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January 24, 2012



Welcome back! Have missed your reviews. Jungle Gardenia was a favorite perfume of the college girls back in the '60's. All the rage before E. Lauder's Youth Dew took over! Would love to smell it again. Tuvache also produced a masculine called Armada (if I'm remembering correctly-'twas a long time ago!) which was on the market all of 10 minutes in the early '70's.

Anna in Edinburgh

Ooh I say! What a scent to come home to. No wonder there was a baby boom.

Lovely stuff, and it's great to be reading a new review.

Thanks for returning to whet our perfume appetites once more:-)


Armada, eh? That sounds pretty masculine, Fraddicted! Jungle Gardenia makes a lot more sense for college girls (to me) than Youth Dew!


Awww. Thanks, sweet Anna in Edinburgh. Good point — who knows how many babies were made with the scent of Jungle Gardenia stinkin up the joint!


Glad you're back! I've missed your posts. And darn you for giving me another vintage scent to search for!!


Great to hear from you again! I think I remember smelling Jungle Gardenia in my high school days when I went through a serious gardenia-loving phase. I used to haunt the testers at the local shop on a daily basis, as my allowance wouldn't stretch to buying my own bottle of anything.


OMG!!! You're back! And you have - as you know! - been much missed!
I wonder if this Jungle Gardenia is the same that - I seem to remember reading somewhere - both Joan Crawford and Dorothy Parker wore? I suspect it might have been if it's half as good as you say!

And you are so right. Tuberose+gardenia brings out the whole "Resistance is futile and you WILL be assimilated!" response...

Even with a Francophile name like...Tuvache...'You'...and 'Cow'. Surely there's a whole new cruel joke hiding in plain sight there? ;) So they added the accent grave just to confuse us! :D


Hi SniffingAround. Apologies for getting you into this one in particular. It's expensive! But wow, so beautiful.


Hi Vinery! I think I'm in a serious gardenia phase now, too. And tuberose. I was never much into florals, but these two are so interesting. And Jungle Gardenia is just plain fun. There's no being dour or in a bad mood with this one.


According to a Tuvaché site I checked out, Tarleisio, it is indeed the perfume Joan Crawford and many others — including drag queens — loved. (It would make me happy to know snark-meister Dorothy Parker loved it, too! It would have gone really well with all those cocktails she seemed to down.) And as for Tu Vache (sans accent) = You Cow, I have no words! I don't know how you caught that, but that would have been a diabolically horrible in-joke. Thanks for missing my words, and for stopping by and cracking me up as usual!


Hey, welcome back! I missed you!

Glad to see a colorful review like this too. Tuberose is my favorite note, not just for its antiestablishmentarianism but also for its versatility.

I don't know much about gardenia, but it strikes me as an ultrafeminine, lush tropical blast.

When you said the notes were tuberose and gardenia, I thought of the Estee Lauder perfume. That one's a bit tame for me. But this sounds like it has a lush rainforest effect-lovely.


Hi Joan. Versatile is a great way to describe tuberose, but it is a trouble-maker too! I'm having a love affair with tuberose and gardenia scents. Tubereuse Criminelle recently knocked my socks off, and I love Strange Mysterious Perfumes' Epic Gardenia. They have such complexity, depth, and vibrancy. They're alive.


Hooray!!!!!!!! You are back! I wore the Jovan/Coty version many years ago but this one sounds like the one I should have been wearing :)


Brigitte - I heard that the Jovan/Coty version was slightly fruitier. I'd love to smell each one! This one is both fun and gorgeous.


'Favorite fragrance of the world's most beautiful girl' eh? That alone will ensure sales by the bucketload to besotted boyfriends.

Dazzling review Barbara. You are BACK! I love the your 'perfume brain's pleasure center'. Brilliant.

Tuberose is not a favorite not for me but after having read this review I'm feeling decidedly dull and demure in my Chanel No 19. (Why am I so alliterative today I wonder?)


Anne-Marie: Chanel No. 19 is Tilda Swinton to Jungle Gardenia's Twitter.com/courtneystodden. (I know you avoid Twitter, but you must check out this nutcases MANIA for alliteration. Or should I say, desperate desire to daftly dedicate her diction to alliteration.) You simply had a mild case of it. "Bucketload to besotted boyfriends" is almost as good as "decidedly dull and demure."


I know about Jungle Gardenia from the seminal "Paris Is Burning," where the legendary house mother Pepper La Beija talks about how it was her signature scent. I've wanted to smell it for years!


