A very strong, sweet, exotic, gardenia. Sometimes a little rubbery depending on who puts it out.
Thread: what does tuberose smell like?
A lot of fragrances have tuberose in them. I am not sure if I like tuberose. The reason i am suspecting this is because sometimes I try a fragrance that just annoys me and i want it to go away. then i find out what the notes are and all of the ones that bother me seem to have tuberose in them! so i am pretty sure it is the tuberose that turns me off but i really want to like it! what does tuberose smell like so I can be sure?
A very strong, sweet, exotic, gardenia. Sometimes a little rubbery depending on who puts it out.
Judging from all the tubreuse I've smelled (Lutens and Montale, so admittedly not very much)... well, on me it smells like Dr. Pepper and musty earth. I can't wear it!!
My initial impression of tuberose may seem kind of strange....but it smells sort of purple to me...a bit like grape candy or jam.
I'm smelling tuberose absolute right now, trying to give you the most accurate impression possible. I'd say a creamy white floral scent with a "dirty" note remeniscent of a room your grandfather was smoking a pipe in an hour or two before. It is similar to jasmine or gardenia but if they are house cats, tuberose is a siberian tiger. It's extremely tenacious. I have noticed it most prominently in the drydown of Fracas. It's narcotic and sexy, rich and beautiful.
I hope that helps. If not, order a sample for a couple of bucks from eden botanicals, a great source for quality essential oils/absolutes/CO2 extractions.
Imagine being asked what jasmine or violet smell like, if you've never smelled it in a garden, just synthetic substitutes in perfume bottles . . .
Thanks to ice cream and high octane wake up calls, we don't have to ask about vanilla or coffee all that much
It's floral (read that as "sweet, but not vanilla sort of sweet"). It's heady (read that as "a few stems will cause 6 blocks worth of farmer's market to smell of tuberose"). It's white, which means the real flower is white. White florals don't all smell the same, narcissus is on the sharp and green side, and tuberose is on the sweet side.
Of the white florals that are common in Los Angeles as plants, tuberose is the strongest. Jasmine sambac (creamier) and night blooming jasmine (greener/sharper) smell a bit similar to tuberose, but are nowhere near as strong. People use masses of both sorts of jasmine in their landscaping, and you won't notice the scent unless the plants are in full bloom. Narcissus you won't even notice unless you sniff the flowers directly. A few stalks of tuberose will try to knock you over.
Tuberose is also notable because it blends well with the scent of gasoline, the scent of peaches, the scent of lemons, the scent of sweaty people... pretty much anything at a summer farmer's market will smell good with it. In perfumery, this means it's a very versatile scent and works with a lot of notes. It has elements of all of the notes I've listed above within it, which is why it seems to work well with them.
If the fragrances that are annoying you are heady, intense florals, then yes, tuberose is the likely culprit, tho I'd check the ingredients list for jasmine, gardenia and some of the other sweeter white florals. If the annoyance is with a sharpness about the scent, tuberose probably isn't at fault. If the annoyance is with the scent turning to gasoline, it's pretty much certain to be the tuberose.
The real plant coming into season is something I both look forward to and dread a bit. The scent is very enjoyable, in sensible sized doses. And well, tuberose is a plant that doesn't *believe* in sensible.
Tuberose reminds me of Juicy Couture, but then Paris Hilton for Woman has tuberose which doesn't make any sence.
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The thing about tuberose for me is that a lot of perfumes that have it bother the heck out of me. I'm a florist, and one of my favorite flowers is the tuberose. So if they haven't got it exactly right, it bothers me to no end. For some reason I can tolerate Juicy Couture, even though it's got a cotton candy edge to the tuberose.
To me tuberose has almost a sickly sweet edge to it. Ten stems in a vase will scent my whole lower level....and I've got a huge house. It's a scent that needs a lot of room.
I was smelling tuberose absolute yesterday and wanted to add this:
The initial impression I had of the ingredient was that it was dark, imperious, and yet overwhelmingly familiar. There was an almost wine-like sweetness to it, but the impression was that this was the sort of wine you'd suck right out of the earth... terrible as that sounds. As much as I liked my first whiff, however, when I breathed in deeply...
...the tuberose ended up smelling like manure.
From a distance, however, it was quite lovely!
If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.
Coincidentally, I have my new love, Michael Kors, radiant on my pulse points as we speak. Definitely tuberose is one of my favorite scents (try Marc Jacobs as well). Fracas - much beloved - has no staying power on me, but I think was outlawed in France (just kidding!!!) due to the sillage.
Which tuberose generally has in abundance. The heady and sometimes "rotten decay" element of tuberose is not apparant in the Michael Kors - but beware of Carnal Flower and Serge Lutens' Criminelle!
MsTikl says: Indulge!
Which goes to prove that it's all in the nose of the smeller. I too am a florist and can't wait til the tuberoses come in. I could drown in them. My favorite tuberose is Criminelle because it's so potent.
