...by L'Artisan Parfumeur, but you knew that anyway.
Because, let's face it, the world really doesn't. Not now, not weeks ago. There are at least a dozen bloggers with more credible noses than mine who have already done a comprehensive job of reviewing Nuit de Tubéreuse, so why, you may ask, am I bothering to write about it at all?
Well, the thing is, I find myself seriously niggled by this scent: both in terms of its smell (I use the term advisedly), and also its "back story". Oh, I do dislike that expression, but there I go using it. My own writing is niggling me now. Okay then - the inspiration for the perfume - namely a "secret summer night in Paris".
I know where Bertrand Duchaufour is going with this idea, for Paris is the quintessential setting for romantic trysts in hotels. I can confirm that this is the case, for I have often heard tryst-like noises emanating from the room next door. I am usually awake myself in the small hours, copying up interviews, polishing shoes, and trying to identify bus connections from the end of Line C on the RER. So the whole conceptual premise doesn't really work for me, though I daresay my jaded view of Paris nights is atypical.
But if I could make the imaginative leap from my drab budget hotel near the Gare de L'Est to the Georges V, I am not convinced this perfume would be conducive to getting jiggy, even in the summer night of my fantasies...
So, turning to the scent itself, I am one of those who get the well documented Juicy Fruit opening - sadly - as I am not a chewer of gum. Nuit de Tubéreuse is cool in an almost mentholated way - orangey menthol that would be - or if not menthol exactly, some kind of austere herbal accord, overlaid with the chewing gum / vinyl note. Or is it petrol? Frankly, it doesn't much matter, as it simply isn't very nice in my view.
It is nothing like Fracas or Carnal Flower, or the coconut-tuberose fright wig that is By Kilian Beyond Love. If you crossed Bond No 9 Chinatown with the new L'Etat Libre D'Orange Like This, then chucked in some random things from your herb rack, you might get a little bit closer.
Notes (from the L’Artisan Parfumeur web site): Cardamom, clove absolute, pink berries, pepper, citrus, tuberose, orange blossom, ylang-ylang, rose, mango, angelica, gorse, palisander, sandalwood, musk, benzoin, styrax
I deliberately didn't read the note list before writing this post, but having seen it now, it is quite clear to me that NdT didn't have a prayer. Not with clove and angelica, gorse and styrax for starters. And who or what is "palisander"? I am thinking quite possibly the hot date - or trystee.
On the sample card, the blurb does speak of "the ambivalence of tuberose", but with that eclectic list of fragrance notes I'd say the whole thing was doomed to be ambivalent, which goes a long way to explaining my chronic state of benigglement. There was a silly scene in Big Brother recently, where a contestant had to make a dessert out of the ingredients left over by two other housemates: pastry, liver, custard and squirty cream. Needless to say, her valiant effort was inedible. But Bertrand Duchaufour has a wide palette of congenial notes at his disposal. Yet he comes up with this forbidding tuberose oddity.
And if I could not "get" Nuit de Tubéreuse, it is not for the want of trying, truly. I have had my sample for about a month, and have worn it on a prime skin site and given it my undivided attention on 5-6 occasions. This is unprecedented behaviour for me with a scent I don't much care for. Normally I would toss it into the "bag of hell" after a single trial if it didn't immediately grab my fancy. But in the case of NdT I stuck with it, in the hope that I would eventually come to like it, or at least understand it better. It reminds me of the novel "Fugitive Pieces" by Anne Michaels, where you are never quite sure where the action is taking place (Toronto?) or who the characters are, and find yourself reading the same pages over and over again.
I persisted with NdT partly because of its "notoriété" (the French word for "famous" seems apt here), and partly because of my soft spot for Bertrand Duchaufour, and a sentimental determination to like everything he turns his hand to. To have been sniffed by the man on not one but two separate pulse points was a curiously bonding experience. : - )
I fear, however, that even a further 6 trials would probably not change my opinion on this one. For all that Nuit de Tubéreuse defies classification, it remains - doubtless on account of the gum/vinyl note - the most "plastic Bertrand" I have yet to sniff. So I am afraid I can't say: "Ca Plane Pour Moi"*...
* (literally "this glides for me", or - more idiomatically - something along the lines of: "this works for me"). Plastic Bertrand is Belgium's most famous punk rocker.)