Estée Lauder Knowing

Estée Lauder Knowing


92 reviews

69% would repurchase

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 3.8

Price: $$$


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 12/25/2014 8:20:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Very Dry, Dark, Warm

Hair: Black, Kinky, Fine

Eyes: Black

The first time I tried this perfume I hated it. It had a sharp almost dirty smell on the little blotter. I tried two other perfumes, got home with my three paper blotters stuck them on the coffee table & promptly forgot about them. An hour later i kept getting whiffs of something warm, spicy & really really good from somewhere. I started looking around & remembered the perfume blotters. I started smelling each one & to my surprise it was the one with Knowing. The next day, i went to the perfume counter sprayed it on & after the sharp opening, it calmed down & got better & better the longer i wore it. It starts out sharp, bitter & bracing. Then i smell a spicy biting rose. This rose is also quite dry, not dewy at all. The moss starts coming in & gives the perfume an earthiness i love. The longer i wear knowing the warmer it gets. Kind of like a woman you meet who comes across as cold but as you get to know her you realise she's a warm, gentle person. Knowing dries down on me to a warm, earthy skin scent. It's ridiculously beautiful & I can easily wear this as my signature scent. I love it the more i wear it. Ps very strong i literally use just one drop & it's enough!

7 of 7 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.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Cool

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Blue

I've been on the hunt for some new fragrances for autumn, and every year I get into my head that I would love a mossy rose, although I've never really found one that I've really loved. I was perusing the Guide and came across Knowing, then came here to read the reviews. It sounded promising and I went out to test it. Thanks to the reviewer who recommended the cotton ball application tip - perfect! I was pleasantly surprised to find it's very wearable and, actually, not a mossy rose at all. I would describe it as a woody floral, and a white floral at that, so maybe that's why I like it and I'm destined never to find a mossy rose. It's a real Boucheron-sized floral bouquet (the floral section reminds me of that a lot) buried in some dry foliage. Dryness is the key here which keeps it fresh rather than cloying. I can imagine it's a monster if you fully spray it on. I wish the companies making these big fragrances would offer them in splash bottles with the option of an atomiser, like SL does, as then all could be happy. It's much more difficult to decant out of spray bottles than the other way around, and this one would be great to dab.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Warm

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

This fragrance is heavy and mature, its one of my favorite fragrances that's floral, long lasting and earthy.
I find it suitable to wear all year regardless of the weather.
Some reviews have said its best to use a small sprinkle or a dab which I've done and get the smell that's on the nozzle of the bottle. Other times I've used a couple of short spritz sprays and something else that's a sort of musty burnt smoke, honey and the floral is there.
This is the one in 2014 available now, I've never smelt the vintage Knowing.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Age: 56 & Over

Skin: Dry, Fair, Cool

Hair: Blond, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Blue

Eight hours later I could still luxuriate in the fumes of this heavily decadent floral chypre. It's not heavy to those around you, unless you spray more than necessary. A light sprinkling is all that's necessary of this beautiful fragrance.
There are many notes to consider and each individual picks up on different ones. But one thought remains constant. This is not a perfume for the weak and languid. It is vibrant, it is bodacious and unrestrained in the aura it suspends around its wearer.
The longer it sits on your skin the warmer the wood notes become. The rose lingers like an intoxicating first deep whiff you've taken from a bouquet-fresh and sweet but not overpowering. The civet flows through thickly for those of us who love our animalistic scents and the patchouli is darkly obsessional.
This is a magnificent chypre that will take you back to silk dressing gowns, bakelite cigarette holders with rhinestones, smoky eyes and the mysterious look of the pencil-eyebrows of the 1930's. Intimidating? Of course. Only in a cock of the eyebrow manner. This is not a sinister perfume. It is a perfume for the strong.
Knowing is a perfect name for this juice. The poised and confident need only apply to wear this power-house. Be prepared for the consequences.
Top Notes: Aldehydes, Mimose, Coriander, Tuberose, Melon, Plum, Green Notes, Rose.
Middle Notes: Orange Blossom, Bay Leaf, Patchouli, Orris Root, Jasmine, Lily-of-the-Valley, Cedar, Cardamom.
Base Notes: Spices, Sandalwood, Amber, Patchouli, Musk, Civet, Orris Root, Oakmoss, Vetiver.

11 of 11 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
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.

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