Originally created in 1925 by maestro Ernest Beaux Chanel Gardenia fits the timeless elegance, a definite must for the house of Chanel. In 1980 it was relaunched and joined the family of Les Exclusifs de Chanel range. Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie joined this collection along with Gardenia at that time. It’s current interpretation was also blended by Ernest Beaux and is said to be very similar and not much changed comparing to the vintage Chanel Gardenia. At this point it’s worth to mention that it’s impossible to obtain a gardenia flowers essence by distillation, the gardenia impression was created by combination of other notes.
Chanel Gardenia opens with a huge and gorgeous bouquet made of hundrets of white flowers. It smells very alike natural gardenia. It’s floral and very elegant. This delicate and ethereal opening is also created thanks to a nice basket of jasmine. Right away it might feel a little overwhelming but it quickly turns into a gardenia that it’s mean to be. Addition of orange blossom give Chanel Gardenia crisp and refined makeover with fine amount of green notes. At this stage Chanel Gardenia makes me think of an expensive, flower infused, traditional cologne style perfume. The combination smells almost citrusy with carefully pronounced aspect of citrus leaves.
After some time Gardenia by Chanel reveals a light tuberose accord, a delicate and sophisticated one. In it’s base lays a layer of musk. It makes this sheer perfume more personal, more natural smelling. By personal I mean that it settles on the skin, creating a delicate veil of perfumed skin. Vetiver and sandalwood are hardly (or at all) noticeable. The leading roles in Chanel Gardenia are played by gardenia, jasmine and orange blossom. They give a light aroma, though dense enough to hide some of the other notes that create this perfume. There is only a small sign of sandalwood and it gives a drier, not very woody undertones.
After spending some time with Chanel Gardenia, the contemporary Les Exclusifs de Chanel one I have no doubt that this is a perfume for women. I can also admit that I enjoyed every hour of having it on my arm. It definitely wasn’t a lost skin-time. Gardenia is meant to be a modern take on white florals, making this perfume light and ethereal one instead of heavy and overpowering. Still, each time my nose reached a wrist I couldn’t get rid of a picture of a decadent styled mademoiselle, wearing white or beige dress with a lot of lace, who is sitting in a blooming garden serving tea in elegant, fine porcelain…
Les Exclusifs de Chanel, Chanel Gardenia lasts for few long hours. Initially it’s sillage is great but it quickly subsides and Gardenia becomes more of a skin scent than a crowd pleasing heady perfume. Personally I think it’s better that way, at least only the chosen ones (I mean those who’ll get close enough to the wearer) will be lucky to whiff some Chanel Gardenia. It’s a pretty perfume, but on the other hand it’s nothing innovative or overwhelming. Still worth trying. You never know if you fall for it, right? Chanel Gardenia is available as 75 ml and 200 ml EdT, it’s also available in parfum concentration.