More hits from Guerlain’s exclusive and prestigious l’Art et la Matière line. Cruel Gardenia is one of those gardenia scents that reminds me of Annick Goutal’s Gardenia Passion in that if there is any gardenia in this, I am not smelling it.
In Bottle: Pretty enough, lightly floral and creamy with slightly powdered underbelly. It smells girly and pretty and delicate like a single flower. That flower isn’t gardenia though.
Applied: After the first application Cruel Gardenia starts to sink into my skin and proceed to disappear without fanfare. Odd experience for me as the first waves of understated fruity florally goodness give way to an airy violets and sweetness floral heart rotating around a lilting vaporous muskiness. Oh, hi, tuberose. I see you’re in on this too. How are you doing? See, Cruel Gardenia is not so much a fragrance about Gardenia as it is dedicated to breezy, clean and girly florals that focus around being pretty to sort of steer me away from the fact that if there’s gardenia in this then there’s very little of it. The fragrance dries down to a pleasant enough lightly floral, creamy but unsweetened dry vanilla.
Extra: The crowd’s still out on the best blended gardenia fragrance but I’m going to have to pass on Cruel Gardenia. There’s not enough in there to really justify this. Certainly not for the price anyway.
Design: Bottled much the same way as Tonka Imperiale, Cruel Gardenia is encased in a lovely rectangular glass bottle and comes with a regular sprayer and a pump atomizer. And like Tonka Imperiale and Spiritueuse Double Vanille, once you install the sprayers onto these bottles you can’t refit them into their original boxes. I am still peeved about that, yes.
Fragrance Family: Floral
Notes: Peach, damask rose, neroli, violet, ylang-ylang, white musk, tonka, vanilla, sandalwood.
Maybe I’m being a bit harsh on these non-gardenia gardenia fragrances but I feel like I’ve been led on a wild goose chase. On the other hand, if you want to buy some fantastic, pure gardenia essential oil, Enfleurage’s looks mighty tempting.
Reviewed in This Post: Cruel Gardenia, 2010, Eau de Parfum.