Rena “Carol” Aulick-Lynn 1949 – 2016


Post by Azar


Hello APJ,

One of the most commercially influential and probably least appreciated perfumers of the 20th and 21st centuries passed on January 30, 2016. Few of us fragrance junkies have ever heard her name but probably most of us have smelled her creations. We may even use the products that carry her perfumes on a daily basis.

Rena “Carol” Aulick-Lynn 1949 – 2016

Rena %22Carol%22 Aulick-Lynn

Rena “Carol” Aulick-Lynn was born on July 7, 1949, the eldest daughter of a Kentucky tobacco farmer. As a child Carol loved all things musical, eventually becoming an accomplished vocalist, singing for radio commercials and performing as a member of the May Festival Chorus under the direction of Maestro James Levine. She was also an accomplished pianist and taught piano and music theory.

After various twists and turns of fate, Aulick-Lynn eventually found her path as a scientist and perfumer working for Proctor & Gamble. With P&G she studied perfumery all over the world and was subsequently promoted to Principal Perfumer/Scientist for the company. She later moved to Firmenich in New York as Perfumer and Director of Evaluation and then to Houston Texas, as the Director of Fragrance Development and Executive VP for Intercontinental Fragrances.

This remarkable woman loved adventure sports. In addition to sailing and flying sail planes she also raced trans am with the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America).


So – which fragrances did Carol Aulick-Lynn create? Some of her most recognized functional perfumes grace an extensive variety of household, beauty and hygiene products, including Dreft baby detergent, Tide detergent (probably the original and at least one flanker), Dash detergent, Secret and Sure deodorants and Dawn and Joy dishwashing liquids. Her last iteration of the Tide fragrance won the American Society of Perfumers award for Best Detergent Fragrance on the market.

Years of exposure to scented household, bath and beauty products have blunted my appreciation of the considerable artistry (yes, really) and manipulative science involved in their creation. Lately I’ve resolved that I will no longer turn up my nose at functional fragrances but instead approach them as I would “real” perfumes. I’ve found that there are some amazing beauties in the functional fragrance world that could easily hold their own (albeit a somewhat linear “own”) with many of what we snobbishly refer to as “fine” fragrances.

Recently daughter Lauren forwarded the video below. Not only is it hilarious but it has also given me a new perspective on my addiction to scent.

Here are a couple of questions, APJ: Is there a household product that you use just because it smells so good? How about a beauty product that you love or hate based on its fragrance?

Azar xx

19 thoughts on “Rena “Carol” Aulick-Lynn 1949 – 2016

  1. Thanks Azar for a fascinating post. Does bar soap count? In this order I love: Pears transparent soap (coal tar?) Dove soap and Ivory soap. And Cussons’ Imperial Leather.


    • Hi Bernadette,
      Yes! Bar soap counts and Pears transparent soap is (was) one of my favorites too. It was hard to find in the US until the 80s/90s (time is a blur). Sadly, the Pears formula (including the scent) was reformulated six or seven years ago. It really has never been the same since, even though the latest version is supposed to be closer to the original formula. Have you noticed it doesn’t seem to last as long as it used to? Sigh…
      Azar xx


      • Hello Bernadette and Azar

        Pears is definitely not as gorgeous as it was (I think it used to contain sandalwood and rosemary), nor is my favourite, Imperial Leather ….. boo hoo. And they melt away so quickly now.

        The only clothes washes I like are Persil Liquid Gel for Coloured Laundry – just love this fragrance, even when it lingers on my sheets – and Zum’s Frankincense & Myrrh, which is heavenly.

        Thanks, Azar, for making me laugh so much at that video.


      • You are welcome, Tillie!

        I too like the Persil for Colored Laundry because it seems to keep clothes from fading. Also, per Portia’s comment, white vinegar will help to set and preserve colors in the wash. And another bar soap – Nubian Heritage makes a Frankincense & Myrrh bar soap that smell wonderful “infused with a special essential oil blend of Frankincense, Myrrh, Cardamom, Ginger and Black Pepper…”. this soap smells great and lasts forever.

