What an unusual scent! The name had me expecting a conventional aldehydic/indolic white flower, but what comes out of the bottle is something else altogether, and I can see why opinions are so deeply divided.
There are indolic white flowers here, but they ride in on a bold and novel accord of pepper and overripe cheese that reads like an exaggerated take on the pungent (and yes, cheesy,) undertone that distinguishes gardenia from other white flowers. You’re liable to find it either mesmerizing or whiplash-inducing, depending upon your temperament. The pungency is slow to fade, but as it does the tuberose becomes more conspicuous, to the point where it eventually dominates the composition. At the same time, Tuberose Gardenia grows more simple and transparent, eventually revealing the spicy - woody base that has all along provided a firm backbone for the composition.
Three or four hours on and Tuberose Gardenia has evolved into a spicy/woody composition, generously topped with tuberose. The scent remains remarkably potent, even after the indole and aldehydes have retreated, and the generous sillage hangs around for hours. I don’t know that this will ever be a crowd-pleaser, but at its price it probably was not intended to. Distinctive and surprising, and I rather like it!
I hate to say it, but this fragrance smells cheap. I smell neither gardenia nor tuberose. I have a HUGE gardenia bush in my yard, so I am well acquainted with the scent of the flower and I have also worn some of the most faithful gardenia-based scents (Jungle Gardenia, Gardenia Passion) and some of the best tuberose-based scents (Blonde, Fracas) and this scent is not in the same league. This fragrance has a sharp, shrill quality to it, without any of the warmth and depth of a good gardenia-tuberose based scent. This fragrance is not terrible; it's just poor quality and very disappointing especially when you take the outrageous price into consideration.
The man and I work in the nuts and bolts side of the entertainment industry. Sometimes we get invited to events on the glamorous side. One of the better ones was held on a balmy summer evening at an old Beverly Hills hotel. There was flattering candlelight, and music from a piano player in the bar. And almost to a person, the women were wearing Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. This fragrance does sum up for me the glamorous side of Hollywood - its beauty is hyper-real and not natural at close inspection, though still kind of bewitching even when you see the work. When Mandy Aftel released Cepes and Tuberose, she explained that natural tuberose extract has an odd fungal-smelling facet, and that's why she paired it with the cepes (mushroom) note. Somebody seems to have noticed this about tuberose at Lauder, too, for Tuberose Gardenia has a funky (to me, moldy cheese) current running through it that gives it a more rounded impressionistic effect. I'm sure this note is supposed to stay subliminal, though sometimes, up close, the funkiness is all I can smell of this fragrance and it freaks me out! Even so, I do think it's a really well-done scent, the longevity and sillage are stellar, and I have to like it because it now reminds me of the town I inhabit but kind of don't, too.
This is so lovely. Very beautiful creamy gardenia and tuberose just as the name says. First sniff and I'm transported to my childhood thinking "this how all those ladies used to smell". Quite vintage in my mind. Not at all synthetic. Good sillage. I hate fragrances that I can't find an hour later, I mean really. . . But PCTG really delivers the goods. On me it is quite linear and beautiful all the way. A tiny hit of menthol at the get go then just beautiful creamy flower petals. Has no green, leaves or stems like Carnal Flower which I also love. Also too CF is very sweet, PCTG never treads that territory instead it is creamy, lush and refined. Drydown is equally beautiful and this lasts until the next day on skin. I feel compelled to note to all those horrified at the price that the bottle with the jewels on the cap is EXTRAIT and a full ounce at that. Chanel's Gardenia extrait is $175 for 5 mls. So all in all, not a bad price. The EdP is $85 for 1 oz and $145 for 2.5 ozs. Yes, it is not cheap, but by some niche standards it is very fairly priced. I have not yet tried the extrait. Pleeeeeeez EL, don't fiddle with the formula!
Smells very much like the real gardenias that I have in my pots in the varanda, it's very beautiful and fresh, and lasts all day. Perfect for summer. I never wear it in the winter.
The gardenia at the opening of this perfume smells remarkably like the real deal. In the topnotes, the gardenia and the tuberose circle each other at a short distance, but each remains distinct. The topnotes, though, have one of the shortest half-lives ever found in perfumery. Very soon, a blended white floral with a large tannic note becomes dominant. The white floral is smartly non-specific. It remains unidentifiable, but gives a rounded, creamy quality that harkens back to the gardenia of the topnotes. I can’t quite make out whether the tannic quality and the creamy aspect of the floral balance or oppose each other, but I suspect that this duality is what holds together the almost ghostly frame of the gardenia illusion that lasts into the drydown.
What started as an olfactorealistic gardenia note in the opening becomes an abstract distillation of a few of the elements that were apparently used to compose the gardenia note. There is a creaminess that suggest texture and the feel of umami that suggest a taste. We witness that taking apart of the gardenia that we’re given at the outset. The gardenia doesn’t fall apart, it is stripped before our eyes (noses.) The perfume transitions from a rather forceful prettiness to a tight-lipped handsomeness. An amazing exercise, and a compelling scent.