Category Archives: Gardenia

ALL DRESSED UP WITH SOMEWHERE TO GO (in ROJA DOVE’S BIG WHITE FLORALS) : : : GARDENIA (2012) + LILY (2014) + TUBEROSE (2016)

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Roja Dove likes his perfumes to be Perfumes: big, blowsy, luscious, full.

And who am I to disagree?

All three of these confident, and laughing, wide-brimmed divas have no fear of lighting up a room with their scent………full-bodied, sweet; panoramic.

And in these vicious, pent up, and mean-spirited times, I say BRING IT ON.

Tuberose, possibly the least inventive of the three but also my favourite, is, if not a carbon copy of Fracas, at the very least an obvious homage; peachy, cinnamon-pinched and wedded to a classicist sandalwood vanilla musk; creamy, sensual and delicious  (in parfum especially) : quite the new/old tuberose on the block, with the Frenchness of Caron’s cold cream Tubereuse and even a short-lived remembrance in the head of Karl Lagerfeld’s seminal Chloe.

While obviously something of a throwback, this still does feel like an updated Fracas in many ways,  with less of that tuberose classic’s blaring, perfumey base, (if you know what I mean.)

And if, like me, you know for a fact you like the classic tuberoses, you are virtually guaranteed to love it.

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Lily, more contemporary and fresh, is a more complex and multilayered creature than Tuberose, something like a cross between Lauder’s Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and Hermes’ Vanille Gallante, with all the lip-piqued Americana of the former – at ease in the formal and informal – and the Parisian vanillic salt lily sensuousness of the latter.

This is quite a luscious, tropical urban perfume, gorgeous in a way ( if teetering on the verge of overloaded artificiality), but I still know that come the hot summer months I will definitely be draining my small 7.8ml sample bottle – a dot here and there on work shirt collar surely making a pleasing, sunbeamed, beach-hazy backdrop.

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Gardenia, like Lily, but unlike Tuberose, is also not a soliflore, but more a trompe l’oeil, marmoreal amalgam of a soap-white mythic, gardenia goddess; a creature of the Hollywood studios featuring very little relation to a living and breathing fungally breathtaking gardenia in the bushes.

While the overall impression of this grand creation has something almost gardenia-like, this perfume is ultimately more green-leafed, and white-smoothed, in the unimpeachable sud-soaped manner of Pure Distance’s Opardu – unblemished, feminine,  subtly commanding –  enveloping the wearer in an expensive, generous, dazzlingly faux-demure aura of come here, my darling.

I confess that I find it quite alluring.

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Filed under Flowers, Gardenia, Lily

AMERICAN SILLAGE : : : ESTEE LAUDER PRIVATE COLLECTION (1973) + PRIVATE COLLECTION TUBEROSE GARDENIA ( 2007 )

 

 

 

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Private Collection is an American classic. Extremely distinctive, there is nothing else quite like it. Green, lush, austere but yearningly romantic, melancholic yet somehow perennially optimistic, this powdery, vetiver-based, ravishingly and sharply green floral is a perfume that pierces the senses and remains lodged in the memory forever.

 

I should know. Not only did my mother go through a period of wearing this in the eighties, when I was about seventeen (she was never averse to trying new pastures when it came to fragrance, although with many selections, this was limited, like Private Collection, to only one bottle or two), but my high school French teacher would also wear this anomalous perfume in too high profusion in the lessons, creating an odd dichotomy between her dimininutive, dumpy presence, appalling French accent, and the plushly orchestrated delight of fresh flowers and grasses that would fill up the room like a crushed, vernal symphony.

 

 

