Bought by Estée Lauder and her husband in 1961, their 6 bedroom Mediterranean villa in Cannes is now on the market for €9.85million after it was bought & restored by Claudia Kempen in 2011. The villa has three reception rooms, a heated pool, an outdoor entertaining space and ‘panoramic sea views from every level’. The manor is also where Lauder reportedly developed one of her most popular fragrances, ‘Beautiful’.
From the telegraph:
Estée Lauder first set eyes on the Villa Roche Cline on a bright spring day in April 1961. She had introduced her Youth Dew intense floral bath oil and she was going global, expanding into Europe, Canada and Asia. She was accompanied by her husband, Joseph, whom she had, somewhat unusually, divorced and married again. The villa was bought in an instant.
Half a century later, the equally glamorous serial house restorer Claudia Kempen and her husband, Harry, turned up to view the house in the scented hills above the palm-fringed boulevards of Cannes and found it derelict. Estée Lauder, queen of perfume, died in 2004 and the house hadn’t been visited in more than a decade.
“It was abandoned,” says Claudia. “Rain had come through the roof and the walls were damp. We had to knock all the old plaster off and start again, add windows and create more light. It took us two years.” Though the house was built in the early 20th century, Claudia thought it had “a kind of bourgeois Sixties look”. The views down to the sea below and the mountains behind were stunning. “I wanted the villa to look more belle époque,” she says. “There was no pool, so we made one, and cut down two trees which blocked the view.”
But Claudia has been careful to preserve the spirit of Estée Lauder. “We know that she was working on the perfume Beautiful when she was here. So we are making a beautiful garden with jasmine, which will grow over an outdoor pergola and down some of the steep terraces, with roses everywhere.” This repeats the notes of jasmine and rose, representing tenderness and romance, in Beautiful.
In the photo above, lauder is developing her most famous perfume: Beautiful.