As always with my mini-reviews, this post will be a brief summary of my impressions of a perfume that, for whatever reason, didn’t merit one of my full, extensively detailed reviews.
With Sephora now carrying seven L’Artisan Parfumeur fragrances, I thought it might be time to review one of those: Nuit de Tubereuse. As some of you know, I love tuberose, but I’m significantly underwhelmed by this 2010 creation from the legendary nose, Bertrand Duchaufour. Actually, to be completely frank, I’m not a fan.
Nuit de Tubereuse is an eau de parfum, and Fragrantica states that its notes are as follows:
cardamom, clove, pink pepper, black pepper, citrus, green mango, angelica, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, broom, musks, vanilla, sandalwood, palisander, benzoin, styrax.
Nuit de Tubereuse opens green. It’s green tuberose and it’s unpleasantly medicinal. This is not the mentholated, camphor and eucalyptus green of Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle, but something much more unpleasant, like sulphur. I also have a distinct impression of aspirin, along with an astringent note that strongly calls to mind rubbing alcohol, cheap vodka or cleaning products. Some comments on Fragrantica describe a very similar experience.
For fairness sake, however, I should add that a number of people on Fragrantica seem to like this perfume, in part because it is nothing like traditional tuberose scents like Fracas. There is none of that warm, buttery smell that one finds in the more traditional tuberose scents like Fracas. They find it much lighter and more manageable, though some think that it can be quite masculine. I don’t think it is masculine, but I do find it surprisingly strong for a L’Artisan perfume which — in my experiences thus far — have been rather light, sheer, gauzy and without great projection.
As moments pass, the astringent green tuberose and aspirin is joined by a lot of pink peppercorns, some clove, soapy musk, and a faintly sour, green edge that most reviewers attribute to the mango. If so, it’s definitely green mango. The whole combination sounds a lot more unpleasant than it actually is — but it’s still not a particular joy. The tuberose is cold. Stone cold. About 30 minutes, I smell something that calls to mind fruity bubble gum. In slight disbelief, I look up some other reviews and, yes, reviewers like Now Smell This and a few others commentators have noted “Juicy Fruit.” I sigh, and start to wonder if I actually like Bertrand Duchafour fragrances.
After an hour, Nuit de Tubereuse turns into a jasmine and ylang-ylang fragrance on me. Mostly, it is just plain jasmine, even though that is not actually listed as a note. Yes, there is a faintly earthy edge to the jasmine, but it is nothing like the earthiness mentioned in a number of comments, both on Fragrantica and Basenotes. I had expected quite a bit of it due to the inclusion of angelica. I have a bag of angelica powder for cooking, and its earthy pungency always makes me reel and re-evaluate making that recipe. (Angelica is in Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and it is, I am convinced, why some find that scent so unpalatable.) In any event, I expected a lot more earthiness in Nuit de Tubereuse due to the angelica and the various online comments. But, no. It’s just plain jasmine with ylang-ylang. It’s nice, but I’m utterly bored to tears. So much so that I’m relieved its sillage is moderate to low (about 30-40 minutes at strength, then close to the skin), and that the longevity is about 4 hours on me, though most report far greater length. I can’t wait to get this off and try something that is actually faintly exciting or enjoyable.
A lot of reviewers have stated that this is not really a tuberose scent as much as it is a floral and spiced fruit scent that just happens to have tuberose in it. I agree. And some perfume bloggers, like The Candy Perfume Boy, have done “a big 180” on this scent and have ended up really liking it. That will never be me, I fear. I’m far too turned off and bored to want to give this umpteen chances until it finally sways or bullies me into submission. In fact, I’m starting to think that I simply do not like green tuberose, or modern twists on tuberose. (Perhaps I was too imprinted in my childhood with Fracas, and can’t move on?)
I can’t decide if I would recommend Nuit de Tubereuse as a starter tuberose to those terrified of the more traditional indolic, buttery, overpowering tuberose scents on the market. Some commentators on Fragrantica think it would be a great way to tiptoe into this floral sub-category. But, after some thought, I don’t think it would be a good idea. That opening is simply too unpleasant; and the rest of the time, Nuit de Tubereuse is merely a linear fragrance that is quite boring. If I had experienced some of the earthly, woody base notes, perhaps I would feel differently.
That said, body chemistry is a funny thing and enough people have liked Nuit de Tubereuse or noted the earthy, woody dry-down for me to suggest that you may want to give this a potential sniff if you happen to pass by a bottle at Sephora. After all, it’s not completely hideous or revolting. But I would certainly never recommend that you blindly spend $120 on a 1.7 oz/50 ml or $165 on a 3.4 oz/100 ml on an impulse purchase just because you think you like tuberose. Please, don’t do it.