white shoulders review

White Shoulders Perfume Review: Is It Too Old School For You?

Latest posts by Christine Kent (see all)

Baron Walter Langer von Langendorff was an Austrian Chemist who laid the foundation of Evyan Perfumes Inc. – the company behind creating the infamous White Shoulders Perfume – though the Baron founded his company, along with his English wife, in New York.

Perfumes by the House of Evyan were direct competitors to French perfumes that dominated the market. White Shoulders was the first fragrance launched by the company.

Features of the Perfume White Shoulders by Evyan

The Scent of the Perfume

White Shoulders Perfume

Launched in 1945, White Shoulders is a floral-scented perfume. This is a profoundly feminine scent intended for elegant old-school women who are more traditionalists.

White Shoulders gives a sense of nostalgia and days lost way back in the past. This vintage perfume is a scent that almost everyone would like – a safe, crowd-pleasing, and graceful scent for the refined, chic woman. Yet, a slight sexual note also lingers with the smell of this perfume and was initially marketed as such – a sensual romantic scent with a moral code.

Conversely, the company has been sold on to new buyers a couple of times since the concoction of the original White Shoulders, and let’s say, with each transfer of ownership, the scent has also changed – and not for good. What remains of the original aroma of the perfume now is a mere impression of the once classic fragrance.

Who Made This Perfume?

The perfumer behind this fragrance was Baron Langendorff himself, who also happened to be a chemist.

Longevity of the Perfume

White Shoulders Perfume

The life of the perfume, although not excellent, is reasonably well-performing, and it usually lasts up to 3 -4 hours on the skin.

Packaging and Price of the Perfume

It debuted as a luxury perfume costing between $5 – $110 at the time of its release in the 1940s, whereas now it is sold for as little as $10 – $15, available at general stores.

This perfume comes in various shapes and sizes, with the original packaging being a golden emblazoned rectangular glass bottle capped with a plastic sphere lid. It’s a rich scent more favored for special occasions than for everyday use.

Inspiration of the Perfume

Incidentally, Baron Langendorff named the company ‘Evyan’ by combining his wife’s first and middle names, Evelyn Diane, and formulated the White Shoulders perfume as an Ode to compliment her beauty.

The Perfume’s Notes

Cologne

Top notes: African Orange Flower, Aldehydes, Bergamot, and Peach.

Middle notes: Lily-of-the-Valley, Jasmine, Spices, Gardenia, Tuberose, Iris, Lilac, and Lily.

Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, Civetta, Amber, Benzoin, and Oakmoss.

Pros of the Perfume

  • Scent – A beautiful scent – it’s hard to find someone who does not love it
  • Value for Money – With its minimalistic price? It offers excellent value for money!
  • Longevity. – It has better-than-average longevity.

Cons of the Perfume

  • Re-formulation – The reformulated scent is a far cry from the original smell.
  • Over-powering – It can be too overwhelming if you spritz it on more than a couple of times.

Alternatives To The Perfume White Shoulders by Evyan

Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder

Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder

This is a fantastic fragrance reminiscent of White Shoulders yet strangely unique, with supreme longevity and sillage. This perfume is for the more mature women prepared to pay a high price for it.

Top notes: Brazillian Rosewood, Lilac, and Neroli.

Middle notes: Gardenia, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Tuberose, and Lily.

Base notes: Carnation and Bourbon Vanilla.

Pour Femme by Omar Sharif

Pour Femme by Omar Sharif

This long-lasting vintage scent is a hidden gem. This perfume is worth a try if you’re looking for a worthy alternative to White Shoulders.

Top notes: Palisander Rosewood, Bergamot, Orange Blossom, and Green Notes.

Middle notes: Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Rose, Orris, Tuberose, and Narcissus.

Base notes: Sandalwood, Musk, and Amber.

Mon Classique by Pascal Morabito

Mon Classique by Pascal Morabito

This floral scent is a blend of Freesia, Violet, Jasmine, Citruses, and White Flowers. Mon Classique has a regal scent with excellent sillage. This perfume is made for those who dress to impress.

