From cinnamon-laced apple pie to sunshine on earthy wet fallen…
If Kate Middleton was your run-of-the-mill celebrity and, eh hem, not so royal, it’s safe to say we’d soon be spritzing her namesake scent on our wrists—the star ingredient, of course: gardenia.
The classic, simple but elegant white flower possesses a heady, intoxicating draw that “is the most irresistible and impossible pretty on earth,” perfume devotee and author Tania Sanchez describes in her book Perfumes: The A-Z Guide.
Lately, the “it” flower has been having its day. First, the Duchess of Cambridge caused a wait-list-only frenzy for niche fragrance brand Illuminum’s White Gardenia during the big-day last summer. Now, anyone who’s anyone—from Gucci’s Frida Giannini and superstar Madonna to Kenzo’s Kenzo Takada and Dolce & Gabbana’s Domenico and Stefano—is launching an eau courant interpretation. And while it’s prudent to remember that since 1932 women like Hattie McDaniel, Billie Holiday, Anne Baxter, Katherine Heigl and Jennifer Lopez have made wearing the lush gardenia scent synonymous with power and grace, the exotic fleur still packs a heady punch worthy of a future queen.