White Is Not Necessarily Innocent – Review: Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

This recent post by Dee, reminded me of my not so fruitful relationship with white flowers.

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. ;)

Tuberose Gardenia includes notes of neroli, lilac, rosewood, tuberose, gardenia, orange flower, jasmine, white lily, carnation and vanilla.

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…

Image source:  Gardenia Jasminoides by Mr Subjunctive via http://plantsarethestrangestpeople.blogspot.com, Beautesse.at, mimifroufrou.com, thank you!
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28 Responses to White Is Not Necessarily Innocent – Review: Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

  1. lady jane grey says:

    I’m in an antagonistic relationship with Tuberose !

  2. Tara says:

    Congrats on finding a white floral to love and at a bargain price! How nice to have a perfume that makes you feel “luscious”, I imagine white florals are very good for that.

    Actually your review has given me a push to go to a Estee Lauder counter and check out the ones om my list, which include the original Private Collection as well as the new ones and the old Azuree. Have you tried Aliage? I haven’t myself, but I know you like your greens.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I have hardly made a dent in the Lauder opus yet, I know them superficially, bjt have not really worn any of them, I am very interested in the older ones. Alliage first on my on my list!

  3. Victoria says:

    I love this Lauder too, out of all Private Collection fragrances, it is my favorite. So plush, petally, just a marvelous white floral all around…

  4. Tarleisio says:

    Ah, Tuberose Gardenia…the one that popped my tuberose cherry and stole my soul somewhere in the process! Of all the Estée Lauders I have loved – White Linen, Knowing, Cinnabar and Pleasures – this is quite possibly my all-time, hands-down total, total favorite. Never boring, never less than sexy, and classy, and like a lot of Lauders, hovering in the never-never land of borderline-too-much-but-who-cares? I like this one best of all the PC collection, and I suspect I’ll love it for years and years and years – it’s that good! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one! ;)

  5. deeHowe says:

    B., this sounds sooo lovely!
    I think I need to just settle down with my Nuit de Tubereuse and stop trying, for fear of being disappointed. The trouble is, I want to smell like that:

    “luscious… grown-up… full-bodied and self-assured”

    I love the *idea* of the smell!! :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Dee, I was thinking about you a lot when wearing this fragrance and I tell you I am dead certain you will like it. It is not the Tuberose you and I fear. Maybe you will accept a little decant from yours truly?
      I am sure you will love more than just the idea of TG! Look, this even makes a missionary out of me! :)

      • deeHowe says:

        Ooohh! Yes please! I so want to become a believer… ;)

        I just tried the PC Jasmine White Moss, and while I don’t love it, it leaves me feeling optimistic about the line— can’t wait to try TG!

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  7. Marina says:

    I like this one a lot, although Jasmine White Moss might possible be my favorite in the collection. And those solids are so pretty!

  8. kjanicki says:

    I love EL PC TG ! It is a big compliment getter, as you mentioned. I also found my bottle at a big discount. Do you think that Estee Lauder is dumping this inventory?

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope not! But on the other hand everything looks like you are right. In department stores I only saw Jasmine Moss and the CCO had huge quantities of TG. Too bad, I can’t believe this is not a well selling product, since everybody seems to love it!

  9. vanessa says:

    Aha – this is also my white floral love! I am also surprised to have found such a thing and Carnal Flower and A La Nuit didn’t work for me either. It is the perfect balance struck here between “luscious” and “bright” that works for me. This is such a sunny scent!

    Sadly, I didn’t hit it off with Jasmine and White Moss, despite repeated attempts. Too mossy in the end. Tightlipped and a little cold.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I am afraid I feel the same as you do about Jasmine White Moss (my hopes were so high), but I get too much swamp. :(
      But TG will be my go-to white flower for a long time I suspect.

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  14. catcardamom says:

    I ADORE Estee Lauder’s Tuberose Gardenia! It is light and elegant and utterly classy! Thank you for a marvellous review!

  15. I am happy to have found your blog (and thank you for finding mine!). The timing of finding you and this post is serendipitous! Truly. I have been wearing Jo Malone’s Vintage Gardenia et je l’adore. Since learning that it was discontinued I didn’t know what to do, where to turn (yes, the “tragedy” in my life is novel worthy ; ) ). With a little research, I found some positive reviews of this EL Tuberose Gardenia. I got a couple samples and I do really like it. And your review is inspiring. Do you think this Gardenia fragrance is better than Jo Loves Gardenia (which I didn’t know about until reading your review ot it)? Keep in mind (and this is important), my husband loves JM’s Vintage Gardenia–every time I wear it he comments. This has never happened before. I was ready for EL’s Tuberose Gardenia to be my next Gardenia perfume…what do you suggest?

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello,
      glad we found each other! :)
      As for your gardenia dilemma: I think the Jo Loves Gardenia might be the better choice. It is not as loud and assertive as Estee Lauder’s version, and therefore closer to your beloved and discontinued Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia. Jo Loves Gardenia smells fresher and somehow younger than EL PCTG. My husband definitely prefers Jo Loves.
      You can request a sample by contacting Jo Loves through their website, they send two samples of your choices for free worldwide.
      Let me know how you decide and have fun exploring!

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