Wild Veil's Gardenia Enfleurage

Every day fresh blossoms are culled and laid on the pommade (plant based fats and waxes), and spent blossoms are removed. This ancient technique is the sole method of scent extraction that captures the entire arc of a flower's headspace, from opening to last breath. Other technologies--tincture, steam distillation, and supercritical co2 extraction-- freeze and capture but a moment in a flower's aromatic evolution. Only enfleurage records the full expression of a blossom's fragrance, with all the nuances of age.

Wild Veil is dedicated to enfleurage, and my gardenia jasminoides enfleurage is a deep and powerful way to commune with the flower, with 14 varieties from my gardens contributing their distinct aromas. The result is an organic gardenia solid perfume-- a rarity. Its scent is indulgent, deep, creamy, and languorous. Something more than the sum of jasmine, star jasmine, tuberose, and lily. Enfleurage brings out the intricate wintergreen, mango, and pine back notes of this thick white custard of a flower.

Each gardenia cultivar smells unique, with a distinct scent arc. To name a few: Aimee Yoshioka’s enormous flowers announce their fragrant presence before you see them. Their quilted white petals are the scent of heaven on earth. Upon opening, the Double Mint has lemons and fresh butter, like lemon curd, then it takes on a fruity peach-jasmine scent that lasts until a pungent musk emerges in its last days. August Beauty is a ripe mango that strangely gets fresher before acquiring a final green mushroom odor. Daisy opens buttery with some of the richness of champaca, expiring in mushroomy indole death. Crown Jewel is a pineapple burst, a hint of apricot patchouli typical of osmanthus. And Tea has a loamy crimini profile undercutting its grand sweet nectar.

In my enfleurage I select fresh blossoms in all the stages of bloom so the pommade will memorialize this flower’s complexity. Each day (sometimes twice a day) I check each flower resting on the fat to make sure it is still moving aromatically. A flower will last on the fat for anywhere from 1 to 5 days. To purchase gardenia enfleurage, click here.

Photo: gardenia jasminoides enfleurage from June 2020.

© 2021, Abby Hinsman for Wild Veil Perfume.