I’m a fan of the Marc Jacobs Daisy legacy but haven’t gotten close to smelling…
We usually either love or cannot stand tuberose, and even before familiarizing oneself with a fragrance, the word tuberose itself prepares us for certain sensations and associations, either positive or negative. Typically, people expect some old-school sexual excess, abundance of flesh, mouth-watering coconut, and overripe fruitiness. This is a showy kind of fragrance, one for extraverts; that kind of tuberose rather wears you and not the other way around.
Another community of tuberose fans, pshawing at the first group with disdain, look for something quite opposite in the flower – they seek intellectual depth, tumult and drama, or even innocence in a brothel. The greener and pricklier the tuberose, the more camphor it contains, the more bitter the tears caused by the harsh whip of galbanum, the better it seems. That kind of tuberose is for introverts.
Beside those two polar opposites, there are a great many generic tuberose fragrances that take a half-step in all the aforementioned directions. Those are the ones that ruined tuberose’s reputation, making it an every woman kind of scent. However you can come across good, moderate tuberose-themed fragrances, that neither get buck naked, nor excessively self-reproach. I am sure that you can think of your own example of a wearable yet interesting tuberose. Meanwhile, I’ll share a few of mine.
Love Tuberose – one of the last creations of Christopher Chong for Amouage – is always placed somewhere within easy reach in my bedroom, so that even if I don’t choose to perfume myself with it, I can always mentally stroke the flacon just by looking at it, making sure that the door to calm and coziness is still there waiting for me. Love Tuberose is seductive in a good-natured way, not at all sleazy or treacherous. It is amazing really how someone that beautiful can be that kind-hearted at the same time – and with that fragrance, you see yourself as both beautiful and kind.
Combining the impressions from Elena Prokofeva and Matvey Yudov‘s reviews of the fragrance, I imagine Marylin Monroe with her morning bowl of cereal. Love Tuberose is delightfully beautiful, but it lacks tuberose’s swagger and aggression, it is plump, voluminous yet light, in the way whipped cream is, and it is as casual as a bowl of heavenly morning cereal. The fragrance is light, fun, warm and tender, yet devoid of excessive languor. This tuberose is bathing in vanilla-flavored milk, its sweetness sparks joy, and it is almost not old-fashioned, i.e. not everyone would dare say that of stunning Marilyn.
Tuberosis Laboratorio Olfactivo, despite its name, which sounds like a disease or some bad mental state, is a light, springtime, ringing tuberose. It pushes its way through some rough greenery, that only underscores the purity of the flower. This tuberose, created by Jean-Claude Ellena, is capable of reconciling fans of different tuberose types – it is both seductive and green and tumultuous. It is wonderful to wear in the springtime – the impatient aromatic accord of spring anticipation is intertwined with the vivid joy of the first springtime bloom. Tuberosis is a young, lively tuberose fragrance devoid of any irritating antics, not at all sweet, but not sarcastic, either. You want to call it authentic, not in terms of the scent being realistic, but in the way it is presented and in terms of its personality. It is like a genuine smile. Wearing such a tuberose, you become hopeful, regardless of what you hope for.
The latest Tubéreuse Nue from Tom Ford also has its merits. Tom Ford’s general aromatic theme absolutely has to be if not downright F*cking, than at least Nue. And, truth be told, the latest fragrance is nearly naked – tuberose’s nudity is highlighted by its tight latex lingerie. But we’ll get to that later, and in the beginning the fragrance pops onto the scene with posh citrus-fresh designer tuberose that quickly stings your nose for a mere second – it is Sichuan pepper that astonishes you in more ways than one. What was that, really? The salty, spicy, loose herb of a pepper that makes you sneeze! By the way, you have to literally catch that initial grimace just in time, for it only lasts a second and then the tuberose, again, takes on an indifferent, calm-and-collected expression. Once a witch, now a fashion model!
Tom Ford’s tuberose lacks anything old-world like – she is underfed, androgynous, casual and professional when it comes to any state of undress. The nose glides over the immaculately sleek surface, not having to stop even once – there are no coconuts, no vanilla or lust; everything is simple – a bit cold, but chic. Yes, the silky latex lingerie fits the body seamlessly, and since it is Tom Ford and not Alessandro Gualtieri we are dealing with here, it is most likely lingerie and not something else entirely. Rubber appears when slightly bitter cocoa powder, suede, Sichuan pepper and God knows what other cutting edge, ultralight raw materials come together, and, after balancing between play-doh and rubber, it opts for latex, lightly powdered for extra silkiness. All the notes play at a quarter of their potential volume, underscoring the nue promised to us from the very beginning. Oud appears in the pyramid for the sake of sexiness. I have not yet managed to find it there yet. Maybe it is hiding behind the mushroomy (albeit ultralight) spirit of the tuberose itself?
It has turned out to be an ultramodern, light tuberose (?) that is more the product of fashion than that of perfumery – salty-citrusy, airy-plastic-y, volant, transparent, and purposely artificial. And, last but not least, rubbery. You forget about the flower almost immediately after you apply the fragrance to your skin – you think about the comfort of nudity, you ponder minimalism, synthetic materials, all the wonders of modern technology and the people who try to keep up with the times.