Gardenia is an opulent flower that has long been associated with romance and has been favored by many notable women throughout history. Its rich and sultry scent works perfectly with other florals and a mix of woody notes, making it ideal for use in fragrances.
As the flower grew in popularity in the western world throughout the early parts of the 20th century, more and more gardenia-based perfumes were released. Today we are inundated with flowery scents in a range of beautiful perfumes.
About The Gardenia Scent
Gardenia is sometimes known as the cape jasmine, but a rose by any other name still smells as sweet as they say. The flower is synonymous with romance and, as such, has long been used in wedding ceremonies the world over, particularly in the countries where it grows natively like India.
But gardenia is an expensive flower to use. Extracting essential oils is one of the most complicated processes of its type, meaning that many fragrance houses use synthetic replicas in many scents.
Gardenia remains as popular now as it has throughout the years, thanks to its vibrant yet earthy aroma that is both intoxicating and fresh. There are not many other scents that compare to gardenia making it one of the more unique florals used in perfumery, and it is easily recognizable, and this is why so many people love it; it feels familiar and welcoming.
Since gardenia is a floral scent, you will typically find it in perfumes for women. Still, there are some gardenia colognes for men out there and quite a few unisex fragrances containing this scent.
17 Best Gardenia Scented Perfumes
Since Gardenia has been one of the most well-loved floral scents for so many years, it is not surprising that there are so many perfumes containing this. While there are a lot to choose from, we believe that these 17 gardenia-based perfumes are some of the best.
1. Chanel Gardenia
Perhaps one of the most iconic gardenia perfumes ever made, Chanel Gardenia was initially launched in 1925 at the height of the flower’s popularity. In the 1980s, the scent was given a dramatic update to bring it into modern times. Part of an exclusive range, this scent is both stylish yet timeless and perfect for daytime wear in the height of summer.
It is a white floral fragrance dominated by top notes of orange blossom and green notes which are followed by a fragrant heart of gardenia, jasmine, and tuberose. The base notes comprise coconut, musk, patchouli, and vetiver for a more earthy finish.
Made for the classy, elegant woman who wants to make a subtle entrance, the intimate sillage is neither overpowering nor overstated but certainly grabs the attention of those close by.
2. Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia
The Gucci Flora range has been massively well-received, and in 2012 they added this gorgeous gardenia perfume for women, which is a fruity floral offering that is both captivating and charming.
The elegant pink bottle is feminine yet simplistic, and in 2020 there was a limited edition blue bottle for the scent. The creators wanted this to be a bouquet that caught the attention of those around the wearer without being overbearing, and this is entirely achieved through the moderate sillage it will leave behind.
Top notes of juicy pear and red berries give an initial fruity hit, and a heart of gardenia and frangipani softens this before giving way to a deep base of patchouli.
3. Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia
Inspired by the lady herself, Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder is a modern take on a classic from the seventies, which combines heady floral scents perfectly for a timeless fragrance. Top and middle notes of neroli, lilac, tuberose, gardenia, lily, and jasmine are perfectly complemented by a base of carnation and bourbon vanilla.
The longevity of this scent is incredible, and it will leave behind a deliciously intoxicating trail making it ideal for big events where you want to stand out.
The bottle is one of the most amazing things about this perfume, with each one being unique. This is because the lid is encrusted with semi-precious stones, each one slightly different, so your bottle will be unique to you.
4. Gardenia by Elizabeth Taylor
Feminine and light but a scent that demands attention, Gardenia by Elizabeth Taylor has been a floral favorite of women all over the world for almost twenty years. It is presented in a beautifully elegant green flacon, which effortlessly represents this scent’s feminine nature and is timeless, making it ideal for women from every generation.
The top notes of green leaves and lily of the valley blend beautifully with heart notes of gardenia, orchid, and peony before treating you to a heady base of musk and carnation.
This is a wonderful gardenia scented perfume for spring evenings spent socializing but would just as well for a walk through the meadows on a sunny afternoon.
For the woman who wants to demonstrate her elegance and opulence, the gentle trail that this leaves behind will be a subtle hint of her presence.
