Jardins de Bagatelle by Jean Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1983


Post by Poodle


Hello APJ, I’m Dreaming of Spring

It’s supposed to be spring here. I was out playing in the dirt of my flowerbeds just days ago but today it’s cold again. Hopefully by the time you read this it will be spring. Until then I have to pretend with my perfumes. One that conjures up a bright spring day is ….

Jardins de Bagatelle by Jean Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1983

Jardins de Bagatelle Guerlain FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Jasmine, violet, aldehydes, lemon, bergamot
Heart: Gardenia, rose, orange blossom, tuberose, magnolia, ylang-ylang, orchid, lily-of-the-valley, narcissus
Base: Tuberose, cedar, vetiver, patchouli, musk, neroli

I’ve gone through a few bottles of this in my life. It was my signature scent in high school. I wanted to smell classier than the Impulse Body Spray the other girls wore. I figured something from Guerlain was a good bet. I hadn’t worn it since then but recently got nostalgic and bought another bottle.

Jardins de Bagatelle has always seemed to be an unlikely Guerlain to me. It doesn’t have the powdery notes I always associate with the brand and it’s classic perfumes. It’s a huge floral. Bear in mind this was released in the big 80’s and it has some of the intensity you’d expect but doesn’t smell dated.

Jardins de Bagatelle Guerlain  Dynasty WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

At first spritz, I’m hit with a blast of aldehydes and citrus, big and lush in the top notes. I can definitely smell violet, jasmine and many other flowers. I’m okay with spritzing but I could see someone who likes a lighter touch perhaps dabbing on instead. The effect isn’t so much sniffing a bouquet as it is sticking your face into it. I will add that the perfume softens beautifully within an hour on me even though the opening is so bold.

Chateau de Bagatelle, Paris, FranceChateau de Bagatelle Photo Stolen Wikpedia

As much as I try I have a hard time picking apart the notes. Once it softens it’s like the flowers come and go. Imagine walking through a garden and as you meander down the path you catch a whiff of a rose here but just around the bend there’s some tuberose, oh wait, no, perhaps that’s gardenia. When I think I have almost isolated a note, it changes on me. It’s supposed to smell like a garden and it does. The flowers are bright and dewy. There’s also a certain amount of green to it as well which keeps it smelling cool and fresh. I always smell something that reminds me of tea as well even though tea isn’t in the notes. The perfume is beautiful down to the base and never turns soapy or dirty. As the flowers fade it becomes a cozy scent with a bit of warm musk and wood.

Jardins de Bagatelle Guerlain  Severin_Roesen Victorian_Bouquet WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Further reading: Perfume Shrine and Monsieur Guerlain
FragranceNet has EdT $68/100ml after coupon
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Overall I’d say that Jardins is bright and beautiful. It doesn’t smell like every other floral out there. It’s one of the perfumes I pick when I want to feel pretty. I was afraid it would remind me of high school but I guess enough time has passed to allow me to wear it and think spring.

Until next time…

Poodle x

22 thoughts on “Jardins de Bagatelle by Jean Paul Guerlain for Guerlain 1983

  1. Great review, Poodle!
    Everyday Fender and I are out walking together, rain or shine. In the past few days our walk has been a real pleasure because spring is FINALLY here! I love to amp up the outdoor scents with fragrance. Jardins de Bagatelle is a good choice for today. Thank you for this lovely reminder.
    Azar xx


    • Glad it’s warm there. It’s gray and humid today but not that warm. We’ve had about 2 or 3 decent days so far. I think we’re heading right into summer with no spring. At least there’s no snow. Lol.
      Thanks for reading. You smell fabulous!


  2. Need to try this one, big ’80s reference not withstanding! Didn’t used to be a Guerlain gal, but that’s changing. Another of their aldehydic scents I enjoy is Liu.


    • It’s no Poison or Giorgio that’s for sure. Perhaps that’s why it didn’t seem more popular at the time. I’m not a huge Guerlain fan but I do like this one. Mitsouko and I agree to disagree.


