Perfume for a Princess : White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum


I thought that I could care less about the royal wedding, yet I woke up early on Friday to see the pictures of the dress and by the end of the day, I knew all of the details of the ceremony and had strong opinions on random things, from Princess Beatrice’s hat to Sally Bercow’s cleavage. Ok, I admit it, the wedding was enjoyable.  I loved it all–the dress, the jewelry, the bouquet, Prince’s red uniform!

Later that day I learned via Basenotes that Kate Middleton (now, the Duchess of Cambridge) wore White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum, the creation of British perfumer Michael Boadi. It is described as, “As fragrant as a bouquet of white flowers, quivering in the gentle April breeze, this is a delicate and nuanced scent. The top note of stately gardenia evokes classicism, whilst heart notes of ylang ylang, muguet and jasmine bring a trio of frivolous white flowers into play. Amber wood underscores this light, fresh bouquet, adding depth and deep rooted tradition.”

For those who are curious, White Gardenia Petals is available via Roullier White for 70 British pounds, 50ml.


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  • Ines: I knew I would love the wedding and luckily didn’t have to wake up early. 🙂
    I loved it all – the dress, the ceremony, the way they look together and I believe they are truly in love. And I think Kate is really beautiful. 🙂
    I’m addcited to romance novel (especially historical and set in England) so this seemed like one of my love stories come to life. So enjoyable.
    Thank you for the perfume info – I wondered what she wore and knew there was no chance I’d guess it, even if I tried. April 30, 2011 at 4:04am Reply

  • Elizabeth: I got up at 5am to watch the wedding, just like my father got up to watch Princess Diana’s wedding 30 years ago! It’s a family tradition. We are all crazy anglophiles. I nearly hyperventilated when I was Kate. I can’t imagine a more perfect dress for her! And the tiara! And of course, her prince! All stunning. Now I am dying to try that perfume. I’m not very fond of gardenia perfumes but I like the idea of an ylang-jasmine-muguet accord. April 30, 2011 at 10:20am Reply

  • Elizabeth: Um, that should be “when I SAW Kate.” What a typo! April 30, 2011 at 10:22am Reply

  • Stephen: She looked absolutely beautiful, the whole wedding, although watched by billions of people,still managed to feel like a private ceremony, it was remarkable… If its the same Michael Boadi associated with Boadicea the Victorious fragrance line, im sure its beautifully done, and at a better price (At Henri Bendel’s the 50 mL in the Boadicea Line retail for $265.00),and I am a sucker for white florals, so this one has shot to the top of the must try list =) April 30, 2011 at 11:14am Reply

  • LadyShine: Mmmmm, sounds like a lovely scent – must try! April 30, 2011 at 11:29am Reply

  • Olfactoria: Thank you for the information, I feel mighty stupid, but I am really curious about that perfume. I might be a little starstruck, even at my ripe, old age… 😉 April 30, 2011 at 7:56am Reply

  • LoriO: I had to smile when reading the
    description. I am not sure I want
    my gardenia to evoke classicism nor
    my white flowers to be considered
    frivolous. April 30, 2011 at 12:15pm Reply

  • Cheryl G.: A shout out:
    Does anyone want to split the ridiculous $58.41 shipping charge for a bottle of an Illuminum fragrance?
    It is second day so you would get it fairly quickly.
    If interested, please let me know. April 30, 2011 at 12:26pm Reply

  • RMF325: I had no interest in the wedding either, but it was a graceful, elegant event. Kate was lovely, as were her sister and brother. Gardenias are not favorites of mine, but I can see how that perfume was a nice compliment to Kate yesterday. April 30, 2011 at 12:31pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love weddings (hey, my own was a three day long affair, what can I say!) And the grander the wedding, the more vicarious fun one can have. April 30, 2011 at 11:37am Reply

  • Victoria: I grew up on Agatha Christie and Jane Austin, so I already have a strong predilection for the whole thing. Plus, I’ve lived and worked in London, which still makes me feel connected to the place and culture, even though the last time I visited was a few years ago.

    I loved the elegant simplicity of her dress, which really reminded me of Grace Kelly’s gown. April 30, 2011 at 11:40am Reply

  • Victoria: Freudian slip! 🙂 April 30, 2011 at 11:41am Reply

  • Victoria: Our family, in the best of Russian traditions, exhibits strong anglo- and francophilia. We alternate!

