Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle EDP
Introduced in 1983 - Feminine
Notes: Top notes of bergamot, lemon, violet and calyx; middle notes of neroli, rose, jasmine, gardenia, narcissus, orange blossom, cassie, ylang-ylang, tuberose, orris, orchid, lily-of-the-valley and magnolia; and base notes of vetiver, cedar, civet, musk, patchouli, tonka bean and benzoin
Jardins de Bagatelle by Guerlain was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain in 1983. The name was taken from a beautiful garden in Paris located at the Bois de Boulogne, a chateau built in 1775 by the Comte d'Artois as a hunting retreat. The elegant garden is most known for its lush rose blossoms and the name "bagatelle" simply means "a thing created for pleasure", a trifle.
An excerpt from Perfume Shrine:
The exercise in diffusion starts with violet and classic aldehydes, finessed by citruses such as lemon and bergamot. Then lo and behold, a barrage of white florals flies across: gardenia, rose, orange blossom, tuberose, magnolia, ylang-ylang, orchid, lily-of-the-valley, narcissus, not to mention tuberose, the queen of narcotic floral (and one of Marie Antoinette’s favourites). At the hands of a perfumer with less calibre all this would surely spell disaster, yet the suppleness of the Guerlinade accord really pulls through and keeps the whole flock flying in formation, especially with the help of base notes consisting of cedarwood, musk, patchouli, tonka bean and vetiver.
Anyway, for me, Jardins De Bagatelle – a sharp, swooning, French flower fantasia/cedarwood musk from 1983, has always been a delight. It has perhaps the best sillage I know in all perfumery, leaving a beguiling, feminine and intriguing trail in its wake that makes you want to stand up and follow the wearer to her source. This perfume is certainly not subtle. She wants to smell lovely and delicious and arresting, and she wants to smell like that now.
The more lingering appeal of Jean Paul Guerlain’s most florid and exuberant creation, though, lies in its more deep-seated fusion with musk (the central pillar of the perfume’s construction along with an adventurously large amount of cedarwood and vetiver), a drier, and more sober accord that clings to the spiraling hysteria of the flowers and gives them all a dose of much needed reality. The perfume thus sings its spring-joyous song in its own inimitable voice (there is nothing else that smells like Jardins De Bagatelle – I find it totally unique), while simultaneously grounding itself in the woody and sensual musk notes that soften the perfume and give it its compelling, womanly, allure.