Jonno, Thank you for reminding me about "Paris Is Burning" and Pepper LaBeija! I had no idea that Jungle Gardenia was her signature scent. It makes me love her (and JG) more, and it makes perfect sense. This perfume is in multiple forms of drag, the olfactory MSG that makes everyone, regardless of their bio status, feel like a natural woman.

Perfume Obsessed

It has literally made my Sunday night to see a new post! And on a fragrance I have been intrigued by for a number of months. I have googled this perfume in the past and there are a lot of war brides and women in the 1940s who wore and loved this fragrance for years..apparently Vermont Country store is carrying it again? As I said, I've been intrigued, just not $50+ intrigued.


Perfume Obsessed, thanks for the compliment! Any cool links to share on Jungle Gardenia? The war brides angle sounds interesting.

I think at some point I'm just going to see if a bunch of people want in on a bottle with me to decant. I'm not going to spend $250 on this, as much as I love it. (And I would shy away from those Vermont Country Store reformulations. I haven't heard good things about them.)


Oh, you are so back! I'm trying to decide whether to explore a note or a niche house as my birthday gift to myself (coming up in march). You are making quite the case for gardenia here.




Hi there Ambivallentia,

I'm not sure why you've sent this Sissel Tolas interview from YouTube. What does it have to do with Jungle Gardenia? I'm "ambivallentia" about keeping it up, but I guess I will. I love her haircut!


She is such a different voice in "the perfume/scent world". I appreciate her statement that it took her 7 years not to react to scents as "good-bad". I hope at least it is relevant comment for any perfume review. ;-)


Hi Ambivallentia. I have a lot of respect for what Sissel Tollas does, no doubt. But usually when a blogger spends time to write about a subject, the etiquette is to respond to the post and/or other commenters. Simply throwing in a link to a tangentially related subject with no commentary or introduction could be considered spamming. Like I said, I'm leaving it anyway.


Go for the gardenia, julie. Unapologetic fun.


Your post made my day! I begged my mother to buy me Jungle Gardenia when I was ten and wore it throughout my teens. It was my "gateway" perfume to all things tuberose. Reading JG's backstory only makes me love it more. It also helps rationalize my pricy devotion to Carnal Flower -- I was hooked so young! Thank you for bringing me back to where it all began.


Hi J.Rose. Carnal Flower is a wonderful tuberose, a fresher, greener version than Jungle Gardenia. But I so love the rubbery, bubble-gum aspect to JG. It just makes me happy, and I can see why you begged your mom for it and I'm glad she gave in! You should try to get a bit for yourself now. Its still wonderful! (But waaaay more expensive than when you got it!) Thanks for stopping by!


I also liked the Jovan Island Gardenia, which is on ebay at not extravagant prices. I also know now, that the appeal of Guerlain's Mayotte is the gardenia, on a ride with its friends tuberose, frangipani, and ylang-ylang.


Ohhhh, julie. I dont know Mayotte! And yes, Island Gardenia is not bad!


Did I send you Mayotte amongst those little decants? Maybe not, could have been to another friend...

Lydia Fox

Oh boy! Am I the oldest POSTER here? At 71 now, I was on my way to THE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI one summer, going with my folks while they took classes for their teaching certificates. I was enrolled in beginning TYPING I. This was circa 1959 60. But this was not when I REALLY experienced JUNGLE GARDENIA.

It was a little later (1962) when I decided to re-enroll for college (didn't want TEACHERS COLLEGE anymore) went into BUSINESS. Now I know why I got those A's from my 2 men typing & SHORTHAND(yes dear, look it up).
Not only was I GOOD at these 2 things but I was usually wearing JUNGLE GARDENIA! It's amazing that back in those days - 1962,63, 64, girls were not permitted to wear slacks/jeans to class, especially to business subject classes. You were required to wear a dress or skirt. Many a freezing cold winter day I trekked from Parking Lot 1 all the way across UC's campass to my TEACHERS COLLEGE 4th fl. typing and/or shorthand, or business machines classes wearing my slacks/jeans UNDER a skirt. Would hop into the ladies restroom, and yank off the jeans/slacks, and go to class with them stashed in my bookbag or whatever one had back in 1962. Can you imagine women having to do that nowadays?

Both of my main gentlemen teachers were very nice men. I believe they were married and no flirting went on but I was cute and smart and I loved learning these 2 subjects. And I was wearing JUNGLE GARDENIA most of the time.

