Too loud, too much, too big, to indolic, too old, too mature, too cheap even…those are adjectives that come to mind when I think about, let alone smell white flower perfumes (not all of them of course, but starting with A La Nuit if you want to try Jasmine is probably a bad idea and can be scarring!)
But ever the good blogger, I thought I could not let a whole section of perfumes be unexplored and went out to look for a white floral I could love.
Guess what? I found it!
First in line to try was one from a line, I have had very good success with: Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. I tried Carnal Flower. It is beloved by so many, I thought it would work for sure. Let us just say: we both tried, but it didn’t work out.
Above mentioned Serge Lutens A La Nuit is best forgotten quickly. Not a good match, more like a knock out in under five seconds.
I found my white floral by accident. I was in a CCO (Cosmetics Company Store, the outlet store of the Estée Lauder group) making a quick sweep for good Clinique skincare deals or maybe a nice new lipstick, when I saw Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia.
You know me already – it was the bottle of course! Such a pretty bottle, and such a great find, I have not seen Tuberose Gardenia in a long time at the department store. And there it was, lovely bottle and all, deeply discounted to boot. Of course I had to spray it, fully expecting to have a scrubber on my hands (literally).
I left the shop, moving on with my day, but over and over my hand went to my nose, I loved what I smelled. And – the fragrance being relatively linear – I continued to love it and so did my husband. (That rare occurrence of not hearing “That stinks!” probably enamored me even more with Tuberose Gardenia.)
So before we left the Outlet center, I quickly went back for a bottle of Tuberose Gardenia, I am not one to let a bargain get away from me.
In was created in 2007 by perfumer Harry Fremont, tying in to the 1973 classic Private Collection, which was allegedly Estée’s own signature scent.
Tuberose Gardenia is a bright white, sparklingly brilliant white floral that manages to dazzle without hitting you over the head.
The opening is a soft but instantly present combination of green aspects conjured by neroli paired with the soft breeze of lilac, before segueing into a creamy arrangement of white florals. I can make out the green side of tuberose, orange blossoms and lily. I think it is the lily that seals the deal for me, since this is the only white flower I have always loved. But that would be taking away from the beauty and gorgeous creation that is Tuberose Gardenia. It never leans into “too much” territory, although it it not shy or mute. It has excellent sillage actually (like all the Lauders) and wears – linear after the first few minutes – for hours and hours. The late drydown is a softly sweet woody vanilla that retains the last hints of gardenia for a long time.
Tuberose Gardenia makes me feel incredibly luscious, if that word can be used for a person. I feel grown-up, like a woman, Tuberose Gardenia is brilliantly white, but not innocent. It is rich and full-bodied and self-assured. It makes others (i.e. men) go “Ahh!”. That I like. It is conscious of its body, but wears Chanel to showcase it, not Dolce&Gabbana.
I have finally seen what others see in white floral perfumes. I think it is called sexy.
Tuberose Gardenia is available in Eau de Parfum (30 and 75ml) as well as in perfume strength (30ml). The Eau de Parfum bottle has the hammered gold cap you see in the upper picture, the perfume in the second image, has a Hoffmann inspired gem-encrusted top that is stunningly beautiful. I would wish the perfume came in a smaller size though, 30ml of pure perfume seems like a quantity I could never use up and is also fearsomely expensive that way. Too bad. That solid though, hmmm…