Cruel Gardénia

Cruel Gardénia by Guerlain
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7.5 / 10     157 RatingsRatingsRatings
Cruel Gardénia is a perfume by Guerlain for women and was released in 2008. The scent is flowery-powdery. It is being marketed by LVMH.

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Randa Hammami

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesDamascus rose, Neroli, Peach
Heart Notes Heart NotesGardenia, Ylang-ylang, White musk
Base Notes Base NotesSandalwood, Tonka bean, Vanilla



7.5 (157 Ratings)


6.6 (113 Ratings)


5.7 (108 Ratings)


8.5 (105 Ratings)
Submitted by Kankuro, last update on 17.02.2017
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Sillage 3.0/10
Longevity 3.0/10
Scent 7.0/10
1 Award
Lovely Phantom
I tested twice on paper at the perfume counter and briefly on skin, but either the tester contents were different from what's in the bottle or I'd become anosmic by then because not until I opened it at home did I realize I'd made a mistake in buying this expensive Guerlain. While it has all the beauty of Guerlain greats, this darling doesn't linger long enough to be appreciated. It opens with an enthralling blast of gardenia and neroli, but in moments these heady notes become mere phantoms, their glory drifting away. Soon Cruel Gardenia lives up to its name by turning into a skin scent, having cruelly absconded with my money and left virtually nothing behind. Oh, sure, if I actually make physical contact between my nose and my skin I can smell it for a good while, but my nose has better things to do than glue itself to my arm. It would like to smell breakfast and lunch, for instance, hubby's Sir (D.S. & Durga), Avenutus, and other knock-outs., when he wears them. So this review is not a complaint about composition or beauty. On the contrary, Cruel Gardenia is intoxicating when it can be detected--the best gardenia solifore I've smelled to date (but likely not for long since I'm collecting gardenia decants for a sniff fest). What I object to is the theft it commits--giving me almost nothing in exchange for quite a bit.
1 Award
I am wearing that yellow dress again. You know it, the one you gave to me. You've said that it has the lively color of the ylang ylang flowers. I adorned my fingers with the pear ring and I am wearring your favourite earrings in my ears. At my neck I wear Cruel Gardenia. And I've added a bit to my wrists.
I want it to invade your senses when you will take me in your arms. I wish that when you walk your fingers over my shoulders ,absenlty drawing symbols of tenderness, the smell of blooming gardenias to reach your soul. Do you remember when you said to me that my skin always smells like musk? Do you like how it combines with the fragrance I am wearing? Are you anxious to hide your face in my sandalwood perfumed curls? This ingenue fragrance makes you dizzy, isn't it? Are you afraid to let yourself spoiled by your senses? Don't worry, I'm here. And I will take your hands and keep them at my chest until you regain ballance. It's just the two of us now, and Cruel Gardenia glazes at us, hidden in the hollow on my neck. Come, come into my world now.
Bottle 10.0/10
Sillage 2.5/10
Longevity 5.0/10
Scent 9.0/10
1 Award
"Excuse me...But, haven't we met before"?
Out of all the fragrances in this special series, I was attracted to Cruel Gardenia the most. I adore the fragrance of Gardenia flowers, and the other notes appealed as well.
As soon as I sprayed it, it triggered a long lost memory. I know this scent from somewhere, but a long time ago. I racked my brain trying to pin it down, but it was always out of my reach. The opening is a lovely soft cloud, not heavy or jarring, just a rose tinted softness. Then along comes violet, yes, I agree with Sherapop, there appears to be violets in the bouquet. I must say, the Gardenia is not at all prominent, and, I was really expecting more. In fact, there is more Neroli and Ylang-Ylang than a very faint Gardenia. This is definitely a skin scent. For the price, it should radiate proudly, so others may experience the beauty of the composition! This is how it reacts on my skin, stays close, and has a very low projection). The dry down is very pleasant. A very soft vanilla, with a well behaved sandalwood. The funny thing is, when I sniff it from the sprayer, it appears a lot stronger, than it is when sprayed on the skin. Mind you, I do prefer stronger fragrances, as have perfume eating skin, so this would probably come across perfect for those you don't like heavy hitters.
At one point, I even thought it was similar to White Shoulders, without the Aldehydes! But the White Shoulders of about 40 years ago). It may come to light, one time when I'm not concentrating on where I have smelled something so similar.
Now the cruel part...As much as I adore this fragrance, even though it isn't as Gardenia laden as I would have hoped), is the longevity! It fades far too quickly, and just as you are really in heaven, it leaves you! A brief encounter with a lovely floral cloud that gives you a passionate hug, then flees into the night....
2 Replies
Sillage 7.5/10
Longevity 7.5/10
Scent 7.0/10
Helpful Review    2 Awards
The Antithesis of a Diabolical Perfume
Guerlain's CRUEL GARDENIA, contrary to its name, is a warm, compassionate floral composition prominently featuring ylang ylang, neroli, and violet--at least according to my nose! Bizarre.

Maybe this would be cruel to those who were looking for a pure gardenia frag, or a big white floral? Anyway, aside from my disagreement with the name, CRUEL GARDENIA strikes me as an excellent creation. A complex, somewhat yellow composition with a touch of sweetness in the opening. But from the opening through to the finish, this is much more of a ylang than a gardenia fragrance. Happily, the ylang is balanced and buttressed well.

CRUEL GARDENIA is the very antithesis of a "diabolical" perfume (of which I have encountered a few): neither overly sharp nor officiously invasive nor a scrubber nor a carcinogenic sci-fi nightmare. Good staying power and sillage, too.

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