White Linen is one of the most universally recognized fragrances. It was and still is everywhere though its popularity has waned a bit in recent years, White Linen is still one of the perfumes I associate instantly with clean, soap and aldehydes.
In Bottle: Big, bright and loud. White Linen wastes no time building up suspense. It comes roaring out of the gates smelling of soapy aldehydes right away. Just so you know what’s in store.
Applied: The aldehydes in White Linen is probably one of the first things anyone will smell in this fragrance as they are incredibly predominant. Those aldehydes coupled with a drowning rose note make this fragrance extremely recognizable to me. I can understand why someone wouldn’t like this. On the one hand, you’ve got soapy sparkly aldehydes. On the other, you have a dewy, slightly sticky red rose that are coming together like two fragrance forces on the battlefield. The aldehydes in White Linen do not get any meeker as the fragrance progresses. They stay up front as the scent turns into a rose so scrubbed and soaked in soapy water that it sparkles as it wilts in a bed of powder. During the middle this fragrance does a very strange thing in that it introduces the civet on me in a bed of otherwise clean. So in between smelling like sparkly soap, I get a waft of something just a bit off. It’s a bit distracting but highly amusing. White Linen is a powerful fragrance that will project like crazy. A lot of people also find her overbearing so if you are going to use this stuff, ease up on the trigger finger. Fresh until the last moments, this fragrance dries down like freshly wetted perfumed soap.
Extra: White Linen is probably one of those recognizable classics that people either love or hate. I tend to see the hate for this more often and I can see why people are repelled by it. If you want to see what the fuss is about but can’t quite figure out White Linen, its flanker, Pure White Linen is a softer, easier to wear, and more muted version.
Design: White linen is bottled in a bent frosted glass bottle with a metal cap. It’s a pretty iconic looking bottle with a fine design though the frosted glass always makes me think of Avon.
Fragrance Family: Adehydelic Floral
Notes: Aldehydes, citrus, peach, rose, jasmine, lilac, iris, lily-of-the-valley, ylang-ylang, cedar, honey, amber, civet, sandalwood, tonka.
Probably the only time I’ll smell distinct civet in a fragrance and it was hilarious the first time I detected it in White Linen. Here I am, enjoying a bed of aldehydes and rose then all of a sudden something smells a wee bit off. Like a tiny fart, the civet makes this fragrance worth a test just to experience a bit of civet’s power.
Reviewed in This Post: White Linen, ~1980, Eau de Parfum.