Friday, August 13, 2010

Parfumerie Generale - Gardenia Grand Soir

Tonight won't be just any night

The "big night." Gardenia Grand Soir would go well with a bias cut silk dress and champagne. But the "grand soir" is also a revolutionary concept meaning the destruction of the previous regime and the establishment of a new society – a break after which anything is possible. Was M. Guillaume hinting at a brand new way to construct a gardenia perfume?

I love the smell of live gardenias but it's a difficult smell to replicate in perfumery. Gardenia Grand Soir hits a lot of the right notes and, after a slightly discordant beginning, resolves into a very pretty floral.

GGS captures all the buttery, creamy and green facets of gardenia but not the stinky, blue cheese or animal/indolic, notes. Gardenias have some weirdness to them; GGS tones that down. GGS starts with a strong, grassy green note with a hint of mushroom. Yes, mushroom is a part of the real gardenia smell! Don't worry if that sounds strange to you, it's only there for a few seconds but the green grass note lasts. For the first hour I wasn't sure about GGS, the green and the creamy seemed to be battling for dominance but they calmed down and unified to a gardenia, hovering above sweet sandalwood.

GGS is a duet between the two notes, gardenia and sandalwood. Sandalwood is not only used as a base in GGS, but aspects of threee different types of sandalwood are used to enhance and create the gardenia. According to Ca Fleure Bon, M. Guillaume used Australian sandalwood for a creamy effect, synthetic sandalore in the base for warmth, sweetness and better diffusion, and mysore sandalwood because it “is more dark with light cypress and violet like notes.”

That comment set off the light bulb for me, because I had been detecting a fruity, sweet/tart purple note in the heart of GGS. It must be the violet aspect of the mysore sandalwood that M. Guillaume mentioned. And the cypress is present too in the green angles of the gardenia.

I like GGS quite a bit, maybe even enough to add the the FB Wish List. It's a very pretty, even sexy, gardenia. It's a "grand soir" in the romantic way. Wear it on a night when you feel things are about to change and everything and anything is possible.

P.S. What are your favourite gardenia perfumes? Do you prefer more cheesy mushroom and indoles in your gardenia?

House: Parfumerie Generale
Nose: Pierre Guillaume
Notes: gardenia, sandalwood

Photo: Ivan Plata


  1. That sounds really pretty, I love gardenia perfumes. Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is one of my faces; it's so elegant.

  2. I've heard a lot about that one. It's never on the counter at my department store, but I'm going to ask the SA if they have it somewhere below.

  3. Honestly, I don't like gardenia. But I'll be damned if your reviews don't make everything sound tempting. You have the gift of finding something in each perfume that would appeal to everyone. Nicely done!

  4. Thank you Josephine, that means a lot. Your writing has touched me.

  5. This sounds like something I must try. I love gardenia, I'm always on the hunt for the "perfect" one. Gardenia and mysore? I'm sold.
    My favorite gardenia? I really don't know. I like Yosh White Flowers, this is more of a "wet" gardenia. Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion EDP, is nice but can be strange on some people.I think I like creamy gardenias like Monyette Paris.

  6. EauMG: Monyette Paris will goon the list of things to try, thanks!


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