfortwo
Ttfortwo
Top Review    20  
That green glow...
... is actually a misleading title for the fragrance, because it is neither the Rohmer film nor the optical phenomenon itself that is meant.

Rohmer's film, a vague, hovering and rather open-ended sketch of the sensitivities of a young lady with a slightly wavering soul, close to being lost, viewed from a distance, more descriptive than explanatory - the whole thing very French, that is - has nothing at all to do with Lauder's great classic fragrance.

Lauder's scent is - in this sense - very American. Complex yes, but at the same time open and straight. Lauder's "Private Collection" goes through the world with the natural relaxedness of an American upper class, with the certainty of being in the right place - and with good reason.

Nor does it refer to the optical phenomenon, namely that in the very last seconds of sunset rare refractive phenomena cause the sun itself, and sometimes also layers of air above it, to glow green: if it glows at the end of the solar day, a magical short moment just before dusk.

"Private Collection" does indeed glow in green - but it radiates this magical green glow very early on in the course, in the top note and with the colour of the chrome diopside: dark green namely, a little metallic and yet full of light. Mugler's aura flacon (which I find - in contrast to its contents - quite great) comes to my mind. Duftsucht's dandelion stem comparison is perfectly chosen, even after thinking about it for a while I can't think of anything that better describes the essence of the top note.

Now it so happens that I already had this fragrance in the 80s, in a version that was then called "pure fragrance". It was the same bottle, but it was in an elaborately designed two-piece box, more like an extra. I don't know if it was really the perfume at the time. By the way, the green overkill top note was the reason for me to buy "Private Collection" at that time, but it seems to me that it wasn't as herbaceous, stalky and glandular as the current EdP, a touch softer and softer maybe. This may be due to a reformulation or the fact that perfumes (if it had been one back then) almost always look a bit rounder than the corresponding eaux - or just a lacking scent memory.

The fragrance remains bright green far into his heart, but the colour changes, he becomes a little softer and gentler, orange blossom and golden ylang shift the spectrum into olive green-golden. Honeysuckle remains perceptible, in a wafer-thinly bitter and very mature, serious variation. I fully agree with the fragrance addiction: the equally magnificent Fragonard de Fragonard, a genuine honeysuckle fragrance, is clearly more sweet, the old Rocher Chèvrefeulle was cooler.

The olive green glow of the heart note is indeed an amazing phenomenon, translucent rather than transparent, with great depth. The soft bitterness mutes the orange blossom and ylang-ylang and pads it in, just enough to make the notes not look dull. The projection is remarkable, the fragrance is self-confident in an unagitated way.

By the way, the durability is excellent, for hours I am surrounded by this soft shining green.

A few thoughts about the perfumer, Vincent Marcello. Parfumo has three fragrances to him in its database - all three imperishable classics, masterpieces, milestones. "Private Collection," "Yatagan," and Halston's "Z-14." Why only these three? What do you think happened? Illness, accident, a personal break, death? Or did a world-class talent say to himself: "I'm just going to knock out three world-class brain hammer scents, then retire and let them all beg?

