WHAT I SMELL: A blast of menthol with a full bodied orange blossom and jasmine layered on top. It’s medicinal, warm and rounded. I am worried that this will be too much at this point, but as it starts to drydown it softens and becomes more bearable. The tuberose is not moist and not dry. To me it just feels substantial and beefy. This is floral that begs not to be in that it’s not too sweet and it’s wants to be grounded rather than ethereal. The menthol opening continues but grows softer and there is just a hint of the nutmeg and clove to give this a slight spice. After a while, the musk helps to even out the tuberose which finally settles down and starts behaving itself.
Tubereuse Criminelle Notes: jasmine, orange blossom, hyacinth, tuberose, nutmeg, clove, styrax (what in the world is styrax????), musk and vanilla
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Semi-tough and slightly old-fashioned in a way that it reminds me of my grandmother (my grandmother was not a shrinking violet but was a stern and serious German woman)!
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE TUBEREUSE CRIMINELLE: hearty, fearless, serious
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT TUBEREUSE CRIMINELLE: Memory of Scent, Muse in Wooden Shoes, Scentsate
BOTTOM LINE: I have yet to find a tuberose fragrance that I really like, but I can see how others who love the note could find this appealing. It’s not too loud, but its not a girly-girl fragrance by any means.
- Bone Rating: 3.5 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Floral
- Nose: Christopher Sheldrake
- Classification: Unisex
- Expense: $140 for 50ml EdP
November 18, 2012 at 12:41 am
Not sounding too much like me but I would love to smell it. “Let’s stay all night and we’ll smell um all!” I looked up Styrax the fist thing I found was a Japanese bell shaped white flower…the second was a resin / balsam. It shows up in Midnight In Paris which I love and lots of orientals I have yet to smell. Wonderful post!
November 18, 2012 at 7:05 am
Thanks Lanier…styrax should not be the name for a flower. It sounds too much like a compound that is used in manufacturing!
November 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm
you are so right!
November 18, 2012 at 3:18 am
Styrax = benzoin. When I had the same question I found an entry in wikipedia and settled for that.
When I saw a picture of the bottle I thought it was from your collection. But the rating clarified that misunderstanding. I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t like Tubereuse Criminelle since I, let’s put it midly, strongly dislike tuberose.
Have you tried Carnal Flower? (I don’t like it but think that it’s much more impressive than TC).
November 18, 2012 at 7:06 am
I have not tried Carnal Flower and will no doubt sniff it one day, but like you am not a tuberose lover.
August 1, 2014 at 5:02 pm
If you do not like Tuberose will most definitely NOT like Carnal Flower. The petrol/wintergreen note in TC is what seems to make the tuberose tolerable for you- Carnal Flower on the other hand is the quintessential creamy potent tuberose. Basically, I think of Carnal Flower as a modern day interpretation of Fracas. And if you don’t like Fracas….
August 2, 2014 at 9:27 am
You need to check out Byredo Flowerhead. Now that is a tuberose I can love…it’s not too dirty though. Also, I just wrote a review on Hiram Green Moon Bloom…another beautiful tuberose. Carnal Flower and TC…not so much.
August 3, 2014 at 9:42 am
I have the mini atomizer bottle of Moon Bloom & I love it. But then– I like Tuberose. I’ll have to try out Flowerhead now! Never have! Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever tried anything from that House….
November 18, 2012 at 4:11 am
On me it was very cloying, smelled like a dense cough syrup. I gave my little decant away
November 18, 2012 at 7:06 am
LOL… enough said!
November 18, 2012 at 7:11 am
Now I’m testing M.Micallef Style 🙂 will post a review tomorrow
November 18, 2012 at 7:20 am
I don’t have a problem with tuberose but I can understand most people’s love/hate feelings about it. I haven’t sniffed this yet because (embarrassingly) I have yet to acquaint myself with Uncle Serge. I will soon.
November 18, 2012 at 7:37 am
Poodle…we need to introduce you to Uncle Serge ASAP. Ambre Sultan is one of my faves…in fact I wore it yesterday!
November 18, 2012 at 10:26 am
I’m trying to meet him on the Perfume Posse swap. When I finish raking some leaves I will get back to that.
November 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm
Glad to see you finally review this Steve – your review was more positive than I expected though! My love for Tubereuse Criminelle is slowly going downhill – some days I adore it and others I find it too sickly for me. Still, the medicinal opening is something I find myself needing to sniff from the lid at least a couple times a week 🙂 I still consider it one of the (many) standouts in Lutens’ line. Nice write up Steve!
November 18, 2012 at 4:07 pm
Thanks F…I knew that you would be pleased that I didn’t completely loathe it 🙂
November 21, 2012 at 4:06 am
I wasn’t tuberose fan either, but learned to like it. And I still haven’t made my mind about Tubereuse Criminelle yet.
November 21, 2012 at 5:15 am
I’m kind of weary of the note…I hear a lot of love about Carnal Flower… have you tried that?
November 22, 2012 at 3:39 am
Yes I have but for now I just like it. No other feelings.
November 21, 2012 at 2:25 pm
I usually manage to pick out the tuberose in a scent because it tends to overpower most other smells. Something about my nose, I guess. I’m pretty impartial to tuberose, an interesting tuberose to try is Soivohle’s Tobacco and Tulle. Creamy tuberose, not too strong with a decent show put on by the tobacco with a bit of animalic musk to it.
November 22, 2012 at 7:09 am
Sounds yummy.. I checked out the website, the juice is so dark and beautiful… really lovely.
November 22, 2012 at 5:18 am
Have you tried Vamp a NY? It’s one of the most wearable and easily liked tuberoses in my opinion (the tuberose I wear the most – and I’m a tuberose lover). 🙂
November 22, 2012 at 6:16 am
Funny… I know that I had read a review on this before so I did some research and found CandyBoy’s review based on a sample provided by you!!! LOL It sounds like the tuberose doesn’t overwhelm and your left with a vanilla’s drydown. Thanks for the suggestion! I know there is a tuberose that I’ll like… I just need to get there!
November 26, 2012 at 12:26 am
Hey Steve. Thanks for the link!
I like Tuberose Criminelle from a technical and creative standpoint, but to me it just smells cold. It’s the olfactory equivalent of a Jean Paul Gaultier dress or something equally untouchable.
Other people don’t seem to think so though. Three cheers for alternate opinions!
November 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm
Hey Joan – yes, this seems to elicit a wide and varied response from various parties. That’s a good thing, otherwise all perfumes would smell the same!
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November 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm
When I first smelled TC, I was appalled. I don’t recall it smelling medicinal . . . maybe more like motor oil? Not that I am around motor oil enough to accurately nail that scent down . . .
But then I tried it on, and I find I like it a whole lot more on skin. It’s a tough one to love, but those who love it really, really love it.
November 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm
It is an all or nothing that I am finding….btw… just got back from a NY trip and had lunch at Cafe Habana based on your review. It was excellent! Thanks so much for the recommendation!
November 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm
I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Looks like you had a wonderful time in New York!