Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite White Floral?

Do you like white floral perfumes?

Do you prefer jasmine, tuberose or gardenia, ylang-ylang, orange blossom or muguet?

What white floral is a must try in your opinion?

Which house does them best?

What is your absolute favorite in this category?

My Answer:

I used to avoid white florals. I had them down as loud, over the top and generally not my kind of perfume. As per usual, I was wrong. 😉

There are some white florals I have come to adore. It took time though. As my taste and experience has expanded over time, I found it in me to appreciate and finally even crave a good white floral. When it is done right (i.e. high quality ingredients are extremely important in that genre for me to like it), there is hardly anything better.

Roja Dove does amazing things with jasmine, tuberose and company, therefore I adore his  floral creation Scandal and the chypre Unspoken (lots of jasmine there so it qualifies).

I also really like tropical florals like Ormonde Jayne Frangipani, Montale Intense Tiaré or Annick Goutal’s Songes.

And good, old Uncle Serge Lutens and his “Here I am, look at me right now!” florals have gotten a lot of attention from me as well recently. Tubereuse Criminelle and Fleurs d’Oranger are getting me some attention from those near me.

Vero Profumo Rubj was the first white floral I fell in love with right away, Vero can do no wrong…

Finally, Xerjoff Casamorati Dama Bianca, a gourmand white floral (my favorite kind) is demanding I buy it. We’ll see…

As for my one favorite white floral? I’m not yet qualified to favor one, I haven’t tried enough. So I can’t wait for your recommendations! Speak up, white floral lovers!


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86 Responses to Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite White Floral?

  1. Hey Birgit,
    Annick Goutal’s Un Matin d’Orage is my favourite currently. It has Gardenia, Magnolia and Jasmine in its heart that can sweep me off my feet to faraway lands,
    Portia xx

  2. Sugandaraja says:

    You have my top pick, good old Tubereuse Criminelle, but it would be almost impossible for me to stop at one in this category.

    In fact, Lutens produces another fragrance continually circling around in my top list of white forals: Sarrasins. But a jasmine that most frequently tops my all-time favorites is from a line that gets fewer shout-outs from perfumistas: Neil Morris Gandhara. Pure tropical night: flowers, leaves, and hot, wet earth.

    In terms of tuberoses, my favorite rendition in terms of matching the living thing has to be Carnal Flower. Mona’s Tubereuse is also rather impressive. In terms of rather more unusual and abstract variants, Caron’s Tubereuse has the depth and seriousness of many an older chypre. In case you haven’t tried it, do give Tubereuse Couture by PG a shot: its delicate ylang-tuberose accord shot through with sugar cane is a perfect “gourmand soliflore”.

    In short, for the rest: orange flower – Sonoma Scent Studio Jour Ensoleille ( buttery flowers ); gardenia – JAR Jardenia ( gothic Gardenia ); champaca – Comme des Garcons Champaca ( delicate narcissus to my nose, but I do smell the kinship with champaca ); Victoria box – Parfums Delrae Amoureuse ( think tuberose with intense green on top – I smelled these trees in SanFran; they really smell like this! )

    Other flowers deserve a chance too, but that might turn this response into a novel. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thanks for your input, Sugandaraja, I appreciate it!
      I will surely give Tubereuse Coutoure a shot soon, as I recently got a sample (from the lovely Sandra, thank you!)

  3. Sandra says:

    I love white florals. Anything with tuberose. I love FM Carnal Flower, SL Tubereuse Criminelle, Amouage Honour, Parfumerie Generale Tubereuse Couture, Vero Profumo Rubj. I also love SL Sarrasins and Ormonde Jayne Sampaquita. I look forward to reading other comments today. You could not be more right about Dama Bianca!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope to maybe find real tuberose in an Italian garden center, I’ve never smelled the real thing, and as you know it is impossible to find here.
      Dama Bianca rules! 😉

  4. Alnysie says:

    In general white florals scare me, I’m still at that stage where I find them, to quote you, “loud, over the top and generally not my kind of perfume.” The only white floral I own and wear is Diptyque Do Son, it actually was the first tuberose I ever liked. I guess it’s a good introductory tuberose for (former-)tuberose-haters? I find it’s a great scent for hot and humid days, and can easily be worn at work if you don’t overdo it. And Carnal Flower would be on my list if it weren’t so damn expensive. I also own a bottle of Annick Goutal Gardénia Passion that I got for super cheap, but haven’t worn it yet. I feel like I need to test it more before daring to actually wear it outside my apartment…

