Two Tuberoses

I don’t know if tuberoses are perennials in the garden, but tuberoses in perfumery definitely are.  There are tuberose heavy bouquets that debut every year, though come to think of it, perhaps not this year.  Generally though you can count on plenty of tuberose bouquets to carry on with the languid, laid back smell of the flower.

Today though I am simply discussing two of them that I think are quite wearable.  Tuberose scents you know are iffy.  You have to be a femme fatale to carry them off, or possessed of that kind of Kevlar femininity that is the birthright of Latin and Southern women, you can even be a man, but you must have an ego as big as all outdoors, and utter confidence in your taste (and no backsies), or it won’t work.

But I think that if you like tuberose scents then Honore des Prés Vamp à New York would work well on a man.  It has a dark, boozy, top note that is almost dry and which compliments the tuberose heart very well.  You can tell from my description that we are not talking an absolute tuberose soliflor here, there are other things going on, and the dry down – it actually has one – is largely benzoin.

It comes as close to being a unisex perfume as a tuberose is ever going to be, and frankly, the longer that I write about this, the more I hope some guys have adopted this scent.  I’m guessing it would do very well on male skin.  On mine, it doesn’t come into its full rum note glory, and that’s too bad. It sort of backs down and fails to proclaim its tuberosity to the world.

There is simply very little point in being understated if you’re going to wear tuberose.  The Honore des Pres fragrance also has the fact that it is all natural going for it – indeed, it’s actually organic – so if you are fastidious about health and green-ness, it’s a very good option. Moreover, it doesn’t have that sad, head-shop feeling about it either, so you don’t suffer for virtue’s sake.

Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s Tubereuse is the girliest take. Considering all the jostling competition for Miss Soliflor Tuberose, Tubereuse has done very well for itself here.  I prefer it to Fracas (a diva perfume) and Creed’s Indiana, and the Jo Malone Tuberose, the MDCI’s Peche Cardinal, and even the fountain Caron Tubereuse in extract.  To my mind, the only competition for this one comes from Maitre Parfumier  et Gantier’s Tubereuse which is very airy and beautiful, but pricey, coming in usually at well over a hundred dollars for 100mls.

The other tuberoses are too antiseptic, too synthetic, too peachy and too indolic too work for me. Ms. Hurwitz’s tubereuse is coquettish.  It’s the sort of scent that could back into roadwork at a major intersection, open a water main, lean its head out of the window and ask the irate cop on duty if she’d really managed to do all that with her little old car?  This tuberose would probably get off with nothing more than a warning. The Caron and the Peche Cardinal would get hefty tickets, and you just know that Fracas would make a scene and end up in traffic court.

Tubereuse is the sort of tuberose scent your mother can wear, or your grandmother with the still great legs, or your teenaged daughter because somehow it is pretty but un-threatening and likeable in just about every context.  Possibly that is the only downfall of this perfume, because aren’t tuberoses supposed to be high maintenance nuisances that wobble about the world on five inch heels and shriek when they don’t get what they want?  You can’t be a tuberose. You’re too nice.

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