(image, Mick ricking white linen)
I enjoy White Linen for the fact that it is cheapness done well. Conceptually so downmarket (soap) yet executed so brashly (1 part aldehyde, 1 part laundry detergent musk, one part whatever your notion of a bar of “floral” soap is.) This is the olfactory equivalent of holding a large tuning fork to your skull, but for hours. I can imagine for many women this might just seem simple, oldish in style and unsubtle, but on a man, it’s a great alternative (sparkly) to so many current men’s fragrances (fresh.) The camp of wearing a squeaky clean girly fragrance is added enticement.
But I have one particular use for White Linen. I’m an RN and work in a hospital. Search the blogs and you’ll find plenty of discussions about inflicting fragrance on those around you, the hospital being the ultimate battleground for this argument. I have a few scents that I wear to work, each with a different strategy as to why it works. White Linen is easily my favorite, since it’s akin to being in drag in scrubs. On a man I think this simply reads as so-clean-you-still-have-soap-on-you clean. The only comments I’ve gotten from my patient are, literally, “You smell so clean!” I imagine if were a woman wearing this she might be accused of wearing too much or too strong a fragrance. It’s fun screwing with gender assumptions in general. With perfume, it’s a delight.