If there is a style of perfume which gets a bad rap it is the intense white flowers one. Through the middle part of the last century these were the fragrances which featured tuberose, gardenia, and jasmine. These were heady unapologetic floral powerhouses. They are also the opposite of the current trend of the transparent floral. It is natural to believe the current popularity of the opaquer style of floral is the Newtonian response to what came before. Or it could be put more simply, “I don’t want to smell like my mother/grandmother.” When I heard there was a Tom Ford Private Blend featuring tuberose, I expected their version on this lighter type. What I received when I got my sample of Tom Ford Private Blend Tubereuse Nue was a throwback to the earlier days.
One of the things I often wonder is what would a modern perfumer do with modern materials in a vintage-ish style. Tubereuse Nue perfumers Shyamala Maisondieu and Yann Vasnier design this with that in mind. The other thing which happens is they do not dumb down the skanky indoles at the heart of any white flower but especially welcome in tuberose.
That rich seductive tuberose appears right from the start. The perfumers interrogate it with a set of spices. Black pepper, the Szechuan pepper variant called Timut pepper, and coriander ask the white flower for her greener virtues. The sharpness of the black pepper along with the grapefruity heat of the Timut pepper find it through harmony. The coriander provides a woody undercurrent to the early moments. The heart is that deeply satisfying opulent white floral accord as jasmine joins the tuberose. This is what I enjoy the most about tuberose when it reaches this level. For the final stages, the modern ingredients re-appear as the perfumers from an ambered leather accord. Around the leather is the biodegraded patchouli ingredient Akigalawood, the ambery musky Sylkolide, and another animalic synthetic musk. The Sylkolide predominates but the leather and the musks find that indolic core of the white flowers and amplifies it.
Tuberuese Nue has 14-16 hour longevity and above average sillage.
I really admire the choice to design Tubereuse Nue in this full-throated way. For those looking for a baseline this is not as overwhelming as the classic white florals of yesterday. It does take these easy-to-wear contemporary versions and jumps up three or four levels in intensity. I am not sure if the modern perfume lover is ready for a throwback tuberose. If they are Tuberuese Nue is here.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Tom Ford Beauty.