But I am of a "certain age" and my chemistry now tends to tame the really powerful frags - a mixed blessing because the more subtle ones no longer develop or last the way they once did!! :bounce: "Sic transit...."
"The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze
The thing is, real tuberoses, like they have at the Botanic Gardens in the Chicago area, smell heavenly.
But synthetic ones (most perfumes that say they contain tuberose actually contain a synthetic substitute-- For info see Chandler Burr's article on Ghost Flowers) smell horrendous to me and give me an immediate frontal headache. Try smelling Juicy Couture. Then Fracas. If they both give you a headache, then it might be the tuberose!
In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
like a handgrenade set to explode,
like goldenrod ready to bloom.
—from "The Woman in the Ordinary" by Marge Piercy
Tuberose flowers smell strong and creamy sweet. They fill a room up with just a few flowers, even fallen off the main stalk. I love the smell of them. However, they do get stinky when they are old.
The perfumes I have smelled that call themselves tuberose don't really smell like the flowers, but they have something in common, because I like them in the same way. this is probably the artistic interpretation of tuberose, and I love these two artists interpretations: editions des parfums Frederic Malle Carnal Flower is warm and soft and delicious tuberose, some say coconutty but I don't get that. She is the one you invite to the symphony, She smells gorgeous. She can pull off wearing gloves without looking like she got them at a thrift shop.
Fracas I also love sometimes, she is one with the big laugh that you want to invite to help you choose your next pair of glasses.She will help you push your fashion comfort level, (but sometimes may encourage you to buy something you might not ever wear) She will take you to the modern art museum every time a new show opens. Sometimes you will be drop jaw amazed by what you see and other times you won't be able to get out fast enough, but it is always worth the time.
But I am pretty certain it is the tuberose note you are disliking. Give her time. Don't toss out your samples. Put them away, after you have been experimenting with and exploring the world of perfume for awhile, get them out again and give her another try. You may be surprised. I was.
Last edited by Loukoumi; 20th April 2007 at 11:54 PM. Reason: miss spelled, better description,
At least the flower is. They're easy to grow. I did all-white plantings on my balcony a few years ago, basically bought all the bulbs the local version of home depot had that were labeled white and put them in pots. I was raised pretty prudish, and felt almost guilty having that smell on my balcony. Tuberose smells illicit.
It's a fabulous flower, for sure. I won't try it as a scent any time soon, for fear of getting picked up and taken in to the police station for indecent exposure, pressed blouse and dark suit notwithstanding.
Thank you for all your replies. I have decided I like tuberose. Someone posted that it smells like grape jelly, and I do agree with that! I tried Juicy Couture, first expecting to hate it. But I really do like it. It smells so familiar to me, and it reminds me of weddings. I think I will plant some Tuberose outside my house. I love powerful flowers!
I think it gives a boring floral a smutty edge. I must love tuberose as it's in Fracas, Carnal Flower, J'Adore, Poison according to TPC.
I thought jasmine sambac was night-blooming jasmine -- as opposed to the much sweeter jasmine grandiflorum.
I've never seen tuberose growing publicly in Los Angeles -- I find star (night-blooming) jasmine, honeysuckle, and CA bay laurel trees (jasmine + jolly rancher! would love to get an absolute of it but it doesn't exist ) are the main contributors to the heavenly wafts through the dreamy streets of the City of Angels.
My brother in Honolulu often greets me at the airport there with a lei of tuberose, and I always loved the scent, perfectly soft-sweet and balanced!
No one has mentioned the main distinguishing characteristic of tuberose to my nose -- butter! The animalic aspect is very buttery/dairy to me, along with the clean rich sweetness. I agree that Carnal Flower captures some of it, but it is mixed with jasmine and a little fresh sweet-spicy plumeria to me.
tuberose flowers odour is a deep rich orange with a voluptuous sweet and heady fragrance
As a gardener, trained in horticulture, I have grown a field of tuberose and, like you I find the perfumer's idea of iris or tuberose different to that of actually growing the flower. Love your comment, it made me sit up.
Interesting the descriptions given; I may be able to explain a couple of them. The smell of Doctor Pepper is Oil of Wintergreen which contains Methyl Salicylate, so does Tuberose. The Serge Lutens fragrance overdoses on Methyl Salicylate. The (American) flavour of Grape is usually due to Methyl Anthanilate, Tuberose contains Methyl Anthanilate.
Tuberose is a very intoxicating scent , at night it releases its odor , a floral musky smell . Its not so popular in the west, but its extremely popular in India, along with Jasmine sambac. While on a business trip there, I noticed many people kept Tuberose bouquets in their living rooms.
I like tuberose as a supporting note...like Mona di Orio's Tubereuse...I also love the way she used to say "Tuberose" in her thick French accent...We lost a great perfumer when she died.