Review En Bref: L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

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 Artisan NdTbe 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.


25 thoughts on “Review En Bref: L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubereuse

  1. Great review mon Cheri! I have very little experience with the tuberose. BUT I just got a mini of Givenchy’s Amarige to try a tuberose out. Well, in the bottle it nearly blew the back of my head off and my best friend said “Oh Waaaaayyyy to feminine!” I agreed on the spot and almost gave the mini to my receptionist.
    Well at home I tried it on my wrist and blast away it did at first but then I settled down…and I liked it! Then I layered it with Mitsouko and that was really nice. One tiny dab of Amarige and a blast of Mitsouko, shaken not stirred.
    So I may explore more of this very interesting fragrance but not with Nuit de Tuberose, except maybe a walk by sniff at Sephora.

    • Amarige? AMARIGE??!!! With every day, Lanier, I like you more and more. I’m very impressed that you took on a powerhouse than can make even Fracas seem somewhat tame. You know, I think that Amarige may be the scent that Luca Turin hates the most in the world — though he grudgingly admits it is masterfully executed. Reading of his hatred for Amarige was the first time I realized that I am often at complete odds with The Expert. You see, I own a full, big bottle of Amarige and I adore it. Whenever I wear it, I receive compliments. Each and EVERY time. I think a small number of people would rather die than ever admit that they like the scent, given its terrible reputation in the perfume world. Me, I love it!

      All of this is a long way of saying that I’m very impressed you even tried it to begin with and I’m glad that you liked it, in a tiny dose and when combined with something else. I think it would go well with a very dry sandalwood and wood scent. Even, perhaps, with a floral oud like By Kilian’s Rose Oud or your Dior Privée Line one. Actually, perhaps a pure Oud would be even better to counter the floral with more wood. (But only in tiny doses of each!). But, seriously, don’t try it with another feminine scent like Mitsouko (esp. given how skanky that chypre can be). Try it with a dry men’s cologne. Something, perhaps, like D&G’s The One or Terre d’Hermes!

      • I have to admit I like Amarige too. I don’t understand why it doesn’t get much love.
        I’ve never tried Nuit de Tuberose but since I don’t have much luck with L’Artisan overall I would guess it wouldn’t work for me. I will try this though just to satisfy my curiosity.

        • YAYYYYYYY for another Amarige lover! We have to come out of the closet and stop hiding. 😉 Seriously, I think it is shame which makes a number of people so silent on their appreciation for it. They’ve been told again and again of Luca Turin’s enduring, seething hatred for it and people are like sheep. It’s the cool “in vogue” thing to despise Amarige, just as it’s hip and trendy to only like niche perfumes. The more niche or extreme, the better. Perfume bloggers rarely, with a few notable exceptions, give as much love to vintage scents or more traditional scents as they do to the more elite niche houses. There is a snobbery there among some which drives me pretty insane, if truth be told. Seriously, if something smells like pencil shavings or semen… super! If it’s a well-constructed perfume that is gorgeous but not hugely innovative, let’s lampoon it forever! It’s so annoying. Err… oops.. sorry for the rant. You inadvertently touched on a sore spot, especially as I’m a huge believer in vintage perfumes and, also, in not frequently following Luca Turin’s position on things.

          As for L’Artisan, thus far, I’m striking out 3 for 3 or 4 for 4. I can’t recall now. I’ve only written reviews for 2 but I’ve smelled about 4 and didn’t like any of them. Passage d’Enfer was simply hideous beyond all belief. The name turned out to be quite apt, even if not for the reasons that they intended. Hideous! Nuit de Tuberose wasn’t ghastly, beyond some moments in the beginning, but it simply isn’t special — either as a modern twist on green tuberose or as a tuberose scent in general. I got so annoyed after testing it yesterday that I stayed up all night to re-test and write a review for Fracas. Which is what I’m doing right now. LOL! I will do Amarige, Carolina Herrera & Michael Kors too, for a full set of the more traditional tuberose scents out there but I want to space them out so that this doesn’t suddenly seem like the “Crazy Tuberose Fanatic’s Blog.” 😀

          • Luca gave some things 5 stars that I found positively nasty so I enjoy his book immensely but I can’t say I agree with all his opinions.

