Mr. Colombina (sniffing loudly): What’s this smell?
Me: What does it smell like?
Mr. C (thinks awhile): Sweet. It smells sweet.
Me: Is it good sweet or bad sweet?
Mr. C (after a longish pause): I guess good…Smells like bubblegum.
Why this vignette from the life at chez Colombina? To prove yet again what is indisputable anyway, that people’s perceptions of scents differ. When Mr. Colombina smells Tubereuse Criminelle, he is reminded of bubblegum; for some wearers the top notes are leaden with the smell of hot rubber tiers, diesel and gasoline. Many get Vicks Vapo Rub, some get Clorox. When I spray the scent on the blotter, Tubereuse Criminelle does go through the “Dominatrix with a sore throat” beginning of cold menthol and rubber. The shockingly unattractive top notes prepare for the even bigger shock, that of the beauty of the tuberose. On my skin, however, Tubereuse Criminelle skips the odd start; it is all beauty, none of the beast.
And what a beauty it is. Tuberose rules the composition, it is all about her, her, her; other notes are here to enhance, complicate and enrich, not to distract. Thus the purpose of jasmine and orange blossom is to make the star flower even headier, to add layers of complexity to its dazzling appearance. The vanilla is present to smooth and soften (if I try really hard, at one point in the middle stage, right where vanilla meets jasmine, I can sort of intuit the vaguely banana-like bubblegum smell that Mr. Colombina gets in Tubereuse Criminelle). I adore the way clove is woven into the velvety whiteness of tuberose; it prevents the flower from being creamy and sweet, although, probably thanks to the aforementioned vanilla, the scent cannot be called dewy and fresh either. The warm piquancy adds the air of danger and mystery to the languid beauty of the flower. Indolent and enigmatic, Tubereuse Criminelle is like a magnificent, seemingly lazy animal...always ready to pounce.
Tubereuse Criminelle is, sadly, a part of the Exclusive range of the Lutens collection, and is only available at Salons du Palais Royal Shiseido in Paris, €100 for 2.5oz.
The image is from krasivoefoto.ru.