Tuvache Jungle Gardenia.

Tuvache Jungle Gardenia.

Tuvache Jungle Gardenia.

I recently acquired a vintage three-piece set of Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache, which included the cologne, perfumed powder and cologne spray concentrate. The original store sticker on this set, still on, priced it at $16.50, pretty hefty for the time period of this box, circa 1960’s. An inflation calculator puts that price at roughly $123.24 today, so it wasn’t that cheap.

Tuvache began producing Jungle Gardenia in 1932. They were a New York Company that used a french name to compete in the industry with many pre-World War II French fragrances controlling the current perfume industry. If you recognize the name, it’s because Madame Tuvache is a character in Gustave Glabert’s French novel, Madame Bovary.

Those rumored to wear Jungle Gardenia were Hollywood notobles Annette Funicello, Joan Crawford, Natalie Wood, Elizabeth Taylor and Fay Wray who wore it while filming King Kong. Michael Jackson also was a fan of this perfume. Perhaps because of his friendship with Elizabeth Taylor, speculation guesses.

The original Tuvache company was sold in the late 1960’s to Germaine Monteil, then in the 1970’s to Yardley of London, in 1989 to the Jovan division of Coty. A new reformulated scent was created that was not as popular as the original perfume.

Jungle Gardenia begins with gardenia of course, straight up. But, there is a burnt flavoring covering the top for some brief moments, perhaps it’s the clary sage in passing while the tart bitterness of the orange mellows the gardenia.  The tuberose at times is overpowering. It’s strong, thick and pure. It wafts in, around and through the perfume.

Eventually, Jungle Gardenia turned into a spicier sandlewood many, many hours later. Not just a generic sandlewood, mind you, but one that I’ve not encountered in a long, long time. Woods wrapped in types of unique spices and this stage was still just as strong as the others. To me, this seems a cold weather perfume to wear sparingly, but I haven’t tried it in the warmer months. I’d be curious to see how it develops then.

I loved how Jungle Gardenia took me through a Journey of notes and hours of pleasure of a perfume. That’s what it’s all about. Or how perfume used to be developed. And how it used to develop on those that spritzed them on themselves. They could enjoy the fragrance for hours.

This oriental floral perfume is clean, bright and fresh. It’s mature, sultry and strong. It’s a fragrance from the past that’s heady and strong-willed. a perfume to wear in the evening, for a mature personality that knows the old-time perfumes and appreciates them. What a delightful find this perfume has been!

Top Notes: Bitter Orange, Clary Sage, Cyclamen, Heliotrope.

Middle Notes: Gardenia, Tuberose, Tarragon, Ylang-Ylang, Violet Leaf, Jasmine, Lily-Of-The-Valley.

Base Notes: Oakmoss, Benzoin, Sandalwood, Musk.

Peace.

Sorceress

All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

 

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