Thursday, March 10, 2016

Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache c1932

Jungle Gardénia (Original) by Tuvache was launched in 1932, relaunched in 1957.


Fragrance Composition:



So what does it smell like? It was described as a sweet floral fragrance for women. It starts with a fresh green top note, followed by an exotic floral heart, layered over a balsamic base.

  • Top notes: neroli, leafy green note, bergamot, fruity notes
  • Middle notes: tuberose, gardenia, lilac, jasmine, orange blossom, orris, narcissus
  • Base notes: vanilla, civet, Tolu, musk


During the late 1960's, Coty bought out Tuvache and released Jungle Gardenia under the Tuvache name. Coty discontinued the perfume sometime in the early 1980s, then reformulated and re-released their new version in 1995 in association with Tuvache, which some say was close, but again, definitely not the same fragrance.

“Today recapture those magic moments indulging in the favorite fragrance of the world’s most beautiful woman. Jungle Gardenia’s hypnotic, captivating scent will create the mood.”
  • Top notes: bitter orange oil, clary sage, cyclamen
  • Middle notes: heliotrope, tuberose, tarragon, violet leaf, gardenia, lily of the valley, jasmine, ylang-ylang
  • Base notes: oakmoss, benzoin, sandalwood and musk


In 1971, it was released as a cologne, with the advertisement reading “Jungle Gardenia captures the true delight of fresh gardenias in this favorite spray mist cologne with luxury fragrance and bath preparations.”.


Jungle Gardenia was often given as a consolation prize on the game show Truth or Consequences as Tuvache was one of the main sponsors of the Bob Barker hosted show, the contestant received a year‘s worth of fragrance.


Tuvache’s Jungle Gardenia was sold as a Skin Perfume in amounts of 2 oz, 4 oz and 8 oz, it also came in a 2 oz spray mist.


You could also buy it as a Bath Perfume in a 5/8 oz spray mist or in splash form in ½ oz or 1 oz bottles.


The pure perfume oil was available in a 5/8 oz metered spray mist, one dram purser flacon, half ounce and one ounce size bottles.


Tuvache’s Jungle Gardenia was also available as dusting powder, spray powder mist, three hand sized soap bars, 3 ½ oz spray bath oil, an 8 ounce Crème Jungle Gardenia body lotion, and as a sachet inside of a ceramic ginger jar.


Some original bottles of Tuvache’s Jungle Gardenia came with a booklet “The Romance and Drama of Perfume by Bernadine de Tuvache' Creator of the Costliest Perfumes in the World.


Many celebrity ladies wore Tuvache’s Jungle Gardenia, Joan Bennett, Barbara Stanwyck, Natalie Wood, Joan Crawford and Annette Funicello. During the filming of King Kong, actress Fay Wray wore Jungle Gardenia and said she believed Kong thought she was a new type of flower he'd found. She felt that being so tiny to him, he could only identify her from other women by her scent, Jungle Gardenia.


Jungle Gardenia is also the fragrance worn by Auntie Mame, the character in the famous Broadway play and movie of the same name, that starred Rosalind Russell. Some lines in the play gave Jungle Gardenia its rumored reputation of being an aphrodisiac that attracted men. The play was later made into a musical starring Angela Lansbury and Bea Arthur and was a huge success. The movie version of the musical starred Lucille Ball.


But the most famous wearer of the perfume was Elizabeth Taylor, famously fond of Jungle Gardenia, eventually launched her own version of it simply titled Elizabeth Taylor Gardenia. A 1964 advertisement for Tuvache’s Jungle Gardenia featured a photo of Elizabeth Taylor and the tagline “Jungle Gardenia-favorite fragrance of the world’s most beautiful woman.”. Elizabeth Taylor’s Gardenia features notes of gardenia, jasmine, lily of the valley, orchid, rose, white peony, carnation, and musk and is characterized as a fresh, green fragrance and not cloying as Fracas. It is very inexpensive.

Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache has been discontinued since the early 1980s and vintage examples can reach ridiculously exorbitant prices.


If you are looking for a substitute, try Fracas by Robert Piguet or Elizabeth Taylor’s Gardenia.


Fracas by Robert Piguet has that same creamy gardenia essence. It’s definitely swoon worthy and one of my favorites. The perfume has notes of bergamot, mandarin, hyacinth, green notes, tuberose, jasmine, orange flower, lily of the valley, white iris, violet, jonquil, carnation, coriander, peach, osmanthus, pink geranium, musk, cedar, oakmoss, sandalwood, orris, vetiver, and tolu balsam.


The recreated Tuvache Gardenia by Irma Shorell/Long Lost Perfumes sold by the Vermont Country Store is kinda close but just not the same fragrance. Currently, Irma Shorell owns the trademark for the Tuvache name but not the formulas.


One of the closest perfumes to Jungle Gardenia by Tuvache is Coty's Sand & Sable. This feminine scent possesses a blend of jasmine, gardenia, peach, and various green notes.


In 1958, Jovan created a "Jungle Gardenia" scent, a sweet floral fragrance with citric top notes, floral heart notes on base notes of sandalwood, oakmoss and amber. This was discontinued but there is always Island Gardenia by Jovan, which is similar, but lacks the headiness of the original Tuvache Jungle Gardenia perfume too. Jovan describes Island Gardenia as "Delicate and wild at the same time, this fragrance was inspired by the beauty of nature. The simple fragrance of a dew-drenched soft gardenia warmed by the sun."

Perfume Intelligence has a reference to a Jungle Gardenia put out by Lentheric, but I can't find any other info on that and in fact it could be a misprint. I do know that Lentheric came out with a Gardenia de Tahiti in 1937.


Some posters on perfume message boards suggest a perfume called Stephanie by Michael Storer. Stephanie “is a highly realistic recreation of the headspace of the gardenia flower and is not for the faint-hearted”. Additional notes include pink pepper, black pepper, galbanum, angelica root, sambac jasmine, tuberose, and chrysanthemum"

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