Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss ~ perfume review

Aerin Lauder for Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss fragrance

Jasmine White Moss is the latest addition to Estée Lauder's Private Collection range. It's reportedly based on an unfinished fragrance that Estée Lauder herself had been working on in the 1980s:

Estée conceived Formula #546AQ, as it was known, as a new way to convey sparkling freshness balanced with sophisticated elegance and a distinctive signature. However, it was left unfinished in her lifetime and was gradually forgotten for many years.

Often inspired by her grandmother’s work, Aerin Lauder, Estée Lauder Senior Vice President and Creative Director, was looking back through the archives and rediscovered this lost fragrance. She fell in love with its unexpectedly lively, modern spirit and decided to complete the fragrance, using today’s advanced technology and the finest natural ingredients direct from France.1

Private Collection Jasmine White Moss is classified as a green floral chypre. Like the other Private Collection scents (see Tuberose Gardenia and Amber Ylang Ylang), it goes on big — Estée Lauder does not, in general, go for little wispy fragrances. It stays big, and the lasting power, as always, is excellent, but like Tuberose Gardenia in particular, Jasmine White Moss feels airy and open rather than dense. The opening is sharp fruity citrus for a few minutes, then it's mostly greenery and oakmoss, or rather, "white moss mist", oakmoss now being for all intents and purposes verboten. I'll second March's take on the white moss mist:

If “white moss mist” is the Lauder secret sauce that’s going to replace bad old oakmoss, hey – it’s gorgeous. Congratulations, chemists hidden behind door number three!

Mind you, it doesn't really smell exactly like oakmoss. It smells like clean oakmoss. Just as modern engineered patchouli is only vaguely related to the musty head shop patchouli oils of days gone by, so it goes with the white moss mist: those of you who thought classic oakmoss-based chypres smelled too much like mildew and swamp may find something to love in white moss mist.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss perfume

The heart is a jasmine-based floral. It's very jasmine-y at first, then more of a blended floral later (the complete list of notes: mandarin, black current bud absolute, galbanum, bergamot, jasmin sambac absolute, jasmin India absolute, violet, orange blossom, orris, ylang-ylang, patchouli, vetiver and white moss mist). It's soft and clean throughout, and my biggest complaint is that it's just slightly too clean: most of the greenery and oakmoss is gone by the time we reach the middle stages, and the jasmine, while strong, is awfully smoothed over (I do like a touch of skank in my jasmine); the base, while moderately earthy, is not nearly so earthy as I'd like. All of which means that it's probably perfectly calibrated for modern tastes, and I should stop my kvetching. It is lovely, and it's beautifully done. Personally I don't love it nearly as much as Tuberose Gardenia, which is still easily my favorite of the 3 (modern) Private Collection scents, but it's a green floral chypre for grown-ups, and that alone is saying something. And hey, take a look at the solid perfume pendant below. I would like me one of those.

Estée Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss is available in 30 ml Parfum (jeweled cap as shown above, $325), 30 ($80) and 75 ($135) ml Eau de Parfum (textured gold cap), and a limited edition solid perfume pendant (shown below, limited edition $195).

1. Via press release.

Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss solid perfume

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100 Comments

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  1. Aimee LOndee says:

    huzzah! A new release that’s a “green floral chypre for grownups”! I officially have a girl-crush on Aerin Lauder now.

    • Robin says:

      In general EL seems to gear their efforts to a much older audience than most other brands. I appreciate it.

  2. RusticDove says:

    Oooh – I am SO glad you reviewed this! I haven’t made it to Nordstroms yet to sample it and I’ve been very curious about it. It sure sounds like something I will love and can’t wait to try it myself.

    • Robin says:

      Hope you’ll like it! So far the reviews seem to be very mixed.

  3. flittersniffer says:

    Can’t be too clean for me so I can’t wait to get my hands on this.

    Words like “open”, “modern” and “no skank” are music to my ears!

    • Robin says:

      Then it might be perfect for you! Still, have seen a few complaints about the oakmoss. To me, this is as clean as oakmoss can get and still have any relationship to oakmoss, but if you really hate oakmoss it might still be too much.

      • flittersniffer says:

        Hmm – I have started to hear adverse comments about the moss as well. I guess if it is around the same level as in Cristalle, that would be fine.

