Gardenia: 19 posts

Serge Lutens Une Voix Noire : Perfume Review

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What can one expect from a fragrance inspired by Billie Holiday’s gardenia, called Une Voix Noire (Black Voice) and created by the dream team of Serge Lutens and Christopher Sheldrake? Heady, dark, convoluted, perhaps? Well, Une Voix Noire is none of these things. It has a surprising combination of softness and warmth. Its presence is generous, but it’s not overwhelming. It’s dramatic without being heady or dense. Une Voix Noire feels velvety the moment you put it on, and it gracefully moves from one stage to another. Frankly, if Lutens said that he was inspired by ballerina Maya Plisetskaya’s Black Swan, rather than by Lady Day, I would have believed him.

I admit that this Lutens wasn’t love at first inhale the way Bois de Violette or De Profundis have been for me.  I anticipated the heady, the dark and the bittersweet, and I missed them in this soft perfume.  Nevertheless, I’m glad that I went along for the ride, because Une Voix Noire forced me to take our courtship slowly and to fall in love with it one layer at a time.

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By Kilian Water Calligraphy : Perfume Review

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As much as I love complex fragrances that feel like an alternative universe in themselves, there are days when I feel that my own world more than suffices to keep me on my toes. At such times I simply want something beautiful: a perfume that feels like a comfortable second skin, or a soft melody that forms a perfect scented soundtrack to my day. The latest such discovery is by Kilian Water Calligraphy, a perfume from the Asian Tales Collection.

Water Calligraphy is immediately inviting—the sparkling citrus top notes are tart and bittersweet, while the lemony cardamom is deliciously piquant. Even when the luscious white floral notes begin to unfold, the perfume retains its initial airy impression. If you’ve ever floated gardenias in a bowl of water and returned to find a room full of their peach and jasmine cream perfume, you will find a similar experience with Water Calligraphy.

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Estee Lauder Wild Elixir : Perfume Review

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Wildelixir1

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

One of the most popular feminine fragrance genres, modern green florals, has much to recommend itself for someone who is looking for a pretty and wearable fragrance. When the crisp, leafy notes are woven through the opulent floral accords, the compositions attain a vivid, bright quality. While classical floral bouquets are usually much more languorous and sensual, with rich honeyed and animalic facets, contemporary florals strive for a clean and luminous impression. Estée Lauder Wild Elixir is the latest addition to the available fresh green floral selection, a composition of honeysuckle, jasmine and gardenia notes painted in verdant hues.

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Annick Goutal Un Matin d’Orage : Perfume Review

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Matin dorage goutal

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

With all the new launch samples piling up on my desk, I instead find myself reflecting upon my old favorites. I have always admired the work of Isabelle Doyen for Annick Goutal, whose contributions range from the startling simpilicity and power of Eau du Fier, to the ethereal beauty of Eau de Ciel, and to the baroque richness of Songes. Un Matin d’Orage feels like yet another page in the Annick Goutal album, a rendition of gardenia that blends the starkness of photorealism with the mystery of abstract art.

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Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia : Fragrance Review

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Tom_ford_velvet_gardenia

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

Have you ever noticed how faces are much easier to recognize in exaggerated caricatures than in photographs? For this same reason Tom Ford Velvet Gardenia might offer the truest gardenia one can find in perfume form. Certainly, there are plenty of fragrances that incorporate beautiful gardenia accords (Hermès Calèche, Dior Diorama, Estée Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia), but to smell Velvet Gardenia is to experience a flower magnified by several degrees—smooth, waxy petals, green leaves and woody stems, animalic, dark roots. Its scent is creamy and intoxicating, smoldering and airy, floral and balsamic. What seems at first like an improbable juxtaposition of effects soon unfolds into a complex gardenia story. …

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