This is such a rare offering in the perfume world and one that I am beyond delighted to own a piece of. Gardenia Enfleurage is a fragrance that Solstice Scents offers with the spring collection in limited quantities. What makes this so special is that this isn't your everyday gardenia fragrance that you can find almost anywhere. Most gardenia perfumes on the market (both indie and commercial) are made from synthetic oils and don't capture the true aroma of the flower. Traditional methods of extracting fragrances from flowers doesn't work on gardenias, so Angela utilizes an ancient technique of perfume making called enfleurage.
The enfleurage process for creating this scent is detailed on the website so I'll just provide a brief summary. Every day the petals are harvested in the early morning hours and then infused in vegetable fat that absorbs the fragrance. The following day the old petals are removed and replaced with new ones. This process continues for a minimum of six weeks in the early spring. There are three varieties of gardenia used and they are home grown in Angela's own garden, pesticide free. Enfleurage is a rarely used form of perfume making because it just isn't practical in the commercial market. As you can imagine, it's a lengthy process that takes commitment and truly is a labor of love. The end result is a fragrance that captures the truest gardenia fragrance you will find.
This perfume is offered in two sizes: a 3.7 ml bottle for $75 and a sample vial with 0.25 ml for $9. Because this is such a delicate fragrance, detailed instructions are included with purchase to achieve the best results.
Gardenia Enfleurage - 100% pure gardenia absolute in perfumer's alcohol. This is a true gardenia fragrance and unlike any other I've tried. It smells like you're sticking your nose in a fragrant bouquet of freshly picked flowers. It's a very soft and delicate scent, slightly musty but not in a bad way. Upon application, it becomes very bright and a little sharp, but that mellows out quickly into that soft, sensual fragrance that smells just like the flowers. I have a few gardenia scents and now that I've tried Gardenia Enfleurage, I'm amazed at how different they are. The other scents just don't capture the true essence of the flower like this one does. Unfortunately, the sillage is very low and it only wears on my skin for an hour tops before it fades completely. I've tried wearing this multiple times, following the directions exactly, but an hour is all I'm able to squeeze out of each application.
Final thoughts - while I can appreciate the time and effort that went into capturing a true gardenia fragrance, I'm not sure if I would repurchase. It's pricey for something that requires such frequent application so this is more of a novelty. But I'm happy with my sample and happy to support a perfumer who is so dedicated to her craft. Gardenia Enfleurage is currently available on the website, and I imagine a new batch will return with the spring collection in a few months.