Friday, October 03, 2008

Chanel Gardenia

Long before there was Marc Jacobs' take on gardenia, there was Chanel Gardenia. It's been years since I wore Chanel Gardenia but here I am back in love with it, and I don't think I'll ever be without it again. It's such a beautiful white floral fragrance, truly in a class of its own. Gardenia was originally created in 1925. It was part of the classic Rue Cambon series. Although I doubt the current version is the same as the 1925 launch, I'm glad the Gardenia smells as it does now. It's a floral bouquet but one in which you can't specifically pick out any one flower (although it is predominantly a jasmine blend), and it has a light and transparent, but never sporty, feel. Imagine gardenias blooming in a crystal room, and you might be able to imagine the luminous scent of Chanel Gardenia.

I could probably compare it most closely with Pure Tiffany and L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons, but Chanel Gardenia has a slightly sweeter floral heart. Compared to Marc Jacobs' scent, Chanel Gardenia is devoid of any noticeable skin musk accord, and dries down cleanly. In a way, I am also reminded of Kate Spade EDP, also a pretty scent, but I feel that Kate Spade is more "flowery", greener (sharper) and perhaps heavier. The white floral heart of Chanel Gardenia with orange blossom and tuberose in the mix almost smells candied, but the overall scent is still a lovely and elegant one. It doesn't smell too retro-classic, nor too commonplace and mainstream - like a perfect wedding day in September in New York City, it's crisp and sophisticated, a polite, polished white floral with a lively burst of joy. I can make Chanel Gardenia my signature scent if pressed, but since I don't have to absolutely choose just one, I'm delighted to have it as part of my most beloved year-round collection.

Jan Moran's notes:
Chanel Gardenia (1925/93, Floral)
Top Notes: Absolutes of jasmine, gardenia, orange blossom, tuberose
Heart Notes: Clove, sage, pimiento
Base Notes: Musk, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver

(Image: herhis.com)