Four years ago I developed an immense urge to sample Fracas, the yardstick by which all other Tuberose fragrances seem to be measured. Some internet investigation revealed the existence of a few modern interpretations of this note, this being one of them.
No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't even manage to procure a sample of Tubéreuse Criminelle ... it was shrouded in the mystery and exclusivity of the 'bell jar' line and only available at the boutique in Paris. I eventually gave up and consoled myself with pursuing other Tuberose avenues until I heard a few months ago that it had finally become available in the export line and would soon be arriving at my local niche perfumery. I finally had the chance to try and buy two days ago ...
To be quite honest, when a fragrance is as hyped up as this one I am generally let down when I get to smell it. Not exactly a disappointment, I do find Tubéreuse Criminelle to be less than what I was expecting, but also my very first Lutens acquisition ... which is quite groundbreaking, at least for me. I have bemoaned the fact that many from this house are reminiscent of 'unwashed armpit', containing too much cumin and other odiferous materials that have done little to enchant me. My insistence on finding a Lutens to add to my collection has changed that to a certain extent, as I am now also after adding Miel de Bois and a la Nuit to my overflowing shelves :).
Tubéreuse Criminelle's mentholated opening blast can be a little eye-watering ... but it is absolutely unique! Fresh and bracing, it had me salivating for the emergence of my all time favorite note in perfumery. When the Tuberose does arrive, she is heralded by her compatriots in arms ... a gorgeous Orange Blossom and a deep Jasmine! In actual fact, I was quite unprepared for the rather heavy indoles almost overwhelmingly apparent here. Just short of 'poopy' smelling I was delighted by this unexpected turn of events. Hints of spice lift and brighten a Tuberose that seems to be in the fullness of her lifecycle ... there is a weightiness here that is very appealing ... a creamy, dense feeling ... as if a lei of these flowers had been placed around one's neck. The eventual Musk/Vanilla exit holds close to the skin and perpetuates the lush, creamy aspect of this fragrance.
A huge disappointment for me is that on skin alone, I only get about 4 hours of longevity from this creation. I took the advice of some very learned friends here on Parfumo and applied it to my clothes yesterday too. This extended the lifespan a further 3 hours or so, but when I wear something like Carnal Flower, just the fragrant residue of my shirts being in contact with my body radiates until they are washed. I have to put my shirt from yesterday to my nose to catch any traces of Tubéreuse Criminelle.
Tubéreuse Criminelle, for me at least, is not the powerhouse that some experience. It is, however, a beautifully unique take on Tuberose ... and one that I am thrilled to finally own!!
I wore this a few nights ago on the tropical island I periodically visit for work ... Tubereuse Criminelle BLOSSSOMS in the hot and humid weather! I am enjoying this one more and more!!