Looking for Vintage Fragrances?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Royal Gardenia by Prince Matchabelli c1930

Royal Gardenia by Prince Matchabelli: launched in 1930.


Fragrance Composition:


So what does it smell like? It is a very sweet, heavy gardenia perfume.

  • Top notes:  aldehydes, bergamot, vegetal green note, heliotrope, mimosa
  • Middle notes: gardenia, tuberose, coconut, jasmine concrete, ylang ylang, orange blossom
  • Base notes: ambergris, sandalwood, birch tar, musk ambrette, labdanum, benzoin

There are no official notes listed anywhere, so I am testing a very small amount of the parfum from my vintage c1930s bottle of Royal Gardenia in the sceptre flacon. The bottle was still sealed but lost most of its perfume due to evaporation, however there is some very syrupy and concentrated perfume oils down at the base of the bottle.

I just applied a large drop to the back of my hand. Immediately, a sweet, almost cloying blend of gardenia, tuberose and heliotrope wafts towards me. An indolic jasmine dominates this composition creating an oily, waxy smell emanating from the jasmine. Then a hint of bergamot punctuated with a green vegetal note appears, followed by a slight banana odor of ylang ylang. The drydown is a deep, rich amber, musk ambrette, labdanum and soft sandalwood. There is also a tarry (phenolic) type smell, much like birch tar. This goes away and I am left with nothing but sweet, white flowers and jasmine.

I will say that even though the jasmine/tuberose/gardenia accord is cloying at times (when I am huffing the back of my hand), when it is not so near the nostrils, it is a very beautiful, narcotic perfume. I think it would be wonderful perfume if it were released today, maybe tone down the indole (just a little bit). I absolutely love Fracas, but if I had to choose between which is the more narcotic of the two, I would vote for Royal Gardenia, hands down.

Fate of the Fragrance:

Royal Gardenia has been discontinued since the 1950s-1960s and is very rare to find.

Note: Please understand that this website is not affiliated with the Prince Matchabelli company in any way, it is only a reference page for collectors and those who have enjoyed the Prince Matchabelli fragrances.  

The goal of this website is to show the present owners of the Prince Matchabelli company how much we miss the discontinued classics such as ROYAL GARDENIA and hopefully, if they see that there is enough interest and demand, they will bring back the perfume! 

Please leave a comment below (for example: of why you liked the perfume, describe the scent, time period or age you wore it, who gave it to you or what occasion, any specific memories), who knows, perhaps someone from the company might see it.



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