I have talked before of what I see as the ‘rich divorcée’ accord in most Estee Lauder perfumes, a phrase that to me sums up virtually the entire early catalogue, from Youth Dew to Aromatics Elixir, through Cinnabar,  Knowing and Spellbound: that familiarly dense, compressedly aldehydic, ‘respectably perfumed’ aspect that forms the base of all this house’s creations (even the green dewiness of a perfume such as Pleasures, that nineties phenomenon, somehow withholds and extends this very ‘acceptable, take her to meet her future mother-in-law’ aspect that is at the heart of most American perfumery). No, it is undeniable. Madame Lauder’s perfumes have never been dirty, or daring (with the exception of Alliage), nor coquettish, licentious, nor filthy  – that would be the prerogative, surely, of the French, stereotypical though that last sentence surely is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I know, though, that real perfume connoisseurs reading this at this moment know exactly what I mean.  Lauder’s perfumes always kept you at arms’ length, even while inviting you to inhale their peculiar artistry, to sit admiringly in their undeniably impressive aura, and to feel that the person in question, is, undeniably, ‘all woman’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Private Collection, like Gabrielle Chanel’s own Nº19, was apparently created originally for Estee Lauder’s private use, and only later released to the public (“every woman should have this in her own private collection”), a canny marketing strategy that would feel glib and empty to me were it not for the fact that Private Collection really does smell, and quite intensely,  private.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps this is what made me feel so….not uncomfortable, exactly, but dislodged and quietly – at the back of my brain as I tried to learn the finer points of French grammar – mesmerized, offput, during the period leading up to the university entrance exams. Where I would have been there in my Chanel Pour Monsieur or Armani Pour Homme or Givenchy Gentleman, and the girls were all wearing Loulou, Poison, Anais Anais, or Lauder’s own new fluffy pink sweater-in-bosoms release, Beautiful, the elevated olfactory countenance of my French teacher’s perfume, which lawnmowered down all others in the room and filled it to every corner, was like watching a funeral casket from behind a privet hedge, your senses heightened, as you smelled the lilies, green roses, but most importantly, the most mournful flowers of them all, piled high on the gleen of the coffin, a glut of white chrysanthemum.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It felt, almost, like intruding. And it is this bitter, doleful and more perspicacious aspect of Private Collection that raises the perfume above all possible banality and, by association, its more slatternly, easy-going peers. It is a classically American grand parfum that was created by Vincent Marcello (who I had never heard of before doing some research for this piece), but who apparently was a perfumer who is credited with only two other creations –  Halston Z14 and Caron’s legendary spiced leather, Yatagan.

 

 

 

 

This is revealing. Where a perfumer’s perfumography is often very extensive, their concoctions and signature style of scent creation lent out to all and sundry who want to use them (think Alberto Morillas or Bertrand Duchaufour), I often think that when a perfumer has only created a handful of perfumes (but classic and enduring ones), this shows us just how much time and effort, inspiration and execution must have gone into the process before the perfume was finally revealed to its eager public; I imagine him or her toiling fervidly behind confidential closed doors in their laboratory, adding and subtracting, sighing and elating, until the exact composition they had had in mind all along reveals itself to them like a slave in a piece of marble by Michaelangelo. The perfume was there, waiting to be exist; it just had to find the right moment to be released.

 

 

 

 

 

Like Yatagan and Halston Z14,  Private Collection is incredibly complex. Beginning with citric, and very incitingly chlorophylled top notes of leaves and grasses, bergamot and coriander, the mordant sting of chrysanthemum and reseda (a fragrant, herbaceous plant), along with Bulgarian rose, aldehydes, honeysuckle and linden, the perfume – immediately poetic, heart beating firmly beneath its worldly veneer – is on-point and extroverted, ready to show off the beautiful home and quintessential gardens; yet simultaneously, just under the surface, obviously, still, quite defensive and withdrawn. Mr. Marcello quite brilliantly counterpoints the pointed and imperious green notes of the grande facade entrance with a more wistful and emotive heart of powdery rose-kissed heliotrope, and a subtle, but lingering, endgame of vetiver, musk, sandalwood, and amber. With these deep psychological complexities, in the tensions between the dark green of the botanical shadows and the more urbane pleasures of the daylight, Private Collection is, thus, for me, one of the most paradoxical and contradictory perfumes that I know: and therein lies its brilliance.

 

 

 

 

In his seminal review of Private Collection, The Perfumed Dandy, who adores this perfume, it would seem, as he keeps returning to it, writes of it that is ‘a scent of solitary sorrow, a perfume of private grief and almost immeasurable melancholy, marrying nettles and lawn grass with oak moss and earth to achieve a cool, reserved opening of remarkable detached intensity.’

