For me this one smells primarily of lilac, although most of the reviews describe it as linden. I've smelled linden in perfumes before, notably in Tauer's Zeta & DelRae's Debut, but those smelled much more sharply green than this. This is soft, pretty & almost creamy at times, with just a vague hint of sugared almonds. I do get the much-mentioned feel of freshly-washed laundry though, & although that might be a deal-breaker for many, for me this makes it a perfect go-to work scent for a lovely spring day. It's linear, but the projection & longevity are excellent on me.
L’Ete en Douce by L’Artisan Parfumeur takes the linden blossom away from the honeyed/hay-like properties of the tree and along a cleaner, more linen-fresh direction. While this might sound boring, especially to those who fear “laundry-fresh” or chemically-clean musks, let me assure you that this is far more interesting than it at first appears.
Here the linden note seems to be paired with an ambrette seed-driven musk, which to my nose can sometimes smell like bread flour or Grappa when paired with iris and rose (Chanel No. 18), green apple peel or hard pear liquor (I Miss Violet), or bread-like cumin when paired with other types of musks (Musc Nomade).
Here, though, when paired with the green, leafy linden note, the ambrette musk displays a watery, vegetal nuance, like dill or cucumbers. It is this striking gripe water note that connects L’Ete en Douce, in my mind at least (if in no one else’s) to the baby’s breath-like innocence of L’Eau d’Hiver, first, but even more so to Santal Massoia by Hermes Hermessence, 10 Corso Como, Bois Farine also by L’Artisan Parfumeur, and Santal 33 by Le Labo. In those other fragrances, the gripe water note floats up from the dill-like, sweetish properties of sandalwood mixing with milky or lactonic accords on the one hand, and the dusty/sawdust-like textures that come from cedar and other woods.
In L’Ete en Douce, the watery cucumber or dill-like note merges with the green, leafy linden and a puffy white musk to create something more like a fluffy white towel straight out of the drier. It smells clean, cool, slightly aquatic, and indeterminably green. I like it very much, because there is something childlike and innocent about it. It must be the gripe-water angle – somehow Victorian in smell, like old-fashioned British nannies and the like.
It’s also very much in line with the Helmut Lang EDP, although that is far creamier and more openly sensual. In fact, L’Ete en Douce and the Helmut Lang EDP are the only instances where I consider it acceptable to smell like a freshly laundered soft toy.
Is it true to the smell of linden? Not so much, in my opinion. But it’s a good example of a perfume that uses linden in a prominent role but manages to steer it to a non-linear, non-literal interpretation.
L'Eau de Linden?
This is a refreshingly natural creation, starring a grassy, almost lichen-like accord. It is dry but not dead, and quite musky. I almost thought my sample was spoiled at first whiff because I simply wasn't expecting the blend at all. It's like a bottled Summer romp in a Southern American grove. I often find orange blossom in floral compositions to be clawing its way to the top for attention, but here it is polite and lacy as a Jane Eyre side character.
As something I would seldom (if ever) wear I would be inclined to rate this one a 'neutral,' but it's just such a happy fragrance. And even when a cute and energetic puppy is being persistent and annoying, it's still a puppy.
Imagine you're sitting underneath a flowering linden tree. And then, the scent of warm, sweet grass kissed by the sun comes into the fold. In the garden, mint grows wild and the wind brings its scent to you, along with the orange blossom flowers on a neighboring tree. A few hundred feet away, someone is hanging freshly laundered whites on a line. There's a barn door open next to the house and the scent of hay joins the mix, making this fragrance a paradox as it is very clean, but also somewhat dirty, yet sweet. That's what this smells like on my skin. It is utterly beautiful. It's very similar to L'eau de L'Artisan, but also very different. They have the same feel of being in a sun-drenched scene with nature all around, but they're different scenes. This one can be worn by a man. It would be more at home on feminine skin, but my skin chemistry amps up the dirty sweetness of the hay note. Women should buy this and wear it often in the summer. Men should try before they buy and give it some time to develop on the skin and mix with their individual skin chemistry.
This is not my usual kind of love, but it is a love. Got a sample in a giveaway and surprised myself by falling for it. To me it's a gorgeous orange blossom and musk, sheer and delicate but with a little weight to it. It sticks around and I am happy and smiling every time it floats up to my nose. It's innocent, clean, virginal. And absolutely beautiful.