Muse: a small word of great mythological significance. Being a muse? Talk about pressure. Fulfilling the near-spiritual role of creative inspirer of artists is quite a cross to bear, as thus named supermodel Arizona admits in Modern Muse Moments, a short film released by Estée Lauder introducing both their first fragrance project in a decade and their newest spokesmodel:

“Arizona Grace Muse. I really didn’t like my name when I was little, I wanted to change it. I found it really embarrassing - it’s a big name for a little girl.”

It’s fair to say that Ms Muse has since grown into her name; it now has more significance than ever given that she is the face of many a high-profile campaign, and now Estée Lauder’s ambassadress of choice to launch the long-anticipated Modern Muse fragrance.

With the tagline ‘Be an inspiration’, Modern Muse aims to appeal to and represent ‘the intriguing duality of today’s woman’. According to Estée Lauder the modern muse is ‘the heroine of her own life, always following her own instinct’. The modern muse certainly isn’t flashy; she has a more subtle charm:

“She is an independent spirit who possesses a natural magnetism that draws people in, inspires them with her smile, and speaks to them without saying a word.”

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Arizona embodies this effortless charisma and sense of self-sufficiency perfectly. Modern Muse Moments is a tender, beautifully-shot insight in to her surprisingly grounded world. She loves living in London (Westbourne Grove to be exact), goes for picnics in the park with her friends (although we’re not talking Boots meal deal spreads here) and adores exploring New York’s diverse neighbourhoods. She can appreciate the countryside as much as the city, and rushing about a bit doesn’t bother her.

She frames drawings by her four-year-old son Nikko, whom she clearly dotes on, and returns to visit her mother’s remote Massachusetts farm. She knows the land, the horses and the way of life like the back of her hand, and in a particularly lovely scene her mother expresses how proud of her daughter she feels while Arizona looks bashful and promptly gives her a bear hug. All the while Nikko is pottering about the porch on his digger. It’s a simple, heart-warming depiction of a modern family. There’s no polish or gloss, it’s just very sweet and refreshingly natural.

The fragrance itself is reflective of this mood, as Karyn Khoury, Senior Vice President of Estée Lauder’s Corporate Fragrance Development Worldwide explains:

“The “dual-impression” creative approach offers each woman the opportunity to connect with the fragrance in her own way. Some will focus on the sparkling floral elements of the fragrance, while others will view the warm, rich woodiness as the defining facet.”

It’s sophisticated, well rounded and alluring to all, not unlike Arizona herself according to Anna Wintour as quoted in the February 2011 issue of Vogue:

“When I look at Arizona, I see shadows of Linda Evangelista and Natalia Vodianova, but most of all I see her, a gorgeous, smart grown-up. And how could anyone resist someone with that name?”


Modern Muse is available now from Estée Lauder counters nationwide. Fragrance from £44.