This is a great smelling perfume. It's very classic. Whenever i wear it people always compliment me on it so it must smell good.
This scent reminds me of a very precious christmas i had with family as a child. my favorite aunt wore it....everytime i wear it i think of her. that is what a beautiful scent does, it transports you to another time, helps you forget about the crazy day and for a minute, escape.
This is very strong, sharp, crisp, bitter and then powdery on the dry down. This doesn't get me thinking about "white linen" at all! More like soured citrus gone bad! It'a a bit masculine. However, I do think this is MUCH better(so much better!)than those other death scents, Knowing and Youth Dew(Youth Pew!).This, along with Beautiful, lack that distinctive "something" that Knowing and Youth Dew have! It's death like. Like something old and rotting! This is refreshing compared to that death odor! So although it isn't for me, I have to give it a 3 because I gave those other death scents a 2 and this doesn't deserve that! Also, I don't get the "old lady" thing with this! It's not bad, it's just too much! Along with Beautiful, I think White Linen is one of Lauder's best of the oldies. I'd wear Beautiful for evenings and special occasions and White Linen for everyday wear.
I'm sampling this in perfume form. (I often find aldehydic scents harsh in eau de toilette form, yet lovely as a rich and creamy perfume.) In some ways it's not what I expected. I was expecting hot-ironed fabric, or starchy laundry. This is like an bar of expensive creamy triple-milled floral soap. It definitely works better in the air-conditioning. Outdoors (80 degrees on a sunny summer morning, the day after a rain), the florals disappeared, leaving only the soap. In small doses (I'm wearing the tiniest trace and it's quite strong), I'd enjoy it on others, so long as it worked with their "chemistry." (Aldehydic scents are funny that way. On some people they sing, on some they smell literally rotten. On me they vary a lot depending on my own hormonal condition. This probably explains why many women comment that certain scents become wearable or unwearable after they go through "the change.")
The original White Linen, released in 1978, has a justifiably "difficult" reputation. I can understand why so many people hate it and even the dreaded "old lady-ish" slur, because this stuff is about as out-of-style as a perfume can get nowadays. In an era of fruity florals, exotic ouds, and syrupy incense this strongly soapy stuff seems, well, just plain odd. Seriously, this is so soapy-smelling, it positively SQUEAKS. And yet I'm finding myself liking it because it is so different from nearly everything else out there. Most of the "clean"-type scents made lately are too blatantly floral for my taste (like the Philosophy Graces, the new Chloe, and Pure White Linen) yet this one, after the initial blast of aldehydes, has a distinctly smoky woody quality I find quite pleasant and interesting. It would make a very interesting masculine if any man dared it. It fades into a slightly sour but inoffensive soapiness after about 30 minutes, but that woody part is really nice.
I love aldehydic fragrances in general, but I have never been able to wrap my head around White Linen. The opening note is unbearably sour to me, making it hard for me to appreciate the drydown. I chalk this up to my chemistry. I do love Pure White Linen, but I don't think the two are very related.
I hate to give a mediocre rating but I do. I first remember smelling this at age 4 or 5 because my mom gave me a sample sample size of this perfume. She had an extensive collection of perfumes and I can't remember what I thought of this perfume at age 4 or 5, but now that I've revisited it it smells like pure white linen that has been worn by an upper-middle class woman contemplating in an old library. Strange, but true.
Ive had some hit and miss experiences with the vintage estee perfumes. i love beautiful, but hated youth dew and grew to dislike cinnabar. white linen, i guess is ok, but certainly not a favourite. what i do like about it, is that is smells very clean and crisp. what i dont like, is that on me it has that big, loud, generic "perfumey" scent that you tend to get with some of the older fragrances. i cant really detect any specific notes, i just get... a perfumey smell. and its nice, but it also smells like a lot of other things, vanderbilt and wind song come to mind. i'm sure i'll use my 30ml bottle up, on days when i want to smell a little more refined, but i doubt i would repurchase.
The list of notes of this perfume makes it sound like something I would like, but it really didn't work on me. I'm terrible at picking out specific notes so I can't be very specific about what went wrong with this fragrance for me, but it had a sharp edge to it that just wouldn't go away. On the right person I imagine this could be very fresh and pretty.
Great perfume, if you're over the age of 60.