    I love the veil and the tiara too. So regal and elegant! April 30, 2011 at 11:42am Reply

  • Victoria: You know, I felt the same way too. I loved the way they would glance at each other throughout the ceremony, so sweet. April 30, 2011 at 11:43am Reply

  • Victoria: And yes, it is Michael Boadi of Boadicea the Victorious. April 30, 2011 at 11:44am Reply

  • Victoria: It certainly does sound lovely! April 30, 2011 at 11:44am Reply

  • Victoria: Lori, that made me chuckle as well. I generally avoid frivolous, although if there is one aspect of my life where I am ok with some frivolity, perfume is it! 🙂 April 30, 2011 at 1:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Good idea! Perhaps, others will respond, because the shipping fee is very high. April 30, 2011 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Victoria: I have no idea how it smells, but I can imagine that it has an understated elegance about it, if I can judge by Kate’s whole look. April 30, 2011 at 1:02pm Reply

  • Mimi: Thank you for the info on Kate’s perfume. That was the one detail that I really wanted to know.

    The best weddings are those where you feel the bride and groom truly love and like each other, are grounded in reality and have a good chance of a long marriage. This was one of those weddings and it was wonderful to watch especially with all the added ceremony, so elegant. It was also so much fun to watch the interchange between the two of them.

    I love gardenias and it thrills me that she would have picked such a fragrance. April 30, 2011 at 5:10pm Reply

  • Suzanna: I watched the Charles and Di wedding with my mother, getting up very early to do so. I was slightly than Di was at that time and my mother was younger than I am now.

    I asked my mother if she wanted to watch the Wills/Kate affair and she said yes; we made plans that I would drive to her house at 4 AM and let myself in and turn on the television.

    The day before the event, my mother cancelled the plan, saying that she’d never have agreed to get up at such an early for…of all things, a royal wedding.

    My mother has Alzheimer’s. She changed her mind again and over I went at 4 AM, to be greeted by my father, who watched the first 90 minutes of broadcast with me. Mother was irritated by the early hour. As I watched Kate get into her car, I said, I bet she’s wearing something with gardenia.

    Dad shrugged. What fragrance someone was wearing wouldn’t interest him; he was more interested in the politics of who was there and who was not and who perhaps had taken a wee nip before arriving at the Abbey.

    To me, though, the whole bridal party, the bride, her sister, her darling attendants, and her bouquet, spelled gardenia. It was all that creamy white, with Pippa’s dress being the exact shade of the gardenias I have on my patio.

    (Ouch–that shipping.) April 30, 2011 at 10:39pm Reply

  • Victoria: Very true, it is so heartening to observe two people being so in tune with each other! April 30, 2011 at 9:18pm Reply

  • Katrina: I watched the royal wedding from start to finish but had no idea which perfume she wore. Thanks for sharing! April 30, 2011 at 11:13pm Reply

  • Joan: Man would I love to be Michael Boadi right about now. April 30, 2011 at 11:24pm Reply

  • k-amber: The ceremony was broadcast live from pm5:30 to pm10:00 on the public broadcasting and it was a national holiday! I enjoyed everything including big hats everywhere 🙂
    Thank you for info on her fragrance. I will tell it to my friends 🙂

    We are in the middle of long holiday, so called The Golden Week, now.
    Kaori May 1, 2011 at 2:50am Reply

  • Victoria: You are so right about Pippa’s dress being the shade of gardenia petals! I am looking at my own blooming gardenia right now, and it is true–creamy white, with a hint of ivory.

    I am curious to smell White Gardenia Petals! May 1, 2011 at 11:17am Reply

  • Victoria: You are welcome! We recorded it and then watched it later. It was so enjoyable. May 1, 2011 at 11:17am Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, I can understand that! 🙂 May 1, 2011 at 11:17am Reply

  • Victoria: Enjoy your holiday, dear Kaori! I was thinking of you, because last week I made a trip to our little “Japantown” (an area with Japanese stores, etc.) to buy some books. I ended up with several cookbooks by Harumi Kurihara, who always inspires me. Once I am back home next week, I will be exploring the Japanese flavors. May 1, 2011 at 11:19am Reply

  • vanessa: I was fortunate to live in the correct country, and my viewing started at a leisurely 10.30am… : – )

    I had been very curious about the scent Kate wore because of all the hype about these scents supposedly commissioned for the royal couple, which turned out to be just that – hype. I caught up with the news late on Friday night on the site British Beauty Blogger – she is a beauty journalist and claimed to have three separate sources, so seemed like the voice of authority!

    I am going to call the store on Tuesday and see if they have any samples – if need be, I will offer to send down my decanting kit, as I successfully did once with Ormonde Jayne when they ran out of their own samples! May 1, 2011 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you so much for confirming. I heard so many rumors that at one point I simply stopped paying attention.

