Interesting honeyed lime blossom. Dry an airy. I quite like this. It reminds me of lilac, without smelling like lilac. It's unisex, but leans towards feminine. It can be a little like honey and muesli in the opening but quickly turns into an aromatic dry sweet hay. This is one of the better hay fragrances and those who like the accord should try it out.
I've always liked linden blossom in perfumes, and this is a nice summery light floral with grassy notes and a little citrus hint from a dollop of orange blossom, except for an odd impression I get from it and from L'Eau de l'Artisan.
It seems like a chemical sweet smell that reminds me of rubbers (erasers) we had as children. There were two types - the standard almost grainy ones, and these snazzier coloured ones which were almost like a very stiff gel and had this smell which was sweet but somehow plasticky - I spent a lot of time smelling these and being tempted to eat them - they weren't the fruit ones that were supposed to smell like fruit, they just had this odd sweet smell. I've also gotten the same whiff from a deodorant I had at one stage. It's as if the various component notes produce this overall effect alongside the perfume. It does smell like a linden blossom or even like lilac but somewhat hyperreal. I read a review of this once that mentioned the smell of biro ink and it was dead on. Also ClaireV's review mentions gripe water, which has that wierd sweet smell too. So I'm not able to escape this effect and actually appreciate the perfume.
First whiff is sharp greens and lilac. Then the sharp greens veer into quite sour territory, making me at first suspect my sample might not be fresh. There's a lot of moist earth here. It reminds me of the smell of the Lichterman Nature Center in Memphis, Tennessee, on a hot August afternoon. Swamp, waxy lotus flowers, and kudzu. There's a lot of algae, too, in this scent. It's artful, though perhaps not very wearable in its first few minutes. This is a pungently outdoorsy fragrance that really catches in the back of my throat (galbanum?). For the first 15 minutes, something sour just won't quit, then at the 15 minute mark, the clock strikes and I suddenly, finally smell a watery Linden and cucumbers. Those first 15 minutes are quite a ride. Overall, it is a careful and complex composition. It doesn't disappoint in terms of complexity of evolution, but I have mixed feelings about how it actually smells. After an hour or so, a pleasant hay-like note emerges and it is at that point that it truly represents itself as a linden-based scent to my nose. Enjoyable and soft in the drydown.
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.
LEte en Douce by LArtisan 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 LEte en Douce, in my mind at least (if in no one elses) to the babys breath-like innocence of LEau dHiver, first, but even more so to Santal Massoia by Hermes Hermessence, 10 Corso Como, Bois Farine also by LArtisan 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 LEte 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.
Its also very much in line with the Helmut Lang EDP, although that is far creamier and more openly sensual. In fact, LEte 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 its 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.