Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

Tuberose, like rose, is one of the more ubiquitous notes in perfumery. Also, like rose, it is easily manipulated towards the perfumer’s ends. Unlike rose, though, it is an essentially rebellious flower, bringing to mind the sins of the flesh. And unlike other tuberose fragrances, like Fracas and Beyond Love, Christopher Sheldrake has created an iconoclast: an icy, unsettling tuberose that taunts you from your own skin.

The indolic blast and the frosty veneer are apparently not even ambitious enough. Tubereuse Criminelle also smells of menthol. I first described it as tuberose toothpaste. But it isn’t that beneficial. This is more of a cigarette type of menthol.

In keeping with my other anthropomorphic reviews, I would describe Tubereuse Criminelle as a leather-skinned cougar who chain smokes and drinks straight vodka martinis while perched on a barstool, legs crossed under her polyester wool skirt. Tubereuse Criminelle is not classy, not comfortable, and not about to approach you for anything wholesome. She does settle down after a while for a nice soothing minty effect, but never loses the misanthropic bite.  While most tuberoses are exuberant and sensual, Tubereuse Criminelle is a fallen, trashy tease. While not beautiful or sexy in the traditional sense of the word, it is the most inventive use of tuberose I’ve seen yet.

Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake
Price Range: Expensive
Recommended Occasion: Casual
Release Year: 1999
My Rating: 7.5

Check out more reviews at The Scented Hound, Memory of Scent, Olfactoria’s Travels, and Muse in Wooden Shoes.

This entry was posted in Ice, Menthol, Tuberose and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

  1. formaggio says:

    I can appreciate the beauty of Tubereuse Criminelle. My question concerns the choice, or wisdom, of such a prolonged nocturnal excursion.

  2. formaggio says:

    The perfume. A good question given the story line in your review.

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