Friday, November 26, 2010

Estee Lauder - Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia

Glorious gardenia

On a whim the other day, I bought a bottle of Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. It was on sale at Winners. Sometimes I think this means that the old stock is being dumped because a reformulation is coming out. Or it could just be old gift boxes (it was packaged in a gold box with the body creme) are being cleared out to make way for the new Christmas stock. I bought it unsniffed because I remembered reading that it is one of the great gardenias perfumes, and a true gardenia is hard to find. They weren't wrong; Tuberose Gardenia is an astounding, rich, and life-like gardenia.

Gardenias are the smell of fantasy. White, creamy and thick as birthday cake frosting, the opulent smell of gardenia makes me imagine shimmering pale silk and midnight trysts in southern gardens. Tuberose Gardenia smells the most like real gardenia of anything I've ever smelled that's not on an actual bush.

It starts with green notes like leaves and a little wood to add to the illusion of a living flower. The heady gardenia is paired with tuberose - there is a touch of wintergreen in the opening notes and I can just taste a hint of bubblegum sweetness later. As the perfume drys down, I smell much more jasmine, with its distinctive gasoline tang.  There's also a little indolic orange blossom and some cool lily in the white floral bouquet, but gardenia is the star.

Tuberose Gardenia is a compliment getter. It has significant sillage - just 1 little spray on my wrist and men passing me in the hall turned to tell me I smelled great. It also lasts straight through to the next morning. It's a perfume for a woman, not a little girl. I wouldn't wear this to hide in a crowd, or go to the pub, but I will wear it when I want to feel like the most beautiful woman in the world.

House: Estee Lauder
Nose: Aerin Lauder
Notes: neroli, lilac, rosewood, tuberose, gardenia, orange flower, jasmine, white lily, carnation and vanilla

Photo: vigilant20


  1. This is one of my favourite white florals! You're so right, it's such a womanly scent :)

  2. Gorgeous bottle design, too - a winner all around.

  3. You found this at Winners??? Are you kidding?

    I should go...

  4. I used to think I hated, detested and loathed big, heady white florals, until I came across this one, possibly my favorite of all the Private Collection perfumes. But I had to give in and was powerless to resist it. I have to say it - so are most of my surroundings! This is glorious stuff. Enjoy it! I know I do...

  5. I agree with Olenska, it's a great bottle design. This sounds interesting - but perhaps a bit too long-lived for me. I like perfumes that wear off in a couple of hours. But you've re-ignited my interest in this one - I'll try it again in my local department store when I'm next in there.

  6. My local Winner's has pretty great finds. Other than there, you have to go the the fancy department store, Holt renfrew, to get the Private Collection.

  7. OK, you have the best Winner's store. Mine stocks celeb perfumes almost exclusively.

    This fragrance sounds heavenly. I want it to be summer again, so I can wear a light flowy dress and smell like big white blooms on a warm night...

  8. Wow, we don't have Winner's here, but I would never find anything niche in our local equivalents, so you did really well there! TG is one of the few rampantly feminine white florals I truly love, and it fills exactly the niche you describe in my repertoire. I may work up to a FB purchase some day...

  9. I loved this review! You have such a way with descriptions and I end up wanting to try every perfume you review. Well done.

  10. I am enjoying your reviews tremendously. I am a big fan of gardenia and tuberose and it hasn't been since my univeristy years that I've worn anything by Estee Lauder, this may turn the tide! I have found a gorgeous blend of white flowers in cb's i hate perfume line called 'cradle of light', with the added bonus that his absolutes last longer (for me anyways) than his water-based scents.

  11. Hi Marushka. Thank you for the comment. I'll have to try Cradle of Light. You might want also want to check out Carnal Flower from the new Frederic Malle line at Holts - it's a big white bouquet with lots of tuberose.

  12. oooh, I was just reading about his line today, I will definitely go check it out...fracas is another white perfume (or at least that's how i think of it) that I've had on my wish list for a while.

  13. This is my absolute Holy Grail; happiness in a bottle ~ I am out right now; broke, need to the meantime I have an empty bottle in my dresser drawer that I get out and sniff for a little bitty "fix" ~ better than nothing. I get tuberose mostly, really natural, nothing at all synthetic... I grow tuberoses every summer (a tender bulb) in memory of my grandmother, who always had a heady, fragrant row of them in her garden...

    1. I hope you get some of that happiness soon! For some crazy reason I found my bottle on sale at a discount store, but I've never seen it there again. It was part of a gift box, packaged with body lotion, so perhaps they were selling them off to make room for new packaging. Keep your eye out, you never know what you may find.


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