  4. marko says:

    Unfortunately, I was disappointed with this when I tried it on at Nordstrom last weekend (the SA almost screamed at me across the Estee lauder counter that I shouldn’t spray it on myself because it was a woman’s fragrance!!!…..those SAs can be nutty sometimes…..). Most chypres seem to turn sour on my skin, and even as beautiful as this was on the note card, by the end of the afternoon, I was tired of smelling like rotten flower water. I’d definitely love to smell this on someone else!!!

    • Robin says:

      Ah, rotten flower water: so still too much oakmoss for you? It’s one of my favorite smells in the world, and this made me miss the real thing. Will be interested to hear what others think…

    • miss kitty v. says:

      I think I would have then sprayed the narrow-minded SA in the eyes with it, Marko. But maybe you’re nicer than me. :)

  5. Kess says:

    Did anyone else think it was in the same ‘vibe’ as YSL Y? (YSL Y is maybe a touch sweeter, but I definitely thought of Y when I smelled Jasmin White Moss.)

    • Robin says:

      It didn’t make me thing of Y in particular…will have to try them together!

      • violetnoir says:

        Good point made by Kess, R. It is reminiscent of Y.

    • SmokeyToes says:

      ELPC-JWM reminds you of Y? OOOhhh! And to think this was on my “must TRY” list already. Thanks to NST, that list is getting longer by the day!

  6. Tiara says:

    Most of the EL scents don’t do much for me, but this one sounds quite promising. The white moss mist, from the chemists hidden behind door number three, sounds interesting. Soft and clean sounds appealing as well. Nice review!

    • Robin says:

      Hope it will work for you!

  7. Joe says:

    You know I was **this** close to buying unsniffed a couple weeks back but I reined myself in (and scentsplits didn’t garner any interest either). And I STILL have not gotten to Nordstrom to smell this. I think I’m going to correct that after work today — and I will seriously not put up with any SA screaming at me that it’s a WOMAN’S fragrance, either!

    Sounds great to me. TG was too much for me and AYY was a great comfort scent; Jasmine & Moss (even clean moss) sound perfect. Maybe this would be helped out by layering over a light spritz of Azuree… lol.

    • Robin says:

      This one is definitely less “too much” than TG, I think. But hey, if you have to layer it over a REAL chypre than why bother, LOL…

      • Joe says:

        Category: “Chypres for Beginners” :D

  8. CynthiaW says:

    Is it only at Nordstroms? Or do they have it at Macy’s and Dillards, too? We have a Nordstroms, but it’s not especially convenient so I don’t know that I want to drive there just to sample. Grr….

    • Robin says:

      Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman — so far as I know, that’s it.

      • Robin says:

        Oh…or online at esteelauder.com!

        • CynthiaW says:

          If I buy it, I’ll definitely buy it online (unless it’s bonus time), but I don’t want to do an $80 unsniffed purchase. Maybe I’ll have to trek down to the Galleria after all – I can probably sniff some other stuff down there, too.

          • Robin says:

            I need to do a mall trip soon myself…

          • mals86 says:

            Cynthia, I have a sample of PCTG that I’d be happy to send you. It’s really lovely but has that EL base that just killllllls me – if you want it, drop me a note at MUA or fragrantica. I’m Mals86 there, too.

  9. violetnoir says:

    I tested this a couple of weeks ago. I agree with you that TG is the best of the three. I love it! This is my second favorite, but I need to test it some more, since I did not fall for TG until after several tries. I did buy a bottle for my MIL, and she loves it.

    Hugs!

    • Robin says:

      R, I’ve been wearing it a couple weeks and don’t think I’m going to fall in love with it…but hey, you never know! I do love that jeweled bottle.

      • Daisy says:

        stop looking at that jewelled bottle! It will lead you astray for sure. think about it like this….those little square and rectangular cabochons appear to be MOP (mother of pearl)–very inexpensive, Onyx—also quite inexpensive and what appears to be lapis, and very likely manmade lapis at that…..so they are totally rooking people on the cost of the fancy shmancy jewelled cap…

        • Joe says:

          But the jeweled cap is PARFUM… do you hear me? Parfum… parfum…. you are getting sleeeeeeepyyy…. your credit card is feeling lighter….

          Seriously, though, the parfum bottlecaps are dang nice.

          • Daisy says:

            hey you, I’m trying to stem the flow of $$$ from Robin’s pocketbook here….with some anti-lem comments…..
            and now that you mention it…I am a bit sleepy…and my credit card practically FLOATS it’s so light…is that bad? lol

            And you probably are laughing your head off because you know I just opened a split of Une Rose Chypree!