        Azar xx


  2. Hey Azar,
    Trying to think of functional fragrance I love but coming up a blank. We use White Vinegar for cleaning and as fabric softener.
    We do have a nice smelling Hand Wash made by APJs own Suzanne R Banks, it’s unbelievably gorgeous.
    Portia xx


    • Hi Portia,
      I am reminded that I need to buy some more household vinegar! I use it for cleaning too, occasionally in laundry. Also, diluted white or apple cider vinegar makes a great hair rinse. I hate using most conditioners on my hair because they feel oily to me, leave a residue and I usually don’t like their “functional” scents. A vinegar rinse (diluted, of course) leaves my hair shiny, clean feeling and manageable and gets rid of the frizz too. The smell of vinegar is removed with the final water rinse.
      Azar xx


    • Hi Tara C,
      I remember this one smelling quite good! The other day I was in the laundry detergent aisle in the supermarket sniffing the tops of the detergent bottles! I got a few weird looks from fellow customers. It’s too bad the stores don’t offer fragrance testers for detergents πŸ™‚
      Azar xx


  3. This is hands down the most interesting post I have read in yonks. Thanks Azar. Hmmmmm. I love the smell of Fairy Liquid (dishsoap) as it reminds me of my childhood. It is also the best dishwashing liquid there is. I shall make an effort when something comes my way to pay attention. I also love the smell of Tigi BedHead products. I HATE fragranced washing powder and only use unscented. And those dryer sheets (which we do not have in Europe)? No comment. Hugs. ❀️


    • Thank you,Val!

      Those laundry products can be pretty potent! I imagine they are more concentrated than other scented household or beauty products in order to withstand all the rinsing, washing and drying and still leave a residual scent on the laundry. As I mentioned to Tara C, I was trying to sniff laundry detergents in the supermarket. The Arm & Hammer was pretty good but Gain and all its flankers were REALLY strong. I remember smelling an extra dose of some kind of aquatic/fresh thing similar to the original Tide. Too much for me! I usually use unscented laundry detergent but I have to admit to liking Snuggle Blue Sparkle dryer sheets – a kind of a citrus opening over a woodsy musk…

      We don’t have the Fairy Liquid dish soap here. I would love to try it sometime πŸ™‚

      Azar xx and X


  4. I’m like Val, I try to avoid scented laundry products and I’ve never met a dryer sheet in my life! πŸ™‚ I tend to look for cruelty free brands and there is an Australian one called Nature’s Organics – its Earth Choice lines will be familiar to Australian readers. There is a pomegranate dishwashing concentrate that I enjoy for the scent. Because you are right – a good functional scent does help to make the day that little bit more pleasant.

    Australian skincare brand Sukin is also known for the fragrance of its products, a sort of citrus and vanilla combo. Very pleasant and comforting (although perhaps a bit strong for my taste).

    Thanks for the post. What a great career!


    • You are welcome, Anne Marie!

      Yes, Carol Aulick-Lynn certainly had an interesting and varied career! Here hobbies were amazing too! I can’t imagine enjoying racing cars or flying planes. A little performing now and then is more than enough excitement for me !

      Also, at my age, I sometimes feel that I’m putting myself out to pasture! It’s easy to forget the many people who made their biggest contributions to society and did their best creative work after the age of 60. Several writers come to mind, like Tolkien, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Frank McCourt. Maybe there is still time for a second career? Or maybe it is time to enjoy the peaceful pasture? πŸ™‚

      Azar xx


      • I agree, I’m sure there are many writers who hardly even start until their 50s. It’s not like the sciences, where you have to gain success early. Plenty of time to find new talents, I say!


  5. I love scented dryer sheets but can’t use them anymore because Stella will eat them if she gets her paws on a used one. I sniff all laundry detergents or dish soap before buying. Scent matters. I love Mrs Myers Clean Day all purpose cleaner in Honeysuckle scent.


    • Hi Poodle!
      I use the Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Lemon Verbena. I haven’t tried the honeysuckle scent yet but will give it a go! I’m sorry that Stella goes after the dryer sheets! She must love the smell! A grand-dog of mine, Zsa Zsa the frenchie, loved to eat rocks! Rocks do have individual scents (and not just because of the petrichor effect). I don’t remember her being choosey, though. Any rock was a good rock for Zsa Zsa. Perhaps she needed the more minerals in her diet? I’ve heard that has something to do with it…
      Azar xx


  6. Hi Mom – That video is too funny:)! I think there are other versions of it online. I actually have fragrance free laundry detergent and shower gel. But I do have lots of hair products that smell nice. I can’t think of my favorite right now but I know there have been times when people have complimented me on how nice I smell and it was just styling products!


    • Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for sending the video my way. It changed my life – sort of πŸ™‚

      The other day Brad was working in the garden and he smelled great! It was his Cutter (deet free) natural insect repellant.

      See you soon! I’m so excited!


      Mommy Azar xx and X


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