Estee Lauder White Linen: A High Street Classic


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.


You can buy this classic from most High Streets. Try Boots or John Lewis. Online you can buy it from


7 thoughts on “Estee Lauder White Linen: A High Street Classic”

  1. Dearest Iscent
    Yes, there is something more-English-than-the-English-can-manage about this. The clean lines and cleanliness, the swish of a recently employed feather duster.
    Fabulous lasting power and power accord at its heart if ever there was one.
    I don;t own it though and have never been tempted, I’m not sure why, it’s the only classic Lauder I can say that about…
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      I know exactly what you mean. I like the middle and base of White Linen very much, but have no desire to part with money for it when there are so many other bottles I love more clamouring for my attention.

      And yes, must be worn with pearls.

      your friend

    1. Yes they are similar aren’t they? Sadly I didn’t take to Chanel No 22. It made my teeth tingle, but I do get why its so beloved.

      Sammy xxx

  2. It always seemed quite American to me. More “in your face” than some of the quintessential English florals. Love your metallic/silvery analogy. My favourite EL was always Knowing but I’m afraid it smells a bit old fashioned now.

    1. Hi Gail and thanks for commenting. Yes I know what you mean. I find it very Lauren Hutton and East Coast, still very good, but not as quintessentially English as say, Penhaligons. I used to catch wafts of it from well to do older ladies as they pass me in the street.

  3. My mother, who was allergic to most perfumes, gave me a bottle of white linen that she had received free with purchase many moons you at first I wasn’t keen but decided to give it another go and really liked it. Chypre is my favourite type of scent. Think I will have to try it again after 30+ years. Amy

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