Estee Lauder Knowing

Filtered by eye Color : Brown
Estee Lauder Knowing

3.8

34 reviews

64% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.0

Price: $$$

INGREDIENTS

Top Notes: Rose, Tuberose, Mimosa, Plum Middle Notes: Jasmine, Patchouli, Orange Flower Base Notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Amber

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on 8/23/2016 7:27:00 AM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Shortest revew ever...
hand in hand with Aromatics Elixir, one of the most brilliant chypre perfume ever made....
pure heaven and a connoisseur's referent chypre...

splendid and remarkable 10/10

10 of 10 people found this helpful.



Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Knowing is the mother of all magnificent mossy chypre fragrances, straddling the fence between fine perfume and aromatherapy. It has a very soothing effect on me like an aromatherapy blend, but it's definitely fine perfume with a capital P.

It opens with a burst of juicy plum mixed with mimosa and rose, continues with orange blossom and jasmine, and finally settles into a deep mossy base complete with amber, musk, cedar, and civet.

The beauty of this fragrance is that it retains the sweetness of the florals and the juiciness of the fruit from start to finish. This prevents it from becoming dry and dusty the way many mossy chypres turn into.

Civet is the magic ingredient that allows it to remain sweet and juicy. Civet tends to add a warmth and radiance to florals, preventing them from being swallowed up in base notes. In my opinion, it's one of the reasons there are no fragrances that really compare to Knowing.

Ultimately, Knowing is not the right perfume for me, but I have given it a 5 because it is truly one of the best formulated and beautiful fragrances out there. I have also ticked that I would repurchase, because you can bet your bottom dollar, if I came across this going cheap in a second hand shop, I would snap it up in a second.

Longevity: 8 hours plus

Sillage: Moderate, people will notice it but it won't enter the room before you

I should point out that I am reviewing a mini bottle that I have had for 10 years, pre 2012 IFFRA regulations. As Knowing has a big whack of oakmoss, it has probably suffered from a poor reformulation. If you go to test it in a store, see if you can find out how old the tester bottle is (good luck getting that info out of sales people though).

Edit: August 2017. I was given a new bottle of this as an early birthday gift. Unfortunately it is no longer anywhere near as good as it used to be. The reduction in the amount of oakmoss used (and possibly other ingredients) has changed the composition a great deal. It is now much sharper, sourer and thinner with the rose and mimosa to the fore. Without the same percentage of oakmoss it no longer feels grounded and the base notes are almost gone.

4 of 4 people found this helpful.


on 9/23/2014 9:23:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I do NOT recommend the modern reformulation depicted above. If you think it's too loud and harsh and dated, all I can say is apply one dab of vintage Knowing sparingly and wait for the dry down.

Even if you are not a Rose fan, an EL fan, or a chypre fan (I used to be neither rose, chypre or EL fan), I would still recommend trying EL Knowing glass bottle (miniature perfume bottle with a white plastic stopper (part of an estee coffret assortment with ingredients stated SD alcohol, Knowing perfume, purified water).

Vintage Knowing is a classic well blended, slightly spicy rose chypre from 1988. It opens as a warm (I want to say amber, though I don't know if amber is in the accords) rose floral blend. The moss in Knowing is tempered enormously by the rose aspect, and on my skin it is just a ghost of structure and a hint of dry hay (possibly from Tonka/coumarin). However, Knowing is relatively easy for me to wear, unlike some of EL's more classic green chypres like azuree and aliage. It is not as honeyed amber as the original ungaro Diva EdP (not EdT) which manages to be honeyed but not gourmand, but it is also softer than Diva.

in the older miniature with the light cap, the dry down is almost evocative of a lighter version of vintage Aramis. In my more modern miniature of Knowing, somehow I get the sense of wheatiness and a slight indolic urinous edge to the dry down, but it's still wearable on my skin. (I find vintage narcisse noire extrait and vintage schiaperelli Shocking both on the verge of unable to wear urinous, but I have no problem with Une Fleur de Cassie or either the vintage or modern Rochas Femme).

If you dab the perfume, not spray, it becomes a skin scent with little to no silage and is not a loud scent. A spray will throw off up to to three times the amount of a dab. I prefer a single dab on one wrist. I can blot the dab if I want to distribute more scent.

EL scents have been criticized being dated or old fashioned, but i was surprised to find scents similar to EL chypre aliage or azure in luxury lines, including either Roja Dove Nuwa or Fetish. Despite EU and IFRA regulations prohibiting or limiting the use of key perfume ingredients, it seems luxury niche perfumers are returning to older styles.

Given Knowing's extremely reasonable price, this deserves 4 stars. Before you make a decision regarding Knowing, please wait for the dry down. It's incredible and not particularly rosy.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 8/8/2013 9:24:00 PM

Age: Unknown

Skin: Normal, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I remember my first whiff of Knowing very clearly. Well, I had sniffed the tester bottle in passing, but I had never sniffed it *on someone* until this experience.

It was 1989, I was being trained for my new job, and I had to go to Ellie's office -- a lady who was 52 at the time -- and she gave me about 2 hours of training, in very close quarters in her office. I was wearing YSL Paris -- and I remember that because I thought Ellie's perfume smelled sooooooooo much better than mine.

It was about 10am when I went to her office, and she smelled *soft* -- soft and delicious and skin-scenty. I complimented her perfume, asked what it was, and she said, "Knowing -- just one drop". I was really surprised to hear that, because I had always thought Knowing was super strong (from sniffing the sprayer in the tester bottle) -- but on Ellie, it was soft. It melted into her skin and smelled warm and wonderful.

