Olivine by Julie Wray for Olivine Atelier: Perfume Oil


Post by FeralJasmine


My Gardenia Fetish, Part 1

It’s part of my nature to periodically become happily obsessed with a new subject or experience. While the obsession lasts, I must know everything I can find out about my current love, experience it in as many ways as possible, think about it day and night. I’m lucky that I have a profession and a husband that have never run short of new aspects for me to explore, and my obsession with perfume is turning out much the same way, because every note is the start of a million potential symphonies. Will any riff on a theme of jasmine ever be exactly like any other? In one respect my usual fascination with variation fails me, because I firmly believe that when you’ve smelled one mainstream fruity floral, you’ve smelled them all. However, that does not negate the principle.

Olivine Atelier Gardenia_II_by_Ivette_Stock DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

My current happy fascination is the scent of gardenias. There is no more beautiful floral scent in the world, and no scent harder to capture. As all avid gardenia fanciers know, the scent can’t be captured from the blossom by distillation or other standard methods, and has to be created through combinations of other scents. This is more or less successful, usually less. I enjoy all the scents that play with various aspects of gardenia, but I want the whole: the fleshy breathing mesmerizing flower in front of me, with its fascinating undertone of death, usually described as a fungal tone. I have heard it called the blue-cheese note, but I don’t smell it that way. To me it’s the scent of humid decay that rises from the moist Louisiana earth where my mother’s gardenias grew, the scent of old life being transmuted to new.

Olivine Atelier Olivine Ishikawa Ken FlickrPhoto Stolen Ishikawa Ken Flickr

The most photorealistic and completely gorgeous gardenia perfume that I know of is Tom Ford’s Velvet Gardenia, and curses on the TF corporate hyenas for discontinuing it. But it isn’t healthy to go around cursing people, and besides it wasn’t hurting them a bit, so I turned my attention to finding other gardenia scents. Today and in my next column I want to talk about two that you may not have come across.

Olivine by Olivine Atelier: Perfume Oil

Olivine Atelier Olivine EtsyPhoto Stolen Olivine Atelier Etsy

Today I want to introduce you to Olivine, from the indie scent company of the same name. It’s the love-child of perfumer Julie Wray, who may be more obsessed with gardenias than I am. She sells EDP and oil, and I strongly recommend the oil even if you usually prefer to spray. This is luscious creamy gardenia, bridal and yet very sensual. It is one of the most purely pretty things that you can put on yourself, and at 40 US dollars for 5 ml of potent oil, it’s a bargain. The fungal note is present but it’s very subtle, as if wafted away by the clean ocean breezes of Hawaii where the perfumer spends her free time. This gardenia goes everywhere in my purse, and at bad moments a dab on the back of my hand will remind me of the beauty of the moment, the shimmer of Now. She makes four other scents, all of which contain (surprise!) gardenia. Olivine is my favorite, but Oxley is a lovely take on the same theme, rounded out with other tropical flowers. I smell definite plumeria in Oxley, and I like it, but generally will opt for the pure gardenia.

Further reading: Eye Heart It
Beauty Habit has Olivine Atelier fragrances $48/5ml oil & $80/50ml EdP and ship to the world
Olivine Atelier Etsy Store has some great Sample Sets

Julie can ship her oils to Oz, although not the edps, and has a number of Australian customers already. You can find her on Etsy, and her shop is named Olivine. I love supporting Indie perfumers when the juice is good, and this oil is a pleasure to recommend.

Do you have a favourite gardenia fragrance?


30 comments on “Olivine by Julie Wray for Olivine Atelier: Perfume Oil

  1. Madeleine says:

    Hi Feraljasmine,

    major lemming created! I adore gardenia and agree tf was the best. can’t wait to try this and read about the next recommendation! I also like il profumos gardenia royale


  2. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Heya FeralJasmine,
    Have you tried the Perfume & Skincare Company Gardenia. The most photo realistic I’ve ever come across, including a delicious dose of skank. MMMMM
    Gardenia is one of my favourites.
    Portia xx

    • FeralJasmine says:

      I did recently try it, and thanks so much for the sample! Unfortunately it doesn’t work very well on my skin. I have managed to convince myself that the bizarre range of antibiotics that I had to take after my surgery was changing my chemistry, and that next week the gardenia scent will show up when I try it again.

  3. cookie queen says:

    Hey FJ!
    Hmmmmm. Have not fallen down a gardenia hole yet, although I absolutely love the flower. We shall see now!! xxx

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Be careful, the gardenia hole is very deep. Once thoroughly down that particular wormhole, it’s hard to find your way out again.