Florence by Tocca

Florence by Tocca

This is a pleasant spring scent aimed at a younger audience while offering a mixture of similar notes to White Shoulders. It is a better, more modern alternative with moderate longevity.

Top notes: Bergamot, Pear, Grapefruit Leaf, and Apple.

Middle notes: Jasmine, Iris, Tuberose, Violet Leaf, and Gardenia.

Base notes: White Woods and Musk.

Bright Crystal by Versace

Bright Crystal by Versace

This perfume is somewhat similar to White Shoulders in its scents, but it meets similar needs while being the best alternative (and my personal favorite). The smell is simply intoxicating with a slight fruity tinge in addition to the floral scent offered by its rivals. The smell is fresh and brimming with confidence and can be a little too much when just sprayed but mellows down into a subtly seductive aroma.

Top notes: Ice, Yuzu, and Pomegranate.

Middle notes: Lotus, Magnolia, and Peony.

Base notes: Mahogany, Amber, and Musk.

Les Exclusifs Bois des Iles by Chanel

Les Exclusifs Bois des Iles by Chanel

This is a soft summer day scent with low longevity, suitable for any age group. The smell, although, is mind-blowing – I’d say it’s worth a buy even with its high price and poor longevity; be sure to add a couple of sprays throughout the day because it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g.

Top notes: Orange Blossom Water, Cilantro, Citrus Bergamia, peach, and Aldehyde.

Middle notes: Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Woodland Lily, Orris, Lilac, and Iris.

Base notes: Vetiver, Natural Gum, Amber, Tonkin Beans, Styrax Balsam, Sandalwood, and Musk.

Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera by Carolina Herrera

This is another summer day scent for all age groups, though perhaps with the poorest longevity a perfume of its price could offer. None the less the smell is outstanding and perfect for the stylish business women out there. (Hey -you’re probably rich as heck and can afford to go through a bottle a month!)

Top notes: Foliage, Cirus Blossom, Rosewood, Citrus Bergamia, and Apricot.

Middle notes: Woodland Lily, Ylang-Ylang, Honeysuckle, Narcissus, Hyacinth, Jasmine, and Tuberose.

Base notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Musk, Sandalwood, Amber, and Cedar Wood.

Climat L’Edition Mythique by Lancome

Climat L’Edition Mythique by Lancome

This perfume gives off an air of curiously elegant fragility yet exudes confidence. With its incredible longevity and sensual scent, I’d say it’s a win-win for the goddess within you!

Top notes: Citrus Bergamia, Foliage, Aldehyde, Peach, and Violet.

Middle notes: Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Rose, Narcissus, Iris, Woodland Lily, and Tuberose.

Base notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Vetiver, Musk, Tonkin Beans, Oakmoss, and Iso E Super.

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

Rive Gauche by Yves Saint Laurent

Unlike other similar scents, Rive Gauche is heavier and is more suitable for the winter. It’s a cheerful scent for the drab winter months with good longevity.

Top notes: Peach, Citrus Bergamia, Aldehyde, Lemon, Honeysuckle, and Foliage.

Middle notes: Woodland Lily, Ylang-Ylang, Magnolia, Gardenia, Jasmine, Geranium, Rose, and Lily.

Base notes: Sandalwood, Amber, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Musk, and Tonkin Beans.

Truly Lace by Coty

Truly Lace by Coty

This is a spring day fragrance more suitable for younger adults (age 19 – 25). This scent brings to mind Bright Crystal by Versace and, likewise, is one of my favorites though I must say it disappoints a bit – longevity vise.

Top notes: Gardenia, Fruits, Foliage, Citrus Bergamia, and Citrus Blossom.

Middle notes: Tuberose, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Woodland Lily, Rose, and Orchid.

Base notes: Oakmoss, Amber, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Musk, and Cedar Wood.

