"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....