Until recently, I thought I hated white florals. Tuberose reminded me of, well, my mom. She used to wear Poison. A lot.

Then, about a month ago, I felt a weird craving to smell the note again. Or rather, a fascination or an impulse. Wasn't sure at all that I liked it. Just that I wanted to wrap my mind around it. (This sort of fascination mixed with trepidation usually signals I'm about to fall for something.) So I went out and got one of the inexpensive travel bottles of Histoires de Parfums Tubereuse 3 Animale. Not bad.

I read a bunch about Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle. I sprayed some on at Barney's to get the experience for myself. I actually LIKE the menthol opening, and, yes indeed, its transformation into a beautiful realistic flower is remarkable. But that floral it turns into... well... on its own, is it so exciting, I wondered? It seemed a bit quiet. A bit ... untroubled. Kind of ho-hum after the opening.

Last night I spritzed (a small spritz) of Malle's Carnal Flower on my arm. Which then exploded into the rest of my evening. But I wasn't repulsed. I mean, sure, it was a big white flower, but it also felt fresh, sharp, and a little green. Not like grandma's suffocating perfume, certainly. I could almost see rocking this. The only letdown was the far dry-down (which I sniffed the next morning!), which was a wan little thing -- pale and feminine in a rather generic sense, to me.

Anyway, guys, what think you: I'm tempted to invest in the Serge based on its reputation and because I appreciate that opening, but what's your experience? Is most of the life of TC just that quieter flower, pretty and untroubled? Is the opening drama the real reason this frag gets so much attention? Seems like a neat trick once or twice, but then, I have to have the stuff on the rest of the day. (Still, if some of that menthol hung around, maybe if I sprayed under my shirt, well, that could work.)

And as far as Carnal Flower -- damn, I can't deny that stuff smelled good. Any experience on how this comes off on a guy? Sort of a crisp, fresh, elegant effect?

I sort of wish the opening of Tubereuse Criminelle led to the tuberose of Carnal Flower. But then, we can't have it all.

And wait a minute -- did I just write a whole post going on about buying a tuberose fragrance? That's ... not me at all ... or ... damn ... I don't know who I am anymore!