Thursday, June 24, 2010

L'Artisan Nuit de Tubéreuse - Love at First Whiff

I'd like to stop hyperventilating long enough to write a reasonably intelligent post. It doesn't have to be a masterpiece. I just want to convey how much I love my new fragrance. I love almost everything about it: its beautiful bottle, the lovely color of the intoxicating liquid, and the main attraction, the fragrance itself.

I had pre-ordered L'Artisan's Nuit de Tubéreuse ($115 or $155, depending on size) from LuckyScent - based solely on the description. When I told you, some of you commented that my leap of faith was brave. Friends, my bravery was rewarded with a fragrance that I would hoard if it were a limited edition. I'm now kicking myself for ordering the small size!

I don't think I can do a better job than LuckyScent in giving you the facts about Nuit de Tubéreuse. I'll provide you with their description; then, I'll add a few closing notes of my own.

Bertrand Duchaufour is on a roll. With Penhaligon’s Amaranthine, he proved that his masterful style could extend to sensual florals. Now, he’s gone and tackled the most unmanageable diva of the perfumer’s palette, and come up with a totally novel, utterly seductive take on tuberose.

The eagerly expected Nuit de Tubéreuse turns down the classic, creamy-coconutty facets of the flower to focus on its more unusual facets. The top notes draw out the odd, rooty, snapped asparagus stalk aspects of tuberose absolute and set them off with vibrant green cardamom; mango drenched in pink pepper creates an almost incense-like effect – Duchaufour’s signature. The scent goes through a strangely compelling, freshly upturned earth phase before easing into a suave floral heart, where the tuberose is bolstered by orange blossom, ylang-ylang, and rose, wrapped in the honeyed-tobacco facets of broom on a warm, musky, woody, and balsamic base.

If you’re addicted to tuberose, you’ll be riveted by Bertrand Duchaufour’s totally original interpretation. If you’re tuberose-averse, you might very well be converted. And if you’re a man, you may have finally found a version of the note that can be worn unselfconsciously. But women needn’t worry: Nuit de Tubéreuse is still very much a heart-breaker.

Nuit de Tubéreuse Notes

Cardamom, clove, pink pepper, black pepper, citrus, green mango, angelica, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, broom, musks, vanilla, sandalwood, palisander, benzoin, and styrax

You can read another description at L'Artisan's blog. It's equally engaging.

I would describe Nuit de Tubéreuse as having all the intoxicating qualities of tuberose (I really can't keep my nose away from the flowers), but with a spin that is totally unique to L'Artisan's new introduction. This fragrance has green notes, a bit of fruit, only enough spice to keep it interesting (as a rule, I dislike spicy fragrances), and a warm base that's sultry. On first spray, you can detect the tuberose, floral, green, and slightly spicey blend. As the fragrance dries down to its base notes, it becomes sexy, warm, and slightly powdery. Sometimes, I don't appreciate (in other perfumes) the base notes present in Nuit de Tubéreuse. This blend works for me, possibly because the blend of notes produces a fragrance in which no note - other than tuberose at first blush - predominates. I think Duchaufour has produced a winner.

From my perspective, it's not a man's fragrance, even though it's "rated" at LuckyScent half-way between feminine and unisex. Not that I would object to being around a guy wearing Nuit de Tubéreuse. I might embarrass myself zeroing in for a fragrance fix. Better that I spray some on my own arm each time I wear it. Then I can satisfy my need to dive in.

The only thing I don't like about Nuit de Tubéreuse is very personal - the hint of spice left of my skin 10-12 hours after I spritz. By then, all the notes I love have departed, and one or two base notes that were great in the blend, but less so alone, remain. It's a personal preference that there be no scent left when the star attractions leave the stage.

You can purchase Nuit de Tubéreuse at LuckyScent, Henri Bendel's L'Artisan Boutique, or your favorite L'Artisan source. If you want to test before you buy, and you don't have a source near you, LuckyScent offers samples for $3.

Photo courtesy of LuckyScent


Clarisse said...

Congratulations Charlestongirl! You were right to be brave and you were rewarded...
Now I'm dying to test this new l'Artisan Parfumeur and I'll let you know if I am as enthusiastic as you are; I guess I will though as I love Tuberose fragrances (but they are very often too "stuffy") and this one seems quite original (spicy, green and floral!!)

Charlestongirl said...

Tee hee. I gambled on two that week, and one was a winner. Not sure my odds are great, but I'm pleased with this one. :)

This is not "heavy" on my beloved tuberose. The other notes are very balanced. It's an original. Check it out on your trip to the big city.

Uella said...

Nuit de Tubereuse's top notes are rather pleasant yet not groundbreaking, (lacks the narcotic oomph I'm used to with Tubereuse Criminelle) a blend of spicy fruity floral notes but on the way home, the whole thing turned sour on me, I thought this had to be the weather - 95 degrees and hazy... Later on at home I tried the samples, this time locked indoors with the AC blasting but it wasn't any better, same shortlived relatively "nice" opening and same screechy sour drydown (chemical woody-sawdust cardamone mess).

Charlestongirl said...


It wasn't the heat (although it's brutal here).

I love the pretty opening and middle acts of Nuit, but then I'm not a fan of heady fragrances either. I think my tastes aren't as sophisticated as some.

I can see easily why you don't like the dry-down. That's my least favorite part of the fragrance. Silly, but I've been removing what's left on my skin after the flowers are gone.

Perhaps it's weird, but I love Nuit for hours, and then, like you, there's something before the curtain falls that I don't like. That's why I titled the post "Love at First Whiff." :)

What are your favorite L'Artisan perfumes?

Uella said...

Charlestongirl, my favorite L'Artisan is Oeillet Sauvage which has sadly been discontinued since 2006. I have a 50ml bottle left which I use only when I'm really craving for it. Oeillet Sauvage is this wonderful crisp, powdery and moderatly spicy carnation that feels very modern and not as dated as other carnation soliflores such as Bellodgia. One little spritz lasts all day with no need to refresh! Oeillet Sauvage was probably discontinued because of IFRA restrictions on eugenol (molecule used in carnation scents). I asked L'Artisan people in Paris and New York, nobody could tell me anything about this discontinuation which left me very frustrated!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Uella,

What I find interesting about the ME restriction is that many new perfumes - and skin care products - continue to use it. I know the standard is new, but do you think it's because it's "restricted" rather than "prohibited"? Or companies haven't had time to eliminate it?

I personally hate the stuff, but we are all different. I think my dislike goes all the way back to the days when an oral surgeon used eugenol after removing my wisdom teeth. Enough said. :)

Uella said...

IFRA regulations on fragrance molecules such as eugenol are so restrictive that in reality it's as if they were banned because many fragrances need high concentrations or you end up with something entirely different and not as beautiful as it was meant to be.

I love eugenol, actually I hate myself for not having a stash of Caron Poivre (pre-reformulation). I used to have a small bottle of it in the '90s and used it all. Four years ago, I got a sample of Poivre at the Caron boutique in New York, I thought they gave me the eau de toilette, to me this watered down version couldn't possibly be the rich and elegant fur perfume that it once was.