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.
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 Fragrancex.com. No complaints there.
Ah gardenia! Do you have a favourite?
Bye for now.