And fade they do. I've dried gardenias before by keeping them in a dark cool place. They lose a little of their whiteness but not to the dark ecru color that they reached when enveloped in a mixture of cornstarch with talc, kaolin and other compounds in the baby powder I added because I hoped its fixatives would hold the fragrance better.
The powder still smells more like babies than gardenias. I discarded the brown flowers and added fresh today. The gardenias are almost done in the garden. The cornstarch mixture was lumpy when I opened the container but it smooths into fine powder at a touch.
A vintage refrigerator dish makes a fine powder-making
container, I thought.
I saved the discarded blooms for some vintage projecct
not yet thought of, layering them in paper towels to dry.
Now that they're almost gone, I should have tried drying gardenias again for other future notions.
They do lose their fragrance when air-dried and some of their whiteness but hold their shape.
I read a recipe for making essential oil the other day, using a crock pot to 'cook' the blooms, catching the vapors on the underside of the inverted lid and then letting them drain back into a suitable small vessel. Recipes for making dusting powder using essential oil of gardenias use only a few drops, which is probably as much as I could manufacture in a crude evaporator.
If all else fails, I'll ask for Oscar for my birthday, or White Shoulders.