My review is for the Evyan version, White Shoulders is one of the glories of truly womanly and romantic perfumery. It's somewhat out of style, but shouldn't be.
In general terms, I'm all for erasing or at least heavily blurring the line between allegedly male and allegedly female fragrances. There are certainly some allegedl;y male ones I'll wear (Angel Men, Avon Mesmerize, Herbissimo Juniper), and I have male friends who smell great in Shalimar, Avon Imari, or original Vent Vert. But truly can't imagine a man wearing WS. It's rich and sweet without being loud and gauche, and it's a thousand percent female. Both ladylike and romantic. An olfactory corsage for a splendidly ruffled white dress, worn on a spring morning or in summer moonlight. GIRLY.
And men love it. Take DCLawyer's word, above: If this is a grandma fragrance, maybe we (great-)grandma-agers know something you kids don't!
This smells just like it did in the mid-1980's when sorority sister of mine wore it. It's simply too sweet for me. It's just too "too". I think this is a scent that needs to have the personality of the person match the smell.
Romantic. A beautiful, timeless white floral. Most likely one of the most feminine fragrances out there. This scent invokes a more gentle time, a memory, a moment. I love smelling this on a woman. It immediately reminds me that there are still classic scents that are treasured by those who appreciate them.
What can you say about WHITE SHOULDERS? I've gone through three flacons over the last 12 years or so, all of it purchased relatively inexpensively at Walgreen's. It's kind of a "guilty pleasure" because it's no longer really a "haute" fragrance. And it's ultra-femme, but sometimes I like to spritz it on, anyway.
My current flacon is one my grandmother "bequeathed" me when she died recently. A glance on the underside says it's the Parfums International version, NYC, NY, in EDC strength.
At present, all the essences in WS smell very artificial to me. (That's not necessarily a "diss": many great numbers are all-synth). I doubt, frankly, if it now contains any real floral EO's at all. Probably all synthetic. The opening spritz *almost* smells like some natural floralcy is involved, but the drydown is pure synthetic... I would even say glaringly so. Like a very nice shampoo or hand lotion, say.
Nevertheless, I perversely like it, somehow. Even though I cannot detect some of the supporting notes claimed for it, like peach, spices and civet. I just get a big confluence of gardenia, lilac, jasmin and tuberose, and a hint of muguet.
What I'm wondering is: in its initial debut in the 1940's, whether it was once considered a more "haute", fine fragrance... I wonder if it once contained natural floral EO's? If so, it must've been absolutely glorious. Or whether it's always been a drugstore-tier number, happily composed of all-synths as it is today? Can anyone here comment on this?
My maternal grandmother wore this, as did my own mother.
Also: Do you know of any modern available perfume that is basically the WHITE SHOULDERS idea-- with a very similar olfactive pyramid-- but expensively composed of high-end and natural EO's? The only one I can think of offhand might be Annick Goutal SONGES.
I've been wearing this for decades; both the Evyan version and the Arden version. This white floral works well for me. The notes that stand out the most are gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, and oakmoss. The first few minutes after spraying I get some lilac, lily, aldehydes, muguet, orange flower, and amber. There is a greenish undercurrent, too. This is cheap enough I can spray like a mad fool. I enjoy the "old lady" aspect of this. It takes me back to happier times, when my Mom and I used to do fun things together...