 

 

 

 

 

I think that this is a perfect way of describing the overall effect of Private Collection,  although unlike the Dandy, I could never wear this perfume on myself. Although I do have a few miniature bottles of the vintage parfum picked up at Tokyo fleamarkets that I treasure for memory’s sake, and which I am in fact wearing while writing this on a grey rainy day in Kamakura, much as I love it, ultimately this most arch of American perfumes is a little too recherché, polite, reserved and conservative for a person like me. Its inherent strictures would bring on irritation. Moreover, it made such an enduring impact on my psyche as an adolescent, that it is definitely too firmly rooted, now, in my past.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Which brings us to Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. Fast forward almost a quarter of a century, and Lauder’s grand daughter Aerin, now at the helm of the formidable U.S cosmetics behemoth, revives the Private Collection name in 2007 with a brand new ‘niche’ perfume set aside from the main commercial lineup, Tuberose Gardenia. The fragrance community go wild at the prospect of a linear, American white floral containing these luscious, white flowers, and once again the canny institution has another commercial hit ….

 

 

 

 

Although I had smelled it once briefly in Harrods as the concept had piqued my curiosity (and I must say I quite liked the bottle), it wasn’t until recently, when I picked up a small, boxed miniature of this perfume at a recycle shop here in Japan that I got the chance to study this perfume in thorough detail. I was surprised, and not unpleasantly. Readers of The Black Narcissus will know by now that I have quite schizoid tastes, favouring either the grave, dark and unmistakably elegant, or else sweet, wild, flagrant tropicalia, with not very much in between. I love white flower perfumes of the jasmine, frangipani, tuberose and gardenia variety and find that I am wearing them more and more. Current work perfumes, usually worn (for me at least) discreetly at the wrist under white shirt cuff and under a suit jacket, include Dolce and Gabbana’s exquisite Velvet Desire (the perfect jasmine /gardenia – really, you must try it), Reva De Tahiti’s Eau de Tiare, and, perhaps amusingly, Elizabeth Taylor’s peachy delicious, and very Southern American Belle, Gardenia. I don’t quite know how these perfumes smell to other people, but to me, on me, they smell unclichéd, sensuous, and delightful, a drenched and floral riposte to the limitations of gender, nationality and boring limitations on freedom in general. I do feel liberated in flowers.

 

 

 

 

Given this, it would seem then that Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia would slot perfectly into my scent list for a surreptious scenting on a daily work basis, almost guaranteed in advance to be quite non-threatening, ‘clean’, yet pleasingly alluring, as is the case with most of the perfumes that comes from the ascetic land of the pilgrims and its hysterically deep-seated fear of nudity, dirt, and the flesh. That it is also based on two of my absolute favourite floral notes in existence thus means, surely, that this recent Estee Lauder was destined to be mine.

 

 

 

 

And it is, in many senses. I like it. But although I had been dreaming of an ideal marriage of white petals; creamy and clean and sun-riven with a delicately aquatic touch of sea breeze – the ideal, soothingly light sillage I would like to give off when passing by the students who are sitting near the blackboard –  in fact, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia turns out to be much darker in essence and impact, more tenebrous and far reaching than I had presumed.

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, there are the aforementioned flowers at the fore: pristine and fresh, along with a rather overly insistent note of neroli; and in its crisp, state-of-the-art technology, developed by the fragrance giant Firmenich, this perfume also lasts far, far  longer than I would have anticipated, whether on skin or on clothes (despite its being a tiny 4ml vaporisateur, I am thankful that it is one of those spray bottles that allow you to use the fragrance in miniature, infinitesimal spurts that are no more than what you need). Wearing this composition, even if the tiniest doses, I do, I must admit, feel very polished, pleasantly scented, and intriguingly, ‘professionally’ fragranced, throughout my working day.

