This one gets a lot of love, for being warm and cheerful without running people out of the room (Fracas, anyone?), and for being a mainstream release that doesn’t suck up to the trendy taste for ditzy fruity-florals.
Perfume Review: Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia eau de parfum
Date released: 2007
Perfumer: Harry Frémont (Firmenich)
Sample provenance: manufacturer’s sample, probably from 2007, from swap
Subcategory: Gentle white floral with tuberose (and, duh, gardenia)
Since the Private Collection disappointment, the Beyond Paradise debacle and the vintage Knowing parfum tragedy, I’ve been wary of testing Estee Lauder scents. You may have been reading this blog long enough to know that I have difficulty with some note or ingredient common to the base of many Lauder fragrances. I still don’t know what it is; I’m not sure it would do me all that much good to pin it down. To sum up, I’ve found a number of Lauders really lovely for the first two hours, and then gotten sucker-punched by whatever-it-is in the base, so that I’m suddenly and extremely nauseated by this nameless, cloying Wrongness that I can’t even describe. It’s not sugary, vomitous, overtly chemical, sweaty, or overpoweringly loud, but it turns my stomach over.
So I approached ELPCTG with some trepidation. I sprayed it on a stray scrap of cotton from a sewing project, and when it got to six hours without causing me to carry the scrap out to the trashcan on the porch while cursing, I decided to try it on skin.
Notes for ELPCTG –
Top: Neroli, lilac, rosewood
Heart: Lily, tuberose, orange blossom, jasmine, gardenia
Base: Carnation, bourbon vanilla
Despite the alleged presence of a number of floral notes, PCTG is pretty much true to its name. It opens with creamy, luxuriant gardenia which lasts maybe forty-five minutes to an hour, rolling along with the tuberose, eventually fading to leave only the tuberose and a hint of lily. The white florals are soft and lovely, with a buttery, smooth texture. Heady for the first ten minutes, it does soften rather quickly to a scent polite enough to wear to church, as its sillage stays rather close to the body. I did wear it to church, and my daughter could smell the perfume from right next to me. My son, sitting on her other side, could not smell it. Four hours after my two-spritz application, there was no sillage at all, and I could only smell what was left (mostly tuberose, with a tiny hint of vanilla) by hoovering my inner arm.
A workplace test was less successful. I felt silly wearing it with black twill trousers and a pink sweater. Never mind that my sweater was fuzzy – I felt like Esther Williams, totally out of place at my desk.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a base here, and perhaps the simplicity of the base is what makes this fragrance wearable for me. Either the common Lauder base is not part of the formula, or the tuberose is enough to – like love – cover a multitude of sins.
Luca Turin is really smitten with gardenias, and this scent gets high marks in PTG. Here’s a portion of his review:
**** Real gardenia… gardenia is a reconstruction, and few fragrances actually achieve the flower smell that I rate as the most irresistible and impossibly pretty on earth. This beautiful creation… is one of them. The tuberose note in PCTG is very quiet, while the rest of the fragrance is an utterly lovely gardenia accord on a refined, radiant white-flowers background…
PCTG is indeed very lovely. It has a devoted following among perfume fans, and it’s a well-made, attractive scent. However, it does make me feel as though I should be wearing it with white gloves and, possibly, a pastel strapless gown. It feels like a fifties fragrance to me, very Donna Reed, and I doubt I’d wear it frequently. (And this from someone who’s happy wearing true vintage girlish fragrances like Sortilege and Je Reviens!) I seem to be the only tuberose fan who wasn’t smitten with this one. I admit that it could be the Curse of Lauder to my nose, although I did give it three good tests with an open mind.
The Bottom Line :
Grab-scale score 5
Short description Gardenia tuberose; pretty but feels dated.
Earns compliments: Yes
Scent presence Average (2 spritzes last 5-6 hours), mild sillage.
Review Report: Aromascope, Now Smell This, Bois de Jasmin, Perfume-Smellin’ Things, Beauty Addict, Perfume Shrine.
(See Tuberose Series 1 for any clarification on the Bottom Line criteria.)
Top image is the eau de parfum bottle, from esteelauder.com. The parfum bottle is far more gorgeous, with semi-precious stones. However, I didn’t review the parfum.
Lower image is pua tuberose from victorey at flickr.