About the time that Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia first came out, in 2007, my passion for perfume was just beginning to emerge from a decade-long dormancy. I don’t know what drove it underground—I was still buying and wearing perfume, I just wasn’t doing it with the same drive that I’d had in my teens and twenties. (To give you an idea of where my nose was at, at one point I spent five years in nothing but Clinique’s Happy Heart.)
But I do know what re-sparked my passion. After visiting a local perfume shop to see if it happened to carry the juice I’d fallen in love with during a high school trip to Europe (Balenciaga’s Michelle), and being told it was long discontinued, I got online to Google it and discovered a whole new world.
What a tumble down the rabbit hole. Because not only were there perfume blogs and forums, there were SAMPLE SITES from which one could purchase tiny vials of any number of vintage, classic, niche, and up-and-coming fragrances.
It was during one of my gleeful spending sprees that I decided to give Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia a go. The notes—neroli, jasmine, gardenia, lily, tuberose—were right up my alley, and I had long been a fan of several Estee Lauder scents. I figured if nothing else this would be well made.
Sure enough, it was love at first sniff, a big white floral powerhouse that also managed to be, well, pretty. But not pretty as in sugary or girly. And not powerhouse as in heavy-hitting 1950s perfume bomb. In spite of its massive sillage, Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia is not a bombshell like, say, Fracas, to my nose the perfume equivalent a honking fin and chrome bedecked candy apple red Cadillac driven by a drunken Liz Taylor. Instead, ELTG is like one of those sleek and sporty sea-foam green and white leather 1970s Mercedes-Benz 280SL Convertibles, driven by CZ Guest on her way to, not from, the party.
And while this is more about gardenia than it is about tuberose, it’s also about rubber and gasoline, two notes that serve to add weight and interest to what would otherwise just come off as too gentile and upper crust—much in the same way a decade before Bvlgari Black and Dzing used rubber and tea and musk and leather to tweak their own conventions.
Ten years later, in spite of the hundreds and hundreds of perfumes I’ve tried and worn since, ELTG still has the power to surprise me with its unique beauty. In my opinion, one of the all-time great florals.
The four major white florals (tuberose, gardenia, jasmine, white lily) are all alpha scents, so strong, so luxurious, so loud that they dominate all other scents they encounter. Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia is no slouch in that department.
Gardenia, as Turin rightly notes, is the only one of the four, whose natural oils do not contain the scent of the flower, so needs to be "reconstructed" from mixing other oils to give the impression of the flower.
PCTG begins with a major loud burst of tuberose, properly green and richly white at the same time. Slowly the gardenia emerges and the tuberose steps to the background. My husband immediately detects the carnation base, but my nose cannot until well into the dry down.
Most of the scents with "Gardenia" in their names are given the summary "not gardenia" in Turin's book. He notes Michael Edwards' claim (back in 2008) that there were at that time 23 such fragrances with another 344 claiming gardenia as part of their make-up.
As I love all four white florals cited above, I have experienced many tuberose/gardenia combos, from the radiant vintage Chanel to the hideous and cheap Jungle Gardenia. Jovan's Island Gardenia is the best of the inexpensive versions. My favorite (after Piguet's classic Fracas) is the initial scent of the Carolina Herrara house, named after its founder. In fact, I have found many initial scents of houses named after their female founders to be white florals, dependent on the tuberose/gardenia duet.
While the CH is subtle and rich, the PCTG is loud and in one's face. It's superbly done, just a bit over the top for my liking. I'll stick with Fracas and CH for my tuberose/gardenia fix.
This. This is why I sniff all new EL releases. Yes, I realize that Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia was released in 2007; it just took me a while to write the review. PCTG opens with grapy jasmine, green tuberose, and touch of menthol. The jasmine slowly subsides to expose the wonderful tuberose found in La Chasse aux Papillons by L`Artisan Parfumeur—it’s a warm and sunny meadow full of gentle breezes, green grass, and flowers. Next, the tuberose takes a bow and allows the gardenia to take center stage. Clap. Clap. Clap. Nicely done. This is one of the most realistic gardenias I’ve sniffed and it sticks around well into the buttery drydown.
4.5/5 One of my favorite offerings from the EL lineup.
One of the most magnificent floral perfumes I've ever smelled.The gardenia is gorgeous and i wish we had more of this artistic products in perfumery.Tuberose Gardenia captures the attention without assulting the senses.it smells very innocent and ladylike, yet so magnetic and attractive that blends with one's natural body scent to create an individual and unique experience for each wearer.this perfumes smells like falling in a true love.Romantic, Floral,Heavenly,Exciting,Masterpiece,Glorious,pure, Modern,Elegance, Sophisticated,Absolutely Lovely and Incomparably Feminine.
The quiet grace of brazilian rosewood,neroli and lily above all tuberose,gardenia and jasmine are romancing the likes of carantion and vanilla into a composition that stretches into a stanza of an amorous poem.this lovely romantic elixir makes you feel like you are in Heaven.the smell is great and your skin will love you for it when you get out of the bath!it is an excellent choice for ladies in the workplace,going out for a romantic dinner or just relaxing at home with a special someone.if you are looking for a lovely true smelling gardenia&tuberose you are excatly at the right place.
Longevity?Great on my skin.
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.