We need to talk.
I must confess I was a bit surprised when I got your limited edition Gardénia Grand Soir: hadn’t you told me you wouldn’t be adding any more scents to your collection for a while after Papyrus de Ciane? Still, who was I to turn down what I thought must be an invitation to a gala opening at the very least? I sent my floor-length bias-cut velvet 1930s gown to be cleaned and pressed, and took grandma’s diamond brooch out of hock, fully prepared to swan around the ballroom like Joan Crawford before she fed steroids to her eyebrows.
But I can’t help feeling you led me down the garden path. If your gardenia is “grand soir” (in French, “tenue grand soir” means “formal wear”), then I might as well show up at a society wedding in a silk nightie. Unless you meant to allude slyly to the Marxist/Anarchist notion of the “Great Day” of social revolution? No, I guess not.
Granted, you couldn’t go the decadent, creamy, mushroom-tinged way of le beau Tom’s Velvet Gardenia (though since he pulled it from his line-up, I could’ve done with a substitute). Your gardenia grows in the same spot as your jasmine in Drama Nuuï, and similarly lacks in drama: it’s a subdued green-tinged wisp of a white flower with, it seems to me, a tiny ozonic crackle; more bud than blossom, on a spring evening too cool for it to release its full scent. As it warms on skin, it releases the barest smoky-lactonic whiff of sandalwood with a hint of caramel.
Perhaps in summer Gardénia Grand Soir’s lightness of touch and natural, unadorned prettiness will be just perfect: I’m rather hoping it will, because it seems you aimed for a low-key, natural feel, almost a headspace capture of the flower… But I can’t help thinking I could’ve stood a little more commitment. Of course, unlike her heftier white floral sisters, this gardenia couldn’t interfere with the aroma of the truffle shavings if it tried. Thank God you’re a good conversationalist, because I couldn’t get much more than a whisper out of that gardenia all night.
This one sounds like a no-no for me - I like my white flowers with quite a bit of drama. Lately I've been getting quite worked up about those discontinued Tom Fords - Velvet Gardenia and Purple Patchouli are my two great loves. I'm beginning to think I might be ready to buy backup bottles.RépondreSupprimer
Fashionistaag, I quite like my white florals dramatic too, though not in an 80s way... That said, the Velvet Gardenia I bought last year doesn't really get used much: it really does demand commitment.RépondreSupprimer
I'm planning to try Gardénia Grand Soir again when it's hot and without the expectations the name raised. It might be perfect when BIG is just not feasible.
Well, 80s perfumery is just something I cannot stomach.:) I must admit I only got acquainted with 80s perfumes (such as Poison) about a year ago, when I first began to get seriously interested in perfumery. Since I don't really have any childhood memories of them whatsoever (my mother didn't wear any kind of perfume, and there were none in our house), this first encounter was quite a bit of an olfactory shock. I cannot help but think those things are just tacky.RépondreSupprimer
That said, I really do need those backup bottles.:) Tom's Gardenia sure is demanding, but my PP bottle is half empty already - it somehow managed to become my usual go-to evening scent.
I don't have many memories of the big 80s florals either -- I somehow bypassed them because I was already into the classics at the time -- but sampling them now, I'm not attracted to them because I prefer more modern renditions of white flowers.RépondreSupprimer
Well at least the review was sassy!RépondreSupprimer
Alyssa, I wasn't *that* mean, was I? I hate to be less than enthusiastic about a scent by a perfumer I've met and like, and whose work I respect. But from what he told me when I interviewed him, I'd venture he likes it better when people say what they think. Of course, that's what we *all* say...RépondreSupprimer
Hee, hee! Sassy doesn't equal mean in my book. Less Joan C., more Vivien Leigh a la Scarlett. (Though I do have a real fondness for the early Joan. She stole Grand Hotel right out from under Garbo. Those eyes!)RépondreSupprimer
I agree: Joan Crawford (pre-eyebrows) in Grand Hotel made Garbo's acting style look terribly dated. Of course, her name sprang to mind while writing the review because of her gardenia period...RépondreSupprimer
Mean? Not sure.RépondreSupprimer
Beautifully written, D, as per usual. I'm wondering - would wearing a generous amount of this make it more "audible"?RépondreSupprimer
And I did not hear that TF's Velvet Gardenia is a thing of the past. Is it gone from the shelves or just phasing itself out? I must say -- and this is typical of my experience -- it was one of my favourite in the line-up. Loved that mushroom and beeswax, so realistic of a gardenia in full glory, and it lasted for ages and ages. . .
Well, Marcus, I tend to review the things I love - after all, I've got to live with them for a few days at least so I might as well pick things I enjoy wearing. So of course, it *does* show more when it's less than enthusiasm.RépondreSupprimer
Robin, I wore four spritzes, which is usually enough unless we're talking Jean-Claude Ellena...RépondreSupprimer
The Velvet Gardenia is no longer produced though I suppose it's still available here and there. They've added a couple to the line-up since and those display cases are not extendable, so I guess they've pulled the poorer sellers.
Thank you for your helpful answers, D.RépondreSupprimer