Marc Jacobs Gardenia

I wouldn’t dare call Marc Jacobs Gardenia the best gardenia fragrance of all time.


But I feel confident in declaring it the prettiest gardenia I know. Gardenia is a warmer, less aquatic take on Marc Jacobs’ original perfume. It’s certainly sweet, but still more sophisticated than the vast majority of its sugary neighbors on Sephora’s shelves. A spritz of Gardenia functions almost as liquid sunshine, evoking carefree summer days at the beach and fresh-faced girls with natural, uncomplicated beauty. Think Blake Lively or Lauryn Hill; ladies who are so innately lovely that the barest hint of makeup seems laughably superfluous.

I swear to God, Blake Lively IS California.

You know, while I find Penn Badgley to be completely insufferable on Gossip Girl, and feel a strong desire to yank every single hair out of that Brooklyn hipster goatee every time his smug face pops up onscreen, I am completely devoted to his and Blake’s real-life relationship. They are nothing short of adorable together. Gardenia would be just perfect for Blake, by the way. It’s a California gardenia, beachy hair and tinted chapstick, as opposed to more serious, red-lips-and-stilettos New York gardenias like Fracas. I generally tend to skew more New York, myself, but I can certainly appreciate the charms of this mellow beauty.

Gardenia was discontinued a while ago, but can be easily found online. The lasting power is about what you’d expect for a fragrance that comes in a 10 oz bottle.


Marc Jacobs Rain

Marc Jacobs Rain was among the three original Marc Jacobs splashes released in 2006. It also happens to be the only one of the three (the others being Grass and Cotton) that has survived to today. The official notes for Rain, according to FragranceX, are: wet cut grass, wild strawberry, clementine zest, cypress, tropical rain accord, passion flower, sunshine flower, white orchid, amber, musk, tree moss and teak wood.

These notes, by the way, are laughable. There’s nothing even vaguely resembling strawberry, clementine zest, amber, or musk in here. Rain is a refreshing, vaguely synthetic aquatic. There’s a cucumber note somewhere in here, perhaps to suggest a spa feel. After 10-15 minutes, Rain begins to smell generically (but pleasantly!) floral.

A former roommate of mine, a glamorous fashion student who survived Hurricane Katrina, used to wear Rain. It was so lovely on her, almost poignant. On me, Rain smells inescapably of hairspray. Rain is not my favorite of the MJ splashes (that honor goes to Gardenia), but it is one of the nicest aquatics out there. The pricing ($68 for 10 ounces) is also extremely reasonable.

Disclaimer: I have a sample of Rain from Sephora. Rain can still be found at Sephora, although it is no longer listed on their website.

Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau

Mother Nature, who apparently feels pretty bad about that whole Snowmaggedon thing, has decided to bless Maryland with absolutely fabulous weather. It’s 70 degrees, the sun is shining, and that most glorious of flowers, the purple crocus, heralds the approach of spring. Finally I have the opportunity to break out Miss Dior Cherie L’Eau, a recent flanker for the uber-popular Miss Dior Cherie. For some of us (me me me me me), the original Miss Dior Cherie was akin to a screaming toddler whose face is covered in ice cream- a gooey, overly sweet mess. These folks will be pleased to know that MDC L’Eau bears absolutely no resemblance to its predecessor (or to Miss Dior, but I was pretty sure that went without saying).

The official list of notes provided by Sephora claims that MDC L’Eau contains strawberry leaves, pink jasmine, caramelized popcorn, strawberry sorbet, and patchouli. This is rather bizarre, considering that MDC L’Eau does not smell like any of these things. MDC L’Eau opens with a citrusy top note and segues into a very delicate gardenia note, which then mingles with a light musk. MDC L’Eau can be thought of as a more feminine take on the traditional cologne.┬áIt has a refreshing quality that reminds me of my favorite flavor of gatorade, the light blue Glacier Freeze. There’s something very Easter-y about MDC L’Eau. It’s as if the perfumer created it using pastel colors, as opposed to the neon pink of original MDC.

Now, a word about cost, which is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. MDC L’Eau is available at Sephora in only one size, 3.4 ounces, for $82. Trust me, you’re gonna need that larger size, because MDC L’Eau has no lasting power whatsoever. Earth to Dior: those Marc Jacobs splashes have similarly poor lasting power, but they come in TEN ounce bottles for $68. Because I find the price outrageous, it is unlikely that I would ever purchase this. I will just have to sigh over what a truly pretty fragrance this is.

Disclaimer: I have sampled MDC L’Eau many times at Sephora.