Don’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.