The Scented Hound

Perfume blog with abbreviated perfume reviews & fragrance reviews.

Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens


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

No, this isn’t my grandmother!

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)!



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


Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

29 thoughts on “Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens

  1. 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!


  2. 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).


    • I have not tried Carnal Flower and will no doubt sniff it one day, but like you am not a tuberose lover.


      • 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….


        • 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.


          • 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….


  3. On me it was very cloying, smelled like a dense cough syrup. I gave my little decant away


  4. 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.


  5. 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!


  6. I wasn’t tuberose fan either, but learned to like it. And I still haven’t made my mind about Tubereuse Criminelle yet.


  7. 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.


  8. 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). 🙂


    • 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!


  9. 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!


  10. Pingback: Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens | Scentsate

  11. 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.


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