  3. I have a sample of this somewhere and remember liking it, but then, big 80s florals are So Up My Alley. Didn’t run into it back in the day, but I’m sure that’s because the only Guerlain available in my small-town area was Shalimar.

    I don’t remember much green, but of course that seems relative – I wear a lot of really-green things, so my “green” sensor might be set too high. 🙂

    I agree on the base not being particularly Guerlainish. I’m not a big Guerlie girl anyway – I only really love Chamade and Shalimar LIght, and Vega is wonderful too.


    • Hi there Mals! Thanks for stopping by. You’re right, your green sensor might be higher than mine although I’m working on that and trying more green stuff. I’m glad you like this one. Thinking back I’m rather surprised my department stores carried this one. Rhode Island was hardly on the cutting edge at the time.


  4. Heya Poodle, I have one of the original era bottles of Jardins de Bagatelle and though it hints at big 80s floral my skin seems to soften it and make is a pleasant wash
    I will revisit it again soon and read your article, quite often a fresh perspective can give me better insights.
    Portia xx


    • Ooooo….original era…I’m jealous. Although I have to say the current version is pretty good. Unlike some other perfumes I’ve sniffed from that time, this still smells like I remember.
      We have similar skin so after that initial blast it would probably be a wash on me too but I spray hard and heavy. Just like in the 80’s, go big or go home. Lol.


  5. Hi Poodle,
    Lovely review. I’ve been having a similar experience here. The weather has been below freezing with snow for a couple of days. At first, I went for the Ambre Sultan to warm up and then, since it felt like March, Chloe Narcisse. Haven’t try JdB since the 80’s. It’s a charming idea for a segue into spring, no matter what the calendar says.
    Smiles, Jackie


    • Oh dear, you have snow! You poor thing. I’m hesitant to put the shovels away for fear I’ll jinx the slightly warmer temps. I hope you get some fast melting. Ambre Sultan is good anytime to me. I used to love Chloe Narcisse too. Lovely choices.


  6. Brilliant review of an old favourite of mine, Poodle. When it first came out a girl at my place of work used to drown herself in it, and other employees were constantly wrinkling their noses at her! But it wasn’t long before I fell in love with it – hopefully I was a bit more careful with my spritzing!


    • Thanks! I wasn’t working and was in school when I wore it so I know it wasn’t me. 😉
      I’m glad you fell for it instead of really hating it. Sometimes that happens when people don’t know when to say when and suffocate their coworkers.


  7. Hi Poodle,
    This used to be one of my favourites… Kinda brings back memories. In the 80s, I was definitely a floral teenager; I couldn’t imagine any frag that wasn’t floral!
    You made me feel like re-sniffing this spring scent. 🙂


    • I liked a lot of florals then too but I’ve never thought myself to be a floral girl. I guess I am at times. If you do re-sniff I hope it brings back some good memories for you.
      I love your name, thinkingmagpie. Birds are much smarter than most people realize.


  8. I may need to put this on my list to try. I’m not a Geurlie girl either but like both florals and greens. And I’m looking for a justication to get a Geurlain bottle. 🙂

    I just hope that the musk won’t be very noticeable, since I really dislike the note in florals.


  9. Oh!!! I recently smelled this on a strip and loved it, but I confess the name is what makes me want a bottle- my sister-in-law got married at the Jardins de Bagatelle a few yrs ago and it was such a romantic magical experience that I can’t resist the pull. There were even gorgeous peacocks in the trees. Thanks for the lovely review!


    • What a lovely memory! The actual garden must be amazing. You definitely need to get a bottle. Hopefully the perfume helps bring back that magic.
      Peacocks are amazing. I get excited when I see wild turkeys, if I saw peacocks I would go nuts.


  10. Hiya Poodle, would you believe I have never consciously smelled this one. Even though I am not a big floral fan, you made this sound like a must try! Great review!


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