    Would love to read your thoughts on this perfume!
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 1, 2011 at 2:31pm Reply

  • carmencanada: Though I was in the correct time zone, I must admit my interest in the contemporary marriage rituals of feudal families couldn’t be fainter… I’m romantic, but I guess translating Tina Brown’s bio of Diana was just about all I could take from the Windsors in a lifetime!
    And I’ve steered as far as I could from anything concocted for Michael Boadi ever since I was sent the first samples. They are now insulated and kept for reference to remind me of what a truly awful perfume house is like. Perhaps Aluminium has a different artistic direction, but clearly their copywriter should lay off the sherry. Since when have jasmine, ylang-ylang and muguet been “frivolous”?

    If there was a British house to support, it really should have been Ormonde Jayne, who’s got any number of fragrances that would suit a bride, but Linda’s not the type who’ll push for hype. May 1, 2011 at 6:52pm Reply

  • vanessa: I recall thinking “capricious” was an odd descriptor for this perfume on their website, though I haven’t come across the “frivolous” reference yet. I will reserve judgement on White Gardenia Petals until I have smelt it. I find it hard to imagine that, given Kate M’s discerning taste in other matters: dress, hair, make up, Dior Dune(!), she would get things horribly wrong when it came to her wedding scent? May 1, 2011 at 7:55pm Reply

  • k-amber: Harumi Kurihara’s books are very popular among people of all ages. Her recipes are usually healthy, less salt and oil, with a bit of vinegar or fresh herbs. I have a few books of her. Enjoy!
    Kaori May 2, 2011 at 9:07am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: I must be the only person in the world who didn’t like Kate’s dress! I thought it was dowdy, retro, in an unappealing way,nun-like and it put me creepily in mind of a virgin about to be sacrificed, even though we all know that is not at all the case! There was something medieval about it, without being even slightly Goth, which would have been more amusing.It reminded me of the dress Grace Kelly wore to marry the Prince of Monaco back in the 1950s and we really didn’t need to evoke the ghost of another tragic princess; Diana’s memory was enough. Because Kate is such a tall, willowy woman, I was hoping for the sleek, chic simplicity of a bias-cut satin dress like the one Carolyn Bessette wore when she married JFK, Jr. That was truly contemporay and chic, and supremely flattering to a tall slender woman with a model’s bod. But, it sounds as if she smelled ravishing, and her prince seems to love her a lot so I wish them all and only the best. PS- I am swooning in jealousy over the vintage Aston-Martin convertibleI I wish my Daddy had one to lend me! May 2, 2011 at 8:29pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you! I already tried her recipe for broccoli with sesame sauce, which was delicious. May 2, 2011 at 10:28pm Reply

  • Victoria: You are right, it recalled Grace Kelly’s dress for me as well. Since I loved that look, I thought that it was a great choice, but I can see how others might find it boring. May 2, 2011 at 10:29pm Reply

  • Victoria: Perversely, I am now even more curious to try those fragrances! 🙂 May 2, 2011 at 10:30pm Reply

  • vanessa: My review is in! May 4, 2011 at 3:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: Great, I am off to read it! May 4, 2011 at 9:14pm Reply

  • Carla: The wedding and Kate’s dress and hair exceeded my expectations, which I suppose were not all that high. Touches like the trees in Westminster Abbey were beautiful and tasteful. Their vows were so uplifting. I think it felt like a smaller wedding because they truly love each other. I’d like to try the perfume she wore. May 5, 2011 at 4:04pm Reply

  • Victoria: That’s how it seemed to me too–a grand wedding, and yet very intimate. It was lovely, all in all. May 5, 2011 at 8:59pm Reply

  • [email protected]: Like some of the other ladies I too watched Princess Diana’s wedding to Charles with my mom. Now I had the opportunity to watch Wills & Katherine’s wedding with my daughter, and she is about the same age as I was then. We made an occasion of it, we are on the west coast so we got up at 12:45 and prepared our our Earl Grey and heated up our scones. And watched until 4:00 our time, when our eyelids just started getting too heavy and went to bed for a few hours. We later caught up on the moments we missed via DVR. We did wonder what perfume she was wearing. So this was a great read. Thank you for sharing your stories and thoughts…really enjoyed them! May 6, 2011 at 4:52pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you for sharing your thoughts as well! Reading this thread was such a pleasure for me too.

    My mom and I recorded the wedding so that we could watch it at a more comfortable hour. It was so enjoyable.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile May 6, 2011 at 5:40pm Reply

  • louiza koulas: I was sure I would have been informed about the Lady’s scent of “the day”. Did anyone mention/smell/hear the Prince’s perfume? May 7, 2011 at 7:38am Reply

  • Domestic Goblin: Victoria, it would be interesting to hear your thoughts on this perfume if you ever get the chance to sample it. 🙂 May 18, 2012 at 2:54am Reply

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