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  1. #1

    Thumbs up Tubéreuse Criminelle

    Well, I've fallen in love with another tuberose fragrance - Serge Lutens' Tubéreuse Criminelle. I've given it two full wearings, and will likely use up my tiny decant on a third wearing tomorrow.

    After the dreadful disappointment that was Fracas, I wasn't particularly drawn to Tubéreuse Criminelle when the sample set arrived; I was more excited about La Myrrhe and Muscs Koublaď Khän, neither of which turned out to be really "me" fragrances.

    The top notes are lovely. I really don't smell the whole gasoline rubber camphor menthol nails-on-chalkboard note many smell in this. There is a lively, cooling sharpness that modifies the floral bent of this fragrance - wintergreen, to my nose, though not just wintergreen.

    When I first applied this the top notes faded quite quickly; fifteen minutes or so. In the second wearing a heavier application resulted in them lasting much longer; around two hour hours.

    Though the tuberose is always present, as the the top notes give up the ghost the tuberose really comes into its own.

    I find it interesting to compare this with Malle's Carnal Flower. Before Tubéreuse Criminelle entered my life Carnal Flower was the tuberose in my life, and the only one that could truly satisfy my tuberose hunger. Confronted with Tubéreuse Criminelle I had to ask myself - how could something that smells so different from Carnal Flower smell equally, if not more, like the real thing?

    I think a few fellow of my fellow Basenoters - purplebird7 and Mike Perez come to mind - are on to something when they talk about real tuberose being rubbery. I don't smell tuberose or tuberose absolute that way but there is a certain something about tuberose; a richness; a heaviness; a hidden depth. Something that adds almost an animal element to an entirely botanical scent, and something that Tubéreuse Criminelle emphasizes in a way that makes it smell almost more real than the living flower.

    The tuberose in Carnal Flower is the fragrance of tuberose carried on the evening breeze; the tuberose Tubéreuse Criminelle is a bouquet of tuberose blossoms inhaled deeply.

    I love both, but where as Carnal Flower is an experience I'll always cherish, Tubéreuse Criminelle worked its way into my psyche on first wearing in a way that doesn't really compare - Tubéreuse Criminelle IS me, somehow. It's like putting on a warm coat I've always worn and loved as well as it being an artistic experience in itself.

    The drydown is dominated by the tuberose note I just elaborated in detail upon, but there are subtle modifications and a distinct vanillic base with spices whispering faintly to one side. The notes are listed as "tuberose, orange blossom, hyacinth, jasmine, musk, vanilla, styrax, nutmeg and clove", but other than tuberose, vanilla and the not-listed wintergreen, I wouldn't be able to identify what's in Tubéreuse Criminelle. I'm glad to see my friend clove is in there - I can't pick clove out here, but the presence of clove often endears me to a fragrance.

    The sillage is good - I was trailing clouds of tuberosy goodness - and the longevity is excellent; a twenty-four-hour fragrance. Another thing I appreciate is that this always smells like tuberose from beginning to end, instead of becoming more of a jasmine fragrance in the base as some tuberose soliflores are wont to do.

    Can a man wear this? If he's comfortable smelling like tuberoses, why not? If you love white florals, go and sample this. Of course, this being Basenotes, our white floral lovers have probably all discovered this wonderful tuberose fragrance long before me.

    My large decant is on its way here.
    Last edited by Sugandaraja; 9th January 2009 at 11:02 AM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Tubéreuse Criminelle

    Lovely description. Tuberose is one of my fav's, and TC is probably the best there is. Fracas is too "melted butter on popcorn" to me, and Carnal Flower is just too strong. TC finds the perfect compromise between everything.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tubéreuse Criminelle

    Your impressions are well expressed and I like your analysis. I keep bottles of both Tubereuse Criminelle and Carnal Flower. I favor Carnal Flower in the winter, but it can become too heady for me in warm weather. That's when I switch to the comparatively cool and refreshing Tubereuse Criminelle.

  4. #4
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    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Miami, FL

    Default Re: Tubéreuse Criminelle

    I'm so glad you've find a white floral you really love Galamb.

    I still have not given TC a full wearing. A fellow Basenoter traded samples with me, and told me I could pick anything from their wardrobe that I wanted to try and I picked TC. When I received the sample, I simply opened up the top of the glass vial and removed the plastic wick and then resealed it. From just that light touch, my entire hand and body smelled like tuberose for about half an hour. When I walked into the next room, Ray asked me what scent I was wearing. Seriously. Strong stuff!

    I am a fan of tuberose and currently Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder is my HG - that stuff is fantastic. I will one of these days, be buying the parfum ($300+). In the meantime, TC intrigues me even more after your review - but I am going to be patient and wait until Spring before I sample it. Like Vibert, I think this is one that I will prefer wearing in the Spring/Summer.

    Oh - and your description, '...the tuberose Tubéreuse Criminelle is a bouquet of tuberose blossoms inhaled deeply...' I can relate to. Whenever I have them in my house, in a vase - the indolic smell that emanates from them will stop you dead in your tracks. There is really, no other flower that smells so...uniquely evil. In a good way.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 9th January 2009 at 08:43 PM.
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  5. #5

    Default Re: Tubéreuse Criminelle

    I'm glad to see the white flower coterie from the male forum found this post.

    I must say on day two I've become even more impressed by the longevity of this fragrance. Today I wore the same shirt as I wore yesterday and found I didn't need to reapply - whatever rubbed off yesterday was enough to provide more than adequate sillage today!

    Last night I had to share a score - and sit quite close to - another student during a score study class. I hope she likes tuberose, or I may be guilty of olfactory assault.

    I'm quite surprised by those who find Carnal Flower the heavier of the two. I find just the opposite; that Carnal Flower is the more soft spoken of the two; a cool, green interpretation as opposed to Tubéreuse Criminelle's more robust oriental take on the note.

    My take on the seasonal appropriateness of the two would be the reverse of Vibert's for the aforementioned reason, but I can't really advise Mike here. Out of idle curiosity I checked this week's weather in Miami, and it's hotter than an average week in July here! I imagine my tastes in fragrance would be somewhat different in a climate like that.

    As I'm always on the look out for good white florals, I'll definitely have to check out Tuberose Gardenia.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tubéreuse Criminelle

    Quote Originally Posted by Vibert View Post
    Your impressions are well expressed and I like your analysis. I keep bottles of both Tubereuse Criminelle and Carnal Flower. I favor Carnal Flower in the winter, but it can become too heady for me in warm weather. That's when I switch to the comparatively cool and refreshing Tubereuse Criminelle.
    Good advice Vibert. Although I own both Tubereuse Criminelle and Carnal Flower, I prefer the latter and haven't given Tubereuse Criminelle a full wear yet. I shall try switching to the cooler Tubereuse Criminelle in the warmer months, then maybe it will gain the same status as Carnal Flower in my wardrobe.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Tubéreuse Criminelle

    I can only say - TC is my holy grail and I own almost all tubereuse scents available on the market :-)))

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