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Too Special for Words

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Have you ever had a perfume that was so special, important or beautiful to you, that you put off writing a review, because you simply couldn't put it into words? l have, & l decided to attempt my first blog post on it, instead of trying to fit the story into a review.

For me, that perfume is Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia.

ln 2008, after being into perfume pretty much all my life, l was seeing a guy from California who told me he disliked my "old lady" perfumes. Yes, l know, a very negative & ignorant comment, but wanting to please him, l asked him what kind of perfumes he did like. He said; "What's that white flower with the thick, waxy petals & that amazing smell?" Straightaway l said; "Gardenia?" "Yes, that's the one!" he said. "Well, it so happens l love that smell, too!" said l.

And so began the journey that led me to basenotes, & to owning more than forty bottles, where previously l only ever had two or three at a time! l searched on the net for "gardenia perfumes"; first l found the wonderful blog Now Smell This, & then l made it here & spent hours reading reviews. (lt was another two years of lurking shyly before l became a member!) Still being ignorant of how to get samples, l made three blind buys on ebay; Yves Rocher's Pur Desir de Gardenia, Elizabeth Taylor Gardenia, & PCTG. The other two have their merits, but well, l knew immediately that this was the one, & it still stands as my most successful blind buy ever! Beginner's luck, l suppose?

That guy & l spent a holiday together in Greece soon after, & l wore PCTG every evening. l have rarely felt so beautiful, classy & elegant. On a warm, sultry night, this perfume hangs in the air around me for hours & hours. Words like "radiant", "shimmering" & "pearlescent" come to mind. lt draws a lot of compliments, & many women want to know where they can get it.

So what does it smell like? l can hardly bring myself to try to dissect it, but it is a seamless blend of a very true gardenia with a translucent tuberose; so well blended that it's hard to separate them as notes. l get lilac & a touch of neroli in the opening. l'm not sure what rosewood smells like, so l can't tell you if l smell it here. The base comes so many hours later that l've never really paid attention to it, but the vanilla is definitely not-too-sweet, & like the other notes it segues seamlessly into the mix. l find l can only wear it when l'm on holiday in a warm climate, when lm tanned & relaxed, & want to feel at my most beautiful. l tried wearing it once here in the UK for an outdoor party, & on a cool evening it just didn't radiate in the same way.

The relationship with "that guy" came to an end, although we do bump into one another occasionally, & he still tells me l smell good, ha! But my perfume journey continues apace; from researching gardenias l moved on to tuberose, jasmine, ambers, tropical florals, florientals, etc., etc...
But PCTG will always hold a special place in my heart, for being the one that started it all, & for being so unutterably beautiful.


  1. Sugandaraja's Avatar
    PCTG is really excellent fragrance. I agree that it suits tropical weather far more than the cool. I first tried it in Miami, in August, and it was a perfect match of scent and place.

    One peculiar thing I've noticed about it is that it tends to smell better on others than when I wear it, something others have noticed too. ( My mother gets no end of compliments on this one. )

    JAR's Jardenia is another fragrance I'd recommend to any gardenia lover. Totally different from TPC but still beautiful, fall-like, northern gardenia. Worth sampling even if you don't buy.
  2. teardrop's Avatar
    Thanks for your comments, Suga!

    Jardenia has been firmly on my must-try list since reading your review on your blog. lt sounds incredible, & l'm almost afraid to try it in case l fall in love with it, it's soooooo expensive!

    l've just blown a load of money on a Luckyscent sample order, but next time l'm feeling flush l'll be ordering some from TPC, & that one's on my shopping list for sure.
  3. Kiliwia's Avatar
    Tuberose Gardenia is a wonderful fragrance and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog about it!
  4. teardrop's Avatar
    Thanks Kiliwia! lt's something l've been building up to for a long time, l'm so pleased you enjoyed it!
  5. Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Oh teardrop- a lovely piece of writing. You know I LOVE PC Tuberose Gardenia too ! It is a very true to life gardenia - very special. Thank you for your thoughts . It's funny how life can take us places we didn't think it would.
  6. teardrop's Avatar
    You are so right Mimi, & thankyou for your lovely comment. As a fellow gardenia fiend, l know you love PCTG too!
  7. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Beautiful story! *sniffle, sniffle*

    That's what it's all about, isn't it? A wonderful first post - thank you!
  8. melodyjayne's Avatar
    Lovely story

    Will put this on my to sniff list, I adore Gardenia..I have Marc Jacobs, but to me its really heavy with linalool?...i bought this blind..haven't tried many gardenias as yet!
  9. odioustoilet's Avatar
    I'm just an ignoramus when it comes to ladies' fragrances but you got my attention with that post!

    The only women's perfume that I can definitely make out on a busy fri./sat. night out and about is Coco Mad.
  10. teardrop's Avatar
    Thanks for your lovely comments Red, melodyjane & odi!

    melodyjane; l tried the Marc Jacobs one & found it a pleasantly clean, fruity impression of gardenia. Another one l recommend trying is Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale (not in the directory); it's much more creamy than PCTG but still a very lovely, true gardenia. Rather expensive, but it's on my wishlist nonetheless! Luckyscent carry samples.
  11. queen_sheba's Avatar
    I've tried the Marc Jacobs Velvet Gardenia. I wasn't overly keen - perhaps because I'm in dull, miserable and grey Scotland it didn't "radiate" as you mention. I love tuberose though so yours might be worth seeking out - although hate most of Estee Lauders' stuff - especially Beautiful.

    The Marc Jacobs one I will try too - as I loved his Blush interpretation of Jasmine.

    Doesn't Chanel Les Exclusifs do a Gardenia as well?

    Thanks for the lovely memories in your post! :-)
  12. teardrop's Avatar
    Thanks queen_sheba!

    Do you mean Velvet Gardenia by Tom Ford? l have a 4ml sample of that one, but find it difficult to wear; it has a dark, melancholy feel to me.

    PCTG is very different to the usual Lauder perfumes, l think. Like the others in the Private Collection series, it feels much more high-quality to me.

    l tried the Chanel Gardenia; to me it is not really gardenia, but jasmine, & it didn't last long on me. lt did get a compliment from a (female) colleague, though!
  13. Twolf's Avatar
    Beautiful honest post with so much texture and intricacies. EL PCTG is not my favorite, but I would be willing to give it another shot after reading you. Thank you.
  14. teardrop's Avatar
    Thankyou so much Twolf!

    l am truly humbled by all the lovely comments here, & if l have managed to inspire anyone, that is an unexpected bonus!
  15. buyers_remorse's Avatar
    Too long a story, I think I will have a Cabernet sauvignon and I wont be wiping it from the screen. No Glasses guide needed


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