When I first stumbled upon the Posse….oh, honeys….I thought I knew soooo much. Ha!!…and I didn’t know a THING! I knew a lot of perfumes but not a lot about those perfumes. Notes? Fuggedaboutit. But constant exposure to Patty & March and all of you expanded my horizons – and continues to do so. There are so many notes I’ve learned of, both in perfume and in the natural world – linden is one of them.
Linden came about via my friend Howard, aka LindenloverSnugglebunny. We’ve been friends for over 30 yrs and I’ve always admired his enthusiasm for the sensual aspects of Life. He’s always had a ‘thing’ for linden and used to go on and on about the smell of linden trees in bloom…blahblahblah…because I had NO idea what he was talking about (I knew One Smell-good tree: Russian Olive. He, a former forester, knew A Whole Lot More). So…blahblahblah…until I actually smelled a linden tree in blossom. Wow. A combination of oily lime rind, sunshine and cake batter, linden is one of the essences of Spring. According to Lindenlover there, it’s a tough scent to translate into perfume. I wonder what he’ll make of April Aromatics’s Unter den Linden? For my part, I think it’s perfection. Unter den Linden is an homage to the famous Berlin boulevard with which it shares its name – I can imagine that walking along that boulevard, when the trees are in full bloom, is a heady experience, indeed. The gorgeous Tanja Bochnig, perfumer/owner at cult House April Aromatics, has perfectly captured the idea of that boulevard (as well as so many of the gorgeous boulevards laid out in Belle Epoque Europe) – when I sniff Unter den Linden, I am transported back to the 19th Century, a fabulous time for arts and culture and civilized behavior – in my fantasy transportation, it all looks like the MGM film version of ‘Gigi’ (yes, I know that’s Paris but in this fantasy every major European city in the 1900s looks like an MGM set)…… gorgeously-clad women in barouches, men in morning coats or lounge suits (and the fabulous boater! Oh, why don’t men wear boaters anymore? )…..pleached lime trees above pristine pea-gravel walkways, the whole surrounded by Belle Epoque buildings…this scent, while at the opposite end of the spectrum, scentwise, from Une Fleur de Cassie , Les Heures Brillante & Amouage Beloved, has a very important thing in common with those perfumes: it is a decidedly urban scent. Paris, Berlin, New York. Not the countryside. You all know I have a ‘thing’ about certain perfumes, requiring myself to be done completely the hell up in order to do them justice. They don’t have to be particularly complex perfumes – there’s just a certain ‘something’ about certain ones that require my unruly hair be ‘did’ and me being in something crisp and sophisticated. Dropping a dress size would help, too – but let’s not get carried away here. Unlike the perfumes I just mentioned, though, which I consider to be completely urban, Unter den Linden shares some of the style of Patou’s Vacances, in that you can do the Cannes thing, with the crisp white slacks and an elegant flat – as you can see I am loving the juxtaposition of crisp fabric and soft perfume (and Cannes, like Monte Carlo, feels urban, all those boats notwithstanding. The whole ‘sleepy fishing village’ is LONG gone). I see myself in a crisp shirtwaist dress or pencil skirt with a polished cotton blouse, meeting the beautiful Tanja at an outdoor cafe in Berlin, exchanging air-kisses so as not to muss our flawless makeup (oh, shut up! Like I’m the only one to ever have this fantasy!)…we’re both awash in Unter den Linden and every other patron at the cafe is quietly marveling at our fabulosity. In reality, I would be mistaken for Tanja’s aged nanny and my hips would be hurting from walking on the pea gravel in mah Manolos…but we’re ignoring reality right now, okay? Back to the fantasy!
I really like this perfume! It’s bright, soft (with a hint of bergamot bitterness to ground it and save it from being ‘twee’) – a throwback to a feeling of sunnier, simpler times, when women wore gloves and hats and the world didn’t intrude quite so immediately into everyday life. Whether or not those days ever really existed is irrelevant: it is a lovely vision and this is a perfect perfume to fit that vision.