 

 

 

 

 

Yet despite the listing of notes on Fragrantica (lilac, rosewood, carnation and Bourbon vanilla as well as the anticipated florals, none of which were featured in the original creation from 1973), and the sun-filled, white petalled overture, which really does smell of laboratory-approximated tuberose flowers and gardenias done in the California manner, soon, on my skin, this perfume turns into……………………………Private Collection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is no denying it. Really. It is unmistakeable. The old, original perfume haunts the new one. And looking, just now, more closely at the various descriptions of Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, I see that the perfume was in fact created ‘to honor the memory of Aerin’s grandmother, by creating a new perfume which is based on the fragrance Private Collection created at the beginning of the 1970s especially for Estee Lauder’s use’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are suddenly enlightened. Private Collection lies at the very heart of Tuberose Gardenia, subtle, and hidden;  cleverly concealed within the essential structure: the newer perfume, being, I have thus realized, a form of palimpsest, a piece of paper on which the original writing has been erased, at least superficially, with brand new words inscribed on it anew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I think this is a touch of genius. It fascinates me. The full-circle, unintended linkage with my own memories of that first, unforgettable, perfume and the life I am living right now. That having worn Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia in my own classroom, now as the teacher, rather than the student ( I wonder if any of the Japanese teenagers in my class are having their own private cerebral reactions to my smell the way I did with my own language teacher), I can now see the ineffable connections reaching all the way back to my own past history as well that original perfume’s sombre grandiosity; its orthodox traditionalism and inheritance: the dense, dark green of its secret gardens; its strange, American beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Flowers, Gardenia, Green, Tuberose

RUSH: GUCCI (1999)

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Yesterday we looked at gardenias; those gorgeous, perturbing flowers I am somewhat obsessed with (though I don’t know quite why I am writing about them at the moment when their blooming is so far off…outside the snow is still melting from the huge snowfall of Monday….)

While the Chanel Gardenia template is one direction that perfumers can go in; nipping it in the bud and giving it propriety, taming a flower which is something of an animal when all is said and done as it stands there, immobile, feverish and lurid under cold moonlight, other perfumers embrace this disconcerting angle of gardenias and fill their scents with it ( the carnal flower by Santa Maria Novella comes to mind in particular). A certain Madonna/whore dichotomy exists then with this flower: few perfumers take the gardenia out of these traditional moulds and inject it with modern verve.

Whether or not I can convincingly talk of Rush by Gucci as a gardenia I am not sure, but the flower is certainly there in the fore and back ground of this scent, sucked out violently from its clandestine lunar hedgerows and thrust, almost uncomfortably, into the twenty first century sass of the urban mall where teenagers strut, chew gum, and toss back their hair, to the easy, friendly bitchiness of this fragrance’s jeans-and-t-shirt vibe. I am not sure if Rush is still popular, as 1999 is quite a long time ago in modern perfumery terms, though my guess is that it still would be. Although the majority of recent mainstream releases lack a hook, a chorus you can sing along to and remember, certain perfumes do succeed in locking into their DNA a refrain, a simple accord that rings true. Perfumes like Beautiful, which I am fond of, still sell by the bucketload for this very reason……you can remember them.

So once in a while a product arrives in the vastly overcrowded fragrance market that is new yet somehow familiar, striking a nerve like a characterful person you’ve not met before, yet immediately take to: Gucci’s Rush, in its iconoclastic plastic red oblong bottle, was one such perfume. It was the Obsession of the early 2000’s – a legible perfume with a message – a sexy,  unpretentious, direct hit. As soon as Tom Ford was given the scent strip by his perfumer he apparently said yes, immediately, without second thought, not even bothering to sample the other applications for the brief. He knew a money-winner when he smelled one.

The perfume is simple and streamlined with four main features: a fresh, leaf-green note with hints of coriander; a lactonic apricot with the touch of white chocolate; a lingering skin-musk patchouli that lasts all day: and draped over this, with its holographic petals, a sexy modern gardenia (a concept of the flower rather than a botanical reconstruction), with Bulgarian rose and a hint of vanilla.

This accord in Rush is both immediate and effective; odd, with its mix of cream and green, and it certainly doesn’t smell expensive. Yet it is very memorable, and smelling it again recently brought back vivid memories of a trip to Taiwan, where my friend, a Ms Katherine Ng, used to drench herself in the stuff. Fourteen years later it is still very appealing.

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Filed under Flowers, Gardenia, Patchouli

THE UNUSUAL AND UNEXPECTED INFLUENCE OF THE UNFAIRLY MALIGNED CHANEL GARDENIA + eight more examples of this exquisite, luscious flower

 

 

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The original Chanel Gardénia – available now only very intermittently from vintage, rare perfume web sites –  was by all accounts a masterful, creamy floral aldehydic typical of its creator, the genius Ernst Beaux: a perfume of its time, now gone forever.

