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L’Artisan Parfumeur Nuit de Tubéreuse:
Tuberose with a Brand New Spin
July 8, 2010:
Though I’m not an ardent fan of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s sprawling line of fragrances, there are a few that manage to captivate me, and while visiting Cow Parfymeri in Stockholm recently, I found myself charmed by Nuit de Tubéreuse.
It charmed me in the sunny-but-cool temperature of a June day in Stockholm, and it is charming me further still in the 94-degree heatwave of these recent July days in Pennsylvania.
As I sit in the muggy shade of my backyard writing this, I can almost swear I hear it humming “I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key,” while spinning figure eights around me. I get puffs of its effervescent scent whenever the air shifts enough to constitute a shallow breeze.
Nuit de Tubéreuse is a flirty fragrance with a fascinating set of wheels. Whereas tuberose so often conveys a thick and irresistible weightiness to perfumes—a sense of body, of flesh, of languor so sweet and slow-moving, it’s downright sinful—Nuit de Tubéreuse, on the other hand, has an impish sense of energy, thanks to the invigoration of spice and green-fruitiness that its creator, perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, strapped on. This is a lithe tuberose, as lithe as the tuberose note in another favorite L’Artisan scent (hm, maybe I’m more of a fan of the line than I realized)—La Chasse aux Papillons—with the same sense of movement, but little of the bashful sweetness that is found in La Chasse.
Notes of cardamom, clove, citrus and green mango, in particular, conspire to produce a ginger-like accord that surrounds the flower. Before I looked up the actual fragrance notes, I had pegged Nuit de Tubéreuse as a gingery tuberose, and even now, knowing that ginger is NOT among the notes, it still strikes me that way. I think it’s why I’m so entranced by this scent: gingery fragrances have the kind of zip that lifts my emotions and seem incredibly energizing to me. And too, Nuit de Tubéreuse reminds me of a rare tincture I once had—the gift of an herbalist—of “wild ginger”: a woodland plant found in old-growth forests in North America , so-named because its rhizomes, rather than its peculiar flower, mimic the smell of Asian ginger. I once treasured that tincture for its earthy, zingy sparkle, and now I feel like I’ve found it again in Nuit de Tubéreuse.
Of course, the spice also adds a fine edge of sex appeal. A playful, teasing kind of sexiness—flirty rather than vampish. There is a translucency to Nuit de Tubéreuse that makes it perfect for daywear and leads one to wonder how the fragrance got its name. I suppose the spice, enhanced by dusty notes of black and pink pepper, could translate as dusky to some people—and tuberose is a night blooming plant, after all. And again, there is a sense of fluttery movement to the fragrance not unlike the court-and-spark of moth to flower…
“I rode my bicycle past your window last night,” it is singing in my ear now.
“I rollerskated to your door at daylight,” it reminds me softly but insistently.
Nuit de Tubéreuse might have wheels on its feet, but its will is as solid and unwavering as all the other beautiful tuberose fragrances that I know.
Nuit de Tubéreuse eau de parfum by L’Artisan Parfumeur has notes of cardamom, clove, pink pepper, black pepper, citrus, green mango, angelica, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, broom, musks, vanilla, sandalwood, palisander, benzoin and styrax.
It is available from LuckyScent.com, $115 for 50 ml. I purchased my bottle from Cow Parfymeri in Stockholm.
"Brand New Key" is a pop song written by folk-singer Melanie (Melanie Safka), which became a novelty hit in the U.S. in 1971-72.
Image is a film still of actress Paulette Goddard from the film Modern Times, found at rantburg.com.