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.
Don't care what anybody else says this is one of the few floral perfumes I love and keep going back to. I know this scent does not work for everyone but if it does it has a nice clean floral scent that is not heavy. Like a fresh after a shower smell which I like. I was first introduced to this in my early twenties and before that liked mostly woodsy scents if I wore perfume at all.
To me ''old lady'' perfume is straight rose water something your grandma or great- grandma or great aunt wore in the early 1900's. This does not remind me of anything that I have noticED on someone say, of advanced years.
I also like that it E/L makes a body lotion for this. At least if someone does have a problem with my perfume I -know I can wear this without offending anyone.
This is my sig scent from mid-June to mid-September. I love it because it's not too strong, crazy feminine, and stands up to the heat of summer!
This might be a great classic, yet I can't help but smelling a rotten, wreck fragrance, as if my grandmother had owned it in the Seventies and left it exposed to light for these last thirty years: suffocating.
The pyramide lists some aldehides, white flowers and cedar, but I mostly smell syntheticity in it.
In this fragrance I can smell no freshness, no lightness, no nothing.
As mentioned in my earlier reviews of EL's fragrance, this is one fragrance that i was compelled to buy but never really liked it... I think, if i must say, White Linen Breeze is better.. except that i cant seem to find it anymore