Of course, I went out and bought myself a bottle, and I wore it for months on end, and I really loved it. But there were times, esp in meetings or other close quarters, when I was self-conscious, because I felt like I had too much on.

Since it's a spray, it's difficult to apply lightly -- and at first, it is quite strong, even a tiny spritz. Someone once walked in the door and told me I smelled good -- but I was several yards away from her! I was a bit concerned that I was wafting too strongly.

But after it has calmed down and blended in to skin -- when the strength is just right -- it's a wonderful sophisticated perfume. The perfect time of year for me to wear Knowing is September-November. It's a warm earthy floral/woodsy chypre.

Fragrance Notes, per parfumo.net:
Top Notes: Mimosa, Plum, Pittosporum, Rose, Tuberose
Heart Notes: Jasmine, Orange blossom, Patchouli
Base Notes: Amber, Oakmoss, Sandalwood, Vetiver

11 of 13 people found this helpful.


Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

This is a beautiful fragrance. I agree with what a lot of others have said in their reviews, in regards to perhaps dabbing this one on rather than spraying, as it is quite a strong smell. Lovely though. Not an "old lady" smell by any means, but don't think this ones suited for young girls either... A lovely, sophisticated and mature fragrance.

6 of 7 people found this helpful.


on 12/22/2012 2:03:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Normal, Fair, Not Sure

Hair: Red, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Knowing, like Angel, is the perfect example of a fragrance that deserves its five-star rating in Turin & Sanchez' "Perfumes: The Guide," yet is unwearable for me. It is a lush rose chypre of great quality and distinction, in a hefty, artistic, asymmetrically ridged bottle that befits an elegant and mature classic. All the same, I feel sick every time I try to wear Knowing. It has a raspy, nail-varnish-like quality that I associate with old perfumes that have soured from exposure to the light. While I recognize intellectually that Knowing is simply swimming in oakmoss, and not the least bit sour or stale (having been purchased a year ago from Macy's), it nonetheless offends my nose and makes my head spin.



I can wear Aromatics Elixir and Cabochard just fine, so it's not that I am averse to loud dry chypres... But something about Knowing just never settles down for me, never becomes cozy and wearable. Shame.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 1/11/2012 10:55:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Oily, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Okay..... I am going to be honest. This perfume smells like urine.... But that is only in my opinion and a few of my family and friends.

I used to wear Britney Spears' Fantasy because I like sweet scents.... everywhere I went, in elevators, buses, people complimented me on my perfume. However, when in a different country I lost my wallet. Magically, a girl sitting next to me in a bus that day asked me if she could buy whatever perfume I was wearing right then and there...so I sold my Fantasy.

I got Knowing as a gift. Since I like to always wear perfume, even if I am not a fan of the scent, I wore it regularly until I had the money to buy one I really liked. Tip: Don't spritz it on yourself like a body spray...its STRONG. My nose grew immune to it but my friends told me that once I left their car my scent was still flying around in the car...and not in a good way.

This scent is not girlish or young.... in fact it smells kind of old-fashioned to me. If you want to really make a statement in a room, wear this stuff. It doesn't fade away like other perfumes do. But, my dad still told me it smelled like "urine".


on 11/22/2011 8:56:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Fair, Cool

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I try hard to surmount my difficulties with Estee Lauder because I appreciate the compositions so much - but Pleasures turns into celery, White Linen screeches and Cinnabar is an old eraser on me. However, I kept going back again and again to Knowing because I adore chypres and really loved Paulina Porizkova in a tux.
So I wrestled it like a cranky old boar in the forest over three days, and it finally clicked. It's grand and lush and slightly prickly, in a wonderful way. Finally an EL that feels like a version of me.

8 of 8 people found this helpful.


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I wore KNOWING when it first came out in the 80s....I drenched myself in it (the horror!!), but now as I revisit this old-time favorite....I do apply it with a lighter hand.

Now, KNOWING has a lot of oakmoss in it and I fear(ed) a reformulation, so I got my hands on a bottle of new old stock (15 years old) and a bottle of fresh new stock and I will compare the 2 side by side.

The old new stock is a deeper amber color whilst the new stock is a lighter gold/slightly green color (I didn't notice the green tinge - it's so light - until I compared it side by side with the older one). Also, the older bottle has a more secure gold piece on the bottle.

I spritzed the older KNOWING on my left wrist and the newer on my right....I think I did pretty well with equal sized squirts. Within the first moments - I thought, oh no, the new old stock is "old" because a few moments of musty "old fragrance" were evident, but they disappeared in about 10 minutes and now I believe I am smelling true old stock in my comparison to new stock.

The old new stock now smells (25 minutes later), a little softer and less sharp than the new stock but this is a VERY minimal difference....honestly I would not notice this difference if I weren't doing a side by side. They smell very similar (so good job EL if there have been changes). The sillage of both seem the same. When I press my nose to the skin I cannot make out obvious note differences, however the one difference that I do get - and I can't explain since they do smell almost identical - is that when I breathe in the old new stock I almost think of the smell I get when walking into an Hermes boutique, however I do not get this mind/smell image when I breathe the new stock. VERY WEIRD and I can't place what is causing this difference.

Overall, if you are a KNOWING fan, I say kudos to EL for keeping this one true! I am a KNOWING fan and when I wear it, I feel rich and sophisticated and unique, but as others have said you've got to be in the right mood. Fabulous chypre IMO!

17 of 18 people found this helpful.


on 3/5/2010 3:34:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

UGH! Smells like chemicals and is way too strong. Not my cup of tea. It may be "haunting", but in a bad way.


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