I move a little slowly when it comes to modern culture. I only just viewed Bjork’s haunting short film, “All is Full of Love” a week ago, and I was testing some of L’Artisan Parfumeur’s new “Nuit de Tubereuse” at the same time. I loved the icy tenderness of the film, and it seems to me that Bjork’s commentaries on modern communication and communion continue and expand Laurie Anderson’s multi-faceted musings on the same subjects. The images of twin cyborgs passionately embracing is both frightening and compelling. So how does this new perfume by Bertrand Duchaufour ally with cyborg love?
I hate tuberose absolute. I hate tuberose perfumes. I find them revolting. I love sniffing the actual flower, however, as it has a sort of attraction/repulsion gumbo of scent molecules that is quite intoxicating in a garden, out in the fresh air and sunshine. But in a perfume? Eek. I never want to smell like that.
“Nuit de Tubereuse” is a departure from the usual in that it basically abandons lactones and indoles. Its sharp, nose-searing opening is neon and electric rather than tropical, rotting, and indolent. It smells cold, alien, and strange. Yes, it’s floral, tuberose and orange blossom are there, but perversely so, as if a computer geek had composed binary flowers for a decoration in his holo-lab. There’s no distinctive drydown per se, though there are shifts in orientation over the hours. But, like holograms, these various facets remain unnatural, and thoroughly otherworldly. Longevity and sillage are both impressive. There is no doubt in my mind what the two cyborgs in Bjork’s film smell like, and it’s both attractive and frightening to me.
(Full disclosure: I received my “Nuit de Tubereuse” from L’Artisan Parfumeur as a gift.)