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Monday, November 27, 2006

Perfume Review: Parfumerie Generale Tubereuse Couture

Recently I got to try Parfumerie Generale’s “private” scents, Bois de Copaiba, Cèdre Sandaraque, Corps et Ames, Querelle and Tubereuse Couture. I am going to review all five in the course of the coming weeks, starting today with Tubereuse Couture. Having been created originally for Parfumerie Generale’s Russian distributor in Moscow, the scent might join the main line in 2007; if it does, it will be number 17 in the collection. With notes of kalamanzi oil, green jasmine shoots, ylang-ylang, sugar cane, Indian tuberose, Sumatra benzoin and papyrus, Tubereuse Couture is a spellbinding and elegant potion, which portrays the creamy tuberose note on the mouthwatering background of green sweetness.

The first accord sets the scene by juxtaposing the brisk citrusy fruitiness with the languid softness of ylang-ylang. The latter is apparent during the whole course of the scent’s development, enhancing the rich, velvety, enveloping effect of the tuberose. Little by little the tuberose note becomes more apparent, it gains momentum, grows stronger, headier…at times it is so rich, so thick, one feels that a knife would cut through the note like through yellow, yielding butter. I am not a fan of dewy and fresh tuberose; the kind of creamy denseness displayed in Tubereuse Couture is the quality I adore in tuberose scents. Being also a big fan of olfactory contrasts, I love the way the sugar cane note counteracts with tuberose, its fresh sweetness cutting through the floral opulence like that very knife. The drydown of Tubereuse Couture is balsamic and slightly powdery; not as intense as the rest of the scent, it has an almost comforting, cuddly quality.

Tubereuse Couture, lavish as it is, is not a “carnal” tuberose; it does not have the come-hither, heady voluptuousness of Fracas or Carnal Flower. Its sensuality is indolent, not aggressive. The originality here does not stem from an initial borderline unpleasant accord encasing the beauty of tuberose in a striking, odd sort of frame, like in Tubereuse Criminelle. The couture, i.e. slightly bizarre, effect is achieved by pairing the star note with an almost-gourmand greenness of kalamanzi and sugar cane. Cuir Venenum and Aomassai are two other Pierre Guillaume creations, which feature the same unexpected “edible” feel in compositions that theoretically should have been anything but gourmand. The subtle, elegant strangeness of Tubereuse Couture is enchanting. If and when it becomes widely available, its bottle will join other Parfumerie Generale favorites in my collection.

The image is from

Edited to add: thanks to the lovely J., we have been able to confirm that Tubereuse Couture is available as a part of a "discovery set" called Creation Privee No 47 at Parfumerie Generale online store, the set consists of five 7ml sprays (Bois de Copaiba, Cèdre Sandaraque, Corps et Ames, Querelle and Tubereuse Couture) and costs €52.00.



Blogger tmp00 said...

well, I am all over the idea of more and better tuberose, and I am thrilled that PG are going for it.

And I can only imagine what "Querelle" might smell like...

12:19 AM EST  
Blogger Erin said...

While you make this sound wonderful, I am still frankly worried about the sweetness. It is the sweetness that ruins Cuir Venenum for me, and almost manages to take Aomassai, which is saved, imo, by a tremendously lovely drydown. Sugar cane, though, does seem like it would be a green, sharp, "dry" sweetness, and if "knife-like" as you say would be quite wonderful. My fave from the line so far is Harmatan Noir; am I likely to like this one, you think?

12:48 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada said...

Tuberose. Want. How? Indolent tuberose, sounds like a hothouse flower, exactly the type you want to waft up from your cleavage in winter... Oh, the craving. Seriously, private collection???? How does one go about begging for it?

2:37 AM EST  
Blogger Caitlin Shortell said...

I can't help myself around tuberose. Sugar cane? Oh, help me! Can't wait for your other reviews of the private collection.

5:36 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

OMG! This sounds fabulous. I want it--and the others--NOW! One question--are these scents the ones that are listed by number on the website? And if so, how does one know which is which?

6:40 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi M, lovely review. Though I have only tried Cuir Venenum and Ilang Ivohibe from this line, I found both to have a gourmand motif (yes, even the Ilang Ivohibe) that did not appeal to me. It sounds to me as though this is similar in that sense and so probably not for me. Sometimes just reading the review is pleasure enough. :)

7:03 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Madly humming EBTG's Troubled Mind (my "go to" song for when I want to block out things). This sounds beyond perfect. However, I immediately went to check on prices at PG and I see that there are some scary prices there. One of them is 280 euros. Please, please don't let that be TC. Walks off whimpering....

7:10 AM EST  
Blogger elle said...

Just called them because I adore jasmine and wanted to know about that one. He said that it's not going to be for wide release, since it's so highly concentrated (translate: shockingly expensive). Sob! However, he did say that TC will be released to the hoi polloi in 2007, but would not commit to which number it was of the private creations on the site. Sigh.