An - admittedly at most medium-deep - research on the net did not yield anything else besides the hits as a perfumer of the above mentioned fragrances. One source was as surprised as me about the seemingly trackless disappearance of the master, but otherwise? Does anyone here know more?
16 Replies
10
Scent
10
Longevity
7
Sillage
6
Bottle
Duftsucht
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Duftsucht
Duftsucht
Top Review    19  
An original masterpiece to lose yourself in
I sneak around some fragrances for a long time before I start a comment. Often, however, these are exactly those that touch me in a special way and where I am almost bursting with enthusiasm and the need to communicate.
I feel the same way about Private Collection. A blind purchase, I must confess, my meanwhile almost sore ordering finger pushed over the inhibition threshold by the forum topic "Who is your true 'life partner'", which Susan had raised.
A first spraying triggered a lot of associations - especially to several other fragrances. And so I spent the last two days sniffing around with Private Collection on one arm and with Chanel N 19, Fragonard von Fragonard and Diors Diorella (one after the other, of course...). Only when a colleague gave me strange looks in a session that felt endlessly long, because my head was constantly swinging from side to side like a snake, and I was afraid that someone might diagnose me as having mad cow disease, did I get a grip on myself again and decided: "It's time for a comment!
In fact, Private Collection has something in common with all the fragrances mentioned. But the honeysuckle is more lovely and a bit sweeter in Fragonard's work, while in Diorella's work it is overlaid with citric sharpness - especially at the beginning. I was reminded of Chanel N 19 by the green component of the top note - but there it is darker and goes into the mossy woods. Private Collection is a fragrance that truly need not fear all these comparisons. It almost fills me with a little awe, because it is not a simple fragrant water that one sprays in the morning lost in thought and which one simply forgets at some point during the day. No, he keeps reminding himself and seems to challenge me to fathom the secret of his complexity and versatility.
The beginning is a bang in the green. Not delicate, sweet lime green, not moss-covered dark green, not fir green, and not exotic jungle green, but the green of freshly cut stems - Annarosa's comparison with dandelion is actually very apt. Immediately I have a memory of when we used to put together dandelion wreaths as children. The stalk had to be slit with the fingernail to insert the next stalk. For me, a nail-biting, impatient child, not blessed with any special skills - a real challenge, which did not only end once in tantrums and shamefully left flowers - but the bitter smell of dandelion milk and the scratched stems is deeply anchored in my olfactory memory...
The green with which the fragrance greets me has a slight bitterness - and immediately makes a clear statement. This is a mature fragrance and from sweet-sweet miles away. But soon a wonderful white honeysuckle shines in the middle of the harsh green, whose natural scent I have almost fallen for. Until now, Fragonard by Fragonard (besides the old Chevrefeuille by Yves Rocher, which I am certainly not the only one who is mourning!) was my favourite honeysuckle fragrance. Now I have two - the more easily accessible, somewhat more lovely, romantic Fragonard and this radiant and yet somehow also cooler-distant adult honeysuckle, which perfectly combines flower, leaf and later earth and wood. But the icing on the cake for me is a hint of mysterious spice, subtly bitter, which always attracts my attention and gives the fragrance a charming originality - and I almost think I hear a seductive murmur: "Explore me, follow me, let yourself be seduced, lose yourself, maybe you will then discover the secret of my beauty..."

Many thanks to Susan! You make sure that my collection does not get smaller and my account does not get fuller - but my fragrance drawer becomes more diverse and more courageous!
8 Replies
8
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage
7
Bottle
Annarosa
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Annarosa
Annarosa
Very helpful Review    11  
Original scent between dandelion and laundry room
The first thing I notice - "Private Collection" is a very original and idiosyncratic fragrance, at least I don't know its equivalent.
It starts juicy-unsweet-green-the scent I open up for me as a mixture on the bitter-milky scent of dandelion-milk (meaning this white juice that sticks to your fingers and discolors when you pick and tear the dandelion blossoms or leaves), a hint of something earthy-woody and some nasturtium-green. I like this phase very much and it appears at the beginning and partly later on the cool air outside.
However, in the warm conditions inside, this green dandelion-milk scent mutates into a less appealing smell for me: the smell of the steaming laundry room of old. It smells like a huge, steaming aluminum pot full of boiling water and white cotton laundry and with unopened brown household soap inside. This laundry clean smell is a point because of which I am still uncertain whether I want the smell or not.
Nevertheless, I find the fragrance very unique and original. Durability and Sillage are good.
4 Replies
8
Scent
9
Longevity
8
Sillage
8
Bottle
Schwälbchen
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Schwälbchen
Schwälbchen
Top Review    22  
Honeysuckle at its best
Private Collection recently moved in with me. For a long time I read your impressive comments, studied the scents used and was sure that I liked it. I wanted to smell lime blossoms. The scent of those pale green trees that formed an avenue near which I grew up. I find the fragrance too complex or too incapable of perceiving all the individual components represented. Rather, it is a hint of green force at the beginning, perhaps somewhat scratchy or uncomfortable.
After about 15 minutes the fragrance becomes softer. Finally I hear the smell of my hometown.

