Boutonniere No. 7

A flower growing alone may not smell differently than one growing in a garden, but I do think there are fragrances that suggest a flower in a landscape that is otherwise sparse of flora. L’Air du Desert Marocain by Tauer, Iris Silver Mist by Maurice Roucel for Serge Lutens, and En Passant by Olivia Giacobetti for Frederic Malle are a few. So is Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s new gardenia soliflore for Arquiste, Boutonniere No. 7.

Gardenias have a reputation for being intoxicating and indolic. Beautiful, but the downside of all that heady beauty is that the flowers can smell overblown (i.e., as if they’ve gone off). In avoiding this, some perfumes take gardenia into greener, cut-wet-flower territory (Marc Jacobs by Steve Demercado and Loc Dong) or clean it up and smack it down somewhere on a spectrum that extends from elegant (Opardu by Annie Buzantian for Puredistance) to prim to uptight (Gardenia by Ernest Beaux for Chanel).

Boutonniere No. 7 tends toward the fresh, green, cut-wet-flower feeling at first. It introduces not only damp gardenia, but lavender and (lots of) bergamot. But edgier notes are featured too. To my nose there are hints of wet glue, licorice, and a mineralic/earthy combination that suggests cold metal, wet pavement, and dirt all at once. Despite how it may sound, Boutonniere No. 7 isn’t weird or unsettling. The sillage smells nicely and simply of gardenia. Up close, it smells of the deconstruction of gardenia that I’ve tried to describe. Definitely an interesting and unique fragrance.

For more reviews of Arquiste Boutonniere No. 7, see Suzanne’s Perfume Journal and Victoria’s review at Bois de Jasmin.

Sample of Boutonniere No. 7 was provided by Arquiste. Reviews are never compensated, and posts are never sponsored. See my Media & Disclosure policy for details.

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15 responses

  1. I’m very curious to try Boutonniere even though so far I didn’t have much luck with the brand. But I’m an optimost (and I keep reading such nice reviews for this perfume ;) ).

  2. I think that Carlos HUBBA HUBBA is a complete hottie and I’ve liked a couple of his original range. There is a LOT of white flower in my cupboard already. My question is, Is this different enough to send me to the store?
    Portia xx

    • That’s a tough question! :) I want to say it probably is, because it’s less refined. But, definitely read other people’s takes, because I think I’m alone in finding an edgier side to this. (And yes, Mr. Huber is awfully genetically gifted, isn’t he? ;) )

  3. I really like the sound of it – but always get put off of Arquiste, I never want to take their frags seriously. I’m sure they have a ton of money behind their company and it’s amazing how quickly they’ve erupted out of nowhere – good for them, still, it’s one of those brands I’m currently avoiding a bit :’) But a very nice write up! Gardenia/lavender/glue sounds like a dream.

    • Oh, interesting! I have had similar thoughts about other lines before, but that didn’t strike me about Arquiste. Maybe a sample will fall in your lap and you can try it. :)

  4. I think this gardenia is supremely elegant (I’d put it up there with one of the best perfumes I’ve smelled in 2012) and I loved reading your thoughts on it, Natalie. If I still had my sample, I’d sniff along with your review to see if the nuances you mentioned presented themself to my nose. The licorice facet … yes, I remember detecting a bit of that.

    • Your review of this was excellent, Suzanne. I hope people read yours, because I think you hit the mark (and the consensus view) of it as a really elegant perfume. It was a little edgier to me, but still definitely sleek.

  5. Natalie, I love the way you describe the fragrance of a perfume in such a detailed and interesting way. It’s such a tricky thing to do. Not sure where Arquiste is available in the UK. Like Freddie, it’s kind of passed me by.

    Hope your work situation has improved.

    • Thank you, Tara. I really appreciate that, and the good thoughts on the work situation. :) I’m not sure about Arquiste’s availability in the UK either. But they seem to be growing quickly …

  6. I tested this on paper and it just screamed at me. I love Gardenia, but it’s one of those notes that I believe is better for room fresheners. Who knows, once i have a chance to test it on my skin I’ll feel differently.

    • You know, when I first smelled the tester strip, I thought it smelled like rancid cologne. Definitely better on skin, but still may not be for you, of course. The poor gardenia is so pretty “in the wild” and often so icky in perfumes.

  7. Pingback: Best & Worst of 2012: Perfume and Miscellany « another perfume blog

  8. Pingback: Boutonniere No 7 by Rodrigo Flores-Roux for Arquiste 2012 « AustralianPerfumeJunkies

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