There are those women among us who seem to age effortlessly. They retain their sensuous and intriguing qualities long after their ‘roaring 20s.’ Their names when spoken often evoke a sigh or a knowing smile. These women demonstrate that grace, intelligence and wit are qualities appreciated long after they are told the bloom has left the rose. Perhaps for these women the bloom is forever.

Jeanne Moreau, the French actress, is now approaching her late 70s, but her ability to entice, entertain and even seduce are evident in her recent films. Her laugh is as full of life as it was in her 20s.

“The Summer House” was a film made several years ago in which she shows that all women still love to be appreciated as women, irregardless of age. Women do not lose their sensuality as they age; they just may sometimes forget it is still there.

Women today present a startlingly different image than that of their mothers or grandmothers at the same age. Women today have realized that aging does not mean forfeiting those attributes that give them a sense of femininity and confidence.

Is Catherine Denueve not one of the most remarkable women working today? Beauty alone however, does not ensure the inner confidence necessary for successful aging. It takes intelligence and self-knowledge. It is that understanding of one’s self that gives women the power to transform themselves into their own ideal.

So what makes certain women irresistible, interesting and intriguing? What is that intangible something that draws us in as we watch these fascinating creatures? One can certainly recognize the unmistakable voice of Lauren Bacall even when she is selling cat food.

Kitty Carlisle Hart, the wife of the late playwright Moss Hart and former panelist on “What’s my Line?” is 90 years old. Her figure is still trim and neat. Her hair and makeup are flawless, but more important she is still involved in life. She will be appearing on the new syndicated version of “What’s My Line?”

Was there any doubt that Jackie Kennedy knew how to present herself as to always appear in control and remain gracious?

Katherine Hepburn was the epitome of style, class and intelligence and remains so forever in our memories. Strong, intelligent, funny women never become passe.

It takes courage to become one’s self, and perhaps it takes time.

Having looked at the lives of some outstanding women, one characteristic stands out. These women knew their strength and weaknesses. They had all learned to maximize their assets. Once they understood what worked for them they did not stray from that path.

Successful women of a certain age have developed the knack for recognizing and making opportunities. They appear fearless in their quest for recognizing and making opportunities. They continue the search for knowledge of their inner and outer worlds. Armed with this self-knowledge they appear ageless.

Nora Ephron, born in 1941, is from the dynasty of writing Ephrons, but she distinguished herself after a contentious divorce from Carl Bernstein by writing “Heartburn” a novel turned movie with Jack Nicholson. Nora, whose parents were writers, did not want to go into the family business, but after her first few writing successes she knew where her strengths and talents were. She went on to write “Sleepless in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail.” All the Ephron sisters are writers of note.

We women are not born knowing what will make us happy or successful. Through trial and error and some sincere soul searching we can come to know what makes us the best “us” we can be. I am afraid it is those women who stop looking and learning who are the ones that turn into their grandmothers.

Advances in medicine and a new respect for mature women have given us the opportunity to reinvent ourselves as often as needed. Gloria Steinem, who was once quoted as saying she would never marry, has in fact married for the first time at age 60.

Diane Keaton at age 55 is the mother of a young daughter. Their success is a result of their engagement in living. All these women are involved in life.

Could this be their secret?

Great style and a sense of graciousness do not require money. It flows from the individual’s outlook on life. Granted these women have had great opportunities come their way, but who is to say they did not invite them by simply being themselves.

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