Penhaligon’s Gardenia, a fragrance in the Anthology Collection, is a soliflore that uses many notes to give the illusion of fresh gardenias in bloom. The overall effect is a soft, fantasy white floral and not a “true” gardenia.
Gardenia opens up as heady white florals with fresh greennness. I do get crumpled leaves and a juicy, fruity, tart, “aquatic” element, like freshly sliced green apples, that keeps the heady florals fresh and alive. Gardenia smells like a make believe plant that grows every white floral that you know. It isn’t abstract or anything like that. It’s like if white florals created a supergroup, like Electronic. (Which flower is Johnny Marr? Bernard Sumner? I won’t go there…) They’re all there, you can smell each of their influence, but it doesn’t smell like “gardenia” or “jasmine” but an entirely new and believable white flower. This white flower is a bit waxy and heady and naturally sweet but not sickening. It’s fresh. The dry-down is about the same but with a little bit more woods and musk. It’s still very fresh, feminine and slightly green…and soapy. It really does remind me of this pic of Goldie Hawn.
Notes listed include violet, rhubarb, bergamot, hyacinth, magnolia, green leaves, gardenia, rose, ylang ylang, orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, clove, cinnamon, lily of the valley, benzoin, sandalwood, musk, and vanilla.
Give Penhaligon’s Gardenia a try if you like sheer white florals with greenness. Or if you like perfumes like Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage, Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia, Chantecaille Pétales, and/or Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia. You better like white florals.
The lasting power is so-so. It is an EDT. It lasts about 5 hours on me in the summer.
The 3.4 oz EDT of Gardenia retails for $140 and is available at Beautyhabit. Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – If you are looking for a “real” gardenia, this isn’t it. Penhaligon’s Gardenia is a fantasy white floral blend with freshness and greeness. It’s heady but light, sheer. If sheer green-white florals are your thing, try it. I’m not that impressed. You guys know that soliflores are something I don’t spend my money on. Especially $140 soliflores.
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