White Linen is the cult perfume by American brand Estee Lauder that appeared in 1978 within the collection of makeup and perfumes entitled The New Romantics. While White Linen, an aldehyde floral like Chanel no 5, became popular and successful, the other two perfumes from the collection – Celadon, a green floral and Pavilion, white floral were withdrawn from the market. The original intention was layering perfumes, a concept that later became popular and a fragrance philosophy for certain brands. Estee Lauder’s message was: Wear one. Wear two. Wear all three together… But, history chose only one and that one will last for eternity.


I wrote in great detail about aldehyde perfume, the kind that smells clean, white, soapy, bubbly for Byredo Blanche, but many feel that White Linen is the most aldehyde of all aldehyde perfumes. Made by genius and one of my favorite perfume creators Sophie Grojsman, in a time when the world thought it has seen and sensed all that can be sensed with floral aldehyde perfumes. This is where the genius of the lady behind numerous monolith perfumes like Lancome Tresor comes to light.

When no one expected it (especially after Rive Gauche), she made a revolutionary perfume that changed the history of perfumes and as a consequence the other scented products. Today, many washing detergents smell like White Linen. But saying that White Linen and Cool Water smell like detergent is not true. It’s the detergents that smell like the most successful perfumes ever and epitomes of freshness and cleanness.

estee lauder white linen


Perfume composition of White Linen is simple yet striking, full of character. Made out of bold pieces of materials that are so harmonized that none can be smelled individually but only as a unique and recognizable composition. White Linen may not be your cup of tea but you will always recognize it in the sea of other perfumes. You have to admit that is a fantastic quality, despite individual preferences. Its intensive aldehyde quality is the result of a mega dose of aldehydes, almost 1%.

The heart of the perfume is ylang-ylang that serves as a modification between top, fresh notes (bergamot) and lower, musk (Galaxolide) and wooden (vetiver) notes. Sofia added her trademark – jasmine (Hedione). Large part of the formula is based on synthetic aromachemicals (around 75%). In order to enliven and enrich the perfume, a large dosage of natural rose oil was added, making White Linen alive.

The more complex and pressured a women’s life becomes, the more she prizes simplicity and beauty. White Linen is that soothing element that can lift the spirit and make a woman relaxed and cool – Estee Lauder


White linen, despite being 40 years old, still represents one of the most modern perfumes today as it was in 1978. In the world of heavy, oriental, gourmand perfumes, it takes courage to smell simple and clean. When every billboard, TV commercial and PR text tell us that by wearing perfume we have to turn into the fearless, seductive creature that will knock every one of their feet. It is not an easy task to choose a perfume that, instead of tempest it will soothe emotions and bring inner peace. If you wear White Linen you will not seduce anyone, that’s for sure. But another thing is for sure… you will be remembered forever.

[Fragrance notes] top notes: aldehydes, bergamot, peach; middle notes: jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, ylang-ylang; base notes: civet, musk, sandalwood, tonka, amber, cedar, honey, vetiver.

[Fragrance group] floral aldehyde.

Perfume creator is Sophia Grojsman.

[Perfume profile] 50% extrovert 50% introvert, 50% rational 50% emotional – a perfect harmony!

READ NEXT > One of the best niche aldehyde perfumes – Byredo Blanche

estee lauder