Guerlain is releasing two new creations in early 2008, a feminine and a masculine respectively called Cruel Gardenia and L'Ame d'un Héros (see next post).
According to Guerlain, Cruel Gardenia, in the L'Art et La Matière collection, promises to be a highly unusual and novel gardenia composition playing with emotions and memories of childhood. This emotional trend in perfumery is extremely interesting we think. In 2007 Serge Lutens Louve and Humiecki & Graef Skarb showed that a perfume can literally aim to manipulate your emotions. Cruel Gardenia, reportedly, was not treated as a classic white floral at all. The perfume was composed by Randa Hammami together with artistic director Sylvaine Delacourte.......
From the press release,
"A fragrance on the verge of cruelty. It's like a wonderful childhood memory, often replayed in one’s mind with a lovely feeling of nostalgia very close to the threshold of pain. Cruel Gardénia stuns the senses with diabolical power. Its notes – sunny, silky smooth and lingering – can become an obsession. Counter to tradition, Guerlain avoided creating any impression of opulence by deploying the gardenia in combination with the finest and most precious white musks, for a soft, velvety aura. One encounter with this incredibly feminine fragrance is like a shot to the heart. And there it stays, forever.
How does the magic work? Essence of damask rose with hints of peach and neroli create a refreshing initial burst of florals. Gradually, the scent of gardenia develops with the grace of violet, warmed by ylang ylang from the Comoros and white musks. These lingering notes, present from the beginning, for m the backbone of the composition. Essence of Tonka bean sustains the white musks and moves into a sensuous note of vanilla and sandalwood.
This fragrance is like an encounter with cruelty, an inescapable trap that appears from nowhere...
You can read our review of the perfume.
Cruel Gardenia: $220, 80 mL
It is available at all four La Maison Guerlain locations: at
Bergdorf Goodman New York, Neiman Marcus San Francisco, The Breakers Palm Beach, and the French Pavilion at Epcot."