Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982




Hi everyone, and Happy New Year to all!

Big White Florals. Not my usual line of country, but with jasmine and gardenia blooming on my patio, I’m tempted to try them in perfumery. My latest exploration is Jovan’s Island Gardenia.

Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982


Fragrantica only gives gardenia as a note, and the perfumer is unstated, but a Basenotes reviewer offers:
Top: coconut, peach
Heart: gardenia, tuberose, jasmine, neroli, cyclamen
Base: vanilla, civet, Siamese benzoin

I find mixed white florals heavily dominated by tuberose. That is what I get straight out of the bottle: a rich, buttery tuberose, luscious and unmistakeable. I agree on the peach but if you live in terror of the peach-tuberose combo in Givenchy Amarige, relax. The peach fades quickly.

The coconutty facet of many white florals is present, though not to my nose a major player. I don’t notice any of those listed base notes, certainly not civet.
The thing I really don’t get is gardenia. The gardenia I grow is a miniature and I think it is sweeter and less green and earthy than the classic, Billie Holiday-style gardenia. Still, I feel I know how they smell and I get very little gardenia in Island Gardenia. That’s a disappointment.

And then, I had been expecting monstrous flesh eating sillage so I was very surprised when IG shrank to my skin in less than half an hour. After a shower this afternoon I gave myself about five big spritzes (yes, I stayed home, just in case!). The sillage is moderate, but I don’t somehow expect it to last the whole evening.
The opening is my favourite part. Then, on some wearings the dry down seems a little harsh and chemically, but on others I found it pleasantly creamy and slightly salty. I prefer the sillage, especially as it wafts up from my shirt, to the scent on skin.

Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982 white-gardenia-in-bloomPDI

For all that, Island Gardenia is relaxing to wear. It is warm but only slightly sweet; maternal I would say, rather than sultry. Which brings us to – you know it’s coming – Piguet’s Fracas. Island Gardenia is sometimes likened to Fracas: lighter, more timid and much less complex. Well, I have never comprehended Fracas. I like the orange blossom in the opening, but as the tuberose emerges it turns weird and unpleasant on my skin. I do have a sample and I will keep comparing them, but if you know both fragrances well, do comment. And please, if you have compared it to Jungle Gardenia by Tuvaché, I’d love to hear what you think!

On Fragrantica, you have to squint hard to find any really negative comment about Island Gardenia. I normally find that at least a quarter of the reviews of any given fragrance will condemn it, but ‘love the heck out of this’ is a pretty common reaction to this one.


FragranceNet has US$14/45ml before coupon

And the price! I gone mine for about AUD $21 on No complaints there.
Ah gardenia! Do you have a favourite?
Bye for now.

18 thoughts on “Island Gardenia by Jovan 1982

  1. Gardenia: I enjoy Annick Goutal’s Gardenia Passion, Ayala Moriel’s Fete d’Hiver, BPAL Tavern of Hell, Madonna Truth or Dare for a bit of gardenia with other white florals, but Tuvache is my fave.


  2. Hey there Anne-Marie,
    I love gardenias on the bush so much, the only fragrance I’ve found to match it is by an Aussie crew The Perfume & Cosmetics Co. Their Gardenia makes me swoon.
    Portia xx


    • Hopefully you can locate it somewhere? In my case I had to buy online because the discount pharmacies near me that carry Jovan never have this one. Hope it still works for you. 🙂


    • Yes, and like Portia, for a while I just contented myself with the natural smell. But I seemed to have slipped down the gardenia rabbit hole somehow. I think it’s because where I live tropical flowers are difficult or impossible to grow, so that gives them a certain allure for me.


  3. Gardenia smells creamy, somewhat heady, very feminine & Loud, but I like such type of challenges fragrances. My favorite Gardenia note perfumes that I enjoy are: Cartier La Panthere, Hermes 24 Faubourg, Madonna Truth or Dare and Versace Crystal Noir.
    Heard some good news about gardenia dominant perfumes like Parfums Dusita Melodie De L`Amour and Nishane Hundred Silent Ways, will definitely give a try.


  4. There is nothing better than opening the door to a room filled to the brim with the powerful scent of a little posy of gardenia straight from the garden. I’m still a perfume debutante but I haven’t found anything that compares to the fresh flower, it’s divine…


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