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  1. #1

    Default Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    "Odd" is such a relative term. A lot of people find Tubereuse Criminelle odd - and in the sense of conventional perfumery, it is. Loud wintergreen top notes aren't common anywhere, let alone paired with something sweet and creamy like tuberose. Yet, while it's Avante Garde and elemental, there's something straight-forward about it, too - big, perceptible building blocks of tuberose, wintergreen, musk, and vanilla.

    If anything, Caron's Tubereuse is the opposite. There's nothing I smell here I haven't smelled elsewhere, in many classic fragrances, yet the proportions and contrasts involved mean there's a strong sense of the alien. If Tubereuse Criminelle is a cubist canvas of broad strokes and bright colors, Caron's Tubereuse is a Rene Magritte, familiar forms in odd juxtapositions.

    Tubereuse's top notes arrive in a state of exaggeration and diminution, certain facets of the flower turned up, and certain others turned way down. A burst of caramelized sugar is quickly beaten back by an odd accord of sweetened, creamy mushroom ( possibly Cashmeran? ) and sharp, astringent green. There's the olfactory equivalent of a floral aftertaste, but If there weren't certain key elements of tuberose in the mix, I wouldn't recognize this its presence.

    The heart is a lot of astringent green for a while, as the mushroom looms less large in the palette. It immediately reminded both myself and a friend of witch-hazel tonic. I wonder what this note is? I've only ever smelled it one other fragrance - DSH's Viridian, an unusual and powerful green fragrance I had the pleasure of smelling last fall.

    The base is an interesting development for a floral. Just when you think "Okay, the green and the mushroom are going, here's where it's going to open up and get pretty," it stops and morphs into something else yet again. A dry, wan tuberose note blends with the green and a certain creaminess that's attractive in a remote, brooding way. Without being a chypre, the drydown is strongly redolent of classical leather chypres like Bandit and Azuree. In fact, if you drew a spectrum and places Fracas and Bandit at either end, this, alone among the tuberoses I've smelled, is far closer kin to Bandit than Fracas and its relatives.

    Fragrances like Fracas and Beyond Love will not prepare you for this at all. If "green tuberose" has you picturing Carnal Flower or Amoureuse, think again - this is removed from those kinds of green notes, relying on a very different dry, almost bitter-green supporting accord. Nothing like Tubereuse Criminelle, either, or for that matter, anything I've tried that lies in the category of white florals. If it didn't sound crude an unappealing, I'd say tuberose and dried dill, but it's not quite that dissonant.

    I must applaud Caron for releasing such a unique statement in today's market, quite estranged from modern ideals of beautiful florals ( it would fit far better amid the green chypres of the '60s and '70s ). I'd have never thought tuberose could be transformed into something dry, sombre, and austere, but my nose is telling me otherwise.

    I'm posting this here because I know a lot of men like dry florals with dark or astringent modifications, and I feel that this one has really been unfairly ignored by the fragrance community at large.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Amazing review and analysis Suga!
    This Caron certainly sounds unusual and original for a tuberose perfume.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    So you finally got to try it Suga! It's amazing, isn't it?! First of all, I have to commend you on dissecting Tubereuse and analyzing it the way you did! I can see that you find it a bit odd and as you say dry. Upon the first couple of wearings, you might think that it is actually complex and multifaceted (which it is), but the more you wear it, the more it gets easier to understand to point of linearity. I was actually quite surprised that you mentioned it as dry (bitter I can see). I actually find that it has a very plump feel to it. Imagine towel drying your hair and then feeling it; there's still that little bit of moisture that manages to keep it soft and velvety. Whereas completely dried hair can sometimes feel coarse. Whenever I wear Tubereuse, it always reminds me of a Lutens creations, specifically the Bois Series or Cedre. I have a feeling that Tubereuse might have some cedarwood because it adds a smooth woodiness (in this case here, the mushrooms). I also feel that Tubereuse shares quite a bit with Cedre because in Cedre, tuberose and cedar are paired with each other and the result has a similiar feel to the Caron. But I agree with you that there is something very vegetal, yet bitter-sweet (absinthe paired with something?) in the topnotes; they're actually my favorite part of the scent. I get a very Caron-like drydown with that infamous maron-glace; perhaps also a bit of Mousse de Saxe. But it truly is a fabulous fragrance, and thanks again for a wonderul review

  4. #4

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Suga, this is a great review, and I enjoyed reading it very much. However, I must tell you that this passage...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugandaraja View Post
    A burst of caramelized sugar is quickly beaten back by an odd accord of sweetened, creamy mushroom ( possibly Cashmeran? ) and sharp, astringent green. There's the olfactory equivalent of a floral aftertaste, but If there weren't certain key elements of tuberose in the mix, I wouldn't recognize this its presence.

