For a time I trained in natural perfumery. I was drawn to the magic of the materials, but grew a little frustrated with the limitations of what I could do to bring dimension to compositions. Some of this is the limitations of my own talent/patience/experience, yet if you've smelled what's possible with a well-chosen mix of natural and synthetic materials, exclusively natural creations can smell a bit wan and flat by comparison. Not only that, but flower absolutes don't necessarily smell like living flowers, but, instead, like concentrated and dessicated versions of them with all of their bizarre nuances more readily apparent. As a result, compounded or headspace floral notes can give an impression that's more like living flowers than the essence of the actual flower sometimes.
Which brings me to Gardenia Passion. Having worked with natural tuberose absolute, I smell a lot of it in this fragrance, and that's where part of the vegetal (celery) character is coming from. I find tuberose absolute to be very beautiful, though it's far from the synthetic, clear tuberose note we're used to in perfumes, and has earthy/mildewy/bitter celery facets as well as a deep sweetness. I think Goutal has paired the tuberose absolute with vetiver, which creates a resonance with the bitterness in the natural tuberose, and takes it in an unexpected direction.
I often wear the EDT of Gardenia Passion, and I enjoy it as if it were a natural fragrance, and don't look to it for longevity, over-the-top headiness, or a lot of "lift", but, ironically since it's a white floral, as a kind of palate cleansing and grounding scent! Yesterday I smelled a few Montales and an Amouage from cards, which left me with hiccups and a scarily constricting throat. Returning to this familiar and gentle scent later in the day was such a relief! That said, I appreciate that we're all wired differently, and for those who like and can handle a lot more olfactory stimulation, this fragrance may be a letdown and make no sense whatsoever.
I was reading Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez's opinions regarding Gardenia Passion before I went into reviewing this fragrance. They mentioned that Annick Goutal was not fond of gardenias, hence the reason as to why this fragrance is more tuberose than anything else.
I'll sum up Gardenia Passion as being a rather loud, yet beautiful white floral. I remember the moment when I first tried this fragrance some years ago. I was so very repulsed by it all. I found it much too strong, and in some ways bitter. I also felt the same way about Fracas then.
Currently I'm an avid lover of white florals, especially when they've been constructed well and come minus the synthetic components. Gardenia Passion smells natural and real to me. Almost perfection in a way. While Fracas is too buttery for my tastes, Gardenia Passion is like traipsing through a florist's shop and inhaling various floral aromas.
Gardenia Passion is rich and powdery once settled. Believe it or not, this fragrance smells absolutely divine on smokers. Despite the belief that white florals smell like 'old ladies', Gardenia Passion does not fuel this idea and instead comes across as being very seductive and elegant on the skin.
I absolutely love Passion by Annick Goutal, and in some ways Gardenia Passion is a more floral and less earthy and/or incensey version.
Despite its tendency to be rather strong, Gardenia Passion is never cloying. It has that real classic appeal, something that screams sophistication and femininity. I might also add that the lasting strength is impressive, especially for that of an EDT.
l agree with others here that this has a strange, sharp topnote, like neroli mixed with green leaves. ln the heart there's a musty, garden-mulch-like note, with tuberose & a faint whisper of gardenia underneath. ln the base l detect something earthy, perhaps vetiver?
This is not really a gardenia scent, to my nose it's all about the tuberose & lots of earthiness. lt's unusual & quite clever, but not something l want to smell of. Try before you buy if you're looking for gardenias; you may be disappointed with this.
amazing! I don't detect any celery just buttery yummy gardenia.
I came back to this after several months to see whether my appreciation of it had evolved. Unfortunately I still think this is fairly terrible: a strong, vegetable stock-cube aroma, with gardenia room-freshener in the background. Such an oddity! I can imagine that the celery-vegetable note is intended to give a realistic leafy, living plant-type effect, but the celery note is a mixture of green with a saltiness of almost cumin-like intensity, and cumin smells like sweat. In short, the balance between "sweet" and "savoury" feels really off-kilter to me. Not a fragrance I'd be comfortable to wear in company!
This should be called "celery passion"... it's celery plus few smashed tuberoses and a bunch of angry gardenias.
24th April, 2010 (last edited: 26th January, 2011)