Perfume Directory

Jardins de Bagatelle (1983)
by Guerlain

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Jardins de Bagatelle information

Year of Launch1983
GenderFeminine
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 194 votes)

People and companies

HouseGuerlain
PerfumerJean Paul Guerlain
PackagingRobert Granai
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchGuerlain

About Jardins de Bagatelle

A bouquet of white flowers. The Jardins de Bagatelle are gardens situated on the Bois de Boulogne in Paris and contain over 700 different varieties of rose.

Jardins de Bagatelle fragrance notes

Reviews of Jardins de Bagatelle

Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle (1983) is the prettiest and most "noble" of the big 1980's florals, narrowly avoiding the "terrible tuberose" moniker of something like Estée Lauder Beautiful (1985) by being a less-focused white floral, but not quite being a lascivious animalic patchouli rose exercise like things such as Ungaro Diva (1983). Jardins de Bagatelle rather sits closer to something like Yves Saint Laurent Paris (1983) of the same year, and is a big golden white floral combo, although a bit of scandal thanks to some civet does remain so Jardin lives up to its namesake of being a garden used for sexual romps after nightfall. My only bit of criticism upon first impression of this is how downright conventional it feels for a Guerlain perfume following the release of Nahéma (1979), with no easily detectable presence of "Guerlinade", but the artistic quality of the house (especially in the hands of Jean-Paul Guerlain) is very much there in contrast to the creeping synthetic commercialism that was starting to infect this level of the market.

The opening is a wall of aldehydes, lemon, bergamot, nondescript fruit, and violet. This violet helps keep the fruit dry enough not to be overbearing, and helps merge the top with a kitchen sink ensemble of white and golden floral notes. I could list them all, but the star players are going to be muguet, narcissus, iris, cassie and rose set against a musky mix of tuberose, ylang-ylang and jasmine, sweetened by neroli. There really are no other words besides "pretty" to describe this, and the mild indoles pull you down by the collar into that aforementioned civet, rounded by benzoin, given body by patchouli, and dried on a bed of cedar, oakmoss, and vetiver. A chypre is as a chypre does, so Jardins de Bagatelle wears moderately well in temperate conditions for a good length of time, being best in spring through fall for casual daytime or romantic use. I'd call this unisex myself, but the huge sweet floral melange will read feminine to the mainstream nose, although the typical Guerlain complexity keeps Jardins de Bagatelle from feeling boring or linear.

Jardins de Bagatelle is rather cut and dried as an 80's "powerhouse" perfume for women: it's loud when oversprayed, will overstay its welcome in public settings like restaurants, and brings the idea of triangle blouses and teased up hair back to the fore for those who lived that era. In the minds of those who don't have experience in that context, Jardins de Bagatelle will just smell like an exceptionally-loud traditional white floral perfume, rounded by some sweet fruit and musks in the top and bottom, smelling a bit out-of-time but with hints at playful youth despite being too big-boned to sprint along with today's watery fruity floral things which serve that same demographic today. A very un-Guerlain fragrance for Guerlain, and perhaps a sign of patina forming on the house before the family sold to LVMH. Still, there is nothing to fault here if well-blended and safe white floral chypres with a nice late-stage seductive musk profile sound like something you'd enjoy wearing. Thumbs up.
07th August, 2020
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening is composed of some fresh citric aromas - mainly bergamot and a bit of lemon, as well as the floral dyad of violet and sweetness - violet adding a darker tone and the calyx a lovely honeysuckle-like sweetness to the top notes. Later on a soft neroli appears. Very nice.

The drydown sees a frontal attack by a whole army of floral notes: initially, a dyad of rose (The Jardins de Bagatelle’s fame (in Paris) is partly based on its roses) and tuberose vying for attention; both are of medium brightness, with the rose being a bloom only - no green leaves here - and the tuberose being of the lighter and lacking any waxiness or indolic undertone. A light narcissus with a very bright and airy jasmine play a role too at that stage.

Later on a batallion of white florals - muguet, magnolia and a orchid - move into the foreground. Even further into the heart notes an ylang-ylang develops that adds a restrained and bright creaminess to the whole mix, with a gentle orris supplying an attempt to inject a touch of a darker and earthier tone into the mix - no mean feat given the white floral onslaught.

The complex multitude of floral notes - typical for many Guerlains of that era - it not a melange made up of notes that are always equally strong, but each of them moves into the foreground and back with time - like a symphony in which each instrument gets a chance to shine in the centre if the audience’s attention.

The base begins a bit less floral - there is a woody side focusing and cedar without much of a true pencilshave component - and sone light musks with touches of civet - the latter rather a fleeting phenomenon. A soft, very soft (on me) patchouli together vetiver that lacks any earthiness lead further into the base, with a subdued benzoin adding a modicum of tanginess.

Towards the end, like and echo from the past, the florals re-emerge to dominate the finale again: the ylang-ylang, the muguet and the narcissus appear again - like a floral apparition fading out into the night.

I get moderate sillage, excellent projection a splendid twelve hours of longevity on my skin, with the last couple of hours very close to my skin.

This complex study of flowers is a beautiful scent for spring evenings. It is confident, with a natural, vivid but unobtrusive sweetness that never loses its balance thanks to the sublime blending of the ingredients, which are of superb quality, especially in the older samples. It is not powdery, classical, elegant and confident, but with a dynamic and youthful touch that is never stale. The performance is very good. Maybe the sheer mass of notes leads to some of them never truly excelling in their own right, like the rose for instance, but that might be the price to pay for being a member of such a large olfactory ensemble of high-quality fragrance notes. 3.75/5.
11th February, 2020
The Jardins de Bagatelle in Paris were so named for the illicit trysts that used to go on there during the time of Louis XIV; a bagatelle not just being an early form of pinball...

And so, if it happened I had a rendez-vous at dusk, and she arrived wearing some mean smelling, sour fruity floral like this, I would have to declare By my troth! I have forgotten to wash my doublet and hose - or some such thing - and make my exit discrete.

**
12th April, 2019 (last edited: 18th April, 2019)
Dominant tuberose. Also on top, aldehydes, jasmine, and some citrus. JdB has always started out big and bold IMO. It is a loud floral.

The middle reveals gardenia, lily of the valley, rose, and narcissus. Tuberose of course, still stands out tremendously. Greenish, starchiness a bit later, underneath. The base reveals patchouli, musk, and Neroli. Yes, tuberose lasts throughout. And if you don't like "tubey" you won't like this.
20th November, 2018
Finding an almost empty bottle of Jardins de Bagatelle in my mom's house reminded me how much I loved and enjoyed this scent in my youth. Reminds me of walking through Regents Parks in the rose garden and area of Kew Gardens through all the flowers.

Vivid yet soft florals that bring a quiet smile to my face every time I wear this one.
16th July, 2018
This is an impressive, complex perfume, that does seem to rely on synthetic aroma chemicals that give it a dryer sheet aspect after some development, but it has on overall complexity and attraction that I like. It takes me vividly back to childhood from around the time it was released.
30th June, 2017

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