Gardenia Monday: What are your favorites?

gardeniaDon’t you just love it when you get an unexpected fragrant treat? Looking out the back door of my office the other day, I was thrilled to see that three of the four gardenia bushes at the edge of the patio were blooming up a storm — I mean, really going to town. Not sure what’s going on with poor No. 4 there in the back, but oh, well. Such a pleasure to step outside and stick my nose in not one, but many, lovely blooms. And to think that some years, there’s been not a petal in sight on those babies. I guess the stars just aligned perfectly this year.

Although there’s no perfume that exactly captures that lush scent, it got me to thinking about several that I do like, even if some of them tend to go off on their own little gardenia-inspired tangents (sorry, no bleu cheese or mushroom-y accords for me).

Among my faves: No. 1 for as close to real as I’ve found is Michael Storer’s Stephanie, although not sure if it’s even made anymore. Jovoy’s Gardez-Moi is high up there for me, and Arquiste’s Boutonniere and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Gardenia Petale are lovely and pretty, even if not totally gardenia-centric. And of course, there’s Estee Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia, although the tuberose often seems to get a little pushy with the gardenia, and it’s a bit more potent than simply pretty, which is OK. It gets props for being very lush, which is what you really need with gardenia. And I’m sure there are several others that I’m forgetting.

Even in body products, I’m enjoying a hint of gardenia these days, via Red Flower’s Spanish Gardenia. The shower gel is quite nice (need to try the lotion); also have been grooving on the EL body lotion, which is great.

And let’s not forget candles: In my formal living room, I’ve been alternating between several evenings burning the Spanish Gardenia candle, and then several with Frederic Malle’s Tubereuse candle. No, not a gardenia scent, but still very pretty switched out with the Red Flower. Have not tried the Malle gardenia candle as it’s a bit too spendy for me right now, but I imagine it’s pretty amazing. If you’ve tried a great gardenia-ish candle (room spray, diffuser, etc.), would love to hear about it.

So come stroll down the gardenia path and share your loves, likes and even total misses (Chanel Gardenia, I’m looking at you) when it comes to this lush, intoxicating flower.

39 Comments
Sweet Sue June 12, 2016

I keep hearing that Fracas is a tuberose and not a gardenia scent. It sure smells like real deal gardenia to me, and I love it.

Farouche June 8, 2016

One that I like and that I believe hasn't been mentioned yet is Trish McAvoy's Gardenia Musk 4. It is very realistic with good sillage and is long lasting as well.

thegoddessrena June 7, 2016

Look into Olivine Atelier. Got a sample pack recently and 5 of the 7 featured gardenia. Gardenia Batik, which is new from Soivohle, is a beautiful luscious spring bouquet.

rosarita313 June 7, 2016

I'm so envious of your fresh gardenias, Ann! I love them, and tuberose, lily of the valley, etc all in their fresh, natural state. In perfume, white florals aren't my friends, they hate me unless they are combined with other notes: the amber in DK Gold, the incense in Monyette Paris. Could be worse :)

mikasminion June 7, 2016

I'm going to be the third person to sing the praises of Dame's Gardenia Soliflore. I have both the oil and the EDP and they smell exactly like the gardenias blooming out back. Several people have called it bleu cheesey, but I don't get that at all so YMMV. I like Boutonnière No. 7 too, but it doesn't smell like real gardenia to me at all. Can't think of any others I love off the top of my head.

Eldarwen June 6, 2016

Not a big fan of gardenia in perfume. The tuberose always does me in. Tocca Florence is an exception though.

