Here's another grand beauty of a perfume I'd neglected for some time, but I've returned to it and decided I love it with all my heart. It's been said its creator, Annick Goutal, didn't personally care for this creation, but I'm not sure if this is only a rumor; after all, I don't know too many independent creators who bother making something they don't like themselves. True or not, Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion is just as heady as her personal signature scent, Annick Goutal Passion, only it's a pure gardenia (or tuberose-gardenia) soliflore compared to the ambery tuberose blend of Passion. Although neither scent is for the timid, I would say Passion is the sweeter, heavier or lower-pitched of the two, and Gardenia Passion the fresher, brighter and greener, with a signature tomato leaf note weaving through the buttery, delicious gardenia note bordering on tuberose in its rich, intense, narcotic effect.
It starts out smelling a bit raw and natural as many essential oils do before they're balanced within a blend, but I find the dry down stage more refined, a real composition balanced with expertise. I'd describe it as a lush, intoxicating, full-bodied tropical flowery dry down that lingers and has impressive sillage. The gardenia note in it reminds me of the gardenia in another favorite of mine, Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue For Her (love love LOVE), and also of the buttery tuberose in Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa. It's not the violet-candied tuberose I find in Robert Piguet Fracas or Versace Blonde, yet they are easily related. Unlike Fracas, the legendary mother of this white floral genre, I don't find it jasmine-y at all, but true to the tuberose-gardenia note. Of these, my two favorites are Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion and Bond No.9 Saks Fifth Avenue For Her, and if I am to compare them, Saks For Her is the slightly more candied in a vanillic-caramelly, Gourmand way if you will, and Gardenia Passion the more Floral, as well as natural-smelling and again, greener, lending an assertive, slightly in-your-face bite, fine with me since I like a bit of edge in my florals.
Rosanna Arquette is known to have loved this fragrance (she's also known to have loved Jo Malone scents; their Tuberose would be my guess). My Mom has recently taken to this beautiful fragrance, too, so I think this year, I'm getting her this instead of Michael by Michael Kors. :-)
Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion was launched in 1989. Listed notes according to my sources are orange blossom, gardenia, tuberose and jasmine on an oakmoss base.
(Iamges: www.imagesdeparfums.fr, bergdorfgoodman.com)