The smell of gardenias?

I still don’t know what they smell like even though I was testing two gardenia named scents, Chanel Gardenia and Guerlain Cruel Gardenia. That didn’t help much. 🙂

It’s great how much decants and samples I managed to accumulate even before starting this blog and now I rumage through them and come up with things I smelled 2 years ago and completely forgot how they smelled because at that point I still wasn’t writing anything down (that is one of the reasons I started this blog, to make myself write down what I think, otherwise I forget).

Btw, I slightly like better the Chanel’s Gardenia – but Cruel Gardenia is great too.

Notes for Gardenia: tuberose, orange blossom, gardenia, jasmine, sandalwood, patchouli, musk vetiver

Initially (this time for a minute), I thought Gardenia was going to be an austere, serious and iris-like smelling perfume. That didn’t sound terribly appealing but it didn’t take long for me to start wondering if what I smelled initially was just a figment of my imagination (I believe not and blame it on vetiver).

And then you get this sunny flowers of the meadow variety (but not as happy, sweet and colorful as Ninfeo Mio), with a slightly bitter or root-like undertone (my guess that’s vetiver peeking out, probably some patchouli giving that off even though I didn’t smell any patchouli).

The combination is so wonderful it practically leaves me without words to describe it, and since I was smelling it in combination with Cruel Gardenia, trying to force the gardenia out, I have to say, I think Cruel Gardenia might be more appropriate for the Chanel variant. It was terribly cruel to me, it didn’t let me approach closer that the general feel, whenever I tried to get to the individual notes, it wouldn’t let me. 🙂 So the best I could do was guess that the root quality came from vetiver and the saltiness in the end couldn’t come from iris (where I usually get some) so I think that it was the sandalwood (which I could detect) combination with white flowers. I’ll have to get some more of this once my decant is empty.

Notes for Cruel Gardenia: damask rose, peach, neroli, violet, ylang-ylang, white musk, sandalwood, tonka bean, vanilla

Well, Cruel Gardenia started in such a lush manner that when sniffing it first, I thought I will prefer it to Gardenia.

It starts warm and creamy and tuberosish. I know that’s not a word but what I smell feels like it. Like slightly sweet white flowers. I thought it smelled like fat, creamy, lush petals. And then I read the notes and got angry with myself. What is wrong with me that I can’t recognize rose when I smell it until I read it among the notes?! I recognize the smell and each and every time I’m asking myself whati sthis? I know this and until I read the notes I cannot for the life of me remember. Now that I know I have this problem, rose will be the first thing I will think of even if it’s nowhere near. Just to eliminate it. 🙂

So, if it smells creamy, it doesn’t smell cruel to me. I think I might be missing the point here. But at least it’s a great smelling point.

The drydown is actually similar to Gardenia, slightly less salty and more sweet but quite alike.

The bottom line, I have no idea what gardenia smells like but since it appears in stuff that smells great, I’m sure I love the way it smells.

That’s all from me – have a great weekend everyone! I plan to.

Tagged: , , , ,

7 thoughts on “The smell of gardenias?

  1. Rose April 30, 2010 at 13:09 Reply

    I like Chanel Gardenia very much but it doesn't smell an awful lot of Gardenia in the rich, creamy, luscious sense. I have never tried Cruel Gardenia, though I'd like too- it's an amazing name!


  2. Ines April 30, 2010 at 13:25 Reply

    Rose, that was what I supposed gardenia should smell like but I didn't get it from Chanel Gardenia – which doesn't stop me from liking it very much. :)That means that Cruel Gardenia actually smells more like the real gardenia – I wonder what you will think of it once you try it.


  3. Michael April 30, 2010 at 14:07 Reply

    Ines, I don't have much experience of Gardenia in perfume, but growing up in South Africa, we had a Gardenia bush in our garden. It bloomed with profusion and the smell of the waxy white flowers was intoxicating and beautiful, especially on a hot summer evening! We also had growing in our garden Jasmine and Frangipani (Plumeria) and those smelled even more intoxicating. I love white florals in nature, but find them a bit too much in perfume, especially as a man.


  4. flittersniffer May 1, 2010 at 11:35 Reply

    I have a decant of Gardenia and have completely forgotten my own trial of Cruel Gardenia in store, possibly only on paper, so your description has made me want to try this one again.The Chanel Gardenia was definite white flowers on my skin, not too heady, quite musky, extremely feminine and a little bit sheer, the way Carnal Flower is slightly transparent. Not creamy on me as I recall. Sounds like a contradiction in terms that something can be sheer yet smell quite strongly of white flowers, but my nose is full of contradictions!


  5. Ines May 3, 2010 at 12:18 Reply

    FS, well the things I come up with when smelling things, I think waht you smell is not only possible but true. :)Gardenia is neither heady nor creamy but strong nevertheless. Hm, I have to check who created this (of course I never know these things) – it really is a fascinating creation for me.


  6. Ines May 3, 2010 at 12:21 Reply

    Michael, I wish I had a real life experience of any of the lush white flowers blooming. 🙂 I am sure it is an unforgettable experience. Well, I certainly hope to live it one day. P.S. I wrote a comment before this and it disappeared. 😦


  7. […] Fracas(and I’m including here Songes, Une Voix Noire, Wildwood flower by H&M and Cruel Gardenia as they fit with my […]


I love hearing your thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: