"He had received a mysterious invitation to Venice just a few days after that unforgettable night. He was wondering what this was all about, then he recognized Café Tuberosa. There she was, staring at him. Suddenly it was clear. In a moment they would have the chance to start over again."
Unforgettable, but in a good way? Staring at him...why not gazing or something less intense? Café Tuberosa: stalker? Ex? Watch out! All those Venice canals are perfect for drowning.
Atelier Cologne Café Tuberosa1 is a new fragrance in the brand's Avant Garde collection.
Tuberose seems to be overtaking rose as the fleur du jour in perfumery. Tuberose is featured in lots of new releases, mainstream and niche, but usually with a proviso: it's been made "darker," cleaner, chicer, younger, more "manly" than before. Mostly, rose has been allowed to keep its full character in recent perfumes, but tuberose, like patchouli, is often taken apart and put back together with all its most interested facets deleted or "adjusted." As I've stated ad nauseam, I like my tuberoses in my garden and in vases more than in my perfumes, but if there's tuberose in perfume I don't want banal "white flowers," food-y coconut and vanilla sugar substituting for tuberose's boisterous and florid character.
How does Café Tuberosa deal with tuberose? The perfume begins with the aroma of roasted, cocoa-dusted coffee beans mixing with tangy citrus. The coffee aroma is thin and joined quickly by shrill (and waaaaay too clean) white flowers (tuberose that's been washed and bleached and washed again). The coffee-tuberose accord smells sour up close. Next (joining the coffee, cocoa and "tuberose") is a super-sweet patchouli-icing scent full of imitation vanilla extract. At this stage, Café Tuberosa smells like a too-bright (scent-wise) candle, perfect for Barbie's Boca Condo. Café Tuberosa is obnoxious (huge projection, lifelong lasting power); it reminded my partner of Giorgio Beverly Hills (style-wise).
Avant garde? Only in the sense this is an experiment gone wrong.
For me, Café Tuberosa is a scrubber. After scrubbing my arms with Dawn dish-washing liquid and realizing the perfume had barely budged, I took a hot shower. Café Tuberosa lingered on and I grabbed my bottle of heavenly Balsamo della Mecca and doused myself with it. Relief.
Café Tuberosa takes away tuberose's soul; it smells tawdry to me. As long as it does not mean my death, I hope to never smell Café Tuberosa again.
Atelier Cologne Café Tuberosa Cologne Absolue was developed by perfumer Jérôme Epinette. It is available in three sizes: 30 ml/$85, 100 ml/$150 and 200 ml/$255.
1. Listed notes of bergamot, tangerine, cardamom, tuberose, rose, "coffee espresso accord," patchouli, vanilla, cacao.