Jardins d'Ecrivains is a perfume brand with an irresistible literary twist. I adore their Wilde (after Oscar) and George (for Eliot), and like to play a little game with myself trying to guess their next inspiring figure (I admit that William Burroughs's Junky caught me by surprise). It's interesting to note that Gigi is named for the character created by Colette and not after the author herself (Jardins d'Ecrivains did the same thing with their 2013 release, Orlando). It makes a lot of sense when you smell the perfume, though.
Knowing that Gigi is a white floral perfume and thinking about Colette and a novella set in the Belle Époque and the courtesan world (the demimonde) you might expect this Jardins d'Ecrivains creation to be ornate and a bit larger-than-life, fitting for the Gilded Age. But this is not a brand that does clichés, and Gigi is not Fracas. Instead we get the perfume equivalent of fresh-faced and anonymous Audrey Hepburn, scouted by Colette herself to play Gigi on stage in 1951.
The first surprise in Gigi is the fresh-cut grass note. There's also plenty of greenery, young budding leaves, and blossoms that are not fully open yet. The opening is very tender. The orange blossom and neroli are like a delicate embroidery on a sheer fabric. But the innocence is quickly fading with the much more womanly tuberose and jasmine. They're still light and not overripe (far from it, actually), but you know that soon they will come into their own in full bloom... just not yet.
As Gigi warms on skin the musky aroma is more pronounced. Blackcurrant is listed among the notes, but its presence is more of a hint than a clear fruitiness. The jasmine covers it almost entirely, for better or for worse. I need to be in the mood for jasmine to wear Gigi, and the weather needs to be warm enough to make the flowers soar but not burn through them too quickly. It's a good fragrance to start a love affair with tuberose, because the sillage is polite and modern, and longevity is average (about six hours, so you're not stuck with an operatic diva till the next day). Gigi is very pretty but not intimidating, sort of Hepburnesque, pre-Tiffany).
Notes: freshly cut grass, orange blossom, neroli, tuberose, jasmine, blackcurrant, sandalwood, white musk.
Jardins d’Ecrivains- Gigi ($110, 100 ml EDP) is available from Twisted Lily and BeautyHabit.
All photos of Audrey Hepburn as Gigi via rareaudreyhepburn.com.