The mild sweetness of the lime blossoms brings back memories that have long since passed. It's holidays. We play outside until the night forces us to go home. We're sweaty, dusty but frolicsome. Free, like the swallows who circle over us and whose cries accompany our game.
I smell a slight sweetness, not heavy but cheerful. Only when I look it up do I find out why PC is so familiar to me. The honeysuckle (we say "the longer the better"), whose bright sweetness I perceive here, once greeted me every day, climbed up to my neighbour's fence and exudes this scent that somehow reminds me of jasmine, yet is so much softer and purer.

So he stays with me for countless hours. The scent of summer, of childhood. I'm comfortable with him. Still in the evening it envelops me like the brought back childhood memories...

Summer in a bottle.
6 Replies
10
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
7
Bottle
Oriane

111 Reviews
Oriane
Oriane
Very helpful Review    2  
Elegant, Sophisticated, & Gorgeous
Private Collection is a most delicious, enticing, voluptuous, sexy, ELEGANT, and strong (think character) scents that I have ever smelt. It was my signature fragrance in the 1980s, and I have never stopped loving it. I read that it was named Private Collection because it was amongst Estee Lauder's private fragrances--unavailable on the market. I also once read that it was Grace Kelly's favourite perfume, and I can certainly understand why! Good grief it is heavenly! I feel sophisticated, elegant, voluptuous, and simply quite happy any time I wear this mesmerising fragrance. Private Collection is truly a classic. If Estee Lauder ever stopped making it, I would proclaim it a crime against humanity to have stopped.

Top Notes: Orange Blossom, Linden Blossom, Green Notes, Hyacinth, Lemon, and Bergamot.

Heart Notes: Mignonette, Honeysuckle, Chrysanthemum, Jasmine, Pear, Ylang-Ylang, Rose, and Narcissus.

Base Notes: Coriander, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Oak Moss, Heliotrope, and Cedar.

I cannot wear most Estee Lauder scents (they literally make me ill), but Private Collection is definitely the exception! Wearing it to bed tonight and am sure to have very sweet dreams indeed! I cannot imagine how anyone could not be immediately and totally seduced by this fragrance!!

Fragrance: 10/10
Projection: 10/10
Sillage: 10/10
Longevity: 8/10
10
Scent
7.5
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
Coutureguru

223 Reviews
Coutureguru
Coutureguru
Top Review    16  
Historical Perfumery Landmark
When I write a list of my top 10 fragrances (a daunting task best left for sometime in the future :o/), Private Collection will undoubtedly be on it more than likely somewhere close to the top. This is not because it is earth-shattering or so different that it brings on that "OH MY GOD ... I have to have a bottle NOW" feeling ... simply just because it is so constant!

I've been around this fragrance for a long, long time! It has been my Mother's signature since the late 70's, and harks back to a time in perfumery when wearing something like this was a status symbol, because even at that time it was considered 'expensive'. I remember being very frustrated that I would have to save my pocket money for at least two years to afford a bottle of this as a gift! As luck would have it, I had a job with Lauder for a short while when I left school and was able to give my Mom a bottle of extrait for Christmas that year! She still has it :) ... along with all the others I have given her since.
When Lauder reformulates, they generally do so in a sympathetic way that retains the original spirit of the fragrance. Private Collection has lost its 'monster sillage and longevity' but retains all of its fabulosity! A superb green floral leaning heavily in the Chypre direction, this fragrance carries all of the hallmarks of what Mrs. Lauder tried to create ... a little piece of luxury for everybody! The deft handling of the Oakmoss, Patchouli and Cedar in the base is a masterstroke of blending. I have taken to wearing this of late as it is completely unisex in the way that many floral chypre's tend to be 35 odd years on.