          • CynthiaW says:

            Ugh… I desperately want the Tuberose Gardenia parfum, jeweled cap or no jeweled cap. Problem is, I can’t even find anywhere to sample it and I’m sure not dropping $300 unless I’ve smelled it and determined it to be at least 3 times more beautiful than the edP

        • Robin says:

          No worries, no way am I paying that much.

        • boojum says:

          We’re thinking the same thoughts today, although it IS really beautiful. I’ve thought that of the whole line.

  10. alltheprettythings says:

    I keep meaning to try this one, it sounds perfect for me.

    My fave of the Big3 is the Amber Ylang Ylang – I love its warmth and knock-you-out density in the beginning. :)

    • Robin says:

      Do try it, it’s really well done. The AYY wasn’t likely to please me since I’m a fan of neither amber nor ylang…

      • alltheprettythings says:

        My other favorite EL is the original White Linen, so I’m hoping THIS will be my next purchase (of course, I want to get with a GWP!). :D

        • Robin says:

          EL is great about GWP…something you never get w/ a niche brand!

          • CynthiaW says:

            If you sign up for their newsletters, they’ll email you about any GWP specials that they have running on the online store as well. Plus, you always get samples with each order. I’ve received some really nice minis, as well as make-up as a GWP.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I bought a bottle of this the day after trying it. That’s how much I loved it. It reminds me of Chanel Cristalle, but bigger and brighter. Jasmine White Moss gives me hope for the future of perfumery.

    • Farah says:

      That’s really good to know. I love chypres but they don’t love me. I think I’m one of those unlucky people that are allergic to oakmoss – my skin comes out in red welts after a few minutes. Cristalle and Mitsouko are the two chypres I want but cannot wear.

      • sayitisntso says:

        You may want to consider trying the fragrance on fabric – that is, if the juice is of a light color and won’t stain fabric – this way, you get to enjoy it the scent, and the scent itself will take longer to unfold.

        • Farah says:

          I’ll try that tonight and see if it works out…thanks!

        • Daisy says:

          you might try purchasing a few nice looking handkerchiefs and use them as your perfumed fabric expecially if the perfume has color….a couple spritzes on the hanky, fold it up and stash it in your pocket.

      • Robin says:

        Farah, I assume you won’t have that problem w/ the oakmoss in this scent since it’s not a natural.

        • Farah says:

          I hope not! I’m fine with 31 Rue Cambon, and that’s a new-style chypre.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting…maybe because I wear so many chypres, none of them really remind me of the others except for the few common notes like oakmoss & patch.

  12. Tama says:

    Drat, I was just in Nordie’s the other day trying out the MAC honeys and forgot all about this. Next trip! I have liked these PC’s – I don’t have the AYY but have been working on a sample and hope to get it at some point. I got the TG for myself and my sister. This one sounds great – I used to wear original PC but for some reason it no longer sings to me. This might be the ticket.

    • Robin says:

      And I still haven’t tried the MAC honeys!

      • Tama says:

        They were sold out in my Nordies but they had the testers. You might want to hurry.

        • Robin says:

          My local mall boasts 2 MAC counters and a standalone MAC boutique…hopefully one of them will still have them!

          • miss kitty v. says:

            And since I have tremendous guilt over buying 4 bottles of MAC perfume at once, I feel the need to share with others. Robin, I’d be happy to send you samples of both the honeys.

          • Robin says:

            That’s very kind! Let’s see if I manage to track it down at the mall this weekend.

  13. monkeytoe says:

    I don’t know whether I will buy it (I am too poor from stocking up on the soon-to-be reformulated), but it smelled darn good sprayed over the CB: I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention I had on that day.

    • Robin says:

      Oh, interesting combo!

  14. Cadence says:

    I have wanted this perfume for awhile. I bought EL PC and it is one of my standbys. It smells like my honeymoon. But I also have been looking for a fresh chypre. That necklace is MINE! (evil laughter)

    • Robin says:

      Isn’t that lovely?

    • miss kitty v. says:

      I thought the necklace was pretty, too. But then I saw the price tag–and then laughed when I realized I might pay that for a really good perfume, but a necklace? Nope! What weird standards I have.

  15. mikeperez23 says:

    As a fan of the original PC (in parfum) & the Tuberose Gardenia I really, really want to try this soon – but honestly, I just fell in love with another jasmine scent (Jasmin et Cigarette by ELDO) and I don’t need yet another one, what with A La Nuit in my wardrobe as well! (sigh)

    The ‘white moss mist’ aspect of it concerns me though. Myself, I don’t like ‘cleaned up’ woody notes. The clean patchouli was the worst part of Tom Ford’s White Patchouli. Give me dirt!