  5. baconbiscuit212 says:

    White flowers used to scare me, but Frédéric Malle’s Carnal Flower taught me how to embrace them. I try to give everything a shot now. I don’t write anything off anymore 🙂

  6. Undina says:

    I’m not the biggest fan of white florals but I have some favorites in that category: Dior’s Diorissimo, By Kilian’s Love & Tears and the latest – Dior’s Grand Bal.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hmmph, still haven’t got the chance to try Grand Bal… 😦
      Is it the current formulation of Diorissimo you like, Undina? (I’ve never tried it, but it would be encouraging if you are happy with this incarnation, because everything else is an exercise in futility and I don’t want to start down that lane…)

      • Undina says:

        I have both vintage and current version and I’m happy enough with the current (well, 2.5 years old) version. Once it gets a little colder I’ll send you a decant of it (if you do not get to try it before than or if you try and still want to have some to wear) – I’m making a note now, so I won’t forget.

  7. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Classic grande white florals are in an antagonistic relationship with me (yes, they with me, not the opposite…) – I learned to love some of them, but I think, those, in fact, are not the real thing (Danger, Iris Poudre). Never mind, they are enough other notes to love !

  8. Mille Fleurs says:

    I love white florals except for tuberose solifores, though there are even a few of those I’ve come to love. I can’t agree more how important it is for anything of this genre to be of the highest quality materials!

    My favorites are VC&A Gardenia Petales and Songes. I also like Yosh Whiteflowers, Olene and La Chasse Aux Papillons for summer, and I surprised myself by loving MdO’s Tubereuse.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I absolutely agree, high quality materials seem so very important here. It seems to be the distinction between gorgeous song and high-pitched scream in white florals.

  9. lulllull says:

    Im not really into white florals but I do liike Lutens Sarrasins, fleur d oranger and A la nuit. I also like Kilians Beyond love, Isabey Fleur nocturne and Rojas Unspoken. I really look forward to Lutens new gardenia centered perfume 🙂

  10. Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

    I just tried one I might get in a sample pass: Markoff No Regrets! White floral (on me, though others get none at all) with some syrupy sweetness to balance it at the back. Very pleasant.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Never heard of that. *off to Google I go*

      • I’ll send you the bit I have left from the sample pass (plus the others from the sample pass)! Plus, it’s cheap as *insert swearword here*. Just DM me your add.

        • Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

          I might as well add the Memoir soap – not really sniffed it once, lol.

        • Olfactoria says:

          You are a sweetie! ❤

          • Zubi d'Nova / Melissa de Blok says:

            You’re welcome! Don’t DM me, my DMs are acting up; just email me your address (info(at)shedoesitall(dot)org).

            In response to your above comment:

            I sniffed it when it first came, but after a while I was like, what’s the point – I’d rather have it on skin! I’m not sure why I’m complaining as I have 10ml of samples of Memoir; I guess spoiled little me wants the bottle or nothing, haha!

            I’ll try mailing everything tomorrow or the day after.

  11. Tara says:

    Like you, I am only just coming round to white florals so don’t have a firm favourite yet. I think Ormonde Jayne is the best brand for people who think they don’t like them. I love Champaca.

    Like you and others have mentioned, Mona’s Tubereuse is wonderful and it was quite a revelation when I tried it for the first time at Thomas’s talk. He also kindly gave me a sample of Rubj which I can’t wait to try. The only white florals I doubt I’ll never learn to love are gardenia or muguet, but never say never.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Agreed, OJ is perfect for non-white floral lovers or as an introduction.

      I’m so happy T gave you a bit of Rubj, I’m very curious to hear your thoughts, I find it simply divine.

  12. Alexandra says:

    I firmly believed I would never understand white florals – that I would forever be a winter woods and oriental girl, but this summer has proved me wrong.