Lady 80 by Kanebo

Lady 80 by Kanebo

This is a lovely calming fragrant sensation, though, if I may say so, instead unfortunately named. The name suggests it is for old grannies, and let’s admit even actual old grannies don’t want to feel and be perceived as old grannies.

However, the perfume is named not because it is targeted at older women, but because it came out in 1980, the name probably appealed to a young youthful generation of the era. This is an exotic scent suitable for all ages; a hidden gem – though it’s perhaps not a mystery as to why that might be so (its off-putting name)

Top notes: Foliage, Hyacinth, Aldehyde, Peach, and Citrus Bergamia.

Middle notes: Rose, Jasmine, Magnolia, Narcissus, Iris, Lillium, Carnation, and Woodland Lily.

Base notes: Ambergris, Frankincense, Raspberry, Cedar Wood, Sandalwood, Musk, and Oakmoss.

My Opinion

While being a forever classic, White Shoulders somehow does not fit into the modern world and reminds me of what my grandma smelled like. Not a bad thing per se since she smelled lovely! And I love to get a whiff of it now and then, but only because it reminds me of her.

If you fall in the older age range and define yourself as prim and proper, go for it! But the original smell is somewhat warped now, so if you are looking to buy a bottle out of nostalgia for the old scent you remember – try out a tester first.

Personally? I’d give it a solid 3 out of 10 for Millennials or Generation Z. To the ladies of today’s world looking for something similar to White Shoulders by Evyan, I’d highly recommend either Florence by Tocca or Bright Crystal by Versace – whichever is more suited to your style.

FAQs

Question: What kind of scent are White Shoulders?

Answer: White Shoulders is a vintage scent that gives a burst of White Orchids, Florals, and Carnations with a powdery finish. However, it has been reformulated many times as the company changed hands, that the original scent is barely discernable now. But you can still get the original vintage version off eBay.

Question: When was White Shoulders a popular choice?

Answer: It’s a classic scent that enamored all of America when it was initially launched in the 40s—primarily marketed as a sensual, elegant scent for the upper-class women, showing images of naked white shoulders in stunning ball-gowns in its marketing promos. Somehow, it has managed to survive as a classic over the years but has lost quite a bit of its initial charm.

Question: Has the White Shoulder perfume been discontinued?

Answer: No! The classic perfume is still available across General Stores like Walmart at pretty cheap rates. Not only that, but it also comes in a gift pack with a White Shoulders Body Wash and Body Lotion to accompany the perfume. And if I may say so, it would make for a lovely Christmas or Birthday gift for your Mom/Grandmamma.

Question: How many other perfumes do the makers of White Shoulders offer?

Answer: The House of Evyan has launched two perfumes White Shoulders, in 1945 and Most Precious, in 1951. With notes of Narcissus, Fruity Notes, Lily-of-the-Valley, Honeysuckle, Gardenia, Carnation, Jasmine, Tuberose, Orange Blossom, and Tonka Bean; Most Precious is much similar to White Shoulders but greener and fresh smelling and excluding the powdery notes, which I must say is a plus. It might even be a better choice if you’re looking to buy an Evyan perfume.

Question: Who were White Shoulders inspired by?

Answer: Baron Walter Langer von Langendorff, a chemist, the co-founder of the House of Evyan, and his wife and the nose behind the White Shoulders perfume, created it out of a passion born of his desire rival French perfumes. The scent, however, he claims to be based on his lovely beautiful wife, who was his main inspiration in coming up with the fragrance.

White Shoulders Perfume Review: Conclusion

White Shoulder perfume was a revolutionary step in the American perfume industry since before then, and French perfumes were the flag-bearers of quality, high-class perfumes.

Baron Langendorff initiated Americas step into producing world-renowned American perfumes, with patriotic Americans buying it out of a sense of partisanship, post-World-War two over cheaper French perfumes to support “their own”

On the other hand, the times have changed much since the early days of perfumery with countless new methods and competitors in the market far out-pacing the once lovely classic White Shoulders, which means you might hear a few granny jokes while wearing it but if it is what you love – buy your bottle of White Shoulders today and let the haters hate!

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