    The heart is a lot of astringent green for a while, as the mushroom looms less large in the palette. It immediately reminded both myself and a friend of witch-hazel tonic.
    ...is not whetting my appetite much. Witch hazel, mushrooms and caramelized sugar are not notes that strike me as wearable. So my question is, just how prominent are these facets of Tubereuse? How long does it take for these notes to pass, and for the green dry-floral cyphre phase to start? Because that part sounds great.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 27th May 2010 at 03:08 PM.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  5. #5

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    @LiveJazz: I don't know about Suga but think of Caron's Tubereurse as an earthier L'artisan Tubereuse. Still has that bubble-gum quality of tuberose that's also found in Fracas but here it's paired with a damp earthiness that's very mesmerizing. Also retains some qualities of Cedre but albiet with waaay less clove.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    Witch hazel, mushrooms and caramelized sugar are not notes that strike me as wearable. So my question is, just how prominent are these facets of Tubereuse? How long does it take for these notes to pass, and for the green dry-floral cyphre phase to start? Because that part sounds great.
    The strong sugary part disappears quite quickly on my skin - maybe two minutes, at most? But there is a sweet, creamy vibe that stays on in the background. Actually, Scent's description of "bubblegum" is more apt that burnt sugar ( it's not like the cotton candy in Dzing! or the burnt sugar in Fille En Aiguilles ). It kind of gets pushed to one side for a while by the herbal/mushroomy component and doesn't really resurface until it becomes part of the tuberose accord of the base.

    The mushrooms are almost exactly like what you smell in Frederic Malle's Dans Tes Bras, at least that's my perception ( Hence the "Hey, is this Cashmeran?" ) A lot of people just love that, and don't even smell mushrooms, but to my nose they're too prominent in Dans Tes Bras ( and married to something like latex - yikes! ) Here that note isn't too much, and kind of works, as tuberose naturally has a bit of a mushroomy undertone ( it's weird - sometimes I smell it in Carnal Flower, too; sometimes I don't ). As the fragrance develops, the mushrooms are less and less present.

    The witch-hazel tonic accord lasts throughout the fragrance but morphs into something less sharp and more mossy ( just slightly mossy - this isn't a chypre, it's a soliflore, it just has a bit of a leather chypre "feel" in the drydown ).

    I find it quite hard to describe the notes of this fragrance without heading into exaggeration, as it's not freakish or incoherent; it probably doesn't smell as odd as my review makes it sounds, yet, all the notes I described I did and do smell. All of this oddness is linked by a solid, floral backbone that stays in the background on my skin. At every phase of the development, when I smell it, I'm hit by the surface of whatever phase of its development it's going through, but always linked by that sweetly floral "aftertaste" that links the fragrance top to bottom.

    Something I should note, though, as an important after-thought: as I usually do when reviewing a fragrance like this, I sprayed some on paper, too. It develops very differently there! Much sweeter, and without that peculiar leather accord in the drydown ( I guess I just smell like tanned hide ). However, it still has that dry green quality counterbalancing the tuberose, and those funky sugar, sweet mushroom, and dry herb top notes.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugandaraja View Post
    The witch-hazel tonic accord lasts throughout the fragrance but morphs into something less sharp and more mossy ( just slightly mossy - this isn't a chypre, it's a soliflore, it just has a bit of a leather chypre "feel" in the drydown )
    When I first read this Suga, I don't know why but I was reminded of one of your favorites and mine, Rose de Nuit. I dabbed some on one hand and Tubereuse on the other. While the two don't smell alike, I am can see many similarities in the feel between the two. It's almost as if they're the same perfume, but each representing different flowers. RdN has that velvety, smooth texture but has more oakmoss, and a bit of acidity due to the rose absolute, whereas (I believe) Tubereuse is more earthy and green due to tuberose absolute. I don't know where I'm going with this, but this is just one of my observations.

    Coming from one tuberose lover to another, I can't wait for you to try AG's Tubereuse to see what you think

  8. #8

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    excellent analysis Sugand & Scent!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Intriguing to say the least. I'm a fan of tuberose and enjoy L'Artisan Tubereuse, HdP Tubereuse Trilogy and By Kilian Beyond Love. Not a fan of oily tuberoses but dry, green and chypre-like versions? Sounds like something up my street! Thanks for sharing your impressions, Suga & scent! Adding this to my test list.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Nvrmnd
    Last edited by Pour_Monsieur; 28th May 2010 at 11:50 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Caron should do something in regards their bottles and packaging
    The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Quote Originally Posted by Basteri View Post
    Caron should do something in regards their bottles and packaging
    And availability. And pricing. Really, if it wasn't for the fragrances themselves and some decanters with excellent pricing, I'd never even consider most Caron urn parfums... Yet, all my favorite Caron fragrances have been among the urn parfums so far.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    From The Scented Salamander's review:

    It is liquorishy, fruity, decaying, chalky (old-school aldehydes as in Royal Bain de Caron.) It manages to smell slightly putrid, like stale water and vase. In other words, the scent betrays signs of morbid languidness as tuberose can suggest the scent of rotting flesh and carrion.
    http://www.mimifroufrou.com/scenteds...03_perfum.html

    Wow. I think we've found the "Hellspray" from Suga's avatar!
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 28th May 2010 at 03:08 PM.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

  14. #14

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Good to know!!! Do you know Shalini?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    I just looked up Shalini now; it's new to me. Unfortunately it's a little out of my price range. For something I truly love I might put up 300$ ( nearly did so with Luxe: Champaca ), but Shalini is over twice that... So unless a sample finds its way to me, or I run across it in my travels, I'm afraid my curiosity will have to go on unsatisfied.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Suga, thank you for the great analysis. I will have to sample this.
    "No sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Caron Tubereuse - A Hidden Gem ( Attention all folks seeking DRY tuberose! )

    Thank you for an interesting review, I am still not sure this is something I will like, but I definitely want to test it.

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