In 1978, Estée Lauder launched White Linen as a part of a trio called “New Romantics.” The New Romantics also included Celadon (a green floral) and Pavilion (a white floral). The three New Romantics scents were pioneers in the concept of fragrance layering. The ad copy promised “three incredibly pretty fragrances designed to interact with each other. Wear one. Wear two. Wear all three together.”
Celadon and Pavilion have been mostly lost to time, but Sophia Grojsman’s White Linen was an immediate blockbuster that is still in the Lauder line-up three decades later. To me White Linen smelled like nothing else out there while bearing a stylistic resemblance to Chanel No 22 (immense use of aldehydes over abstract white floral heart). It smelled nothing like the big Orientals that had just taken hold, and if it were meant to be worn concurrently with Celadon and Pavilion the result would have been explosive (think about combining Pleasures and Beautiful). On its own, White Linen had a massive and imaginative signature. To combine it with another scent of equal power would be unthinkable—in today’s terms. In the late 1970s, perfume was still constructed and worn boldly.