Aerin Lauder on Fragrance, Femininity, and the Power of Flowers

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Aerin Lauder Interview
Photo: Courtesy of Aerin

The new Aerin beauty counter officially opened in Bloomingdale’s-Dubai last week, bringing one of the most feminine, luxurious, and beautiful beauty brands to the Middle East. Created by none other than Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of beauty mogul Estée Lauder, the brand centers around three pillars – The Fragrance Collection, The Rose Collection, and The Rose de Grasse Collection.

For me, there’s not a more intimate way to express who I am than through fragrance.

From perfumes to body creams, candles to sumptuous soaps, the packaging design and ingredients themselves have all been created to represent a part of Aerin. “The collection is the most personal and intimate expression of me – my memories, my life,” she reveals to Savoir Flair. “Fragrance is part of my heritage and has always been a passion of mine. I wanted to share more of who I am and what my life is about. For me, there’s not a more intimate way to express who I am than through fragrance.”

Speaking about her influences, her passion for perfume, and her own beauty rituals, Aerin reveals just what beauty means to her. Read on to find out more in this exclusive interview.

Aerin Beauty Fragrance
Photo: Courtesy of Aerin

What motivated you to start the brand?
I’m fortunate to have learned so much from a lifetime in beauty. The time came for me to take those lessons, reinterpret them, and pursue my own vision from my own perspective. I was always asked what’s in my makeup bag and felt there was a void in the marketplace for a feminine, effortless beauty brand.

Who is the Aerin woman’?
A modern, feminine, and classic woman who lives a multifaceted life, yet wants to look natural, feel refreshed, and be on trend. I know how important beauty is in a woman’s life and how hard it can be sometimes to look beautiful and stylish. I was inspired by my own busy life and the desire to make beauty effortless, stylish, and mistake-proof.

What notes and ingredients do you love most?
I love white florals – especially gardenia, tuberose, and orange blossom. Many of these notes are used in the fragrances that I’ve worked on over the years, including the new Aerin fragrance collection.

Why did you create several fragrances at once instead of one?
I wanted to create a modern wardrobe of fragrances – fragrances that can be very personal to the woman who’s wearing them. Estée always said that you wouldn’t wear the same dress to play tennis and go out to dinner, so why would you wear the same fragrance? My collection currently has nine distinct scents, so you can choose how to transform by mood, season, and occasion.

Aerin Beauty Rose Collection
Photo: Courtesy of Aerin

What is your first fragrance memory?
Freshly cut grass, the smell of fresh flowers, the seaside – there are so many! Growing up surrounded by fragrance, no matter where I was, there were always things to test, try, and play with. Fragrance has and always will be a part of my life. It is my heritage and has been my passion for as long as I can remember. It’s part of me.

What are your scent rituals?
Estée used to say the best way to apply fragrance is to spray it into the air and walk into it. I like to put on a small amount in the morning, and then reapply when I go out in the evening. Sometimes, it’s the same scent, other times it’s different, depending on the season or event. I also like to spray fragrance onto my hairbrush and run it though my hair a few times. It’s an easy, light way to wear fragrance. When traveling, I spray fragrance in my suitcase – my clothing smells amazing when I arrive at my destination!

 What’s so amazing about fragrances is immediate gratification – if you feel a little tired and you put on some perfume, you feel pretty.

How important do you think fragrance is to self-confidence?
I think the better you feel about yourself, the more confident you will be, and fragrance can certainly play a role. What’s so amazing about fragrances is immediate gratification – if you feel a little tired and you put on some perfume, you feel pretty. It makes you feel confident when you walk into a room and someone notices.

What is the link between fragrance and fashion?
Fragrance and fashion both allow us to express our own unique sense of style. I think style is very individual, and can be inspired by so many aspects of one’s life — family, art, travel, fashion, home design, magazines, photography, and more. There’s something fun about how you can change an outfit just by changing your fragrance.

Aerin Lauder Beauty
Photo: Courtesy of Aerin

Many are hooked by the slogan of your brand, “Effortless Beauty”.
Yes, I love makeup, but I believe beauty should be effortless. You don’t need dozens of products or a complicated, time-consuming routine to look beautiful! Like most women, I only have a limited amount of time to devote to getting ready, but I also want to look my best. I keep my beauty simple with a few essentials and some seasonal products, like lipsticks and eyeshadows that are on trend.

You’re always jet-setting around the world. How do you stay looking your best while you travel?
I really see a difference when I use Estée Lauder ‘Advanced Night Repair’ – I’ve been using it for years. And right before I land, I apply bronzer. It gives my skin a great look and helps me feel like I’m not so tired nor jet-lagged.

What is your all-time favorite beauty product?
The Aerin ‘Rose Lip Conditioner’. It’s become a cult favorite. It’s a pretty universal nude shade that works alone or adds an extra-polished look over any lipstick. It has a beautiful, light rose scent and is super moisturizing – something our customers are drawn to.

What is your favorite makeup look? Do you have any tips for achieving it?
Natural. Glowing skin is a must for a natural look. I use a small amount of foundation and bronzer, like the Aerin ‘Pretty Bronze Illuminating Powder’ – it gives my skin a beautiful, sun-kissed glow. Some of my other essentials are brown eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss.

Complete the sentence: You can never have too many…
Lip glosses. I keep them in silver cups in my medicine cabinet!

What beauty secrets did your grandmother Estée teach you?
My grandmother always said, “You only have one face; take care of it.” No matter how tired you are, cleanse and moisturize, stay out of the sun, and drink water. She also loved fragrance and told me to never leave home without it.

What are your inspirations?
A little bit of everything. Flowers, art, fashion, the beach, fabrics, and definitely travel. Even if I don’t physically go anywhere, I’ll look at travel magazines, books, and websites. Anything that I find interesting helps to inspire me.

How do you relax?
With such a busy schedule, it’s important for me to take time for myself. To escape, I love to go for a walk – even if only for a few minutes. In the city, I love Central Park for the scenery or, if I’m in the Hamptons, it’s along the beach or on a country road with wild flowers. Nothing is more peaceful and invigorating than a walk in the fresh air. I never listen to music; I like to just think and be inspired by my surroundings.

Aerin Lauder Beauty Inspirations
Photo: Courtesy of @Aerin

If you hadn’t become who you are today, what would you have been?
If I didn’t work in the beauty industry, I would’ve probably been an editor at a magazine. Just like you!

My grandmother always said, “You only have one face; take care of it.”

How do you maintain balance between work, family, and your personal life?
Balancing everything is one of my biggest challenges – just like other working mothers! I do feel that you should always try to take time for yourself. If you are happy, everyone around you will be happy.

How do you stay in shape despite your busy schedule?
For fitness, I do Pilates three times a week with Liz Redinger, and I also love to go for long walks.

How do you define “beauty” for women?
Confidence. My grandmother always said, “If you are beautiful inside, you are beautiful on the outside.” She believed that every woman could be beautiful if she just spent the time.

Who is your beauty icon?
I love Kate Moss. She has an amazing sense of style – always feminine, always effortless.

Aerin Lauder Beauty Soaps
Photo: Courtesy of Aerin

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