In Margaret Atwood's novel The Handmaid's Tale, the protagonist is enslaved in a world of religious fanaticism where all cosmetics and fragrances are banned for everyone but the wives of the ruling elite. As her skin begins cracking from the lack of any sort of moisturizer, the protagonist steals pats of butter from the dinner table to soothe her discomfort. I remembered this novel when, during a visit to Toronto nearly twenty years ago, this California girl found out very quickly what a short walk outside without gloves in sub-freezing temperature could do to one's hands--mere hours before an important dinner party. My skin became so painful that I slipped a pat of butter under the table and rubbed it all over my hands. It worked wonders but smelled awfully, awfully funky and I just hoped no one else at the table would detect the scent...
Nearly all of the reviews of Tubéreuse here mention the smell of butter. When I sampled it today--and with my usual flair for testing used the entire sample vial--I smelled something very, very strange that evoked an odd memory. Though I readily detected the floral element--and thought this was the most unpleasant tuberose fragrance I'd ever smelled--there was also something else that dominated in the top notes that was decidedly unfloral. What was it?? I'd never encountered it in a perfume. Then I remembered that long-ago dinner party in Toronto...
Now, after reading the notes, I can only assume it was the coconut milk that set my nerves jangling--though it surely didn't come off smelling like coconut. Personally, I just love butter in or on food, but I surely don't want to wear it. Even when the top notes faded, I could still smell something butter-like. And, I might add, it didn't exactly smell like fresh butter--the word "rancid" came to mind. The butter smell took over five hours to fade and completely overwhelmed anything floral for most of that time.
Reviewers on another site have noted a rotting or stale vegetable scent. We are probably smelling the same thing, just calling it different names. The dry-down didn't improve it. It just faded into something less vivid that is neither attractive nor offensive.
This scent begins somewhat green and a little thin and then ,half an hour later it does open up beautifully into a buttery ( very used word for this perfume, I am sure ) white floral of mainly tuberose and orange blossom with cocount . In fact, it is almost a dead ringer for Fracas in EDP form ,when Fracas is just sprayed on skin .
I do like this perfume and it's a good tuberose but I would prefer to wear Fracas over this because both are quite similar.
Perhaps I am the wrong person to write reviews for tuberose-centric fragrances as it is not my favorite floral category. But I do think I know when I smell a good thing, and L'Artisan's Tubereuse is really not one of them. To be fair, It opens with a really huge tuberose note that is quite nice as it evokes a fleshy, larger-than-life exotic flower with hints of bubblegum and a lemony-woody quality. All too soon it transitions into a chemical-smelling generic white floral with a jarring fecal edge and some soapy white musk. Subtlety is definitely not the theme here. In fact, I am wearing Piguet Fracas (newest formulation) for comparison. Where Fracas is full, creamy, sophisticated and symphonic, Tubereuse is loud, harsh, screechy and thin. Fracas is beautiful and graceful. Tubereuse is a maladroit caricature. It is probably worth sampling, but I suspect most tuberose lovers will go elsewhere for their tuberose fix.
Floral butter or buttery floral? To my nose it's more of the latter but it is a scent unlike any flower I've smelled before. Delicately feminine in both feel and structure, I find TUBEREUSE's coy presentation unconventionally attractive.
Delicate ~ drying down to buttery cream ~ Tubereuse is very interesting. Gardenia here for sure. It has a raw authenticity to it. Awhile back I was given a gardenia plant as a gift, and (amazingly) I was able to keep it alive long enough to enjoy the fragrant sweet flower that bloomed! This L'Artisan offering completely reminds me of that exact smell! Bravo!
* As a side note: as much as I applaud this creation, It's not wearable for me. Most certainly worth trying though.