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August 31, 2010

Tuberoses of L’Artisan Parfumeur : Nuit de Tubereuse

Nuit de tubereuse

The lush complexity of tuberose is bewitching: the intense sensuality of its aroma; the surprising layering of green, mineral and creamy notes; the contrast between wet petally and ripe fruit facets. Although perplexing and challenging, this flower offers a rich source of inspiration to a perfumer. Even a brief glance at the L’Artisan Parfumeur tuberose collection reveals that it can be treated in strikingly diverse ways: as a coconut bonbon (Tubéreuse, first launched 1978 and now sadly discontinued,) an innocent ingénue in white (La Chasse aux Papillons), opulent, with an emphasis on jasmine notes (La Chasse aux Papillons Extrême,) or as a heady, creamy and spicy accord (La Haie Fleurie de Hameau). Nuit de Tubereuse, a fragrance by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour and launched this spring, presents yet another tuberose treatment: earthy, musky, with a delicious tropical fruit accent.

In fact, Nuit de Tubéreuse breaks many tuberose rules: it is neither creamy, nor especially heady. It is not even particularly petally. The emphasis on earthy tones makes for a surprising discovery of this facet in tuberose. The characteristic coconut aspect of the flower is toned down, and the lactonic fruity elements are replaced with the piney tartness of mango, which in turn makes for a lovely affinity with the spicy chill of cardamom and pink pepper. The floral heart of Nuit de Tubéreuse takes the direction of sheer rose, laced with jasmine, which gives an interesting classical feeling. Finally, the drydown with its strong accent on green, musky angelica and oriental balsams is satisfyingly deep, dark and enveloping.

Nuit de Tubéreuse is the least characteristic tuberose blend I have encountered recently, and this may be a point of contention for those who love tuberose at its most luxurious and rich (Frederic Malle Carnal Flower, Robert Piguet Fracas, Michael Kors.) In the same vein, because of its dark and woody backdrop, it is miles away from airy tuberose compositions like La Chasse aux Papillons, Prada Tubereuse No 6, and Jo Malone Tuberose. It is an unusual tuberose composition, which makes it interesting; however, since I prefer my tuberose to be unapologetically and decadently luxurious, I find Nuit de Tubéreuse somewhat less compelling as a tuberose soliflore. Yet, as a floral oriental rendered in a nuanced manner, it is very successful.

Nuit de Tubéreuse includes notes of mango, tuberose, cardamom, clove, pink pepper, pepper, citrus, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, angelica, gorse, sandalwood, palisander, musks, benzoin and styrax. L’Artisan line is available from Aedes, Beautycafe, Beautyhabit, and Luckyscent, as well as Henri Bendel, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys, and Neiman Marcus.

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