Message in a Bottle: Thierry Mugler, Narciso Rodriguez, and Profumo

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spring-summer-fragrances-2014-luca-turin-reviews-venezia-giardini-segreti-profumoVENEZIA GIARDINI SEGRETI

ingredients: jasmine, myrrh, ambergris

It is an enduring mystery of nature that many white flowers smell similar, which has given rise to the generic fleurs blanches denomination. Maybe it’s because they bloom at night, and the insects are flying on instruments. Maybe, once you have figured out the smell that pollinating insects like best, you don’t need to waste time on flower color. This said, each white flower has a twist, a superpower that distinguishes it from the others. For jasmine it is jasmone, which smells of woody celery. For gardenia it is an intense mushroom note which, once pointed out, is not easy to forget.

Up top, VGS is a huge, delightful jasmine reminiscent of the sambac variety, green-fresh, almost lemony. It then settles to a very pleasant, more straightforward celery-jasmine note. About half-way into the drydown, however, something strange happens and the jasmine morphs into a very convincing gardenia. How did this happen? My guess is that because ambergris smells of mushrooms and Dominique Dubrana has put a hefty dollop in the formula, that’s what showing through. If so, he has hit on a trick that is likely to be emulated, since durable gardenias have so far proved impossible to achieve. Excellent.

jasmine gardenia