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June 14, 2005

Fragrance Review: Caron Tubereuse

Anna pavlova costume giselle

Rated 4.5 out of 5.0

Star rating: 5 stars--outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars--very good, 3 stars--adequate, 2 stars--disappointing, 1 star--poor.

Reading perfume reviews I am always struck by a variety of references to capture scent. Music language of chord, tremolo, crescendo and modulation; gustatory of bitter, sweet, sour; visual of matte, transparent, iridescent… The list is endless, and is contingent upon a reviewer's way of identifying sensations and connecting with the world. At the same time, it also underscores the inadequacy of our language to capture scent.

My own early experiences were shaped by ballet training. It is a mathematically precise thinking about space and movement, layered over sensitivity to music and emotional expression. My way of thinking about fragrance reflects this conditioning. Notes make their entrances, meld, exhibit pirouettes, move from adagio to allegro and réverancé before fading away.  Caron Tubéreuse is a fragrance I often think of solely in those terms. While it is not a grand ballet, it is a beautifully choreographed composition. The first encounter is an adagio of opulent sweet, yet delicate tuberose notes, which are joined by radiant neroli. Les Sylphides like quality of the heart persists even in the drydown, creating a feeling as if it is sustained in a weightless allongé.

For those wishing for a sunny radiant tuberose, Tubéreuse, available in extrait de parfum, is a good choice as it combines the classical precision of Caron with the modern predilections for transparency.

Photo: Anna Pavlova (1881 – 1931), Mariinsky Ballet, Ballets Russes. www.ballerinagallery.com/pavlova.htm

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