Tuberose Series 12: Tuberose Couture

I keep seeing reviews of this one that start out, “Usually, I don’t like tuberose…” and then go on to say, “but I love Tuberose Couture.” Make of that what you will. Oddly, there is no review of Tuberose Couture in P:TG, although several other Parfumerie Generale scents are included.

Perfume Review: Parfumerie Generale No. 17 Tuberose Couture

Date released: 2006

Perfumer: Pierre Guillaume

Sample provenance: The Perfumed Court, 2010

Sub-category: Atypical green tuberose soliflore (fresh green) – see below for description

Notes for TC:  Kalamanzi oil, green jasmine shoots, ylang-ylang, sugar cane, Indian tuberose, Sumatra benzoin, papyrus

Opens with the weird mentholated-rubber notes of good tuberose absolute. Kalamanzi is apparently a tropical citrus-lime fruit, also spelled calamansi, and it shows up about three minutes in, giving the scent an even weirder fresh-green cast: you’ve now got menthol, camphor, lime, and stemmy green notes, with a sinuous and sultry tuberose-ylang winding its caressing arms up through the greenery. It’s freaky, but I really do like this stage.

After that psychedelic green stuff fades, the scent becomes a very sweet and yet fresh tuberose. No buttery-creamy veil on the tuberose here; it’s rather transparent and floral, as if drenched in syrup. This candy-like tuberose goes on for hours. A hint of vanilla sneaks in (from the benzoin) during the drydown, increasing the resemblance to candy, but I can’t identify the papyrus. Not that I know what papyrus would smell like, but I’d make the assumption that it’s faintly woody. Really, all I smell is tuberose and sugar, once the fascinating top notes have faded.

So what is it that makes people who don’t typically like tuberose say that they loved Tuberose Couture? I wouldn’t say that it is strikingly different from other tuberose scents I’ve tested.* It is, however, lacking the lactones that usually show up in tuberose scents. Coconut is lactonic, and it’s a natural match for the tuberose so it’s a frequent component of tuberose fragrances. Often, too, there’s a “buttery” or “creamy” aspect to tuberose scents like Fracas and PC Tuberose Gardenia; even my darlin’ Voile de Fleur has a milky cast. There’s no butter, cream, milk, or coconut in Tuberose Couture: here, the tuberose has been glazed, not creamed.

I’ve written twelve tuberose reviews, but at the moment have tested seventeen tuberose scents, whether soliflores or tuberose-heavy compositions. By now I’ve formulated a few categories into which I can place the scents I test. I’ll be going back to edit my previous reviews, to add this arbitrary info. These are the sub-categories for the Tuberose Series: Rich oriental-chypre base tuberose composition; Loud dressed-up party tuberose composition; Typical buttery tuberose soliflore; Atypical green tuberose soliflore; Gentle white floral with tuberose.

Quality   B+ Definitely natural ingredients. I don’t smell any synthetic tuberose here.

Grab-scale score   6

Short description   Candied tuberose. (“Candied” is more pleasant, in my opinion, than “sugary.”)

Cost   $$$

Earns compliments?   No. My kids did not like it, suggesting that it smelled “fake” to them. That might have been due to the candied effect from the sugar cane, but they found it far less pleasant than I did. The CEO was noncommittal.

Scent presence:   Moderate. Moderate sillage. Long-lasting (8-10 hours).

Review report: Aromascope, Chicken Freak’s Obsessions, Perfume-Smellin’ Things, The Non-Blonde.

Image is from fragrantica.com.

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4 thoughts on “Tuberose Series 12: Tuberose Couture”

  1. I don’t know this particular scent, and, after the exertions of the past few postings, am taking a bit of a break from even the *thought* of tuberose.

    However, I think your categories are spot on– as I was reading them, I could drop my impressions of various scents right into those designations– I’d love to read yours.

  2. Mwah ha ha ha!!!! Evil tuberose is stalking you… No, you’ve been very brave. The only note that might come close to scaring me to that degree is balsam. Hate Opium, hate Cinnabar, hate Obsession, hate anything with large amounts of balsam (what some people might call the “cola accord”). Just *hate* it.

    I am learning to make peace with patchouli, although I’m sensitive to it and a little goes a very, very long way for me. I do like the green, herbal stuff better than the dusty, but it still tends to hijack a scent for me. I keep practicing smelling patch scents – it’s like those desensitizing exercises they do for kids who are allergic to peanut butter.

    I’m going to go back and add Subcategories of Tuberose for any review that warrants it.

  3. Woohoo! You liked it! This remains my favorite tuberose. At least today, and probably tomorrow.

    It’s interesting that so much sugar came out for you – it’s not that sweet for me. Do I correctly recall that this is a pattern for both of us?

  4. CF, I do tend to either sweeten things up, or perhaps to simply find them too sweet for my taste.

    I did like this one – and was really surprised that no one else who smelled it on me seemed to.

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