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Estee Lauder is world-renowned for its classic, indulgent and luxury beauty, skincare and fragrance products. A fragrance which totally encapsulates the brand's high-end appeal is the sumptuous Tuberose Gardenia Private Collection fragrance.
Introduced at the end of 2007 in the US (and 2008 in the UK I believe), the Private Collection was launched with Tuberose Gardenia as the first of three highly exclusive fragrances. Modelled on the same Private Collection fragrance launched by Estee Lauder herself in 1973, this perfume apparently originated with Aerin Lauder (granddaughter of Estee, heiress and vice-president of global advertising at the $3.9billion cosmetics company) as a special scent for herself and her friends. Luckily for us mere mortals, they chose to share a little bit of the specialness!
Tuberose Gardenia, being part of the 'exclusive' luxe Estee Lauder fragrances, has a tighter distribution than the rest of the Estee Lauder range of fragrances, only being available in selected retailers (I bought my perfume at House of Fraser) as well as from the official online store. This means that, if you do want to try it out and buy the perfume, a little more forward planning is needed as it is not widely available at all department stores, Boots etc.
In line with the high-end distribution and equally high-end fragrances, prices for the scent are steep in my opinion. For the elegant Parfum spray, 30ml will set you back £220 (yes, you read that correctly!) and the Eau De Parfum costs £55 for 30ml and £82 for 75ml. This is quite expensive and, for a lot of people understandably, will instantly put you off the product. However, there are a number of positives with this perfume that have won my heart over.
How I (and my Mum!) fell in love with the product:
My Mum is one in a million - fabulousness that comes mummy-shaped. I wanted to get her a special treat for Mothers Day this year and, remembering how much she had adored a tester spritz of this perfume on a shopping trip a few months earlier, it stuck in my mind. Being - like most Mums - always avoiding spoiling herself and putting everyone else first - she was a bit dejected when she saw the price tag of the EDP and decided against splashing out.
Needless to say, when she opened her Mother's Day present, she was incredibly pleased and continues to love her luxury fragrance for special occasions - and I can see why!
The most striking thing about the perfume is the utterly exquisite bottle. Constructed of clear, weighty glass, the translucent, luscious gold colour of the scent sits in the squat, square bottle. Both the EDP and the parfum spray have solid, gold-coloured caps, which have been beautifully decorated. The parfum spray has a hammered-effect in the beautiful gold colour (inspired, apparently, from a necklace Aerin Lauder inherited from her grandmother Estee), while the top-end EDP's gold cap is set with semi-precious stones of yellow and green jade and aventurine amongst others (again, inspired by a brooch by a Josef Hoffman brooch, much loved by art-collector Estee Lauder) .
Both bottles, therefore, look utterly ravishing sitting on a dressing table - positively iconic - but, due to the squat, weighty feel of the bottle may not be the best choice to tote around in a handbag as it is a little heavy.
The scent is just as beautiful and feminine as the bottle style. The scent is very rich and opulent, with an overriding floral fragrance. The top notes of the scent are neroli, lilac and rosewood, the neroli (in my opinion) being the key scent which strikes you. Middle notes are of tuberose, gardenia, jasmine and orange flowers, with the sumptuous and powerful white flower smells lingering for hours. Base notes are of sweet vanilla bourbon and carnation, although my untrained nose cannot pick these out as key scents.
This perfume - though it has a timeless, effortless elegance - certainly packs a punch. The heady, sweet scent of tuberose and gardenia is clear and intense, making this perfume perfect for women who love their ultra-feminine, floral scents. The perfume spray does have fantastic staying power - when I've 'borrowed' a cheeky spritz of the scent it really does stay on my skin and the sweet scent of tuberose can be detected for hours afterwards, indicating the quality and intensity of the fragrance. My Mum is a keen gardener and adores 'true to life' floral scents as her favourite perfumes and was really surprised to find that the tuberose scent perfectly mimics that of the fresh white flowers - I've since learned that Estee Lauder has implemented its own 'Nature Intact' technology in the production of the scent to match the actual smells found in nature - very impressive from the makers which seems to have worked well.
I adore this scent - if I had enough cash, I would stock up on bottles of it! Like the bottle, the scent has a gorgeous, timeless elegance which is ultra-feminine and fills you with heady, sumptuous floral fragrance.
I love my floral scents and have found this to be incredibly true to life. In addition, the staying power has really impressed me (as I often find perfumes wear off after an hour, if that) but this is really long-lasting.
This is one grown-up scent for someone sophisticated and elegant, but I know that some people would find the tuberose and white-flowers scent possibly too overpowering as it is incredibly heady with outstanding depth.
The one - and possibly most crucial limiting factor to this scent is the price tag - it is definitely a treat purchase but, as a gift or as an extra-special gift to you - I would definitely recommend this fragrance if you've the cash to play with!