    The perfume I have worn most this summer (much to my surprise) is SL Fleurs d’Oranger, I love how deep and sultry this becomes in the heat. However the note I am falling in love with is jasmine: I would be living in Nasomatto’s Nuda if I could afford it, but I can’t find an alternative I love quite as much. Nuda feels like the perfect combination of the creaminess of Penhaligon’s Amaranthine and the clean jasmine of SL A La Nuit. Any suggestions would be very gratefully accepted!

  13. andreawilko says:

    I don’t usually go for big shouty white florals, so although I like carnal flowers on others, it is not something I can wear personally. I much prefer the wimps version which is Le Labo Tuberose which to me is a delicate version of a tuberose and not at all shouty, in fact it is my Sotd.

    My favourite so far, as I fell for it straight away is rubj, I had bought a full bottle in a blink of an eye, then of course there is the odd mixture of tuberose with peach and coconut in Peche Cardinal, now who would have thought it would work but it does and it will be my next full bottle along with La Belle Helene, well you have to save on shipping costs where you can right? 🙂

  14. milleiles says:

    I adore transparent and not too opulent white floral. The house who do them best is indeed OJ. You also have to try Creed White Flowers, it is very very nice!!! I dont like tubereuse much but the MdO is truly beautiful!

    Finally, I can’t wait to sample Amouage Honor!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I hope I get to try Creed White Flowers in Italy next week.
      I hope you enjoy Honour, I was wowed because I didn’t expect it to be so soft and wearable.

  15. Nina says:

    I am a huge fan of white florals, actually. They work so well on my skin. Dior’s Pure Poison is probably my favorite. I also love Gualtier’s Fragile (EDT), Rocher’s Pur Desir Gardenia, Fracas, Chanel Gardenia, and, yes, even Burberry Brit.

  16. arline says:

    I just slathered on some amber, I can’t deal with floral scents today. I need grounding!!!!

    I do love smelling white florals on others, but I have not found one that suites me as of yet.

    Last night, I had a dream, which had Daphne Guinness’s fragrance in it, and I wanted it. Her perfume is a tuberose perfume, but from what I gather through reading, is that it is deeper and more complex than what my limited exposure has revealed to me. Her perfume is made by Comme des Garcons, and so I am sure it is not your average celeb scent. I do want to smell it.

  17. What a question!!!

    I could bang on about how I could never choose a favourite white floral because I have so many loves within the genre, blah, blah, blah etc… But it’s actually really easy for me to pick a favourite, and I’m sure I’ll surprise nobody by saying that my perfect white floral is Honour Woman!

    (I’m still allowed to keep all the others though, right)

  18. Hi Birgit!
    It seems as if you have read my mind. I have been on a white-floral kick lately.
    While I adore the scent of white flowers, I cannot always wear them on my skin.
    The ones that work for me: Un Matin d’Orage (springtime in a bottle), Magnolia Romana (clean and sensual). As for the more opulent white florals, parfum concentration seems to work better: No. 22, First, Fracas…there is a world of difference between parfum and EdP in those cases.
    I might be the proud owner of a Scandal bottle soon, so I will report later on that one.

    Have a great week.


  19. Suzanne says:

    I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that my absolute favorite is tuberose. 🙂 I think I could easily share a perfume cabinet with Sugandaraja, who mentions many of my white-floral favorites. A few others would include Chanel 22, YSL Nu edp, and the late, discontinued L’Artisan Orchidee Blanche. Not that I own the latter two, but they are worth sniffing if you ever get a chance.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Scribbling down your recommendations, Suzanne.
      Do you have real tuberoses in Pennsylvania? (Not growing wild of course, but could you plant them in the garden?)

      • Suzanne says:

        No one that I know of grows tuberoses in my area of Pennsylvania, so I’m not sure how they would do (whether our growing season would be long enough to support them, since they’re tropical). Interestingly enough, a gardening friend of mine gave me plants that she insisted were tuberoses, since she knew I loved the scent. I knew immediately when I saw the root system that they weren’t, but what they turned out to be were a fragrant variety of hostas (which do resemble tuberose a bit in smell and are one of the few flowering plants to bloom in August, so I enjoy them nonetheless).