    • Robin says:

      I know what you mean about give me dirt…but hey, ain’t going to happen on the mainstream counters, you know?

      • mikeperez23 says:

        Maybe Sean Puffy Combs will feature a ‘dirt’ note in his new designer scent and the delicate equilibrium of designer scents will be thrown for a loop?

        One can dream, right?

        :D

        • Robin says:

          Ha…he’d be the last person I’d expect to do such a thing, buy you never know!

    • miss kitty v. says:

      Ooh, I’ve been wanting to try Jasmin et Cigarette!! Glad to hear a good word about it. I have myself on a monthly sample allowance each month, and this time it was down between that and Vraie Blonde. I’ll have to try the JeC next month. :(

      And i’m kind of hoping I DON’T like the PC Jasmin. (PC Jasmin sounds like something else altogether, doesn’t it? I guess that wouldn’t be a very indolic jasmine, hee hee–ok, I’m a dork.) I love love love jasmine, but I really don’t need another!

      • mikeperez23 says:

        Jasmin et Cigarette is like no other jasmine scent I’ve ever smelled. Lot’s of fruit in this one, but it’s nicely balancing out the explosively strong jasmine and it totally works with that stale cigarette / cigar ash buzzing right along in the middle of it all. Not a good candidate for a blind buy, but one any jasmine lover should sample.

        • miss kitty v. says:

          I’ll definitely sample it first. I keep saying it’s the jasmine that attracts me, but honestly, as a former smoker, it’s the smell of ashtray I really long for… I’m sick, I know.

          • norjunma1 says:

            Ha! and I thought I was the only one. It’s why I keep my arm glued t my nose whenever i wear Tabac Blond.

  16. Rappleyea says:

    From the notes, this sounds like something I ought to love (big chypre lover here!), but “goes on big and stays big”, “clean oak moss” and “smoothed over jasmine” have really deterred me. There’s no such thing as too much oak moss for me, and I’ve found that as much as I want to love Coromandel, I can’t like the clean patchouli. And what’s jasmine without the indoles?!?

    But my gripes aside, I love reading your reviews. You always do a great job.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks! But hey, but do try it anyway — you never know.

  17. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    I do love chypres on the whole, and I did like TG and AYY — not enough to buy, mind you, but they were nice enough — so this sounds like an interesting sniff. I have to admit, however, that I’ve always disliked Aerin Lauder, although admittedly based on not much evidence at all. She has this holier-than-thou, no-makeup-but-don’t-I-look-fabulous, oh-and-I-wore-stilettos-when-I-was-hugely-pregnant air that rubs me the wrong way. And the whole schtick of poking around in Estee’s musty, cobwebbed underground bunker/lab and discovering her secret unfinished formula amid the empty gin bottles sounds like such b.s. There, that’s my harrumphing for today!

    • Robin says:

      Interesting…I don’t think I notice her enough to have an opinion either way. But that said, I do think it’s interesting how they’re taking a page from Chanel in terms of keeping the connection to Estee herself alive, given that I don’t really think most consumers care. But who knows, maybe I’m all wrong & people really do care. Me, I just want to know the name of the perfumer or perfumers, what do I care what AL had to do with it?

    • miss kitty v. says:

      She rubs me the wrong way, too. I think it’s the no-makeup look when she’s representing a cosmetics company. There’s some unspoken “I don’t need these things, but YOU do” attitude that I get from her.

  18. mals86 says:

    I’m really learning to appreciate a good floral chypre, so any discussion of PCJWM always grabs my attention… clean patchouli? gentle moss? non-indolic jasmine? Hey, my thing! …and then I go and retry any Lauder scent and get discouraged again.

    There MUST be something in the Lauder base that is just naaassssty on me, reminiscent of a school bathroom post-vomit, post-cleanup. (Seriously, I said it was nasty, didn’t I?) The original PC was beautiful, but not quite floral enough for my wimpy self – and then came the sickening drydown. Because I never learn, I just picked up a bottle of vintage Knowing parfum on ebay last week (yeah, yeah, me and those unsniffed minis, I know I’m bad), and it was just glorious until the drydown. And then I wanted to cut my arms off. Gah. So as lovely as this one sounds in the Remedial Oakmoss category, I don’t think I’ll bother to sniff. Sigh.

