Kim Kardashian has put out celebrity fragrances in the past, releasing seven different scents from 2009 to 2014 under a contract with Lighthouse Beauty. But back in November last year, the Hollywood sensation started a fragrance company entirely on her own, KKW Fragrance, and launched three scents under the Crystal Gardenia line: the titular Crystal Gardenia, and two instant flankers, Crystal Gardenia Citrus and Crystal Gardenia Oud.
One sleepless night, I randomly decided that I was going to purchase a 1.0oz (30ml) bottle of Crystal Gardenia, priced at US$35 excluding shipping; not cheap at all for a celebrity scent. Fortunately, the FedEx shipping service was efficient, and I promptly received my purchase in the mail in about 1.5 weeks.
Crystal Gardenia comes in a multifaceted quartz-shaped bottle inspired by Kim’s recent interest in healing crystals, which were gifted to her by friends following her traumatic Paris hotel robbery where she was held at gunpoint. As with most other fragrance bottles, the body is glass (frosted) and the cap is plastic with a matching opacity.
Like Katy Perry‘s Killer Queen line, Crystal Gardenia does not stand; it lies flat on your tabletop, but it looks beautiful. Kim has subsequently released the limited edition Kimoji Hearts as well as KKW Body, but they pale in comparison to the exquisite bottle design of the Crystal Gardenia line. Price aside, I’m glad I purchased the 1.0oz, which comes in the perfect handheld size. The larger, 2.5oz (75ml) looks absurdly huge, almost like a sex toy.
The fragrance also comes with an envelope containing three quartz crystals (one of them came in two broken pieces, but I kid you not, it actually makes the crystals look better altogether). A card inside explains the pseudoscientific abilities of the clear quartz, which overall makes the experience of the product quite unique for a celebrity fragrance.
The perfume itself is a gently sweet, mostly floral scent led by gardenia and tuberose, which were also the most prominent note in her eponymous first fragrance with Lighthouse Beauty.
It begins with a short-lived juicy opening of pear, grapefruit and water lily before it is quickly overtaken by the white florals of the middle. Gardenia, tuberose and tiare collaborate to emanate a light, watery floral accord that isn’t as intoxicating as white floral fragrances tend to be.
The florals linger together for around two hours before Crystal Gardenia becomes virtually undetectable. Its base notes of sandalwood, musk and amber are unusually weak, even the musk, which fragrances usually depend on to prolong the scent’s lifespan.
There’s nothing groundbreaking about the scent. A couple of friends gave it a try and said it smells like any other pleasant perfume. It’s not wrong to say that Crystal Gardenia is more style than substance: it’s packaging is elaborate, but its scent is unoriginal. That said, products today are driven largely by the peripheral features, and while its not going to change lives, the fragrance is pleasant and difficult to dislike… unless you’re vehemently biased against the celebrity behind it.