BWFs: Tuberose

The Tuberose Series OpenerThe Aztecs called it omixochitl, bone flower. The Mexicans call it nardo de San José, St. Joseph’s staff. Its common name in English refers to the tuberous nature of its bulb. Everybody has an opinion on the flower’s smell! What more is there to say about tuberose that hasn’t already been said by a million people, not to mention perfume bloggers? Fragrantica says: No note in perfumery is more surprisingly carnal, creamier or contradicting than that of tuberose. The multi-petalled flower is a mix of flower shop freshness and velvety opulence. Victoria of Bois de Jasmin says: Nothing captures better the essence of tuberose than its meaning in the language of flowers, used in Victorian England. Tuberose signified both dangerous pleasure and voluptuousness. The scent of the flower is a fusion of white petals and warm skin, an arresting sensual and heady fragrance. On a blotter, tuberose absolute opens up with a faint green note before warming into a sweet jasmine-like scent underscored by a rubbery accord. It vacillates between the coconut sweetness and the warm skin impression, as it dries down.

It’s funny – I don’t have an impression of tuberose as being “sexxxy” – it just smells good to me, luxurious and heady and rich but not slutty in the least. I’ve loved it from the start.

Tuberose is the Queeeeeeeen. She just is. And if you disagree, she will cutchoo. It’s okay with me; I love her. Most people either love her or hate her. For the lovers, here’s a list of BWF’s that feature tuberose, whether as a soliflore or as the centerpiece of the composition. (For the haters, you can keep this list for reference of Things to Avoid.) I’ve tried a number of these; the ones in black text I haven’t. Bolded ones I really enjoy.

glorious tuberoseSoliflores:

By Kilian Beyond Love
Le Galion Tubéreuse (newly rereleased)
DSH Perfumes Tubéreuse
Annick Goutal Tubéreuse
Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa
Caron Tubéreuse
L’Artisan Tubéreuse (discontinued)
Creed Tubéreuse Indiana
Il Profvmo Éclair de Tubéreuse
Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle (The opening doesn’t work for me, but it’s not the camphor/gasoline/menthol – it’s the rotting raw chicken note in there. Bleargh. Can NOT handle it. If you can get through without smelling that, you’re golden, because the rest of it is a wonderfully uncomplicated, simply-beautiful floral tuberose.)
Prada Infusion de Tubéreuse (infusion de boring, if you ask me)
Prada No. 6 Tubéreuse parfum (limited edition)
Parfumerie Generale PG17 Tubéreuse Couture
I Profumo di Firenze Tuberosa di Autonno
Maître Parfumeur et Gantier Tubéreuse
Hiram Green Moon Bloom (all natural)
Floris Tuberose
Terra Nova Tuberose (oil format)
Bruno Acampora Blu (oil format)

mixed flower tuberose arrangementCompositions:

Honore des Pres Vamp a NY (all natural)
Robert Piguet Fracas (There’s a ton of orange blossom in here, so much so that Fracas actually smells like tuberose-scented cold cream to me. Still the Queen. Still intoxicating.)
Robert Piguet Petit Fracas
Robert Piguet Douglas Hannant
Miller Harris Noix de Tubéreuse
Pilar & Lucy Tiptoeing Through Chambers of the Moon
Mona di Orio Tubéreuse
Versace Blonde (Huge. Somewhat synthetic. But nicer in the parfum.)
Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger (as much tuberose as orange blossom)
Ava Luxe Tuberose Diabolique
Juicy Couture Juicy Couture (Again, SO SUE ME. But it’s really good in the parfum.)
Frederic Malle Editions des Parfums Carnal Flower
Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia (one of the very few Lauders that doesn’t go nasty on me after 2-3 hours)
L’Artisan Nuit de Tubéreuse
Histoires des Parfums Tubéreuse 1 (Capricieuse), 2 (Virginale), and 3 (Animale)
Dior Poison
Nasomatto Narcotic Venus
Roja Dove Scandal
Giorgio Beverly Hills (It’s dead. Don’t try the new stuff – but the old, despite being huge, was rather nice.)
Diptyque Do Son
Carolina Herrera Carolina Herrera
Parfums DelRae Amoureuse
Givenchy Ysatis
Arquiste Flor y Canto (tuberose and marigold and copal)
ByRedo Flowerhead (tuberose, jasmine and rose)
Parfums d’Empire 3 Fleurs (tuberose, rose and jasmine – pretty but I found it soulless)
Serge Lutens Cedre
Serge Lutens Datura Noir
Karl Lagerfeld Chloe
Givenchy Amarige
Tableau de Parfums (Tauer) Loretta (plum/grape/tuberose/PATCHOULI. A freakfest. Like Poison on acid.)
Guerlain Jardins de Bagatelle
L’Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons (smells like perfumery linden to me, not like tuberose, but everybody ELSE says tuberose)
Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion
Balenciaga Michelle
Madonna Truth or Dare
Kim Kardashian Kim Kardashian
Michael Kors Michael
Providence Perfumes Cocoa Tuberose (all natural)
Anya’s Garden Starflower (all natural)
Aftelier Cepes & Tuberose (another all natural)
Parfums de Nicolaï Number One
Ramon Monegal Kiss My Name
Jean Paul Gaultier Fragile
Amouage Honour Woman
Jil Sander No. 4
Jo Malone Tuberose Angelica

