This Is What KKW Fragrances Really Smell Like


“What does KKW FRAGRANCE smell like?” said no one in particular, when a taupe, hardcover Harry-Potter-book-sized box appeared on my desk. It was Crystal Gardenia, one of three debut fragrances from Kim Kardashian’s KKW Beauty collection.

The other two, Crystal Gardenia Oud and Crystal Gardenia Citrus, must’ve gotten lost in the mail. Housed in a synthetic crystal surrounded by more crystals, Crystal Gardenia is inspired by Kardashian’s well-documented love of gardenias. It began with a gift from her father, she explains in a press release. After a business trip to New York, he returned with a perfume that smelled like the tropical flower. “It’s one that I still have and I treasure the memories that it evokes when I see the bottle,” she says. I opened the box.

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Inside, printed in YEEZY font on a taupe business card, the fragrance notes read like an extended Haiku poem:

Julie Schott

But what did it all mean? I misted my bare wrists and caught an immediate gardenia-induced contact high. That was enough. Unlike regular perfumes that stand upright, Crystal Gardenia’s faux crystal vessel rests horizontally like a Beats Pill, perhaps a nod to the ‘balance bringing’. I asked editors (and crystal person Spencer Pratt) to help make sense of the overwhelming clear quartz-ness. Here’s what they had to say.

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“First up, I’ve literally never been so excited by a perfume bottle before. But the actual fragrance isn’t hippie-dippie crystal styles at all—it’s more like gardenia plus pear Jelly Belly. Definitely for people who err on the sweeter, white-flower spoke of the scent spectrum, which is like the opposite of what I usually wear. So it’s not for me, but neither is, like, Sam Smith. I guess it’s the Sam Smith of fragrances.” ―Estelle Tang, Entertainment Editor

“It smells like the inside of an old lady’s bag: potpourri mixed with weird brand-less gummy candies. You know the kind I’m talking about.” ―Leah Chernikoff, Editorial Director

“I am instantly reminded of Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds and the JLo Glow bottle.” ―Nikki Ogunnaike, Fashion Features Director

“I like it. It smells very clean. Like freshly washed hair.” ―Leah Melby Clinton, Director of Branded Editorial Strategy

“Seventh grade camp counselor.” ―Sally Holmes, Executive Editor

“It smells like the mall.” ―Gena Kaufman, Director, Social Media and Special Products

“My identity has been stolen.” ―Spencer Pratt

Available November 15th, KKW Fragrance, $35; SHOP

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