 

The reformulation and relaunch of the perfume in the late 1980’s, however, exciting as it must have been for those in the know,  was apparently an affront to lovers of the original. Where Bois Des Isles, Nº 22 and Cuir De Russie by all accounts retained the essential character and formulae of their original incarnations, the rebooted Gardenia was by far the least faithful to the original formulas of the first four ‘secret’ Chanels, and Luca Turin famously hates it (but really; who gives a damn..)

 

 

Knowing only the later version of this perfume myself, though, I have nothing to compare it to, and in any case fell straight in love the moment I smelled it, chiefly because it reminded me very strongly and vividly of my first ever love: at primary school, the friend who sat next to me every day in class had a wonderful smelling cedar-wood pencil case that then fused completely in my mind with her:  and to me –  this sharp, woody smell, unmistakably,  is Rebecca.

 

 

I can picture the yellowish interior of that pencil case perfectly; can smell that intense, almost sour scent again and can conjure it up my mind upon demand, when I would sit there in lessons when bored, inhaling it deeply, and rapturously, and dreaming. I was infatuated; weirdly so for a boy of six. I could hardly sleep at night I was so besotted.

 

 

 

 

We had little romances at six, at nine, and at fourteen, were kind of besotted with each other, and are still friends (although she now lives in the south of France and has no recollection of this pencil box at all….)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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But back to the perfume that jolts this memory. Compared to the soft beauty of those other Chanel extraits (all of them so soft and elegant and beautiful), I admit that Gardénia is quite an artificial creation, but I do think that it is very original in the way it steers away from the standard, southern belle creamy white shoulders and flor in the hair and goes for an entirely different interpretation.

 

 

Here, a fresh, piquant gardenia flower is fused with other florals – tuberose; orange blossom, and jasmine; a very chic, a classic white floral that might be too heady a scent were it not chastened, and freshened with a sharp, spiced note of clove, sage and pimiento, on a subtle, wooded base of cedar and sandalwood.

 

 

To me, the cedar and pimiento are key, bringing her back down to earth and resulting in a perfume that is lovely: crystal sharp, like freshly cut flowers placed on a box of brand new pencils in September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GARDENIA ROYAL/ IL PROFUMO (2004)

 

 

The Chanel gardenia, though much maligned (Why? I love it!)) is perhaps, despite its negative reputation, much more influential than we perhaps realize, because this beauty by Il Profumo, a company that make very vivid, colourful fragrances, strikes me as smelling very much like the Chanel take on the flower but transported, illustriously, to the jungle; that same, piquant scent, but denser, greener, lusher. This is a gorgeous and potent blend indeed, gleaming and effulging with notes of tuberose, jasmine and peony over a rich powdered base that according to the creators, ‘renders a woman sure of her fascination.’

 

 

 

 

GARDENIA/ SANTA MARIA NOVELLA

 

 

What I like about the Santa Maria Novella exotic florals (Tuberosa, Gardenia, and the frankly bizarre Frangipane) is the sense that the flowers have simply picked at the height of their erotic power; been forcibly submerged by the Florentines in some scent-releasing liquid, and, the liquid saturated, presented to the public as perfumes. Santa Maria Novella’s gardenia fully captures the strange, medicinal, green and fungal side,  and the milky allure of gardenia flowers on a humid, summer night.

 

Tactile, oleaginous, green-brushed and ‘thick’, it is rounded, cool, wide-eyed and fleshy, and in some ways a quite splendid perfume (if perhaps a little torpid).

 

 

 

Wear it and wilt.

 

 

 

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GARDENIA / ISABEY

 

 

Drunk at a giant mansion looking frantically for the powder room (marbled,  orchid-fringed; elaborate) this gardenia is the obviously self- proclaimed leader of the pack, a gorgeous, sluttish gardenia with a patina of ingenue;  sheening, plush, blooming: unaware that her shoulder strap has just fallen down.

 

A revived classic from the 1920’s (though the formula smells more 1980’s big-haired to me), Isabey’s Gardenia is sweet, curvaceous, and is unique in supposedly  containing actual gardenia essential oil, one of perfumery’s rarest essences.

