Sometimes the closest we can get to a real gardenia is to buy one molded of soap and scent by Gianna Rose Atelier. Have you seen their Tresors du Jardin with 3 Gardenia Soaps in Soap Dish? The soaps are beautiful and it is such a lovely gift.
I have a particular affinity for gardenias because my mom used to mail them to me. You read that right. For a time they had a house and garden in Florida and when the gardenia bloomed she wanted to share it with me. A Ziploc bag full of damp paper towels and near perfect gardenia blooms would arrive at my house in Michigan in the middle of Winter. Can you imagine? It was a wonderful (and fragrant) moment in time.
But on this bright day in Palm Beach, a perfect (and I mean so perfect it must have opened that morning) gardenia was in bloom on a tree within reach. I zoomed my camera a bit and this is the result. The pure white waxy petals looked other-worldly and luckily no bug dared to land on this scented masterpiece.
Do you know what a gardenia smells like? If you do, close your eyes and imagine breathing it in right now.