Tuberose – A night blooming flower possessing a mesmerising scent often described as intoxicating with heavy, sweet, tenacious, carnal, creamy, buttery, fleshy floral notes. A fragrance so sexy, young girls were forbidden to inhale the scent because of its aphrodisiac qualities. It is extremely popular in fragrances and yet despite this, it is also known to be an extremely polarising ingredient. Folk either love it or hate it.
Myself? I have been somewhat of a fence sitter with tuberose. I appreciate it on its own and when I wear it diluted (as I am now) it is magnificent. It has this amazing cool quality underscored by a lush voluptuous floral scent. Deeper still is a backdrop of a meaty, musky, earthy aroma. As an ingredient it is practically a stand alone fragrance, having an amazing tenacity even at low dilution.
So why am I a fence sitter if I love it so much on its own? It is because the perfumes I have tried that include it, I find extremely nauseating. I will admit I have not tried every tuberose fragrance, however, the ones that I have tried seem to amplify the sickly sweet creamy side of the flower. Somehow I think of being trapped in a Brady bunch special, smothered in super sized leis.
I have not as yet purchased cepes absolute to work with but I was very intrigued when I came across Aftelier’s Cepes and Tuberose natural perfume and was eager to find out how they worked together in the fragrance. My first impression was of a subtle rose and then came the mushroom! I remember thinking this is plain mad: a mushroom perfume. It just smelt like mushrooms and initially I wanted to keep my wrist very far away from my nose! I do remember thinking “what was she thinking!” But then some kind of magic happened. The cepes and tuberose are like pure genius together – by highlighting the musky earthy element of tuberose, Mandy Aftel has maintained the glory of tuberose yet nicely restrained its potential to be cloying and bought a little extra oddball pizzazz to the mix!
It is definitely not a fragrance for the faint hearted. If you like run of the mill perfumes then this will be a challenge you may not overcome. Mandy describes it on her site as “one of my more enigmatic perfumes”. It certainly is! As for my own creations with tuberose – so far I have succeeded in amplifying the notes that make me feel nauseous. Fingers crossed, one day I’ll make magic happen!