I bet I’m not the only perfume lover who has trouble wearing tuberose. Now, I love tuberose. I adore its bombshell lushness and, whenever I can, I buy stems to keep on my mantel. I adore tuberose in perfume, too. Little beats the first five minutes of wearing Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower, and I can’t give up my Piguet Fracas Parfum, even if I can’t quite wear it, either.
Yet, after a tuberose perfume’s glorious first moments, too often I’m ready chew my arm off. Those few minutes of a soprano’s aria that were so beautiful at first, now are grating. Tuberose perfume — on me, that is — is just too much of a diva, and I need relief.
I’m happy to report that Aftelier Velvet Tuberose stands apart. It’s a lovely, easygoing tuberose in which a tuberose lover like me who sadly doesn’t wear it well can indulge. Velvet Tuberose’s notes include pink grapefruit, grand fir, transparent florals, tuberose absolute, heady white flowers, creamy sandalwood, damp earth and spun sugar. (Mandy Aftel, the brand’s founder and perfumer, seems to be having fun playing with names of notes with this one.) As is true for all of Aftelier’s fragrances, Velvet Tuberose is made completely of natural materials. Also, it’s a solid perfume.
Have you ever smelled tuberose absolute? It’s more vegetal and less polished than I’d expect, and Velvet Tuberose’s green quality reflects that. Instead of a performer at La Scala, Velvet Tuberose is more of a singer walking in the woods, trading polish and sparkle for comfort and self-satisfaction.
Velvet Tuberose is simply a plush, green, approachable tuberose pretty much from the first smear on skin to its last quiet breath seven hours later. After the first half hour, I smell a bit of ashy earth, but nothing to detract from the fragrance’s soft, round texture and gentle sweetness. It’s a quiet fragrance, but it lasts a good long time on skin.
And that’s about all I have to say about Velvet Tuberose. It doesn’t break new ground, as far as I can tell. It isn’t freaky or surprising. It’s a welcoming, easy-to-wear tuberose that should please a wide audience.
Velvet Tuberose works on my skin, and so do deconstructed tuberoses, like Naomi Goodsir Nuit de Bakélite and L’Artisan Parfumer Nuit de Tubéreuse. Shalini also wears well on me. (Maybe tuberose absolute makes the difference?) How are you with tuberose? Do you have any favorites?
Aftelier Velvet Tuberose is $7 for a .25 ml sample and $240 for 8 ml in a 1.5-inch square sterling silver compact in a silk pouch. For information on where to buy it, see Aftelier under Perfume Houses.