Gardenia update

I managed to send out some gardenia testers today, so now we’ll wait and hear what people think of it at this stage. I updated the scent description on the website to reflect the current notes in the scent. I’ve removed almost all the musk and went with a soft base of sandalwood and amber instead because I’d like this fragrance to work for those who don’t do well with musks; for those reasons, I’ve renamed it just Gardenia and dropped the musk from the name (though I’m open to other name suggestions, especially from testers as they sniff it). I’d like to do another version with the musk base that I developed and release that one as a summer scent next spring.

Since I last posted I increased the basenotes just a touch because I was worried that they weren’t quite strong enough. I need to put it down for a few days now and then sniff again with a fresh nose. My main goals while working on this scent were to maximize oomph and longevity while not going too sweet and still letting the florals be the star. I think I have good strength now and the floral blend is pretty to me, so I need to wear it more after a break from it and be sure sweetness is in bounds for me. Meantime, I’ll get input from others on those issues.

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  1. I will definitely try this when it’s ready… I am not a real fan of musk notes when they become overwelming. But this new blend sounds positively enticing! I’m in!

    On another note, I’ve had trouble with the lavender in my yard getting mold, do you have any hints on how to prevent this from happening in the future? I cut it back hard, and I’m hoping for the best. Vancouver, B.C. is just not a great place for lavender, I think there’s too much rain.

  2. Hi Cheryl,

    There’s hardly any musk at all in this gardenia version; it’s very floral and the base is mainly sandalwood and light amber. In fact, I need to see if the sandalwood is too prominent for people. I’m waiting to start hearing feedback from testers any day and will be very curious. No one has sniffed it for me in months and I’ve made a number of changes since the early work on it. I’ll make a few tweaks based on feedback if there are any consistent trends in the comments. Glad it sounds interesting to you! The ingredients are really high quality and I just need to get everything in optimum balance.

    I think you have the opposite kind of garden environment than I do (we’re totally dry all summer!), so it’s hard for me to make suggestions about the lavender. We do get some mold problems on roses from morning fog and the best strategy is to provide good air circulation around them, not crowding them too close together. Lavender grows in dense clumps though, so that’s tougher to get air circulation. Cutting it back might help some, but when it goes dormant you’ll have a fresh chance for next year. There are some organic dormant sprays you can get to help get rid of mold spores — they usually have combinations of sulphur and oil to combat several rose problems. I wonder if that would help (you would not use it while the plants are growing but after they have gone dormant for the winter). You might ask a local nursery for the best strategies. Lavender grows well in England, which has lots of dampness, so it should be possible! I wonder if some varieties are more mold resistant. Good luck! Freshly cut lavender bouquets in summer are a treat! 🙂

  3. Thanks Laurie! I’ll try your suggestions. The rains have just started here.. doubtless will rain now here in Vancouver, BC most days until next March. I wonder if England experiences the same? Will space the plants apart to improve the circulation between plants. I hope the plants refurbish themselves in the spring. Normally are winters are mild here, but very, very wet.

    Fresh cut lavender is so special… the bears here (!) simply dig up anything edible, they come in the yards and wreck carnage. I figure they won’t be so intrigued to eat lavender.

    And I will order some of your gardenia, I can’t wait to experience it. My knowledge of notes is limited, but improving.
    I so enjoyed the testers i ordered, and sent them to my daughter in Toronto, Ontario, so she could enjoy them too.

    Love your website, and yours newsletters.. keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Cheryl! Wow, bears! We get deer and wild turkeys, but not bears! That sounds like a challenge!

    I’ll hear in a few days how gardenia is doing on other people’s skins and if I need to make some adjustments. I don’t have anyone here to test scents (my local friends and family aren’t into fragrance), so I rely on tester feedback to see if new scents are working for people. I wanted to run it by just a few people now to see where to tweak from here.

    Thanks for good wishes! Good luck to you with your garden!

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