Goodness, there are a LOT of tuberose/tuberose-centric perfumes. A LOT. This is by NO MEANS a complete listing. Rather terrifyingly, I’ve tried 48 out of the 68 listed here (that’s about 71%).

So, is tuberose your BFF, or your worst enemy?


7 thoughts on “BWFs: Tuberose”

  1. I think I really love tuberose. I agree that I don’t necessarily consider it sexy – but it’s so beautiful in its lush creaminess. Or at least, I like the lush, creamy ones. Do Son EDP is absolutely my favorite scent (so far), and I really enjoyed Moon Bloom and Carnal Flower, just not more than Do Son.

    I think I need to try more on this huge list of tuberoses! Thanks for compiling this list!

    1. Yeahhhh, it’s a huge list. Embarrassing, really, but I do love the stuff.

      I didn’t get on with Do Son, however – it seemed, hmm, thin to me? I know there’s an intentional “water” note, but it didn’t seem lush to me. Might be a skin thing, though.

      You should TRY Tubby Criminal, if you can. I seem to be one of the very few people who gets that raw chicken note. It does have a difficult opening, with lots of that mothball/camphor/menthol/gasoline, but after that it is just gorgeous. Moon Bloom has a bit of that sharp-green stuff, but it seems to go away quicker (and I didn’t get any raw meat from MB).

  2. I’m only familiar with the Estee, which I LOVE, and wear several times a week and the L’Artisan. The La Chasse aux Papillons smells divine but only lasted about, I don’t know, maybe 30 minutes, so that’s not going to happen :)!
    IF you had a very favorite one which one would you recommend to start with?
    Thanks for the great list! I can see a sample order from STC coming soon.

    1. Oh. Let me ponder on what I’d put in my “Tuberose Starter Kit” awhile… I’ll see if I can come up with 5-6 that I think are accessible and interesting, not too freaky. (I’d have put the Lauder on the list, btw. It’s that friendly.)

      ELPCTG is really lovely. Which L’Artisan did you mean – Nuit de Tubereuse or just plain Tubereuse?

    2. Actually, StC has a couple of tuberose samplers I think would be representative of some excellent choices – The “5 High-end” one is good (Carnal Flower, Fracas, Caron T parfum, OJ Frangipane – not very tuberosey to my nose but delightful – and Tubby Criminal, as I like to call the Lutens. THe “14 Niche Samples” one covers more of a range of tuberose-in-composition, and it includes things like Dior Poison and J’Adore, Carla Fracci Giselle (I should add that one to the list, it’s white florals and caramel), as well as Mahora and SL Fleurs d’Oranger. (Should add Mahora to the list, too. And the original Kate Spade, though that one is long gone.)

      But if I was throwing together my own list of tuberose frags to sample, I’d suggest SL TC, Carnal Flower, Tuberosa d’Autonno*, Fracas, Poison, SL Fd’O, Flowerhead, Vamp a NY, and the original, vintage Karl Lagerfeld Chloe.

      *simply because the Le Galion isn’t easily available – I have a split portion of it from someone who was able to buy a bottle in Europe. StC has the original Chloe, too.

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