What is it with dashing flowers and heightened libidos?
Tuberose is no exception to this recurring theme. Monikers like the ‘Night Queen’, ‘The Carnal Flower’, ‘Mistress of the Night’ or less flatteringly ‘The Harlot of Perfumery’ all give you an idea of what people think of when they hear tuberose.
No surprise, then, to find out that almost all major perfumers have let tuberose take center stage in some of their most exlcusvie fragrances because it embodies the essence of what perfumery for many of them is all about: sensuality. It’s why generations of celebrities have made tuberose-centered perfumes their signature scent. How many of them used real tuberose is a different story…
Even when it comes to real tuberose, it's not a level playing field. Like with oud, you can clearly smell the good from the bad from the ugly.
Not to stir up controversy, but many tuberose extracts smell… bad. Some smell diluted, others like food additives with a cloying sugary heart, or you just smell a faint echo of the actual flower (which blooms at night, by the way). I'm wearing one (that isn't cheap) now that's quite astringent and squeamishly spicy; worlds apart from what you have here.
I love and use this particular Indian harvest for a simple reason: it captures the scent of the Night Queen beautifully. Instead of thinking what went wrong during distillation, you're totally absorbed, flower in front of your nose.
Among the quintessential white flowers used in perfumery, tuberose absolute is also among the rarest (if not the rarest) and most expensive. Costly florals like this that are used in the mainstream perfume are largely synthetic because of the effort and expense it takes to produce pure absolutes.
Even more difficult to fathom than how many flowers it takes to produce blue lotus oil, is that it typically takes about three tons of tuberose flowers to produce a mere half kilo of oil! That’s why even established perfumers with a rich network of contacts often have a hard time tracking down a small batch.
Native to Mexico and Central America, Aztec healers used tuberose flowers to remedy all sorts of medical conditions. Unsurprisingly, beautiful flowers aren’t just a pleasure to look at and a delight to smell, but their make-up seems to physical help with anxiety, inflammation, and stress. Healers, from the Aztecs to Indians, have all hones in on its numerous benefits. (Compounds like eugenol and farnesol might explain the skincare benefits).
Of course, the health benefits are secondary to me. Adjectives fail to do justice if you haven’t smelled this. Once you do, ‘voluptuous’ falls short. It's such an invigorating, lose-your-self-for-a-moment scent that enchants like few flowers do.
Despite its name, tuberose has no resemblance to rose. It’s actually related to the lily and its equally rich, concentrated aroma makes this a sought after standalone perfume especially in humid countries, where its tenacity goes a long. For a succulent scent that lasts, look no further.
The tenacity makes it a perfumer's dream, and as for the scent itself… it’s impossible for me to imagine anybody not instantly falling in love with this Mistress of the Night.
Many, many thanks for introducing the Tuberose and the Plumeria oils in your collection, which are a classic delight for every woman. As I first opened the flask of your Tuberose, it was like opening my bedroom window at night, in midsummer, during my teens: hot summer night in Rome, Italy, that flooded my bedroom with the intense, joyful scent of the many green plants and flowers of our garden. The first impression to my nose and soul was that of a mixture of peak summer flowers and herbs; not any mixture though, but a very particular one: that of the flowers and plants under my window in Rome, in my garden almost 50 years ago! Then after a while she, the queen, Tuberose, emerged from that sea of many summer flowers and came to the fore, strong, powerful and pungent, clearly recognizable, although less “almondy” than the one familiar to me… and then subsided, a bit elusive.
Your Tuberose oil is a remarkable perfume. I find it to be alive, very mobile, not static… very dynamic: it takes you on a journey. Tuberose is there, no doubt, but in changing guises. When it first hits you, it is like when you smell the flower putting your nose directly to it. Then after a while, it smells like when you enter a room where a small bunch of Tuberose has been placed in a vase. Then it eludes you, sort of fades away, mingling again, harmoniously, with a mixture of summer flowers… like one stalk of Tuberose placed in the middle of a bouquet of daisies, chrysanthemums, daffodils, green foliage, perhaps some wisteria and a few star jasmines… Actually, after about one hour, this Tuberose oil on my skin takes me very close to earth, right into the flowerbed: it smells like the stalks of bulb flowers when you cut them, as you cut them. It brings me back to my gardening days. And in the end, close to fading away, this oil on my skin brings back the smell of some of your other floral oils, as if there is a base scent that is the signature print of your floral perfumes, with no trace of tuberose left. But this is just after several hours. — Nur, Italy
Tuberose can be very challenging. The beauty of this absolute is that the green note is balanced with a sweet undernote that is in the background and comes upfront slowly after half an hour of application.
This absolute is amazing for tuberose lovers. It's very similar to a very rare enfleurage oil that is almost 3 times the price.
I loved it, my mother as well. In Egypt, tuberose is called 'misk al room' or sometimes it's called 'night bloom'. She says it reminds her of a garden blooming at night. She had some tuberose last summer from India in her small garden, and that's the most concentrated flowery scent she ever smelt. – Mohamed, Egypt