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 cosmoty.de