I can't speak for the sexual attractiveness of this wonderful fragrance, but I LOVED IT and that was the main thing. I would love to be able to afford JUNGLE GARDENIA now. Maybe some kind soul will re-invent it and it won't cost so much. I still use a GARDENIA scent made supposedly by Elizabeth Taylor. It smells great but it is NOT the same of course. PLEASE SOMEONE BRING IT BACK!!!

Lydia Fox

I don't think anyone has brought up some modern body sprays available at Walgreen's, Walmart and other places. These scents are very inexpensive and fairly plentiful. And I think they are darn good scents for anyone to wear to use as a PICK ME UP!

I'm talking about body sprays like COTTON CANDY & SUGAR LEMON FANTASY SPRAY, and those little $7.00 plus goodies that you can get at Walgreen's. I especially love COTTON CANDY. It's very sweet but it has an uncanny ability to pick you up if you are depressed. And wear it at night, and you pretty much can just snuggle up to it's fragrance and waft off to sleep. It really is a mood enhancer. Don't know what they've got in it, but it sure works. You do have to be a little careful and use sparingly or you can overwhelm!

Does anyone else every use these little goodies?
Please post if you do.


Hi Lydia, I generally find those drugstore sprays to be too chemical-smelling. Maybe for a quick kick, but not much more. I think back in the day drugstore brands had higher-quality ingredients, but these days, they're made of cheap synthetics (for the large part). I enjoy some of the functional scents in lotions, shampoos, etc., but I think for the true experience of perfume, especially these days, you have to spend some money. (Although some vintage is readily available for a song, and so incredibly beautiful!)


I broke down and found a $33 bottle of the bath perfume. My first impression is that the scent is very much like fracas...I can't tell how much my bottle has turned though. It is warm and really lovely on drydown.

Christine West

I bought a partial parfum spray recently. Like Perfumeobsessed, my first impression was 'fracas' but the more I tested JG the similarity disappeared. At times it reminded me of Tuberose Criminelle.


Hi Christine,

Jungle Gardenia is definitely a rich, rubbery, intense gardenia. Fracas has a lot of tuberose going on and fairly screeches. (I love it, but it's true.) I find JG richer, more buttery. Glad you got some! Interesting to compare it to Tubereuse Criminelle, which is both aromatic — from that crazy menthol note — and rich.

Mitzi Ledford

I grew up with the scent of Jungle Gardenia. My mother wore it (50's & 60's) and it is a fragrance I will always associate with her. I would love to have a bottle but not at $250.
I've tried Jovan, but it does not have the depth. Few people know what I'm talking about when I mention the name. I'm from Tennessee so that explains a lot.


Hi Mitzi,

Jungle Gardenia does have depth — that's a good way to describe it. I'm curious about its ingredients because although there are modern gardenia scents that are quite beautiful (I love Annick Goutal and Strange Invisible Perfumes' Epic Gardenia), Jungle Gardenia manages to be denser and more delightful. I've noticed prices are going down on eBay, probably because no one but a wealthy JG fanatic would pay the prices I'd seen. Check some of them out, just make sure it's Tuvaché. One says Tuvaché on the outside, but then Yardley on the underside. Not sure what that one means. Good luck! And thanks for stopping by.


Hi Mitzi,

Jungle Gardenia does have depth — thats a good way to describe it. Im curious about its ingredients because although there are modern gardenia scents that are quite beautiful (I love Annick Goutal and Strange Invisible Perfumes Epic Gardenia), Jungle Gardenia manages to be denser and more delightful. Ive noticed prices are going down on eBay, probably because no one but a wealthy JG fanatic would pay the prices Id seen. Check some of them out, just make sure its Tuvaché. One says Tuvaché on the outside, but then Yardley on the underside. Not sure what that one means. Good luck! And thanks for stopping by.

perfumes for women

This is one of my favorite perfume.

Account Deleted

Amazing post... came across it randomly as i was searching for a perfume which would suit my being...!! U certainly know a lot about perfumes... I mean to buy one Gucci for myself. http://www.imstylish.in/perfumes/womens-perfumes/gucci-gucci-ii-perfume-spray-50-ml-p448

Could u tell me about some good perfumery in India ?

Thank you :)


Hi Pari, Im sorry, but I dont know anything about good perfumeries in India. They must exist though! There are a lot of good Gucci scents. Enjoy!

paris hotel

Brigitte - I heard that the Jovan/Coty version was slightly fruitier. Id love to smell each one! This one is both fun and gorgeous.

Glenda Y. Ford

I want to buy some Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache. Where can I buy it?

Marsha Mayhew

Where can I purchase Jungle Gardenia I loved it then and hubby and I love it now!!!!
Marsha Mayhew
[email protected]

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