Gwenyth June 6, 2016

I love so many of the perfumes already mentioned. At the moment, however, my favorite gardenia perfume is Soliflore Gardenia by Dame Perfumery (in Scottsdale, Arizona). For me, it is perfection. This copy from the site is spot on (IMO)"A true floral, alive and in full bloom. Lifting off into the breeze, floating through the air; adrift in a garden of earthly delight. Pure perfume too perfect for this world." In addition - DP makes a lovely edt called Lime, Gardenia and Benzoin. Very nice! (I'm NOT affiliated in any way with Dame Perfumery. I'm merely a very pleased customer)

Caroline June 6, 2016

Still hunting for a realistic gardenia, so I'm interested in trying those mentioned here. Have found a very nice and inexpensive gardenia shower gel: Gardenia by Shikai (available on Vitacost). Gets the day off to a creamy, non-drying luscious start.

LaDona June 6, 2016

Ahhh...gardenia. Such a lovely flower...so unholy on me. White Shoulders may be the first perfume I ever smelled...and because my grandmother always had a bottle of it, I love it to this day...right up until it hits my skin...then, let the skunk begin. For the longest time I stayed away from perfume because any gardenia/jasmine/tuberose that got near me turned screechy and urinous on me. It's some sort of punishment from above that I love those big, white florals...and they hate me so much. Sigh. [grabs a bottle of Iris Silver Mist in protest.]

Portia June 6, 2016

Hey there Ann, Gardenia is one of my favourite floral scents on the bush. The people down the road from my childhood home had gardenia hedges, lovingly manicured and every year they had an enormous amount of flowers. The smell would waft dizzyingly up and down the road. I'll never forget it. The closest I've ever found to the smell is an Australian outfit called Perfume & Skincare Co. Their Gardenia is out of this world. Feral and ferocious. http://www.perfumeandskincare.com.au/gardenia MMMMM Portia xx

Neva June 6, 2016

My only gardenia perfume is Elizabeth Taylor's Gardenia that I bought in a thrift store and it's lovely, very smooth and a little bit fruity. I'm looking forward to trying some of the perfumes mentioned in this post.

Maya June 6, 2016

I agree on Jovoy’s Gardez-Moi. It does smell of real gardenia to me, but - I need to sample it again. I love Isabey Gardenia. The tangerine bark opening is lovely. A lot of people say it's not a true gardenia perfume, but who cares. It's gorgeous. Right now I have been sampling MDCI Nuit Andalouse and am liking it more and more. This one is fun. It's as though all the supporting notes are at the surface but not the gardenia which regularly pops up, says "here I am", and gradually goes down again.

ravensandowls June 6, 2016

One day, I'll get my mitts on some Jungle Gardenia... however, I really do like Jovan's Island Gardenia for now. :)

FeralJasmine June 6, 2016

I should add that the Malle room spray is also awfully nice as a room spray?. And I have heard that the gardenia candle from Amy's Country Candles is very good. I just ordered one so I don't know yet.

FeralJasmine June 6, 2016

Gardenia, my favorite note! First last and always, Tom Ford's Velvet Gardenia. The best ever. Jeffrey Dame's gorgeous gardenia oil roll-on ( the edt refuses to work for me.) Monyette when I'm in the mood for something juvenile, beachy, and fun. Forever Florals gardenia oil when I'm working in the garden and want gardenia to accompany me. EL Tuberose Gardenia for radiant sunniness. And on soft summer mornings, I wear the Malle room spray Un Gardenia de Nuit as a perfume. It is lovely and fresh to my nose. I suspect that the clean musk would not suit me at other times, but on clean early mornings it's simply perfect.

HeidiC June 6, 2016

Hands down, I still love Tuvache's Jungle Gardenia -- makes me feel like Joan in Mad Men when I dab it on! And I quite like SL's Une Voix Noir, though it smells kind of cold to me -- like a gardenia corsage in a florist's refrigerated case. My Southern friends back home are all posting pics of their gardenia bushes in bloom, and I'm soooooooo jealous! But I made it to our new digs in Minneapolis (and found a lovely package waiting for me -- MWAH!!!), so I'm too busy getting settled to garden. Which is why I'm doubly glad to have such pretty flower-scented perfumes to sniff!