Until recently it was rather taxing to get April Aromatics in the US – now Luckyscent has made the cult House easier to explore. Thanks, Franco! If you are unfamiliar with the line, I suggest you try them all – Luckyscent carries an elegant sample set. containing 9 of her gorgeous scents (including Unter den Linden) $130 for 2.5ml per.
Notes for Unter den Linden: Linden blossom, honey, mimosa, bergamot, magnolia.
Hey, sweetie! I think I remember trying this and really liking it, but then “life” intervened, if you know what I mean, and I forgot about it. Must go dig up my sample o’ this beauty. Thanks! Big hugs to you …
I live in a Mediterranean country with slightly continental climate so we have linden trees around. The smell of linden in bloom is really beautiful and strong (here it’s in the end of May) and I can smell something similar in the opening of Juliette Has a Gun’s Anyway.
The other thing about linden trees – don’t ever park your car underneath while it’s in bloom! You won’t be able to wash away the thin sticky film from the glass easily and you can’t see through it 😀
I am a very lucky girl.
The Hubs and I have long admired a street in our town which is lined with Linden Trees. As additional streets were built to branch off this street, strips of grass, between the street and the sidewalks, were also planted with Linden trees. We were able to purchase a lovely new home in February and I was more than thrilled to discover the three (3!) trees in front of my new house are Lindens. This spring I was able to be awash in their incredible scent as their blossoms opened. It was a glorious couple of weeks.
I have found Jo Malone’s French Lime Blossom to be very reminiscent of the scent of the trees in my yard and in the surrounding neighborhood.
I also found some Linden blossom essential oil online and add it to unscented lotion. Aaaaah….. 🙂
I”m thinking we’re Linden-less down South. I have never seen or smelled one, to the best of my knowledge.
But after reading Ms Dinazad’s comment, I’m fixin’ to hunt one down.
carry ‘protection’, just in case. Okay? 😉 xoxoxoA
Right on board with your urban fantasy, and I see what you mean about Une Fleur de Cassie falling under that category. Recently ordered some April Aromatics samples, but this one wasn’t among them (did quite enjoy Jasmina). I like linden in theory, but have yet to find it in a perfume I love.
if you like linden, you will LOVE this one. Next Luckyscent order, have them throw in Unter den Linden. You won’t regret it! xoxoxoA
Ha! I was at my local garden center back in the spring making my annual pilgrimage (as soon as the first ray of sun appeared after the notoriously dreary grey Oregon winter) when I was hit by this indescribably amazing perfume. I frantically went around sniffing everything in sight, muttering “what is it, what IS it??” when I happened upon the source – Linden! I positively fell into the pots and probably would have laid there like Dorothy in the poppy field had the SA not asked me if I needed help. I snapped up 2 and have planted them by our small side deck – our study/office opens out on to this so I am anticipating sitting at my computer with morning tea next spring inhaling their magnificence. I thought at the time “now if only this could be encapsulated in a perfume” and it appears it has. What a fabulously evocative review Musette – I too wish that women still wore gloves and hats and dresses. When I was a kid I had a pair of white lacey gloves and white patent open toed shoes for “best” – I felt the bees knees even at 6. I’m definitely going to give this a go.
(And good to “see” you again – I think of you and hope you and El O are hanging in there.)
Omgosh! I IMMEDIATELY saw Dorothy in the poppy field. You know…that was very ‘subversive’ back then, that allusion to opium and a drug-addled state….probably went over every kid’s head (certainly did mine)…anyhoo…..I am laughing like a hyena over here, imagining you in the linden pots! LOL! Glad you got two of them. Howard has a range of linden trees on his parkway and spends most of the Spring & early Summer, huffing by the window, just as you are going to do!
