Randa Hammami: 2 posts

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia : Perfume Review

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Cruel_gardenia_guerlain

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

You would be hard-pressed to find a more devoted Guerlain lover than me. I also happen to adore white florals in all shapes and forms—jasmine, tuberose, seringa, gardenia, frangipani, magnolia. However, my first impression when I smelled Cruel Gardénia from Guerlain’s L’Art et la Matière collection was utter disappointment. Where is gardenia, I wondered? Sure, it flits through the top note, but the floral impression that lingers is that of orange blossom and ylang ylang wrapped in a cloud of hedione (airy and diffusive jasmine material). Nevertheless, it is very elegantly constructed, and I do not want to dismiss it altogether, even if I miss the intoxicating gardenia. …

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Guerlain Oud Sensuel and Garden Sensuel : Perfume Oils Review

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Guerlain_garden_sensuel_2

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

Fill the tent with a variety of different perfumes: ambergris, musk and all sorts of scents, such as rose, orange flowers, jonquils, jasmine, hyacinth, carnation and other plants. This done, have placed there several gold censers filled with green aloes, ambergris, naddah and such like.”
from the 15th century Arab book The Perfumed Garden of Sensual Delight.*

The house of Guerlain has been enchanted with the East for much of its history, from Persian Bouquet (1840), Shalimar (1925) to Samsara (1989). In this light, it is not surprising to discover that Garden Sensuel and Oud Sensuel Huiles de Parfum released this spring are inspired by the perfume oil tradition of the Middle and Far East. The writings of Herodotus, Theophrastus, Pliny as well as the Arabian Nights Tales attest to the opulence and sophistication of Middle Eastern perfumery. If the 18th court of Louis XV was known as le cour parfumée (perfumed court), then that of Baghdad’s Abbasid Caliphs deserved this title more than 10 centuries earlier. …

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