My Favorite Linden Perfumes and the Eternal Question: To Back Up or Not To Back Up?

Being a fan of floral perfumes, I like many flowers and blossoms and enjoy many perfumes in that genre. But if by some cruel turn of events I were to choose just a single floral note for my perfumes, it would probably be linden.

Partially it is the scent itself, partially an emotional response to memories associated with it, but linden holds a special place in my mental olfactory catalog.

Linden Blossom

Years ago I did a couple of posts on the topic (In the Search of the Perfect Linden linked to above and Take 2). I can’t say that I found an ultimate linden perfume then or since: real tree in full bloom smells so much better than any perfume I’ve ever tried, but until anything even more realistic is created, I have two perfumes that come close, about which I want to remind you and warn you.

Linden and Perfumes: Jo Malone French Lime Blossom and April Aromatics Unter den Linden

French Lime Blossom from Jo Malone is one of the oldest perfumes in my collection that I still love and wear. People who are not familiar with the smell of linden blossom often talk about citrus component and sweetness from the (provided by Fragrantica but not mentioned by the brand) beeswax note while both of the facets are characteristic of the true linden blossom.

I was very sad to learn that French Lime Blossom has been discontinued (a kind reader informed me and then an SA at Heathrow airport Jo Malone duty-free store confirmed the news). You can still buy a bottle online from large department stores’ sites but it is the remaining stock. Jo Malone website does not have it any longer, so once gone I doubt it’ll ever be resurrected: it’s not one of those anemic “blossoms” they’ve produced in the recent years and keep redressing in pretty bottles. I’ve got a back-up bottle of French Lime Blossom but I would have been much happier knowing that it is still in production.

Rusty and April Aromatics Unter den Linden

In the Take 2 post I mentioned the second linden-centric perfume I discovered – April Aromatics Unter den Linden. Since nobody usually checks links to older posts, I’ll cite what I wrote back then:

It’s a very pretty perfume and I take back my original impression that Unter den Linden smelled like a more lemon-y version on one of my favorites Jo Malone’s French Lime Blossom. Unter den Linden is lighter, more refined and blended more seamlessly than French Lime Blossom (I still like the latter though). What makes me unhappy is the price: however beautiful, this perfume isn’t unique enough or using really expensive and rare ingredients to justify to me $7/ml price for EdP. But if it weren’t for that I’d love to add a bottle of Unter den Linden to my collection. I still might.

And I did: once April Aromatics started offering a smaller bottle (15 ml), I bought one a year ago. It was the first all-natural perfume in my collection. Unter den Linden has a recognizable linden note but I wish it had a bit more of that sweet floral component of the real blossom. I also have a concern that all-natural perfumes might not be for me even if I like them because even with proper storage (cool closet, out of light), just a year after I bought it, I can smell changes in Under den Linden: there is a hint of dry linden blossom – the one that is used for tea. I do not dislike it but I’m afraid it’s a sign that my perfume turns, and I do not wear it often enough. I guess back-up bottles of Unter den Linden would be out of question, no matter what. Interestingly, the remaining French Lime Blossom in my 10 years old bottle is still fine.

So if you are, like me, mostly used to mixed media perfumes, go check on anything all-natural you might have and start enjoying those perfumes before it’s too late.

Linden Tea

Images: my own

 

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29 thoughts on “My Favorite Linden Perfumes and the Eternal Question: To Back Up or Not To Back Up?

  1. Having favorites is a great thing, especially if you’ve been searching for them for so long.
    And then in case of perfumes we’re all later reminded that scent is a fleeting beauty, so I’m sad to hear one of your great lindens has been discontinued and that other one might be starting to turn bad and is too expensive to buy it again.
    I wonder if it’s possible to find new favorite perfume with the same main note once something you love is gone forever?

    • I think that in case of a favorite note it should be easier than with favorite perfume: since I’m looking for a realistic representation of the note, if anybody does it well, I’ll be satisfied. With perfumes it’s harder: once you liked something, it’s hard to match it, unless it is the exact copy – and sometimes not even then :)

      • That’s true. If my favorite iris was discontinued I would try to search for new one.
        Do you still consider buying Brosseau The Poudre? I remember you said you really liked mimosa in it.

  2. I have a partial bottle of Tauer Zeta in the fridge, hoping that will keep it from going off too quickly (it is discontinued as well). Usually I put my creams, naturals and oils in the fridge, hoping to stave off spoilage.

