Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia Extrait Natural Perfume Review

Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia

Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia is nothing like any commercial perfume with “gardenia” (and that is a compliment). When I wear it, I can’t believe that I ever once in my entire adult “perfume” life dismissed wearing white florals. I’ve always been a fan of synthetic and mixed media perfumes; however, it took the world of naturals to convince me that white florals are absolutely stunning. And the world of naturals convinced me that “white floral” is not synonymous with “headache”. If you gave up on the “chemical” smelling gardenias that colonize the perfume market, then you need to get your hands on the voluptuous humid white floral, Cuir de Gardenia.

Cuir de Gardenia is an indolic, honeyed white floral with minty facets. It opens as a rubbery white floral with quince and pineapple. It’s an intoxicating fruity white floral. Cuir de Gardenia is intentionally composed without top notes. Aftel states, “I created it in such a way that the gardenia appears immediately, unimpeded from the opening of the perfume onward, merging seamlessly with the leather.” And it does. This is a gardenia halfway through its burlesque routine. It’s only partially clothed…but that’s its appeal! It’s this stunning jasmine/tiare with waxy, “rubbery” petals. It lacks that rotting “earthiness” of many gardenias and it also lacks any of the “tropical tanning oil” coconut that usually comes with tiare. This is a big, blossoming white floral. The “leather” in this is isn’t really leather-y on my skin. It’s more of this animalic castoreum musk that keeps the heady white florals grounded to my skin. And yes, it does add an extra layer of sultriness.

This review could be summed up as “absolutely gorgeous” but I thought I’d give you more than that!


Diana Dors

Notes listed include tiare absolute, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, benzyl acetate, castoreum, ethyl phenyl acetate and maltol. PERFUMER – Mandy Aftel

Give Cuir de Gardenia a try if you like white florals and gardenia. Or if you like perfumes like Jar Jardenia, Maria Candida Gentile Lady Day, Ayala Moriel Parfums Yasmin and/or Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia.

I’m reviewing the extrait (which I recommend). Projection and longevity are average for a natural perfume. It does wear closer to the skin.

The 1/4 oz parfum and EDP retail for $195 at Aftelier. Samples are also available for purchase.

Victoria’s Final EauPINIONAn absolutely stunning gardenia. More olfactory proof that natural white florals are where it’s at!

Want more reviews? Try…

Bois de Jasmin

The Non-Blonde

Now Smell This



The Fragrant Man

*Disclaimer – Sample provided by Aftelier. I am not financially compensated for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Diana Dors pic from

3 thoughts on “Aftelier Cuir de Gardenia Extrait Natural Perfume Review

  1. Comments like this make my heart sing!! there are DEFINITELY aspects of perfumery which only naturals can convey.

    The removal of top notes is a great way to highlight a middle or singular note. Mandy does not fail to approach aroma as a painter would approach light.


    1. Yes and white florals are one of them! Anyone that tells me they don’t like tuberose/gardenia/jasmine, I suggest they try an all-natural soliflore. These are much more “wearable” and not headache inducing!

      It was really wonderful that Mandy left the top notes out of this. It is like “nose diving” into a gardenia, so dramatic and well done.

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