  20. cj says:

    I just invested in a travel spray set of Carnal Flower this weekend (couldn’t afford a full bottle:(), which I recently, and totally unexpectedly, fell head over heels for (as I commented on your T.Criminelle post). All this white floral talk is so timely for me! Carnal Flower is like a drug. I’ve been craving it constantly and can’t get enough. I still don’t at all consider myself a white floral kind of girl, or floral in general, but I think tuberose is a good gateway flower (drug?) for me. I find that a lot of florals feel too separate from myself and have a sort of masking effect, while a good tuberose has that smooth fleshy element that allows it to meld with skin and seem to radiate from the body. That connection to the body seems to be the key to me really loving to wear a fragrance.

  21. Dionne says:

    Like others here, I’ve only dipped my pinky toe into the BWF section, as I’ve been focusing on other categories. However, I’m starting to get a taste for orange blossom via Jour Ensolleile and Afghanistan Orange Blossom, I recently tried Alien and quite like it, and I enjoy that tuberose-with-training wheels Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. I’m considering doing a major jasmine sampling next summer. (And when I investigate a note, I REALLY investigate it ;))

    • Olfactoria says:

      So you do! I look forward to hearing about your jasmine explorarations should you decide to go through with them.
      I like the “training wheels” tuberose that is PCTG too!

  22. Eva S says:

    White flowers hasn’t been my thing earlier but I’m learning!
    My favorite is Carnal Flower although I think Tuberose Criminelle could be a contender, other favorites are Honour and Rubj EDP, as well ad the OJs.
    I’m just starting to explore the By Killian line, I hope I might find some more favorites there!

  23. Emma says:

    White florals are a genre I treat with caution, too. They are often too much, whether too sweet, too rubbery, too fecal, too indolic…! I like Songes as a tropical white floral (and prefer the edt as it’s more woody to cut through the thick vanillic sweetness). I also have a soft spot for Mahora when I’m in the mood, but it’s an odd mixture of sweetness and reedy vetivet. Olene I find far too shrill, Joy I find – dare I say it?! – dreadfully stale and ‘old Lady’. I have a bottle of Caron’s Tubereuse and it is the most potent, bitter-green tuberose imaginable. A king kong of florals! I can’t imagine when I’ll wear it. The white floral I decided I like best is alas discontinued – Jardin Blanc by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. I had finally come to love the heady, indolic, melange!

  24. As with many others who have commented here already, I’m starting to explore white flowers carefully, but with growing enthusiasm:
    Orange Blossom: Sanborns and Florida Water (both cheap, both cheerful, both excellent)
    Tuberose: Mona di Orio Nuit Noire, Ego Facto Me Myself & I
    Jasmine: Joy (finally– after years of fearing its power!)
    Gardenia: Laura Biagiotti Venezia (the original)
    Magnolia: the best I ever had was an oil I bought from a bespoke perfumer– an essence as thick and dark as blackstrap molasses. It was so hypnotic and amazing. When I was down to my last milliliter, I blended it with some sweet orange oil and myrrh tincture. Yum.

  25. I love white florals.

    But I get it that not everybody does… my mom the No. 5-wearer hates them, and at least twice during my teen years she complained vociferously about my chosen fragrances. When I was 18, I bought a bottle of Coty Sand & Sable, and she MADE ME TAKE IT BACK, claiming it was “too old” for me. Then when I was maybe 19 or 20, and home from college with a tiny bottle of Diane von Furstenberg Tatiana, which used to be a gorgeous spicy mixed-white-floral thing – she, um, “accidentally lost it” before I headed back to school. Really. (She and I get along quite well, despite those inevitable teen vs. mom clashes.)

    I’m still amazed that she let me out of the house wearing Karl Lagerfeld Chloe, the old version (aldehydes, ripe peach, and white florals on a bed of sandalwood & moss). I guess the moss toned it down enough for her.

    Tuberose is my favorite, but I love blended white florals too. Orange blossom can often go too soapy, and jasmine can be a little screechy – or, in the case of Joy, really really filthy. I like lily, I like magnolia, I like lily of the valley.

    Some favorite scents: Carnal Flower, Amouage Memoir Woman, Vamp a NY, iPdF Tuberosa d’Autonno, Diorissimo, the old Kenzo Parfum d’Ete, Amoureuse, SL Fleurs d’Oranger, Datura Noir, Jour Ensoleille, Mary Greenwell Plum. I’ve recently fallen hard for BK Sweet Redemption (yay, an OB scent that doesn’t go soapy on me! Fracas does). And the drydown of Seville a l’Aube is difficult for me, but I love the opening – so juicy-sweet-floral. Oh, and I like Septimanie Pavilion des Fleurs for a pretty, green jasmine.