I yearn for the days of fragrances such as these, when just a drop of extrait carried half a block away. A few spritzes of Private Collection remind me why I am a fragrance fanatic in the first place!!
5 Replies
jtd

484 Reviews
jtd
jtd
Helpful Review    7  
Thanks for sharing, Mrs. Lauder.
This fragrance is beautifully balanced. Green florals, grass, woods, powder, moss. It’s funny the way we rewrite gender over time. I’m sure this was prissily feminine at the time it was released, but if a niche house released this today as a masculine and used all the synonyms for fresh (too down-market to use the word itself) to describe it, this would sell like mad. I can hear it. “A new type of masculine scent. Tonic and Brisk, with just enough Sass and Daring to be powdery.”

I shouldn’t make fun. This really is a brilliant masculine. Feminine, too, for that matter. I love green chypres and usually lean toward the leather variety. This one has not a trace of leather, and in fact is pretty light on moss to my nose. What appeals to me is the balance of its ingredients that overall gives an impression of flowers, leaves, and mostly, grass. This is what the lawns in utopia smell like. Just plan ahead; this stuff is powerfully strong and lasts days.
Awesomeness

247 Reviews
Awesomeness
Awesomeness
Helpful Review    3  
A sweeter, wetter, more floral Alliage
Private Collection by Estée Lauder

I am testing EL's Private Collection side-by-side with EL's Alliage. Private Collection seems to me to be a sweeter, wetter, more floral Alliage. PC is quite likable and very wearable. However, for me, the white florals & spring flowers make Private Collection a little too common, too girly to join my collection. Pretty nonetheless, albeit a bit "mature." (Slap me with a wet noodle - I can't believe I just said that.)
10
Scent
10
Longevity
7.5
Sillage
10
Bottle
Callas

53 Reviews
Callas
Callas
Very helpful Review    4  
Noble refinement
Refinement, because the components appear newly again and again. The head note is with sparkle refreshing and cool. Green notes follow.
I sink in a Jasminbouquet which doesn't seem too sweet or oppressive at all.
The heart note doesn't want to let itself be seen with me; I skip her because the Sandalwood and Patchouli want to push to the front.

I am like Hermessenz. With some delay the coriander is heralded; there are still the sharp notes and the jasmine suddenly then appears again . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pure refinement and I follow Andi 'the smell gets more and more beautiful for duration'!
5
Scent
7.5
Longevity
Missk

1165 Reviews
Missk
Missk
Very helpful Review    7  
A scent that should remain private
I wanted to try this scent because I liked the sound of the notes and thought that perhaps it would be a little similar to my all-time favourite Burberry Weekend.

Well, similar it is not. This fragrance goes on very strong, it almost knocked me out. It has a very distinctive, mature and old-fashioned type scent.

It was very difficult for me to sniff my wrist to get a proper description for reviewing this scent because the fragrance was so heavy and overpowering. I can sense the greeness in this fragrance, however, like Chanel No.19, all I could smell was wet grass.

From a distance I didn't mind the scent. It was a rather intense, powdery and likable blend of floral notes. However, up close it smelt like rotten vegetables, dangerous chemicals and spicy herbs.

This fragrance is certainly not my cup of tea, however I am reviewing this fragrance from a younger perspective. Perhaps when I am older I will appreciate this scent more, but I doubt I will ever be adding this to my collection.

I have concluded that this is either a love it or hate it type of scent. To me this fragrance is far too potent and unpleasant for my liking.

EDIT:
I am re-visiting this fragrance nearly two years on, and I must say my opinions and tastes have differed. While I don't love Private Collection just yet, it is surprisingly soapier than when I last tested it. That rotten smell has vanished and what is left is a rather mature and clean floral green.
1 Replies

Statements

ChapeauClackChapeauClack 5 years ago
10
Scent
This really only needs one word to describe it: perfection.

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