It’s taken me a while to get round to Estee Lauder White Linen. The reason why is that I have in the past, found it a bit too metallic and silvery, akin to getting foil in your back teeth *shudder*. Unfortunately Chanel No 22 had the same effect on me (and many perfumistas would beg to differ on that beauty).
However, with perfume my motto is never say never ( except with Theirry Mugler Womanity, which is a permanent estrangement) and thus I have been trying White Linen for a couple of days now. White Linen opens with a fog bomb of aldehydes, which normally I like, but still this is somehow too metallic for me, like chrome or rusty silver. After an hour, things look up and the flowers all seem to turn from bud to bloom, and many of my favourites too.: Hyacinth, Lilac, Lily of the Valley and Violets.
In a garden , these would be like paradise for me and in a perfume the effect is similar. The aldehydes lose their metallic edge but still give these flower buds a punchy frame for their blooms.
The base note is very long lasting and equally as delicious as the middle phase. There’s Amber, Benzoin, Vetiver and Oakmoss. However, this isn’t quite as pungent and spicy as you might imagine. The flowers never went away you see, so all these wondrously strong base notes are made feminine, whilst still retaining a warm zing of heat.
The base note lasts around thirteen hours, making this fabulous value at around 30GBP for 30ml (prices vary). I have often smelled this on older ladies, but rather than label it old lady, as many have, I credit the more experienced perfume user with excellent taste. Despite White Linen being American, I have always thought there is something quintessentially English and proper about White Linen. I’ll bet you a tenner Camilla has a bottle. And I bet Charles doesn’t mind. He loves flowers too.