  26. Mrs. Scents says:

    From reading the other comments it seems that people approach white florals with a bit of trepidation, and I am no exception! I was hesitant to try white florals thinking that they were too loud, heady or overwhelming, but then once I did try them there was no going back!:D White florals are so dynamic! They can be used to add depth to light fragrances like with Oscar de La Renta’s Live in Love, or they can be sensual (and yes, heady, but in a good way!) like with Dior Addict, which I am currently obsessed with. I love white florals and I’m so glad you made it your Monday question! Thanks! 😀

  27. Not a single one! My skin amps big white florals and I find them frankly unbearable. I like tuberose only in Nuit de Tubereuse, orange blossom only in O de L’Orangerie and Seville a L’Aube and jasmine only well blended to the point of being completely hidden. It is no to Fracas and her clones, no to Poison and her clones, special noes to Giorgio and Elie Saab and a curl up and die to Alahine.

  28. I love white florals and it’s hard to pick a favorite, because it really depends on my mood and the season or maybe the year?? For a while Beyond Love was my favorite tuberose, but lately I’m feeling more into Carnal Flower and DSH Tubereuse (which seems to have aged in the bottle in its favor). I also love Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia and, on rare outdoor days, the original Carolina Herrera. And for orange blossom, I am wishing for a decant of Sweet Redemption.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Sounds like great picks!
      I almost regret selling my small bottle of Tuberose Gardenia, but in the end, I never wore it, so I guess it is better off in a loving home.

  29. Dubaiscents says:

    I have to agree with Undina and say that Grand Bal by Dior is one of my favorites and is on the top of my list to purchase in NYC when I go on my smelling tour on Wednesday. I also just picked up a bottle of Prada’s Infusion de Tubereuse that I spotted at a discount store and really like it. I love that someone mentioned Guerlain’s Mahora because I also really like this one (despite its bad reputation). I wouldn’t call myself a big white floral lover but, with my growing list of BWF I might have to start putting myself in that category. I love all reading everyone else’s suggestions so I can add them to my ever growing list of ones to try!

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are in NY? Excellent! Have fun! So much to smell, too little time! (Unless you are staying for weeks. 😉 )

      • Dubaiscents says:

        I am lucky to live in Dubai and then be able to come to visit my family in Conneticut which is a short trip to NYC. Even with the choice in Dubai you can’t beat US pricing on most things 🙂 I’m using your blog to help plan our day, I can’t wait! Do you know of any store that carries the MDCI line in NYC?

        • Olfactoria says:

          Ah, I see! You’ve got the best of two worlds then. 🙂
          Unfortunately I believe MDCI is only at Scentbar/Luckyscent in LA, but I could be mistaken…

  30. fleurdelys says:

    Until very recently, the answer to this question would have been “no”. With the exception of lily of the valley (always a sentimental favorite), white flowers were “too too much”. I was an ambery-oriental-tobacco-leather girl. Tuberose made me recoil. But my defenses against white florals are breaking down, and I owe it all to Madonna! (LOL) Really, my curiosity led me to test Truth or Dare, and I liked it, tuberose, gardenia and all! Now I have a strong desire for a bottle of Lauder’s Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. I’ll vote for that and Diorissimo as my favorite white florals.

    • Olfactoria says:

      So it goes… It is lovely to see that the strongest anti-white floral contenders eventually fall, it was the same with me (although not with Madonna, which is a nice perfume, but I hate the bottle!) 🙂

  31. penelope says:

    I never owned a floral but now they have started attracting me alot, for what I have tested in stores; I like lilies in Cartier Baiser Vole and orange blossom with jasmine in Elie Saab le perfume edp, in niche perfumeria; AG’s Sognes was a bit too heavy, Byredo’s Rose Noir was too linear, and Leutens Fleur d Oranger was nice with top and middle notes but the subsequent tuberose was not appealing to me. I am on quest for the right floral and your blog posts are helping me alot to get some ideas 😉

  32. Pingback: Monday Question – What Is Your Favorite Vanilla Perfume? | Olfactoria's Travels

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