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White Gardenia Petals – Creating Memories – May 30, 2014 New Fragrance Listing

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"What perfume did you wear on your wedding day?" asked my daughter.

“Are you referring to my first wedding day, or the day I married your father?”

“The second time, of course” she shot back.

“Well, actually, I didn’t wear a fragrance on either day”, I said. “I never thought about it – it just wasn’t important.”

“That seems so out of character for you, Mum. You’ve always been a perfume diva.”

“Sometimes I think it’s better not to wear anything. Then you can really smell the scent of your surroundings so that you remember them. A special event creates its own scent memories. I remember the smell of the Christmas trees when I married your Dad.”

Her comment got me thinking about scents for special occasions, especially weddings, and as I gazed at my perfume shelves, my eyes focused on the frosted square bottle containing the scent that has become the most recognized wedding fragrance in modern celeb-history. It is, of course, White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum, worn by Kate Middleton on the Royal Wedding day, April 29, 2011.  

She made a conscious choice to wear a perfume on her wedding day, a scent from the British line, Iluminum, which was launched in 2010 by Michael Boadi, creator of the iconic Boadicea the Victorious line which preceded it. We have four of the dramatic, living-large Boadicea fragrances listed in our Decant Store – Seductive, Warrioress,  Complex and Glorious

According to Michael Boadi in an interview by Fragrantica, “the Illuminum fragrances are for those days when you are in the mood for something exquisitely simple and stylish”. The line has four ranges - citrus, floral, oud, and musk - each with four scents, and each scent containing no more than eight carefully selected ingredients.

The Illuminum webpage describes the White Gardenia Petals as:

“…fragrant as a vase of white flowers, quivering in the breeze by an open window. This is a delicate and refined scent – the top note of lily evokes a summer ambiance, whilst heart notes of gardenia, ylang ylang, lily of the valley and jasmine breeze are sumptuous and feminine. Amber wood underscores this light bouquet.”

Surprisingly, the first note I smell is creamy coconut, but just for a few seconds, because it’s followed almost immediately by a rush of citrus – bergamot, heavy on the lime – which almost veers into “too much” territory before it’s rescued by the white florals. The fragrance name is gardenia but the scent which dominates the floral accord is much more lily–of-the-valley (muguet), to my nose. The jasmine is sweet and feminine rather than indolic, which keeps its distinctive headiness subdued  - this is perfect for a Royal wedding after all! The dry-down is linear, just the elegant pristine florals floating on a soft powdery musky base (white musk, of course), and it lasts for several hours, becoming a lovely demure skin scent.

White Gardenia Petals lives up to its “simple and stylish” promise, not demanding of attention, leaving space to make other scent memories. Apart from her stated love of white spring flowers (her bridal bouquet was muguet and freesia), and the fact that it is British, perhaps Kate chose White Gardenia Petals because of its simplicity.

Maybe she wanted to be able to smell all of it, all the pomp and ceremony on that day – the ancient stone of Westminster Abbey – the flowers and greenery – polished wood and silver swords – black shiny leather boots and red dress uniforms – white lace and diamonds in platinum – and the scent of her husband when they kissed, and she became a Duchess.

Such a romantic notion, such a lovely, simple, white floral perfume.

White Gardenia Petals tis listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $5.00 for 1 ml.