How many gardenias fall into the cold cream vat?
Gardenias are said to be the perfumer’s best bet at capturing the US feminine market. We in the Sates love our gardenias, and if you can just concoct us a good one, we’re your customers forever.
There’s some truth to the rumor. All sorts of niche perfume companies have tried to crack open the American feminine market with gardenias, but only Annick Goutal succeeded with Gardenia Passion*, and such venerable houses as Guerlain have struck out with non-gardenia gardenias such as Cruel Gardenia. C’est la Vie. Continue reading
Gardenias, we were told for the longest time, do not yield a usable essential oil. That meant that every gardenia you smelled in perfumery was a reconstruction, either a base, or an approximation created by the perfumer. Now however you can actually buy gardenia essential oil, some of it obtained by en fleurage, which is the old extraction method that involves picking flowers and heating them gently in a fat or oil to saturate the substance and then using sugar and alcohol to separate the transferring oil or fat from the essential oil. Apparently there are some growers in South America who actually produce the EO this way.