…and I’ll bet you had a straw boater to go along with those gloves and shoes 😉 xoxoxoA
Oh too funny and good call – yes I did have a straw boater as part of my (hideous) school uniform for the summer. The winter hat was a horrid thing too – bottle green felt with a dangling ribbon and under chin elastic. You can imagine how we stuffed them into our satchels until we got in range of school…
I have never smelled linden, and now I´m oh so curious!
it’s really pretty, very summery!!! xoxoxoA
I’m lucky enough to have a glorious linden in my front yard, but on Chicago city property (the strip of green between the sidewalk and street). Had a scare about a month ago, when a city crew showed up to fix what I had thought was a sinkhole, but turned out to be a wash out from a collapsed sewer line. The crew knocked on my door and asked if they had my permission to cut the linden. I didn’t know that they needed permission – it is on city property – but I nearly shouted out ‘no’, so they dug up the street instead of my tree. Spring would not have been the same without that tree, and god knows we need to be able to look forward to spring in Chicago. I will have to try this scent, and I’m interested in any linden scent.
Holy cats and crackers! NO on the tree dig-up! SO glad you were home to stop that!!! xoxooxA
Come to think of it….. isn’t D’Orsay “Tilleul” a true linden scent?
I dunno….as in I really don’t know! Now that I know what I’m sniffing for, I’ll have to see if I have a vial, try it out! xoxoxoA
I love your wit! I don’t know if I’ve smelled a good Linden perfume, nor have I seen a linden tree, to my knowledge.
That is so nice of you to say. I consider myself completely witless, most days! LOL! As far as smelling a linden tree? As I said to Dina, I’ll bet you have (just as I had) – you just don’t know it (just as I didn’t). Check out any of the home garden centers, next Spring (a bit later, so you can catch the blossoms) – I found my linden at Menard’s! Really! xoxooxA
Now I’m very eager and curious to sniff a linden tree in bloom! This sounds very pretty, sunny and uplifting. I loved your word picture of a Gigi-like world. I totally got that, having seen the movie. 🙂 I also didn’t realize that there was tea with linden blossom. Another thing to check out!
do you know where I finally made the connection, Dina? At the seasonal garden center at Menard’s! Like me, you’ve probably smelled and appreciated linden, without ever knowing what it was! Next Spring (late, so you can catch the bloom) check out any garden center – they’re bound to have one.
You paint a lovely picture of this one. I think I’ve smelled linden for real but I’m not positive. I have a linden perfume which smells a bit soapy on me but I love it at bedtime. I’ve been wanting to try this one since everyone seems to love it. I do have some linden blossom tea like jilliecat which is rather good.
poodle, I think you have to ‘know’ what you’re looking for, with Linden. I had NO idea, until I was forcibly brought to it – once you smell it, though, it’ll be pretty easy to suss it out – when I got my nose into an actual linden blossom, I then realized it was that lovely, sunshine-y oily lime rind smell I so enjoy in late Spring! xoxoxoA
There was an avenue near our childhood home that was the route leading from a busy motorway to the local high street. This road was built long before the motorway that cut our town in two – the houses were of the grand Victorian style, and every single tree lining the road was a lime. During the spring you would emerge from the underpass and only have to walk a few yards to forget the rush of the cars and the smell of exhaust fumes as the scent of the trees wrapped itself around you. It was truly heavenly.
Nowadays I sip linden blossom tea and am transported back to that avenue, which always seems so sunny in my memories.
OMGosh! That sounds lovely. Except for the ‘cut our town in two’ part – that is almost never a good thing. But the avenue sounds delightful!!! xoxooxdA
Ahhhh, linden blossom! The scent of early summer – I can appreciate that now. In my very much younger years, it used to make me quite ……ummm……. in the mood for intimate relationships. Very much in the mood. The one time I found and wore an Indian perfume oil smelling of linden blossom, I walked around with my eyes fixed below the beltline of any male that came my way. VERY embarrassing! While I have nothing against intimate relationships, these days I am happy to enjoy linden for what it is: a wonderful scent!
This cracked me up 🙂 I have read reviews that rhapsodize over this scent but none have mentioned that particular side effect.
I’m with you, rosarita! I read this, J, and did an actual belly-heave of laughter! xoxoxoA