          • His book is so fun and it sucks you in the way Wikipedia can! I think my favorite comment of his thus far was for a perfume (Serge Lutens maybe?) that he compared to the armpit of a camel driver who hadn’t seen running water for over a week! ROFL. That said, I think I agree with Mr. Turin about 2 out of every 5 times. And 5 stars to Angel??! *sniff*

        • Angel seems to be INCREDIBLY popular and seemingly universally loved. I was a bit surprised to see the nearly unanimous adoration, even among people who seem to gravitate toward niche. I was in Macy’s during my lunch, but didn’t seem to find it. So I tried two others – Chanel Bleu (blah) and something else which I don’t remember but found to be sort of atrocious. My tastes definitely have changed a lot in a short period of time, because I think I would have liked them not long ago. I’m not a believer that something has to be niche/expensive to be good, but I am finding that I notice a lot more synthetic-smelling things in the more mass market offerings which turns me off.

          • Don’t get me started on Angel and its 18 million flankers!! Or its passionate following! But, at least that one is an actual attempt at a complex perfume, unlike that revolting and pernicious Acqua di Gio.

            Now I’m intrigued and amused by what you tried out on your lunch hour. What was atrocious? Was it the new flanker to Acqua di Gio? It’s supposed to be, essentially, concentrated A. d. G. *shudder* I’m not surprised that Chanel Bleu bored you; I don’t hear great things about it, though I’ve never given it a passing sniff myself.

            I think the synthetic nature of so, so, SOOOOOOOOOO many mass-market scents is why the niche lines flourish and have such a snobbish following. Most of them try to eschew the synthetics, at least in large part. By that, I mean that synthetics — if used — are not a large and predominant part of the scent, the way something like Lady Gaga’s perfume might be. The higher prices for niche perfumes lets them use more genuine ingredients that the mass-market ones can’t or won’t use. It would be interesting to me for you to go back to Burberry and YSL, smell their whole line, and then see how your nose approaches them now, as compared to 3, 6 or even 12 months ago.

          • I think I’d be able to tell you which the other one is if I went back and looked at the bottles – perhaps I’ll do that tomorrow. I usually try to make a note, but didn’t this time. Atrocious is maybe too strong (but I’m nothing if not hyperbolic, as I am sure you are painfully aware) – but it was just not nice at all on me. It had a really immature, Axe-like quality to it.

            I haven’t tried YSL in probably 2 months, so I’ll be curious about my approach to it at this point as well.

            I wouldn’t have said any of these smelled “chemically” even 6 weeks ago, but now that chemically note in a lot of the mass market stuff just absolutely slaps me in the face now having tried a fair amount of niche stuff. I think you’re right that it explains the snobbishness of people who only try niche. It’s not like all niches are great, but compared to mass market, the difference in quality is usually fairly evident, even if a scent isn’t to one’s taste.

          • I think your last paragraph absolutely nails it on the head! Niche perfumes are not universally great, and yes, there are mass-market scents that are absolutely delicious, but taking both types as a whole, the difference in quality is generally evident upon first sniff — even if a particular scent isn’t to one’s taste.

            You said it beautifully!!!

            And a scent that calls to mind AXE??!?! Ouch.

  2. I must admit that most fragrances from L’Artisan don’t work for me. They seem too old fashioned and kind of too mature for me. But there are few pearls inside this house that I truly adore.

    • HA! A third person for whom L’Artisan doesn’t often work. What are the pearls inside this house that you adore, Lucas? The Seville à L’Aube? Saffron Troublant?

      • Believe it or not but Seville a L’Aube was a scrubber on me. I didn’t like it at all.

        Pearls are Safran Troublant and Iris Pallida (discontinued)

        • Actually, I hear that scrubber thing about Seville à L’Aube as often as I hear praise for it. So I definitely can believe it. I haven’t tried it myself but I want to, if only to decide for myself. And I actually have Saffran Troublant in my backlog of things to test out. I’m sorry they discontinued one of your favorites. That always sucks! 🙁

          • Kafkaesque, where are you located? If you’re somewhere in Europe I could swap my sample of Seville a L’Aube with you for something else 😉

          • Alas, Lucas, I no longer live in Europe. I now live in Houston. (Don’t ask, long story. LOL). I will have to look into how much it might cost to send a small packet to Poland. Perhaps we can manage something later on down the road if it’s not too expensive on either side. 🙂

          • Oh, I see. I rarely send perfume packages to the USA but I DO sometimes. It’s quite expensive though. I think it’s even more expensive. Postal services in Poland raised their prices a lot this year.

