SOTD Review: Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale (Collection Extraordinairre)

SOTD is Van Cleef & Arpels Gardenia Petale. I'm dabbing it from a sample set that I purchased, and I can only imagine how pretty this perfume will be when sprayed. I've already used up a full sample, so clearly this is on my "to buy" list.

Here's the thing: I really like the idea of wearing floral perfumes, and this one is clearly very well designed. And it's very pretty. I imagine it is one of those perfumes that my fellow office workers would compliment me on. And if you are wearing perfumes for other people to smell, this is a great choice. It's clean, pretty, not overly sweet and without any real musk elements. It smells very natural.

While 95% of it smells like my above description (fresh flowers, gardenia, jasmine, lily of the valley), 5% of it smells slightly beach. And that's what I probably like about it the most. While it's mostly floral and formal and pretty for other people around me to smell--- There's something in it that reminds me of coming back from the beach as a child. It smells like sunshine and skin that had the early-80s-sunscreen-mostly-washed-off-from-swimming-in-the-ocean. And so, that 5% smells remarkably personal to me.

Because of all that, I could wear it to work, out on a dinner date, or I could wear it on a walk in a garden or to the beach. It's formal but approachable. Very well done.

SOTD Perfume Review: Gardenia Petale from the Collection Extraordinairre
Perfume House: Van Cleef and Arpels
Creator / Nose: Nathalie Feisthauer, who also developed Comme des Garcons Luxe Champaca, Hermes eau de Merveilles, a few of the Etat Libre d'Orange fragrances and a few other high quality niche frags
Year: 2009
Classification: Formal, Tropical Floral
Perfume Notes: "Green notes" (what's that mean?!), lily of the valley, gardenia, jasmine. Different blogs and sellers also talk about citrus and fresh notes.
What you mostly smell: You get gardenia for sure, but it's a perfumers idea of gardenia and doesn't include the heaviness or mushroom-like note that you get in the true flower. If I had to summarize it shortly: it smells like Michael Kor's original Michael perfume, but with less tuberose, more gardenia and something that smells slightly beachy circa 1982. Maybe it's in the "jasmine" or "fresh" notes that they refer to, but it reminds me slightly of the beach when I was a kid. Maybe some note that was found in my sunscreen?
Lasting Power: Very good. These are eau de parfums in this line (even Cologne Noire, which has Cologne in the title, is an edp). Gardenia Petale has very good sillage, too.
Similar to: Hm. Okay, so it's in the general genre of Michael Kors Michael but it certainly doesn't smell like Michael. Also a distant cousin of Bond's Saks for Her, which I personally find to smell sharp and agressive and chemical (where Gardenia Petale is more natural and feminine and soft).
Overall impression: Very masterfully made, with great sillage and lasting power, and it just makes you *feel* pretty and clean. An exceptional perfume when that's what you are looking for (but not especially challenging).


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