  3. I didn’t grow up around linden trees so it’s not a scent that evokes memories for me, however I do like Jo Malone Lime Blossom very much. I didn’t know it had been discontinued. I had a sad awakening with some of my naturals. I had some older samples that I never fully tested and which had certainly not been inexpensive. When I finally drug them out of the drawer the other day they were all dried up, nothing left there to test. There’s a lesson there for me I guess.

    • With samples and even decants I almost expect to loose them in a while. But I wasn’t prepared that a real bottle might start spoiling that quickly. Though now, after I used it a couple of times it seems to be better, so maybe it was just a portion in the spraying mechanism that got slightly off.

  4. Very timely post. A couple of weeks ago, I talked about the linden fragrance in the air when the trees blossomed in Montreal. A friend asked me what was the best linden perfume… and I didn’t know what to say! It threw me. We have a Jo Malone store in Montreal… maybe they have some leftover stock.

    Thanks!

    • When does it usually happen? Maybe I can plan my visit to Montreal when linden blossoms.

      As to French Lime Blossom, I think you might have better luck if there are any department stores that carry this line.

      • Well… it usually happens late June, early July. I was mistaken a couple of weeks ago. I’m not sure what that fragrance was! I was corrected by a friend who is a regular reader of yours… Tara C.

  5. I went for a long bike ride today and the urban part took me through a fragrant tunnel of lime trees, so I thought of you. I have a sample of the April Aromatics that cost something insane like 16 euros for, as you say,a couple of ml. I like it, and the Jo Malone – which suddenly also put me in mind of the discontinued Vintage Gardenia – but there is a soapy quality to both that I would ideally like to lose. I think Ajne Printemps was my favourite linden scent, and even if I still had a decant, it might have gone off by now. My Ajne Calypso (jasmine / frangipani / vanilla) is definitely a different animal now, if not wholly off as such.

    • I’m pleased I was riding with you in the park :)

      I wasn’t familiar with Ajne brand before you mentioned it. I looked it up but left as soon as I read “oil” and “chakras”: I figured out it wasn’t for me. But you should find your decant and either use it up or give it a proper disposal.

  6. I feel your pain. It’s linden season her, too, in Nova Scotia. It’s brief, and it’s wonderful. I remember the JM scent, and I really liked it, but it wasn’t as close to the honey like sweetness of the lindens here to actually make me satisfied. Will you purchase the JM? One back up bottle of something you really enjoy. I did the same with Daim Blond, and Fille En Aiguille, from SL. One backup bottle each, because out of all the perfumes I have and enjoy these are two real favourites, and now that the SL scents are either too expensive for me, through Barneys, or unobtainable through Paris travel-well, life is short. Enjoy the best perfumes :)

    Very best regards,

    Carole

    • I thought about getting the second back-up bottle of French Lime Blossom but at the rate I’m using any perfumes it’ll probably spoil before I get to it. It was one of the reasons I decided not to get a BU bottle of Fille en Aiguilles: as much as I like it, I do not wear it often enough. But I’ll enjoy what I have left in my current bottle.

  7. Sad to hear that the SA confirmed what I had already told you a while back. Why do they discontinue all of the good ones at Jo Malone? Seems to be the trend in recent years. I have approximately 5ml left in my large bottle but I won’t be buying a backup. I am trying to go with the flow and realize that when one favorite becomes discontinued or reformulated there will be other lovelies to replace it. Trying to enjoy what I have and trying hard not to hoard :)

    • I thought about the discontinuations and my conclusion is that it’s either because we have weird tastes, and nobody else likes these perfumes – so the less popular ones get discontinued and replaced with something new, or those that we like we like because they use better ingredients and therefore are more expensive to produce – so they are replaced by cheaper ones.

  8. I have always wanted to know what French Lime Blossom smelled like, thanks for your post. Now I have to track down a bottle… I enjoy Tauer’s Zeta, a linden based scent.

  9. Eeeks about turned bottles! I know some decants have turned into sludge but I have yet to encounter a turned bottle. I have to see if my Unter den Libden is ok as we got them at around the same time!

    Rusty looks very studious. I wonder what he’s plotting?

      • Yay!!! I’m glad you got it, and I hope you’ll like it. But if not, it shouldn’t be hard to swap it in a couple of months when it’s completely sold out.

    • He wasn’t plotting any more, he was acting: the next second his paw landed on that white ribbon from the bag – so I had to rescue it from him.

      After I sprayed UdL several times, the smell got better – so it was probably some portion left oxidizing in the mechanism, but still now I think about using it more often.

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