Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Pure White Linen is a younger sister to Estée Lauder classic White Linen, a fragrance that should be mentioned in the course of any discussion of great American perfumes. The elegant simplicity of the composition created by the perfumer Sophia Grojsman in 1978 is fascinating. While White Linen appears to be built in bold blocks of aldehydes, florals, woods, amber and musk, the entire arrangement is so beautifully balanced that one cannot but admire its unconventional form. Pure White Linen weaves the elements of the original in such a manner that the resulting fragrance retains the classical Lauder character while nevertheless possessing the modern aesthetic sensibility. …
One can glimpse the outlines of the composition that inspired Pure White Linen, from the suggestion of aldehydic shimmer in the top notes to the velvety woods in the base. Yet, the weightless and transparent quality of Pure White Linen is a departure from the aldehydic intensity of its predecessor. Although the floral aldehydic genre has lost its popularity, the idea of creating a modern fragrance relying on the sparkling whiteness of aldehydes has never been abandoned, with the result that the modern aldehydic accords tend to be rendered like the delicate puffs of silver dust.
The fruity notes, crisp and tart like frozen green grapes, ornament the crystalline floral accord of Pure White Linen and complement the champagne fizz of aldehydes. The heart lingers through the adagio of green jasmine before cascading into the plush rose that lends richness and complexity to its soft melody. The fragrance unfolds beautifully in the warm summer air, and while the sparkling notes melt by the time the composition moves into the woody-musky drydown, Pure White Linen still retains the gossamer effect that made it alluring to me. Wearing it makes me feel as if being perpetually caught in the gentle summer breeze.
Pure White Linen includes grapefruit, Italian mandarin, raspberry, pear, green Granny Smith apple, white ginger, cardamom, red tulip, rose absolute, honeysuckle, gardenia petals, tuberose, jasmine, iris, osmanthus, cedarwood, heliotrope. It is available at Estée Lauder website, Neiman Marcus, Bergdoft Goodman, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue.