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 thoughts on “Olivine by Julie Wray for Olivine Atelier: Perfume Oil

  1. 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. 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


    • 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. 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!


    • 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.


  4. 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


  5. 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.


    • 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.


  6. 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!


    • 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.


  7. 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!


    • 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.


  8. 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 🙂


    • 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?


  9. 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!


  10. 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!


    • 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!


  11. Pingback: Mixing It Up – Layering Scented Oils + USA Giveaway « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s