Perfume Directory

Cruel Gardenia (2008)
by Guerlain


Cruel Gardenia information

Year of Launch2008
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 62 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerRanda Hammami
PerfumerSylvaine Delacourte
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton

About Cruel Gardenia

Part of the "L'Art et la Matière" collection.

Cruel Gardenia fragrance notes

Reviews of Cruel Gardenia

rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
The opening blast is loaded with peach, a restrained peach that is a bit aldehydic to start off with, and that is given a twist by teaming up with a soft and light vetiver - nothing earthy or vegetal in the latter at all. A bit later a rose impression develops that is not bad, but not very memorable either and blends in without any attempts to steal the show form the others.

The drydown sees the gardenia arising; we expected it form the name of this composition, but although definitely making an appearance it is not a strong one, and it soon blends in with the other components without taking on the central rôle in this olfactory spectacle. A light touch of violet can also be detected that is pure blossom without any green undertone. The most evident part is the drydown is a nice ylang-ylang, which is not very rich but evinces some creaminess time and contributes additional depth to the whole. Later on lashings of white musks develop, which, occasionally, are concurrent with just a hint of a slightly peppery
saltiness - but this is more background music than a solo performance.

The base centers on a reasonable tonka - not very intense - and wood notes. At times I get the nonspecific woodsiness that is a feature of the base notes of some other products of this house too, with transient characteristics of sandalwood being detectable. The base is, again, not very loud or intrusive on me.

I give moderate sillage, good projection and nine hours of projection on my skin.

An agreeable scent for cooler spring or warmer autumn days, a bit less rich than a typical autumnal gourmand, with a decent performance but with some components that are a bit too generic. 2.75/5.
28th March, 2020
This is a very sweet and feminine floral with an initial metallic chemical musk scent, which is present upon application, but which quickly fades to the background. There is also a decided jasmine, center stage, not gardenia, which is not mentioned. Very strong, the sort of scent you used to dread your CEO wearing at a closed meeting when the a/c has failed. It brings to mind a scented men’s hair dressing product from the 1970s (not Brylcream), an olfactory memory coming out of who knows where. The scent on the pillow the morning after? A dry woody artemesia emerges from the background to accompany the strong jasmine and the two weave in and around each other for the remainder of the experience.

I give it a positive rating since I have not encountered a scent of this type since D’Albret’s Casaque from the 1950s and it has always been one I admired from a distance. It’s nice to have it back again. Not for everyone. Sniff before you buy. It’s oddly unisex, but only a certain suave, sophisticated ultra masculine man could pull this off. I would imagine a guy would have to be very confident and sure of himself to wear this successfully.
20th June, 2017
It opens in a light alcoholic way, with a lot of undiscernable flower. Then the hard part, usual with this line, lasts for some seconds, and you feel like the flower is rotting. But it goes powdery, almost soapy just a bit later. It's not bad, but I'm not very excited about it. Specially considering the price.
24th April, 2017
First off, I met Sylvaine Delacourte mid December 2016, and I must say, Sylvaine, beyond a global fragrance presence, a very brilliant, classy and elegant lady. We had an interesting discussion on the entire line of L'Art et la Matiere which she created, this one included. Cruel Gardenia is one of my favorites, the other from this portfolio is Bois D'Armenie. CG is like two different fragrances, a bright floral as others have described throughout the first 1.5-2 hours, although by that time in dry-down, the perfume emits a magnificent clean sillage with well above average longevity both very pleasant for the wearer but also for others. I'd apply very lightly when used indoors, however for other social or outdoor events, let loose. If tried, wear a lot of it for a day/evening, then decide. No problem with longevity, even in the least..
31st December, 2016
I am wearing that yellow dress again. You know it, the one you gave to me. You've said that it has the lively color of the ylang ylang flowers. I adorned my fingers with the pear ring and I am wearring your favourite earrings in my ears. At my neck I wear Cruel Gardenia. And I've added a bit to my wrists.
I want it to invade your senses when you will take me in your arms. I wish that when you walk your fingers over my shoulders ,absenlty drawing symbols of tenderness, the smell of blooming gardenias to reach your soul. Do you remember when you said to me that my skin always smells like musk? Do you like how it combines with the fragrance I am wearing? Are you anxious to hide your face in my sandalwood perfumed curls? This ingenue fragrance makes you dizzy, isn't it? Are you afraid to let yourself spoiled by your senses? Don't worry, I'm here. And I will take your hands and keep them at my chest until you regain ballance. It's just the two of us now, and Cruel Gardenia glazes at us, hidden in the hollow on my neck. Come, come into my world
06th May, 2015
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia appears by soon in its effective substance performing indeed immediately like a floral vegetal musk with tart fruity accents (grapefruit-like and yes pomegranate slightly conjuring) and a somewhat organic sensuality a la Acampora Seplasia possibly provided by hints of final ambergris as joined with sandalwood and dominant musk. I detect by soon a tart rose more than properly gardenia while in a second phase jumps on the stage a really nice note of violet perfectly combined with powdery woods and musk (and basically eliciting a sort of talky/organic "neutral-skin/like" undertone). The gardenia jumps up in the central phase (so cruel? Not properly), I would say just sensual, slightly sultry, musky/soapy, neutral and hyper-feminine. The tonka-beans/ylang-ylang musky accord provides a sort of exotic well rounded barely green-vanillic, spicy and tobacco-like undertone. The aroma is subtle, refined and classic in structure but too much close to dozens of fragrances out there to be fully interesting.
05th June, 2014

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