5. Aerin Gardenia Rattan
The granddaughter of Estee Lauder has taken a leaf out of her grandmother’s book and brought us a collection of five beautiful and unique fragrances, including this floral aquatic perfume that is quite unlike anything else.
The perfume comes in a gorgeous, modern bottle that is perfect for young women with a sense of class. Released in 2013, Gardenia Rattan treats us to a blend of accords that are special and refreshing. Top notes of seawater and peony combine with gardenia and Tahitian Tiare flower for a floral fragrance that will serve you well as a signature scent. After this, the base of musk comes through for a fragrance that will delicately linger throughout the day.
Wear this in the height of summer or while on vacation, and forever be reminded of the beauty of this scent at this time of year.
6. Creed Fleurs De Gardenia
One of the first things to grab your attention about this Creed perfume is the modern bottle that is pretty and feminine. This floral green scent makes a wonderful choice for a light daytime fragrance that will get you noticed without taking over the room.
It effortlessly blends fruits, floral and musk together for a perfume that isn’t like anything else you will have smelled. Top notes of pink pepper and blackcurrant offer a fresh start before revealing a gardenia, peony, and rose heart that will captivate and wow. The woody, musky base that includes cedar and patchouli will leave a beautiful sillage wherever you go.
Creed Fleurs De Gardenia perfume was launched in 2012 and remains popular as one of the go-to gardenia perfumes for women of all ages.
7. Vera Wang Embrace Marigold And Gardenia
Vera Wang brings us this floral woody fragrance that has a rather interesting mix of scents and comes as one of a collection of five different perfumes in the Embrace range. Launched in 2016, this is available as an Eau de parfum and a body mist.
The fruity top notes of melon and mango might have you believe that this is a fruit perfume, but these are soon replaced by opulent gardenia and marigold with orange blossom at the heart. Opening up to an intense base of musk, cedar, and sandalwood, we are treated to a woody aroma that is both rich and aromatic.
You could just as easily wear this gardenia-based perfume for a daytime picnic as you could for a fancy evening event and everything in between; it is nothing if not diverse.
The scent comes in a beautiful yet simple bottle that oozes style and class.
8. Jo Malone Vintage Gardenia
When you first see this perfume, your attention is caught by the iconic style bottle that is synonymous with Jo Malone and the range of fragrances she produces. This gardenia scented offering was launched in 2004 and is a superbly long-lasting floral fragrance with spicy undertones.
It combines an intoxicating blend of gardenia, myrrh, tuberose, incense, sandalwood, and cardamom for an earthy, woody aroma that is instantly recognizable. If you are looking for a gardenia-based fragrance as a signature scent, this is a great choice.
Its intensity would work perfectly at an evening event or a special occasion such as a wedding or anniversary dinner, owing to the romantic vibe of the perfume.
9. Fresh Gardenia by Bath & Body Works
The packaging for this scent by Bath & Body Works is simply stunning and reminds you of the beauty of nature and its floral scents before you have even opened the bottle. Inside, you will find a floral woody perfume that is incredibly surprising, considering the affordability of this fragrance.
It combines top notes of rain, gardenia, bergamot, and green notes, which are refreshing and light; these are followed by a heart of jasmine and peony before exposing a rich base of amber, moss, vanilla, sandalwood, and musk. These leave a significant trail behind you and will last throughout the day.
This unique and light Bath And Body Works scent is the perfect place to start for young women who are new to gardenia perfume and is delicate enough to be worn whenever the occasion calls for it.
10. Velvet Gardenia by Tom Ford
From the Private Blend range, which is aimed at those with an experienced nose, Tom Ford brings us this wonderful gardenia cologne for men and women. It is displayed in the iconic Tom Ford bottle that is elegant and glamorous all at the same time.
The Velvet Gardenia perfume is a complex blend of scents that go surprisingly well together, including light top notes of gardenia and orange that give way to a heart of beeswax, tuberose, and plum. The heady base is then revealed with incense and French Labdanum, leaving an enormous sillage and longevity that will last well into the following day.
This fragrance is suited to anyone who is confident and daring and who wants to make a room come to a standstill the moment that they enter.
