26 febbraio 2013

Maria Candida Gentile's Lady Day

Composing a gardenia-based perfume is a difficult task: perfumes intended to evoke gardenias are few and usually don't get even close to the actual smell of the flower. To create a gardenia scent, composers generally use a mix of natural and synthetic notes dominated by Styrallyl acetate. This molecule contributes also to the reproduction of the lily-of-the-valley and other flowers with a "green", wet, cool, spring-like feeling. But the smell of gardenia is multi-faceted, and the “fresh, green” facet is joined by other notes, depending on the type of gardenia the composer wants to convey.
Some fragrances are dominated by the creamy and hypnotic facet that gardenia shares with tuberose (Tuberose Gardenia by Estée Lauder Private Collection, the beautiful Gardenia by Isabey, Gardenia Passion by Goutal), or bright and elegant gardenias dominated by with jasmine (L'Air du Temps), or cold, metallic, translucent gardenias, based on aldehydes (Eternity by Calvin Klein, Chanel's Gardenia, Jardin de Bagatelle by Guerlain), or ozonic gardenias, wet from dew and salt (Goutal's Un Matin d'Orage). Gardenia, in perfumery, more than a flower is an excuse to talk about something else.
I do not know all available gardenia scents, but so far only a very old "Gardenia" by GiViEmme (... from the beginning of century!) made the sensual, narcotic flower materialize before my eyes. And then, recently, Lady Day by Maria Candida Gentile. Although Lady Day highlights the greener facets of the flower (stirallile acetate was associate with Galbanum, a rough and angular resin that, when used in the right context and in appropriate doses provides great character), the flower comes to mind in all its glorious complexity. This is because Maria Candida complemented stirallile acetate and galbanum with a real gardenia absolute (of prohibitive cost), achieving a very natural result. This fragrance is dedicated to Billie Holiday, who was very fond of this flower, and I liked the fact that Maria Candida decided to emphasize the angular, green, rough, character instead of the hypnotic sensuality of her voice, which might turn out an easier, less interesting exercise.
The feeling is powerfully floral, elegant, translucent, natural and lasts a few hours remaining somewhat close to the skin. She took more three years to compose it: the first time she told me of her new "Gardenia work" was during a dinner, in autumn 2010;  she'll tell us everything about this (and her other scents) during next Olfactory Meeting, on March 12.

I have three samples to give to three people commenting with their thoughts on Billie Holiday and/or gardenia: I'll draw the names next Thursday!

3 commenti:

Irina ha detto...

I would like very much to try this, as I never managed to sniff any of Mrs. Gentile creations ( not available in my country- nor did I ever won any draw of her fragarances)
Gardenia is a note much explored this season and I am interested to compare the "hommage a Billie Holiday" with Lutens' creation
funny they both were inspired by the same sad story and husky voice

yash ha detto...

Gardenia is surely one of the trickiest scent to recreate and is an illusory delight for those who play along..I love finding different aspects of this amazing flower interpreted differently by different perfumers.Narcotic but also fresh..seductive and radiating light I can understand Billie Holliday's addiction to this flower..

Marika Vecchiattini ha detto...

Hi my friends! Thanks for answering! :-)
YOU BOTH WON A VIAL! Comment with your names and addresses, and I'll send it to you!

Irina, yes, Maria Candida's and Luten's fragrances are out in the same period, same ideas ripe under different trees! I don't know when Monsieur started designing his "Une Voix Noire", but I remember Maria Candida speaking to me about her new work a couple of years ago...

Yash, your description of gardenia's scent as "Illusory delight" is just perfect!