Average Rating 4.0/5
Review by Mac789
Chanel Gardenia is a slight and sweet white floral composed of jasmine, tuberose, muguet, and orange blossom with tentative base accents of musk and vetiver. It's as fragile as spun sugar and it seems almost a parody of a gardenia rather than a recreation of that impossible note.
So wispy is Gardenia that it might be called dream-like, and like a dream, it is gone upon waking. In the world of fragrance, "waking" is that point of cognition where neither you nor anyone else can smell your fragrance.This is what happens when evolution occurs quickly and ebbs into mild white musk . Gardenia feels like a depiction of headspace technology, with both jasmine and orange blossom sanitized to the point that associated indolic or soapy notes would be vulgar and are thus engineered out.
Gardenia the note is given a brief opening green remark and then is silenced as if it were a difficult and fussy thing. After it quickly subsides, you are presented with jasmine, the pale ice green of muguet, and then orange blossom, each in turn. The opening is sweet and girlish, making you wish it would head in the direction of a false femininity by way of an antithetical base. The base to my nose is mostly vetiver and musk, but they are handled as gently as the top has been. After half an hour, you're left with a mild orange blossom scent with a demure earthy-musky base. Within that base is a strange clay note that I find appealing and which is probably some tangential effect of the vetiver. The lasting power is terrible and the sillage is non-existent, but that complaint might be applied to all of Les Exclusifs with the exception of Cuir de Russie.
The weak presentation just about demands the purchase of the behemoth 200-ml bottle. It needs to be reapplied every couple of hours in the manner of a cologne, but the need for reapplication occurs just when the secretive base begins to mature the scent beyond the girlish opening. It's short on substance, politely, but a is lovely summer scent nonetheless. I might seek out a 100-ml "decant" and use it up between now and August.