The pungent white flesh of the tuberose is a famously love-or-hate-it note in perfumery, but for lovers of the flower like myself, this floral intoxication by Illuminum is a boon: a full-bodied, properly tropical tuberose with all the mentholated salicylates we expect in the top notes – that peculiar rush of wintergreen that life-like tuberose scents must include – yet smooth, enveloping, and wearable. The medicinal top notes are embodied here in the flowers themselves, rather than floating in gasolined ether à la Tubéreuse Criminelle (Serge Lutens); the scent also more sensual than the studied pallor of Editions de Parfums’ Carnal Flower. This tuberose is rich and ylangy, with hints of clove and fruited intimations of banana; but with none of the creamy, buttery elements found in certain types of the genre such as Blonde by Versace or L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Tubéreuse. Moroccan rose absolute, and Atlas cedarwood fortify the flowers behind the scenes, adding weight.
While very much enjoying the uninhibited beginning of Moroccan Tuberose, I steeled myself for disappointment, expecting the scent to become overly creamy and extravagant as time went on, but in fact the best was yet to come: the dry down is in fact my favourite stage of the fragrance. A lingering, tropical breeze, as serene as a southern beach hut where you lie, pleasantly exhausted after a swim in the blue, as the sea air replenishes the room. It is an accord I find immensely appealing.
llluminum is an indie perfumery based in London and this is the first scent I have tried from their extensive range. I am now eager to explore further as I am already craving a full bottle.
Coming soon: what happens to the tuberose when it falls into the clutches of Madonna.