11. Cruel Gardenia by Guerlain
No list of the best gardenia perfumes would be complete without featuring this stunning fragrance from 2008. Intense and intoxicating, Guerlain has wasted no effort in bringing you a fragrance that is magical and inspiring. Part of the L’art et matiere collection, this floral perfume will leave everyone wanting more.
It brings together top notes of rose, peach, and neroli before exposing a delicate heart of gardenia, violet, and ylang-ylang for a truly floral mix. This is then followed by a musky base of tonka bean and sandalwood that will last as long as you need it to. The sillage on this is mind-blowing, and there will be no doubt of your presence, making Cruel Gardenia the ideal fragrance for upscale events and moments that matter.
12. Marc Jacobs Gardenia
In 2007, Marc Jacobs released a floral fragrance that, while not as recognizable as Daisy, released in the same year, offers an ideal perfume for women who want something elegant and simple yet noticeable.
The beautiful black bottle with a single gardenia is quite striking and unlike any other perfume bottle on the market, making it a piece of art to display on the dresser.
The contents do not disappoint and combine top notes of gardenia, honeysuckle, and jasmine with a woody, spicy base of ginger, musk, and cedar.
For the youthful woman with a taste for life, this is a great perfume for day to day wear and something that works well when you need a fragrance to take you from day to night.
13. Kai Perfume Oil
Kai was brought to us in 1999 and remained one of the first gardenia perfumes people think of when thinking about this flower as a scent. It doesn’t pull any punches or try to impress; it combines gardenia with a blend of white flowers that delivers a simple yet elegant perfume ideal for women of all ages and from all walks of life.
The simple yet stylish bottle further demonstrates the vibe of this perfume, and the dominance of the gardenia scent makes this ideal for romantic occasions and weddings. It carries an enormous sillage that announces your presence effortlessly without being garish.
Wear this during the day and through into the evening and enjoy the irresistible tropical take on the classic gardenia perfume.
14. Jungle Gardenia
Back in 1933, Jungle Gardenia was first given to the public, and it became a hit with women everywhere, regardless of age, background, race, and anything else. It is a fragrance that brings people together, and the Oriental floral aroma is recognizable anywhere. Moving on, the perfume was updated both in 1950 and in the mid-90s, keeping it modernized for younger women.
The scents used are unique and include top notes of cyclamen, heliotrope, clary sage, and bitter orange with a heart of gardenia, tuberose, lily of the valley, and jasmine, making this a truly diverse blend. The base is woody and musky and causes the fragrance to linger throughout the day and night.
Ideally suited for occasions where you want to stand out from the crowd, the power and intensity of this rich fragrance won’t go unnoticed.
15. Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia Perfume
From the moment you first spray this perfume, your senses are captivated by the glorious tropical essence you are exposed to. It will bring back memories of summer even when used in the depths of winter and conjures up images of a tropical beach in the sun.
It is ideally suited to day time wear, but if you are looking for a delicate perfume to wear in the evening that won’t be overly powerful, then this is a great scent to choose. It brings together a unique blend of sweet orange, gardenia, jasmine, and tea leaf for a perfume that is excellent for every woman.
16. Jovan Island Gardenia
If a perfume can stand the test of time, then you can feel confident that it will leave you smelling fragrant and beautiful, and since this one was released in 1982 and still holds the hearts of women around the world, it does this entirely.
Jovan Island Gardenia perfume was designed to capture the beauty of nature in fragrance. While delicate, it is also wild and perfect for the woman who wants to feel free and invigorated. Wear it throughout the day to demonstrate your passion for the simpler things in life.
It boasts gardenia’s glorious notes without blending it with too much else to give you a fragrance suited to anyone with a love for this flower. The strong sillage makes it noticeable and will capture all the right attention.
17. Tocca Florence
This fragrance’s initial impression comes from the beautiful bottle that reminds you of a summertime in a French village. Classic and natural with just a hint of elegance. The content is much the same and brings together a heady combination of notes for a floral green perfume that is designed to impress.
Top notes of pear, apple, and bergamot give a fruity start, and these are followed by a floral heart of gardenia, tuberose, iris, and jasmine before making way for a white wood and musk base that will last all day long.
