Five Fabulous Tuberose Perfumes
Tuberose is a night-flowering plant native to Mexico that produces beautiful, fragrant waxy white flowers that have long been used in perfume. It looks and smells nothing like a rose - the name comes from the Latin tuberosa, meaning swollen, a reference to the plant's thick roots system.
So what does it smell like? "Sexy", "heady", "sultry", "carnal" and "intoxicating" are the sorts of descriptions that are typically applied to tuberose perfumes. Tuberose is a strong, distinctive, "take-no-prisoners" sort of scent. There's nothing weak or half-hearted about it, or about the sorts of reactions that people have to it. People who love tuberose really fall head over heels for it.
If you want a sexy white floral scent to wear in the evening, look no further than tuberose.
Fracas by Robert Piguet
First created in 1948, Fracas is the original great tuberose fragrance. "Every single person making a tuberose fragrance is trying to knock off the classic, which is Fracas," Frederic Malle noted in 2005 when talking about his own new tuberose perfume.
starts on a sweet citrusy note of bergamot and mandarin that soon develops into
a lush and lavish profusion of white flowers, mixing the central tuberose with gardenia,
jasmine, jonquil, lily of the valley, orange blossom and white iris. The
lovely, creamy dry-down introduces a touch of cedar, sandalwood and musk to
round everything out.
If you're after a beautiful, sexy, ultra-feminine scent, it's hard to go wrong with a little Fracas - and I do mean a little. Fracas is a big fragrance, even by the standards of tuberose perfumes, and a little goes a long way. Of course, that also means a bottle will last you that little bit longer before it's time to buy a new one, and as every perfume-lover knows, that's always a good thing!
Do Son by Diptyque
Diptyque's Do Son is a cooler, lighter tuberose that doesn't knock you right off your feet in the same way that Fracas does. While it also features notes of rose, iris, benzoin, white musk and orange leaves, these elements all stay in the background. Do Son is very much a tuberose soliflore (a perfume that focuses on the scent of one particular flower.) If you're after a tuberose scent that is all about the tuberose, this is definitely an excellent candidate.
With its light and airy nature, Do Son is the perfect fragrance to wear on a spring evening, and on into the summer.
Tubereuse by L'Artisan Parfumeur
L'artisan Parfumeur is a niche perfume house that often puts an interesting and innovative spin on a perfume standard. L'Artisan's Tubereuse opens with a slightly vegetal and fresh narcissus that evolves into a smooth, buttery mix of tuberose and coconut milk.
If Fracas is "death by tuberose" and Do Son is a single flower on a spring evening, L'Artisan's Tubereuse is a decadent and indulgent repast.
Noix de Tubereuse by Miller Harris
Miller Harris's take on the classic tuberose scent is
different again. Here, the tuberose is mixed with the sweetness of mimosa and
figs and balanced out by the airy greenness of clover and a hint of violet. I find it's one of those perfumes that keeps me coming back again and again for just one more sniff!
Noix de Tubereuse is a rich concoction that will delight anyone looking for a sweeter type of tuberose perfume.
Tubereuse Criminelle and Fleurs d'Oranger by Serge Lutens
One of the most famous and fabulous tuberose perfumes of all is Serge Lutens' Tubereuse Criminelle. Sadly, it is only available from the Serge Lutens boutique in Paris. If you live in Europe, or are fortunate enough to be visiting Paris from North America or further afield, stopping by the boutique to sample Tubereuse Criminelle is a must!
Luckily for the rest of us, Serge Lutens has also used tuberose to excellent effect in some of the perfumes in his export line. Fleurs d'Oranger, as the name implies, is a perfume that centers on orange blossom. However, tuberose is also a major component of this perfume. This is a swooningly lovely white floral with a sweet citrus opening and a creamy tuberose dry down. It's not massively strong, but it's persistent. I find that when I wear it I will put it on and forget about it. Hours later, I'll be moving around and smell something gorgeous - and then I realize that it's me!
Serge Lutens has created many wonderful and individual perfumes, including some of my personal favorites. This is definitely one of them.