Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pure White Linen Pink Coral and Pure White Linen Light Breeze by Estee Lauder: fragrance reviews

Estee Lauder, the quintessential American collosus of perfumery, issued Pure White Linen, a "flanker" to their classic White Linen, in 2006, fronted by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The scent was refreshingly upbeat without being silly, pleasantly modern, less sharply aldehydic than the classic soapy White Linen and aimed at capturing a segment of the market that was feeling too young for a classic aldehydic fragrance (they associate those with their mothers or grandmothers it seems) but rather sophisticated for a teeny fruity-bobber scent either. The success was guaranteed and Pure White Linen is a well crafted mainstream fragrance for women (which men could also sneak up on and use from time to time) that has its earned place among elegant and easy-going fragrances for every day.

2008 saw the introduction of a first flanker in pastel green hues, a sparkling citrus interpretation for the warmer season going by the name Pure White Linen Light Breeze. I am reminding you that there was a flanker to the previous, iconic White Linen mentioned above, named White Linen Light Breeze, an aquatic-ozonic fragrance in the 1990s which has been since discontinued; a little confusing, admittedly, but the moniker had been already copyrighted and it's so handy to recycle. "Wet citrus notes of luscious bergamot, orange zest and white grapefruit combine with Darjeeling tea, colorful florals and sheer woods". Despite the long name and the confusing connotations with the former Lauder progeny, Pure White Linen Light Breeze interpolates a shiny bitter and green note of grapefruit in the proceedings which ties extremely well with the already warmly bitter-ish tonality of the original and winks at the direction of the already successful tannic facets of Bulgari's Eau Parfumee au The Vert and a boost of Iso-E Super for diffusion and lasting power. As every summer I pick one "got to" fragrance for a no-brainer decision for every sweltering day that I can't summon any mental capacity for more difficult decisions (previous picks have included Extrait de Songe by L'artisan, Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermes and Vetiver Tonka again by Hermes), I can see myself enjoying a bottle of this one this summer.

On the other hand, this spring's anticipated new version, Pure White Linen Pink Coral is more in step with the sweeter aspects of fruitier compositions that already take space at Sephora's and Macy's shelves and, although competently made, it lacks that individuality that the original exhibits. Pure White Linen Pink Coral is pastel pink and smells like one.
The fragrance opens on the fruity notes of Chinese berries, apple blossom and pink pepper, seguing to a floral heart of standard flirty and light flowers such as jasmine, cherry blossom, and pink peony. The base is also classical, including the tried and tested combo of sandalwood, vanilla and heliotrope. The overall feeling is a little too sugary to make it stand out from myriads of fragrances that showcase those tonalities, although the diaphanous treatment ensures that it can never become too invasive or cloying, which is rather good manners on its part.

The bottles of both Pure White Linen Light Breeze and Pure White Linen Pink Coral follow the frosty glass design of the original, simply architectural Pure White Linen flacon and come at either 30ml/1oz, 50ml/1.7oz or 100ml/3.4oz of Eau de Parfum concentration.

Pics courtesy of


  1. Hello, E. "Green" and "bitter" grapefruit + tea? Sounds intriguing. I must admit, I've been eagerly anticipating the summer, and possible scent choices. (Topping my list of coveted items for summer is a big bottle of Chanel's Eau de Cologne).

  2. Hi E, I'm pleased you like this too- it's a bit of a guilty pleasure one I always try in department stores. I often think I will end up with a bottle too- probably passing through duty free on the way to a holiday!

    I like Un Jardin Sur Le Nil very much too, think it's the best of the jardins and really comes alive when the temp goes above 30 degrees!

    Not so sure on the flankers in every pastel colour obviously!

  3. Anonymous09:00

    Hey E! Sorry to be a party pooper but all I can say it: Oh Dear God, do we need more flankers?! I am really getting sick and tired of EL and Guerlain for doing this. I am, however, happy that this is keeping my money in my pocket. I have no new lemmings!

    Thanks for reviewing these anyway.

  4. Hi J!

    It's one of those no-brainers feel-good fragrances; not earth-shattering but very pleaasurable. I hadn't tried it when it first came out and only picked up the tester when searching for the upcoming Pink Coral version and side by side there was no comparison which I prefered and thought was better made.
    If you like the Bulgari green tea scents at all, you'd like this one.
    I plan to use something like this and Vetiver Pour Elle for the days of heatwave...

  5. K,

    flankers in pastel colours don't attract me either. I might have continued to be happily oblivious as to what the PWLLB smells hadn't I been searching to try out the new PC flanker. And there you have it, a guilty pleasure indeed!

    I love UJSLN for the heat: it blooms, feels refreshing, has terrific sillage and expansion without offending anyone ~on the contrary, attracting compliments.
    Great scent!

  6. Hi T!

    You have a very succinct point in the "no more flankers" plea, no doubt about it and who am I to disagree!
    Still, one of them is rather good. So ,highlighting the good alongside the boring, I brought it here :-)
    Some brands do produce more than enough for comfort though, that's true.

    Always love to hear your thoughts!

  7. I am with Petals!
    Why not give these two new scents different names for goodness sake!


    "Pink Paltrow "

    "Ozonic Paltrow" and be done with it! LOL

    I shall give them a sniff when they hit our shores but in the heat we have - you cannot beat Diorella !!!

  8. M,

    you're much too funny!!! LOL!!!!
    Diorella is of course amazing, no contest about it! But a little no-brainer is nice sometimes.

  9. Anonymous21:29

    Eeeeeyow I am so over Gwyneth! First there was the "On the Road Again -- Spain" series in which she ditzed around Iberia with Mario Batali slobbering all over her -- in Toledo, in Madrid, in villages and little towns -- the whole time. Then there's the "Let 'Em Eat Cake" newsletter everybody talks about. I'm sure she's a nice, well-meaning person. But I think we could all use a break.

  10. Hi, E. I happened to find some Pure White Linen Pure Breeze yesterday (totally by accident), so was able to sniff. It *is* nice, in a non-demanding way. Fresh, clean citrus and tea. I can see how this would be nice in the summer.

    I probably prefer the Eau Parfumée Au Thé Vert, though (I like it's austerity, and don't need the "pretty" overlay of citrus and florals).

  11. P,

    LOL, I think the US audiences have been a little too spoon-fed of Paltrow lately (as she's making a comeback of sorts after her kids)!
    Luckily I can disassociate myself from these and just see her as yet another actress.

    Now, you have to send me the newsletter, though!! I haven't seen that.

  12. J,

    if you have found "Pure Breeze" I think I'm missing out on yet another flanker. LOL!!
    But seriously if it's similar to the Bulgari as you say (which is indeed superior construction-wise, we don't disagree), it can't be another and should be this one. It's more "feminized" and with greater expansion/volume I guess (typical of all Lauder frags). Like I said, not a brainy type of frag, just an easy choice for heatwaves and such.

  13. Anonymous10:25

    I think it is nicer than the Pure White Linen. I tried this one in the city last weekend and I loved it! Have always used Estee Lauder.... I am looking for a (internet)shop where I can get a discount in the Netherlands. Didn't found one yet... Adiction to parfum can be expensive, so have to watch the prices.....

  14. Anonymous14:42

    After searching the web for a while i finally found a internetshop that sells with a very good discount.... I just ordered it on Sadly the only ship to the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. So my blog friends in America probably have to order somewhere else :( Can't wait till I receive the perfume 2morrow and spray it on when I m going out in the weekend.... I Love Perfume!

  15. Claudia, fabulous!!! Glad you're able to get it, because it's very cute for summer and I'm sue you'd enjoy it!


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