This scent was launched in 2006 but remains popular today with ladies that want a classic fragrance with a modern twist.
How To Choose Your Gardenia Perfume
You would opt for a gardenia fragrance if you have a deep love of floral perfumes; there is little point in choosing this scent otherwise as it is a heady and rich flowery perfume that is not apologetic.
If you are looking for a gentle gardenia perfume, you will choose one that combines the scent with a large variety of others so that you obtain a subtle hint of this well-loved flower. In contrast, for anyone who wants the full power of gardenia, opt for a fragrance that makes the most of this flower and blends it with a few others.
Gardenia perfume is ideally worn during the spring and summer months for a rich, floral breeze flowing behind the wearer so for this time of year, look for purely floral perfumes. Conversely, winter gardenia perfumes might contain woody notes at their base, making them warm and spicy.
Frequently Asked Questions On Gardenia Perfume
How is gardenia perfume made?
Gardenia perfume is made using the essential oils from the gardenia flower, which are extracted using a method known as enfleurage. For less expensive fragrances, a synthetic substitute may be used owing to gardenias’ high price.
Which brands make gardenia perfume?
Many brands make gardenia-based perfumes, including Chanel, Gucci, and Estee Lauder.
What is gardenia perfume made of?
Gardenia perfume is made from essential oils from the gardenia flower and a combination of other scents to create a wide range of aromas.
What is gardenia perfume like?
Gardenia-scented perfumes are floral and usually intoxicating and velvety. They are intense enough for evening wear yet delicate enough for day time use.
What smells similar to gardenia perfume?
Gardenia has a fragrance all of its own; however, many people compare it to jasmine, and the fragrance goes very well with tuberose.
Full Guide On Gardenia Perfume
You may have noticed, looking through our favorite gardenia perfumes, that this flower scent usually features as a middle note, and this is not by accident. Floral scents work well as top and middle notes but may not hold the richness needed for a base and so are often paired with woody base notes for a fragrance that lingers all day.
This flower has long been loved in the world of fragrance, and many notable people have talked about their love for gardenia. One of the most famous lovers of this flower was the jazz singer Billie Holiday, who loved gardenia so much that she would never perform without wearing one in her hair. It was around this time that gardenia had gained so much popularity that perfume houses were starting to use it more frequently.
Aside from this beautiful starlet, many others have been captivated by the rich aroma of the gardenia flower, including none other than Sigmund Freud, who announced his love for the bloom in a letter.
One of the greatest things about this scent and what makes it so popular is that it blends well with a huge range of other accords. That being said, you will most commonly see it being mixed with jasmine, tuberose, and orange blossom, all of which are an ideal complement to gardenia.
The gardenia flower grows natively in the Far East, China, and India, where people have been cultivating the bloom for more than a millennium. Noted for its potent aroma, Indian brides use the flower to adorn themselves for the wedding. There is a popular style of floral jewelry in the country known as gajra, which sees brides making gardenia bracelets and earrings. They are also known to decorate the wedding venue and the bridal suite with strings of these elegant white flowers. In neighboring Pakistan, the gardenia is the national flower and is also widely used in weddings.
However, since the flower has gained such notoriety in the west, it is now also widely used in wedding ceremonies here too. In France, it is often used as a boutonniere, and in the early 20th century, it became so popular as a corsage flower that millions were bred in the USA, and even more were imported.
However, gardenia is not a cheap blossom, and using the petals to extract essential oils requires a rare process known as enfleurage, where the petals are placed in fats where the oils are slowly released. The oil is then extracted using an alcohol extraction process, but this is time-consuming and expensive. As a result, when perfume features a gardenia scent. This is usually a synthetically produced replica. However, there are those that use real gardenia, but in order to produce just one ounce of gardenia absolute, more than 300lbs of petals are needed.
Final Words On Gardenia Perfume
Gardenia is a fragrance that has been used for many years and has a strong connection with romance. It grows in Asia, where it has been cultivated for more than a thousand years but is popular all over the world, especially among celebrities and those who want to exude opulence.
It pairs well with a range of other scents, including jasmine and tuberose, and works very well with woody base notes for a rich and unique perfume unlike any other.