  4. Jackie b says:

    I must get out of my comfort zone and try fragrance families that I normally would not…this gardenia sounds mellow and beautiful, and they ship to Oz???
    Thanks for the review!

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Hope you try it. I grew up with a big gardenia bush in the yard, and maybe you have to imprint on it early, but now no other flower satisfies on quite so deep a level.

  5. Azar says:

    Hi Feraljasmine,
    I remember hedges of gardenias from my childhood in. I am always trying to find the perfect gardenia in a bottle, but so far not one, including TF’s Velvet Gardenia, has come close to my gardenia memories. Some are quite realistic and beautiful but somehow lack soul (Michael Storer’s Stephanie) while others are just too much bombast for anything but Hollywood (the vintage Jungle Gardenia and its copies). I noticed that Olivine Atelier is based in Seattle. It’s funny that my search for the perfect gardenia has taken me so close to home. Thanks for the tip and the great post!
    Azar xx

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Do let us know what you think, Azar. I think Olivine is Julie’s best creation and I carry it in my purse for emergency gardenia fixes

  6. poodle says:

    We have to grow them as houseplants where I am and they are too fussy for me. I love the smell of them though. I don’t have a favorite although I quite like Hothouse Flower by Ineke.

    • FeralJasmine says:

      I’ve never managed to take to them as house plants because I still firmly believe that they should grow in great billows in the yard, although I haven’t lived in gardenia country for thirty years.

  7. Maya says:

    Thanks for the post. I LOVE gardenia but have not yet found one that is just right, though there are some nice ones. I had not heard of Olivine before and now its a must try!

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Hope you will try it, Maya. A gardenia perfume is a very personal thing. A small group of us worship Velvet Gardenia and wish we knew some spell to make some perfumer duplicate it. Alas, no such luck.

  8. maggiecat says:

    I’m glad to hear that other people go through scent obsessions! These oils sound lovely and worth exploring – from a fellow gardenia-lover, thank you for a delightful post!

    • FeralJasmine says:

      I do hope that people try this one. Julie has five scents in her line, but the namesake Olivine perfume is the star, in my opinion.
      I have not gotten out of my gardenia obsession yet. In fact, I confessed in another forum that when I need a major lift, I put on a subtle beaded cream silk top and long skirt, put on some gardenia perfume, and waft about the house feeling ethereal.

  9. RuthF says:

    This is very tempting! I love gardenia, I have a gardenia bush outside my front door which has just started to bloom. This plant has never been watered and sits in the shade most of the day, but it produces the most amazing and abundant flowers! It is covered in buds at the moment so I’m very excited. I don’t get the blue cheese smell from gardenia but I do get mushroom, anybody else? I’m going to check out the Etsy sight right now 🙂

    • FeralJasmine says:

      That note that some call blue cheese is definitely a fungal note to me, too. I can’t tell you how envious I am that you are about to be in gardenia heaven. Might you take in boarders during the blooming season?

  10. Kandice says:

    I love gardenia too and can’t wait to try this. Thanks for introducing us to it!

  11. Dionne says:

    Your timing for this review is perfect for me, FJ. 🙂 I haven’t spent a lot of time exploring BWF notes, although I have a major love for ELPC Tuberose Gardenia, but my mother just mentioned she loves gardenia perfumes and would like my help exploring the possibilities. This is going to be soooooo much fun!

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Tuberose Gardenia is a beauty, containing a radiantly sunny gardenia. I recently got a decant of the pure parfum of this one. Yum!

  12. Dubaiscents says:

    I love gardenia scents and this brand has some great ones. Thanks for reminding me that I really wanted to get more than just my tiny samples!

    • FeralJasmine says:

      I know you have the world of Arabic perfume styles available to you. Is gardenia commonly, or ever, used as a note in that style?

  13. Natalie says:

    I adore gardenia, and am always on the look-out for new gardenia fragrances. Thanks for the tip!

  14. leathermountain says:

    Three cheers for supporting indie perfumers at affordable price points! And thank you, FeralJasmine, for your intriguing review.

    • FeralJasmine says:

      Thanks, and so sorry I didn’t remember to let you know when the review was coming out. Life has been a bit wild, but then wild can be good!

  15. […] For more about Swiss Arabian CPO Noora check out Jordan River’s Three Kings of Cologne holiday post. For a great write up on Olivine Atelier and the perfumes of Julie Wray see FeralJasmine’s APJ post. […]

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