 

 

 

ELLENISIA/ PENHALIGONS (2005)

 

 

Putting my theory of the indefatigable Chanel’s perennial influence, Penhaligions’ Ellenisia is yet another reinterpretation of the Chanel gardenia, but done the English way (ie. utterly unthreatening).

 

This is a bright vaseful of perfumed white florals, modern, pretty and very wearable, with a taut, marbled, shine that shows no thigh.

 

 

 

 

GARDENIA/ LE GALION (1937)

 

 

 

 

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Le Galion is an old French company whose old-fashioned perfumes I occasionally get to smell when they wash up in Japanese antique stores and fleamarkets. Their jasmine was truly excellent, and I wish I could find another bottle. Gardenia, an extrait, is very much of the old school; the dark, tweed-suited gardenia of Miss Dior with a fearfully potent surge of fur and scent-soaked anthers – an exciting, if difficult, delving into the perfume past (when women presumably smelled like purring, powdery moths). When this initial flower-smog clears, balmed and vaulted with the unguents of passion’s dust, the perfume steadily attains an interesting beachy note –  like rock flowers bathed in midday sun and the whirring hot-sand smell of the air.

 

 

In summertime, as little kids, my brother and I used to crawl into the canopies of broom on the sand dunes of Bournemouth (for a child, like exploring Borneo), and this curious gardenia brought those exciting times flooding back to me beautifully, and immediately, with a vengeance .

 

 

 

GARDENIA/ MOLINARD

 

 

 

An intriguing scent that is not what you might imagine from this semi-venerable institution, this gardenia perfume is more like one of the power florals of the 80’s than the white and trembling French white floral I was expecting; a beautifully-made, adult, and very sexy perfume somewhat redolent of the fearless Giorgio Beverly Hills.

 

 

An interesting option if you want something rich, dusky but not overly sweetened; a glamorous gardenia to get dressed up for, douse yourself in, and marry the night.

 

 

 

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All clothes by Coco Chanel.

 

 

 

 

FOR MORE ON GARDENIAS, AND MY JAPANESE ILLEGAL ACTIVITY INVOLVING THE FLOWER, PLEASE SEE MY PUNGENT POST ‘GARDENIA CRIME’.

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Filed under Flowers, Gardenia, Perfume Reviews

Gardenia Crime

 

 

 

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In my more crazed moments here I would creep out at night in stealth, plastic carrier bags in hand, to cull the neighbours’ gardenias.

I just couldn’t resist them. And then, often, I would return home, breathless with theft, to find them crawling with bugs, on the quickly decaying petals that I then plunged, to macerate, in oil. With limited success the gardenias subtlely tinged my preparation with their moonly exudate, but so did the little aphids.

 

 

In twenty six years of living in England – among roses, bluebells and tulips – I never once encountered one of these flowers. And yet to me, the gardenia is now one of the most alluring flowers in existence. In Japan, in the sweltering nights of summer, these thick, hypnotic white flowers nestle amongst succulent dark green leaves and at night give off a beautiful, ghostly, yet fleshy stench, undercut by a mushroom-like aura glowing from the shadows. Often indistinguishable in perfume – one person says its gardenia, another tuberose – there is quite a lot of overlapping. Both are flush, narcotic scents- hypnotizing white flowers – but if the tuberose is the smell of the sunset on skin, the gardenia is the moon, its lunar coldness less overtly sexual than its solar counterpart. This is why a good few Southern Belle perfumes contain this note – it is considered womanly, alluring, yet somehow more ‘appropriate’. To me, gardenia scents, like the flowers, have a certain mystery, and these perfumes suit those of the more quietly languorous persuasion.

 

 

As for gardenia theft, the longer I am here, the more I conform (he says, half-convincingly),  and am thus less likely to be pilfering blooms illegally (though this didn’t stop a grave gardenia crime, at night, not that long ago, in the Yamate foreigner’s cemetery, high on the hills over Yokohama. How could we resist them in that light – flourishing and reeking magnificently, next to weeping statues of Mary, as a tree of crows lifted off Poe-like into the night and tomb-guarding cats watched us from the dark…..? Armfuls were stolen: intoxicating, insect-laden….)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This drunken aberration aside, I have largely given up on my mission to capture this fascinating scent by myself, now, and instead merely gaze at them as I walk past on my way home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Flowers, Gardenia, Perfume Reviews