A sublimely different tuberose scent.
I’ve had an odd relationship with the Les Nombres d’Or collection. All are excellently composed. Cuir for instance takes a protein-enriched piece of old leather and combines it with quinine. Vanille is a study of Vanilla dismissing the usually attachments. Oud – a novel attempt: containing the same ‘oud & floral’ structure with different ingredients (rose is swapped for osmanthus flower). Ambre – a study of the pillowy softness of the resin… And so forth with the rest of the lineup.
With a specific accord running throughout all the scents of the collection, it draws parallels to the Guerlinade – but is so, so very different in what it delivers. I’ve discussed this before in my Cuir review, and the accord I speak of is a combination of dustiness, darkness, and overlaying aromatics. It is dry, headstrong, and intensely scented. Lavender I suspect is present, with a bouquet of dried French associated herbs and glistening resins. It is static, but blends wonderfully with what is given to it. Smell Tubéreuse next to Cuir and Vétyver and notice a faint redolence to arid landscapes switching back and forth to a seaside Mediterranean freshness. Smell further and find the animalic notes, adding a delicious sultriness. Smell the collection as a cohesive whole and notice how they are underpinned with spicy and warm benzoin and flecks of amber. They are built up with strong carnal features that pulls into a dusty view of yesteryear.
Is this bad? No. Like one of the scents and you’ll probably like them all.
Tubéreuse by Mona di Orio contains a particular sweetness – a moreish quality that if you hone in on, recalls (for me) the wooded sweetness of Bois des Iles. How? It takes a creamy, ‘organic’ note – be it the tuberose flower in this case, and the peach in Chanel’s case, and combines it with a slightly taut backbone.
For this scent, the lactic qualities are delivered through tuberose, and the backbone is supplied with the dark and penetrating accord emblematic of the house. It is a brooding accord, a Provençal-styled inflection as if it were seen at dusk with infinite swirls in the air. It pulls in, and it pulls very deeply. Through blending, a stacked contrast is received. From vegetal overtones to carnal undertones, Tubereuse conveys all of these properties at once.
The namesake flower for instance is the perfect device in itself for all of these facets: slyly, creamy, carnal, raunchy, innately meaty. Added is something with dark hues, perhaps a smidgen of vetiver and/or a spike of animalics to give an olive and brown toned quality like cool minerals: an earthy, contrastingly metallic tone like bare, unoccupied earth. It is pleasingly spicy, pulsating back and forth breezes of cool and hot air.
I like this tuberose scent for its treatment of tuberose. It is employed within the overall structure with a noticeable difference, setting itself apart from anything else in the field – progression wise namely, it has an emphasis on the crisp virtues of this midnight flower (or is ‘Night Queen’ more apt?). On application, the tuberose isn’t heady (à la Fracas), instead it is filtered and cool, more mentholated than camphoraceous, with a spiky verdancy; a pallid green warming itself up to a radiating gem-like stature. The pink peppercorn cuts, gracefully, and creates an illusion of woods.
The overall result is, as described by Mona, a twilight scent: a juncture of the in-between, progressing later and later into the night. Bergamot and baie rose are symbolic of daytime, and can be pictured flouncing around the main floral component. These detract, as one would expect, to an unexpected stillness – soft rain and softer breezes eventually turning into a creamy oceanic tuberose touched with the pale almond smell of heliotrope and a lush tropical coconut, then warmed with amber, benzoin, and cashmeran (a molecule best described as a blanket of comforting musks).
The amber is dosed accordingly, aiding in retaining the overall linear vividness of the perfume.
A cool tuberose. It is unique, projecting, and a must for tuberose fans and tuberose beginners alike.
Subjective rating: 4/5
Objective rating: 4/5