  3. Nice review! I’d like to explore Tuberose so I can get a better idea of what it smells like, and I need to try some from this line. I do have a question, unrelated to this though – Have you tried Chanel No. 19? I tried a vintage formulation (it’s actually an Eau de Cologne, so it has to be at least from the 90s because as far as my research goes, they stopped making EdC of it in the 90s), and I really like it a lot. I don’t think it’s too feminine, but I can’t tell if I’m deluding myself because I like the scent. I guess if I like it, I shouldn’t care too much, but I don’t want other people to think I smell like an old lady or something! Honestly, it reminds me a lot of Monsieur de Givenchy (is that crazy? Maybe I need to wear one on each arm so I can better assess), but it actually has longevity on me, which is really the only thing I don’t like about MdG. I would wear it more if my skin didn’t absolutely consume it, way more than any other scent I’ve owned. Although I may have found something that gave it a run for its money – 1828 (Jules Verne). I loved it, and it was definitely my favorite of Histoires de Parfums so far (I’d definitely recommend trying it if you’re interested in exploring that line), but <2 hours later and I can only smell the faintest trace of it. Too bad, I thought it was very nice and I would have considered a full bottle for summer wear otherwise. I'll try it again with a heavier hand. Maybe I was too conservative, but alas, I think it probably just doesn't work on me.

    • I’m going to post a review later today of the ultimate and the benchmark for all tuberose scents: Fracas. THAT, imo, is what tuberose should smell like. And if you’re going to go with a modern, green version, I certainly wouldn’t try this…. thing. Yes, maybe the smell will actually work well on someone but if you’re going to try a green, modern tuberose for the first time, I would go with the Serge Lutens one or with Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower. (Which, I promise, I will get around to reviewing one of these days, along with the 5 diff. classique tuberose scents I own.)(What? I’m a fan. LOL!)

      As for Chanel No. 19, I have smelled it but it’s been so, so long, I truly have no olfactory memory of it. Which says something, in and of itself, since I remember explicitly all the scents I have loved, going back decades. I just recall shrugging and thinking it was not for me, but why that is, I can’t remember or tell you now. Maybe I’m different now and I know I need to give it another sniff, but I’m afraid I can’t help you at the moment. Do you know what notes it has in common with Monsieur de Givenchy?

      The longevity of the Jules Vernes on you seems even shorter than vintage MdG on me. LOL! Not good for you, in either case, obviously. How long does the Chanel No. 19 last on you?

      • Yeah, I think it’s a pretty “safe” scent, so it’s not particularly memorable, but it is nice, IMO. I’m not sure about the notes – MdG has “Hesperidian notes” (which apparently can include Bergamot and Neroli), Oakmoss, Sandalwood – all are common to No. 19. I would say MdG has a more citrusy flair, but both are very crisp/green to me, which is what I feel they have in common. Though honestly, they may smell nothing alike and I might be falsely equating the two. I will have to do one on each arm. They might actually evoke similar feelings, but not actually similar smells.

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  6. Hooray! Someone sent me a sample of Nuit de Tubereuse. I actually like it, but I don’t smell what you smelled – definitely not medicinal for me. However, I *do* get the fruity bubble gum. It’s not really unpleasant or too much, but it would definitely keep me from a FB of this one. I can totally see the appeal of this one, especially for people who enjoy a lot of sweetness in perfume. Weirdly, this smells nothing like Tubereuse 1, 2, or 3 by HdP. Which makes me question if I know what Tuberose smells like at all! At any rate, I prefer the HdP (particularly Tubereuse 3, as you are very, very aware) version to this, but I do like this one. Not enough to seriously consider a FB, but it’s very different from what I’m usually drawn to, so perhaps it’s the novelty. Makes me feel like I’m on a tropical island. 🙂

    Of course, I’m only about 10 min in, so I may feel differently in a bit. I have a feeling this sweetness may become cloying after the novelty wears off. :/

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