I trust most perfume fanatics know the scent of tuberose; if not, either smell Robert Piguet Fracas or Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower or go to a florist and purchase a few stalks of fragrant tuberose and let the blooms perfume your home.
Many years ago, I ordered some milkweed seeds from an organization that advocates the planting of flowers beloved (utilized) by Monarch butterflies. Those few milkweed seeds thrived, and now, milkweeds would take over my front yard if I let them. Milkweed flowers have a strong, tropical, pollen-rich aroma: there’s a hint of its rival tuberose, a fragrant “flour” note and an interesting mingling of green and “damp loam” aromas. When milkweed blooms, you can’t miss its penetrating, soulful perfume; the fragrance throbs. I categorize milkweed flowers’ scent as ‘poignant’ and ‘spooky’; it follows me like a spirit from my yard into my house and lingers, whispering:“Remember when….”
As I smelled Astier de Villatte Eau Chic by perfumer Françoise Caron for the first time, I was shocked; the fragrance smells like tuberose and milkweed. Even better, it’s the first tuberose scent I enjoy wearing.
Eau Chic contains rosemary, thyme, petitgrain citronnier, lavender, ylang-ylang, rose and tuberose. Eau Chic starts off sharp and citrus-y and segues quickly into milkweed’s strange combination of pungent and powdery notes. Tuberose becomes apparent in mid-development and threatens to turn soapy, but the inspired use of tangy herbs, rosemary in particular, with the creamy white flowers gives the tuberose some “bite.” On my skin, Eau Chic’s tuberose becomes “chalky”/mineralized as it dries, and it outlasts all other notes in the composition.
Eau Chic has become one of my favorite Eaux de Cologne; it’s so different. Eau Chic wears like an Eau de Toilette; sprayed on lavishly, it lasts all day on my skin and has pleasant (not too widespread) sillage.
As for the fragrance war in my front yard: tuberose hasn’t a chance against common milkweed. If you have a garden, especially a big one, consider planting some milkweed: the butterflies will visit, and you’ll experience one of the most beautiful and complex floral fragrances in nature.
Astier de Villatte Eau Chic Eau de Cologne is available in 40 or 900 ml splash and 150 ml spray (in mouth-blown glass bottles made in Florence, Italy); it can be purchased directly from the Astier de Villatte website.