    • Robin says:

      They definitely have a consistent style. Don’t know that I’ve noticed a consistent base, but maybe I’m just missing it!

  19. Ty says:

    Can anyone give me the name of a fragrance that may be similar to this one? I am a EL fan. My favorite is Youth Dew.

    • Robin says:

      Several people above suggested YSL Y.

  20. lightgreen22 says:

    Can’t wait to try this!

    • Robin says:

      Hope you’ll find some soon then :-)

  21. HomeSweetHome says:

    Just received JWM in an order of delightful little vials from The Perfumed Court . . . and I like it more each time I wear it. I haven’t found it to be “big” but that could be due to applying it with a very small dauber from a very small vial. I’ve worn it a few times now, and I would describe it as very similar to an old bottle of Byblos I used to have. Not much sillage, but it has definite staying power on my skin–again, a few sprays from a real bottle might tell a different tale on the sillage. The overall effect is like a cutting of honeysuckle that includes fresh, bursting buds of sweetness as well as some of the older, yellow -and-mellow blooms just going off their peak.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, and I’m spraying it from a rather generous spray…it does make a difference! But I always find EL scents “big”, perhaps also because my own tendency is to wear very lightly.

    • bergere says:

      Did you mean the old Byblos in the blue bottle with the sand rose?

      • HomeSweetHome says:

        Possibly, mine was definitely in a blue bottle but arrived as a tester without packaging or cap. I no longer have it, so am working from memory. The sweetness of JWM reminded me of that Byblos, but I don’t think the Byblos had even a hint of chypre . . .

  22. smpeach says:

    stupid question – but is the model wearing a gardenia blossom in her hair? Strange for this scent

    • Robin says:

      I assumed it was a little bouquet of jasmine, but not sure…

  23. Kess says:

    I was told by an SA that the ‘model’ is actually Aerin Lauder. Is that true? there’s definite resemblance, but the woman in the picture looks younger/prettier that the pictures I found of Aerin online. Can anyone confirm?

    • CynthiaW says:

      Well, she is the “face” of all of the Private Collection fragrances and it certainly looks like her – an airbrushed her, but definitely like her. I don’t know why they’d find a model that looked that much like her instead of just using her.

      • Kess says:

        I did not know about her being the ‘face’. Makes sense for it to be her then.

    • Robin says:

      Yes, it’s Aerin Lauder.

  24. Bunny says:

    I really need to try the these EL PCs. Well, I suppose I tried the original one… ack! not for me LOL

    • Kess says:

      To my nose, Jasmin white Moss had nothing to do with the original Private Collection. I had to scrub off the original, while JWM is very wearable and quite tame — in a good way, in my book :)

    • Robin says:

      They’re much more modern than the original PC…give them a shot!

  25. Nile Goddess says:

    TG is definitely too much for me, unless I could follow this routine:
    1. Decide what I want to wear – 3 days in advance
    2. Spray attire with TG
    3. Leave to “set” for 3 days
    4. Wear.
    I’m lacking the discipline for this so I gave TG a pass – with regret, as it lasts forever and once the sickening gardenia – or is it the tuberose? – is gone, it smells lovely, almost haunting.

    Looking forward to JWM!

    • Robin says:

      LOL! This one isn’t so strongly floral to my nose, but see what you think.

    • bergere says:

      LOL! There’s another fave of mine that I have to “prepare” for, Montaigne by Caron. It’s great three days (or a week) from the spray!

  26. Dunja says:

    Hi there perfumistas!

    I live in The Netherlands and Estee Lauder’s Jasmine White Moss will not be launched here untill January 2010 (very strange for such a fresh scent). It seems fairly impossible to order a bottle through an official way because all these websites tell me that ‘this article cannot be shipped to The Netherlands’. Does anyone know another way to obtain a bottle?

    • Robin says:

      You could try ebay…I’m sure eventually you’d find someone willing to ship overseas.

  27. eminere says:

    I want all those parfum caps and solid perfume cases.

    Would’ve thought they’d use green stones for this fragrance, though the blue and grey stones do look gorgeous against the gold.

  28. jaymeharris says:

    This fragrance smells amazingly so much like Chanel Cristalle, the original one, from the mid 70’s, that was my signature fragrance for many years…..It is great! Fresh, crisp, unique in this cologne day & age!! Love it!

    • Robin says:

      So glad you found a winner :-)

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