Monday, 2 November 2009


I happened to discuss the whole Les Exclusifs line with a few fellow Chanel freaks and it occured to me that while many people enthuse about larger part of the line, Gardénia seems to be the least popular. I asked and it seemed to me that good part of the people haven't even tried it because, well, there's so much of other stuff. I guess it's the name, it may evoke a plain boring soliflore. Or something. I have a bottle of Gardénia on the shelf and I wasn't able to remember the smell or any other impression so when I came back, this was one of the first tasks.

I know, I know, I promised a rant on Guerlinade but Guerlinade is still stuck somewhere in the P-space; I have something to pick up at the post office so I hope it'll be that one. Blame the mailmen, dear readers, and meantime you'll have to do with whatever comes (but I promise, I have quite interesting stuff up my sleeve).

Gardenia jasminoides is a plant (alright, I'm being Captain Obvious today), I happen to own one specimen which nowadays rests somewhere downstairs. I think it's related to camellias - definitely nothing to do with jasmine as one may judge from the name - and it has large white blossoms that smell sort of buttery sweet. A quick glance to the internetz corrected me, Rubiaceae family, into which gardenias belong, is also called coffee family. Now that's cool(3).

My gardenia happily blossomed all summer long but obviously, when I needed the flowers for photography, it didn't offer any. Still, the lush green foliage fits in, to me, Gardénia is a blend of crushed blossoms and leaves, there is something adstringent and green in the fragrance. And, to my surprise, a perceptible honey undertone. There should be some coconut and with a bit of trying, I do smell it, but it's rather the coconut juice than the greasy nutty bits; the coconut juice, if I remember well, has rather a sour fruity smell. One way or another, Gardénia does not smell of suntan lotion, the main product I associate with coconut smell (there's always Mahora but that's another matter that will be dealt with someday). Still, I find the drydown too sweet - the aldehydic and floral tones disappear and some rather sweet stuff emerges. I think I need to refresh often, then.

There was an earlier version that was made also in extrait version. I have it but at the time being, it's in the House of Eight Cats and it'll need a few weeks to get to me - I'll compare these two someday.

Gardénia is a part of the Les Exclusifs line and as such can be bought only in Chanel boutiques. It is made in a rather opulent size of 200 ml of eau de toilette and goes for 200 euros.

Top notes: aldehydes
Middle notes: red berries, gardenia, coconut
Base notes: vanilla

notes taken from Chanel's website here

(3) I'm a coffee addict.

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