8:17 AM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

What Erin said. I had cruel words for Asso -- uh, Aomassai. I felt like a fly trapped in amber. However, TC (oh, wait! we won't be able to abbreviate to TC anymore!) sounds well worth trying, I hope they decide to release it.

8:21 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

It (Querelle) smells fantastic. So do the other 3 :-)

8:27 AM EST  
Blogger lilybp said...

So, um, one could just order all of their Private Collection, and see what turned up, huh? That is, if one were fabulously wealthy (I keep running into this stumbling block)!

8:29 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

If you can tolerate the beginning of Aomassai, this one would be easy for you. It is nowehere near as sweet as either Aomassai or Cuir Venenum. It, of course, has the natural sweetness of tuberose and ylang ylang, but the gourmand aspect is actually "fresh" and green.

8:29 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I looked at the PG boutique last night, and there is right now available Creation Privee No 47, whcih I believe IS the discovery set with these 5 scents. There is no picture and no description, so I am not sure. If you write to them, they are sure to help though.

8:30 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Ihank you, they are coming :-) Probably this Friday. Can't decide which one to do next :-)

8:32 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd write to the lovely CS people just to make sure, but I am 90% certain that the one called Creation Privee No 47 is the discovery set with these 5 scents...I'd still write to confirm.

8:33 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you! I think that if that aspect bothered you in those scents then yes, this is probably won't be something you'd love either. There are other scents though, and one of them, on the first sniff, was quite powdery. :-)

8:35 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't figure out what they have on PG site right now. Tuberose Couture is not even out, they are not sure it will be out in 2007. I am confused. I *think* it is included in Creation Privee No 47 set.

8:36 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I heard they won't introduce Jasmin just yet. I can't wait for it though. Predateur! I like that :-)

8:38 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I'd risk and get that Creation Privee No 47...I think it has a mini bottle of TC there. I *think* it does. :-)

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

This fly...did it have little rubber feet? Har har har :-)

8:41 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Yeah...that's the block indeed. The No 47 one is only EUR 52 though(only, haha! can you say, jaded?)...

8:42 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

When I was writing about its creaminess, I thought about you, and I said to myself, Christina probably won't like this. :-) You'd like at least one of the others, I am sure.

10:12 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh dear. I'm getting my euros ready for a sample splurge. i've almost worn my cat o' nine tails out with all the flagellating I'm having to do. You're supposed to be buying Christmas presents for OTHER people L! *whip*

11:58 AM EST  
Blogger carmencanada said...

I *did* write, first thing after reading your review, which got me so hot and bothered (jonesing tuberose, ack) that I confused weeks in my agenda and almost ended up place Vendôme instead of parc Monceau (yes, I do teach at chic addresses) for my first class of the day. No reply yet from PG, no doubt they're flooded with pleas.

12:00 PM EST  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, some of these are already at theperfumeshoppe, but I don't think the tuberose.

Not sure this appeals to sounds mighty sweet. Will have to give it a try though, green jasmine & papyrus sound good!

12:02 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Put that cat o' nine tails down. Don't be so hard on yourself. It's just samples after all. :-)

12:14 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I hope they get back to you asap!

12:15 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

I can't imagine what you'd think about this one. I kind of have a feling it might indeed be a little too sweet for you.

12:16 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang it, girl. What magical powers did you use to get your samples so quickly? I'm still waiting for mine. And now, after the review, I'm more eager than ever! As always, thanks for the great writing.


1:10 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Thank you, N! I am sure you will love at least oen of them. I am thinking...probably Corps et Ames :-)

1:36 PM EST  
Blogger marchlion said...

I now have this weird image of a fly in leeetle tiiiiny rubber boots, permanently seared into my brain...

3:26 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Well then my work here is done :-D

3:39 PM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

My tolerance for sweet scents is probably higher, although I do have my limits too (Nez a Nez!) :-) I thought it was sweet but not overhelming.

5:47 PM EST  
Blogger AnyasGardenPerfumes said...

OK, I'm game -- what's kalamanzi?

7:22 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Aparently it is a citrus fruit, something in between lime and mandarine.The only other scent I could google up that has it was Rabanne Black XS.

8:54 AM EST  
Blogger AnyasGardenPerfumes said...

Well, there is the calamondin, and there are some crosses of that. Sounds like it's in the ballpark.

Ah, yes, I just went to the Bible of Tropical Fruit (not really the name) and found that it is a idiomatic variation on the spelling of calamondin

9:02 AM EST  
Blogger AnyasGardenPerfumes said...

Darn blogger cuts off long URLs. Here is is:

Another perfume ingredient mystery solved, and it's just 9 a.m ;-)

9:03 AM EST  
Blogger Marina said...

Bible indeed. I am saving it in my favorites, thank you!

9:05 AM EST  

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