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This smells like a garden of blooming lilacs and lilies in springtime. The drydown is probably the most lovely part of this fragrance. Perhaps there is a light touch of musk, but definitely not enough to make this animalic.The dry down to me almost smells like vanilla, but I think this is just the benzoin playing tricks.I found a source dating this as far back as around 1936,and this was perhaps one of the first fragrances that broke this pattern, offering a sweet, light floral.The only fragrance this is slightly comparable to from it's own time in my experience is L'air du Temps.I'm glad I bought it, will wear it a lot as I drift off to sleep. White Shoulders is a classic floral, and to me it is very unique for it's category, and it becomes more unique the more I understand it's composition. This also smells a bit green in the opening, probably courtesy of the African orange flower, or perhaps this is the grassiness of the lilacs and lilies.This opens with clean, soapy aldehydes, but they are not "in your face" Chanel No. This is topped off with a touch of sweet peach, which lasts throughout the fragrance.A bottle today sells on e Bay for hundreds of dollars..for good reason. She told me it was an old lady perfume even back then and that it was one of my great grandmother’s favourites.It is divine and rich with the essence of a ripe, not overripe, peach and recently opened gentle gardenia, not cloying ones like funeral flowers; the combination is heavenly. So I would chuckle when I saw a bottle in the drug store and gave it little thought until recently.
I bought my bottle in 1975 and I still have some left in it that smells as perfect as the day I bought it. In an episode of That 70’s Show Eric buys this For Donna as a gift, when this aired (1998 maybe) I asked my mother ( who was a teenager in the 70’s) if she remembered it.
Had it not been for White Shoulders, i would not have known how important Gardenia would become in my scent-o-verse.
In its favour, i will say that this was my introduction to the whole concept of "White Flowers" and also it was the fragrance that turned me on to Gardenia, which holds a great fascination for me.
The Parfums International version was sitting in the bathroom at a holiday party I was attending.
I realized that this was an older formula, so I just HAD to sneak a spray.
I've now smelled White Shoulders by each house it has been made by in it's life span: Evyan, Parfums International, and currently Elizabeth Arden.