In the basement of Bergdorf Goodman, tucked away, there’s a dark, dimly lit area. This is the JAR room¹. If you’re into perfumes, the “JAR Experience” is treated like some sort of cult initiation, something that you must do if you want to be taken seriously in the world of perfume. But, in reality, it’s just something that people that are really into perfume should try to do if they find themselves wanting to sniff perfume while they are in NYC or Paris.
I remember my JAR Experience, so vividly, down to every detail. If you want to go out for drinks, I’ll tell you the story then. In the meantime I’m not going to waste my JAR Experience in a perfume review…it at least deserves its own post.
There’s a few things about JAR. They are exclusive and really expensive. JAR is a jeweler, Joel Arthur Rosenthal. The jewelry is highly-detailed, hyper-realistic – like a jeweler’s take on photorealism². The guy is fussy; he doesn’t want just anyway to wear his creations. He’s turned away big names. He’ll turn you away, most certainly. And this has made him have a cult-following, the cult members are called JARians. These eccentric ways can be seen with the perfumes. Notes must not be revealed. And honestly, I think if the man JAR was involved personally, he wouldn’t let you buy something that he thought didn’t smell good on you. Now let’s get to the review; I should save the JAR Experience for another day…and a day with more drinks.
JAR Jardenia is the best gardenia. Ever.
Jardenia is forest mushrooms. I’m reminded of golden chanterelles and Douglas fir needles. There’s an earthiness, mineralness and this faint fruity apricot and almond nuance paired with cool, mentholated forest. I think many people dismiss Jardenia as a simple fragrance since it’s a gardenia soliflore. However, I don’t perceive Jardenia as a simple fragrance at all. It’s complex to create a perfume that is “gardenia” without being “gardenia”³. It’s like a mushroom jasmine. It’s forest and white florals. Jardenia dries down to like the spit of the earth. And then it’s a honeyed, overripe, borderline-rotting floral with a hint of spice. Jardenia is like a photorealistic gardenia at the last stages of its short blossoming life. It’s the perfect mix of floral and decay.
Notes listed: None. Mysterious.
Jardenia is available at places and I don’t remember how much it costs.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – The best gardenia in the world. Or at least that’s what I think.
¹ More about this mysterious little room at Now Smell This.
² And there was a retrospective at the MET. It ruffled some feathers but here’s the jewels.
³ If it were easy to create a gardenia soliflore, then why do so many smell awful? Why do we have so many that smell like cheap soap? The answer – it’s not easy to create a gardenia soliflore.
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Fragrantica – Member reviews
*Sample mysteriously obtained by me. Product pic from Fragrantica. Anna May Wong pic from www.fanpix.net.