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As much as I love challenging fragrances, it took me several tests to completely get Tubereuse Criminelle. The first time I tried it (on paper) I immediately dismissed it as it was too camphoraceous, too thick and even a tad too loud. I decided it was not for me but, while visiting a major department store a few monthes later, I got a mouillette from an SA and, again, it immediately striked as too mentholated to my taste. The third and final time I got in contact with Tbereuse Criminelle was during a visit at Palais Royal in Paris where, after a purchase, I got a bunch of assorted Lutens samples including this one. When I got back home, I decided to give TC a test on skin and, with my suprise, something finally clicked.
Yes, the fragrance is still pretty thick and loud but there's something perversely fascinating in it. The opening mentholated accord is paired to a rubbery note and an overall vibe of turned flowers. There's something extremely wrong with Tubereuse Criminelle. So wrong to cross the border of mere ugliness and go far beyond towards something completely compelling. The fragrance slowly takes form and morphes into a magnificent floral concoction where tuberose is surely the main star but it's very well blended with other florals to create an extremely elegant composition. Surely not for everybody and still one of those fragrances that need to be properly tested before coming with a final virdict but, with some passion and patience, you will discover one of the closest thing to a masterpiece.
If we could compare fragrances to music, Tubereuse Criminelle would definitely be the most distant thing from pop-music.
Together with ISM and MKK, at the top of my favorite Lutens.
14th June, 2012