It is hard for me to believe that almost forty years ago to the day, my sister was about to be born.




I remember it so clearly. I was crazily excited, jumping up and down on the bed. I couldn’t wait. Nor conceive of it. How could a new person just join the family like this ? Where was she coming from ?It seemed impossible.




Our parents had told us the life changing news ( I don’t think she was planned), during Sunday dinner, and my brother and I burst out laughing. Although we had adventures together, we also fought a lot. Pummeling each other on the garage floor. Deborah would be my protégée : forced to listen to my records and watch all my films ( our favourites were Francis Ford Coppola’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Disney’s Alice In Wonderland, Thelma & Louise; Desperately Seeking Susan).



Naturally I was also buying her perfume from when she was but an infant. She wore Montana Parfum D’Elle, which I bought for her from a boutique down the road ;O De Lancome; Poison, Anais Anais,until she discovered her lifetime signature, Roma by Laura Biagiotti, a vanillic femme fatale perfume she still wears to this day.



But she did also have that most lugubrious of 70’s tuberoses, Chloe by Karl Lagerfeld (which I also wore secretly);  and in recent years,  and since finding love again, she has been dousing herself in tuberoses : L’Artisan’s Nuit De Tubereuse sprayed lavishly in the hair, and her new perfume coup de foudre, Fracas by Robert Piguet, which she discovered last year and which apparently smells quite incredible  on her ( I am yet to smell this glamour queen Classic in person, but will in the summer – she told me that he loves it so much he sleeps with a sample every night on his pillow when they are apart..)



I LOVE the idea of my sister wearing tuberose. I wear and love this flower note too, as you know – I had a bottle of Flos Mortis as a Christmas present from my parents; I wear the Roger Et Gallet sometimes for work. But deep down I know that these gorgeous, mesmerizing lune flowers smell so much better on her ; both my brother and sister smell so nice, naturally, ; different skin types, with cleaner canvases ( Greg smells exquisite in jasmine ; I do not ).



She is a fierce creature, Deborah:  passionate, ‘bolshy’ – we are often at loggerheads, aggression our common denominator. But she is also quite hilarious,  and the best mimic I have ever met ( she should have been an actress). She NEEDS the right flower to reflect this. And as a perfume otaku, I now  get to blossom  vicariously;  wear it through her.



So with my mum and dad and Duncan in cahoots, on Wednesday, the Big Day itself ,we are giving her a whole armory of tuberoses : Santa Maria Novella Tuberosa; Speziali Fiorentini Tuberosa D’Autunno, Jeroboam Hauto, and Histoires De Parfums Tubereuse Animale, which I imagine will possibly be as lethal to her lover as Sharon Stone with her icepick in Basic Instinct. I don’t think I am giving away any spoilers here : to my knowledge she doesn’t read the Narcissus ( even if Perfume, in its black and gold Art Deco Splendour, is displayed proudly on a specially constructed ‘plinth’ in her North London living room).




If she does read this beforehand, though, Deborah just think of this as an early 40th birthday present :  you have always been a force to be reckoned with, you don’t accept bullshit, you are clever, loyal; streetwise; will not compromise on the person your were supposed to be –  –  – –  and I love you.









Filed under Flowers

26 responses to “MA SOEUR TUBEREUSE

  1. Julianne

    Beautiful. Happy Birthday Debbie x

  2. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    A threefold family fan
    Handsome is as handsome does

    Somehow handsome fascinates me more than just plain beautiful. And you all look that!

    • In truth these are old photos from a very less than perfect holiday but hurray for my sister nonetheless.

      Seriousjy, I am OBSESSED with her wearing la tuberosa. I want to be her official supplier.

  3. Daphne Hume

    Happy birthday Deborah. Life begins at 40.
    Best wishes
    Daphne and Rod Humexx

  4. Happy Birthday to Deborah! What a gorgeous woman!

    • Her boyfriend certainly thinks so !

      And she definitely needs something exuberant and sensual – nothing water colour and nothing patchouli: she has a violent loathing of Angel, for example, that verges on a real phobia

  5. Tara C

    Happy birthday Deborah! Love that photo of you three together. I love Nuit de Tubéreuse, so lush and sensuous. I have only smelt Hauto and Animale but I’m sure she’ll enjoy the lot! How sweet that she has your book smartly displayed in her house.

    • I thought so too. That book is as much an objet/ home furnishing as something to read though – so it looks good in her design scheme !

      She also, like most people, has a lot of photos of family and friends framed and dotted about. Me and D have none, weird as that may be, but to me having pictures of yourself and kin everywhere feels a bit like a mausoleum.

  6. Robin

    I think this post is a gift that equals those brilliant tuberoses.

  7. rosestrang

    I was thinking as I opened the post ‘who’s that actress?’. What a beautiful sister you have and I’m delighted to hear it when people find new love (especially since I did too last year!) I can imagine Deborah suiting tuberose, I have a friend with similar colouring and presence who makes every rich floral smell divine. Like yourself though, I don’t really do justice to jasmine. I also don’t really get on with tuberose either though – I blame my cool, small-pored celtic skin – florals don’t warm up on me properly. Iris always works a treat though.
    Your family sound great – I wish mine would deluge me with perfume! Luckily my new love gets it. You can imagine how I’ve opened him up to the world of perfume! He smells amazing in Gucci’s ‘Voice of the Snake’ and he found a proper vintage of Cacharel Pour Homme which I’ve always loved. I remember Luca Turin gave it a thumbs down but I adore the scent of nutmeg and lemon. Have you ever tried it in vintage form?

    • Phyllis Ann Iervello

      I have no boyfriend nor husband and all three of children are sons, none of whom have my fragrance frenzy. Every bottle I have had for the past twenty years, I have purchased myself. I think it would be great to have a “scent partner” but I will settle for my large collection.

      • Which I imagine is amazing.

        No one in my family is as perfumaniac as I am, but all of us have been wearing it for as long as I remember, which is probably why I became so immersed in it from childhood. Both my mum and dad ALWAYS had a range of scents in their room, and I and my siblings followed suit. My brother is quite the connoisseur actually and will try quite out there things; my sister suits the more voluptuous type scents that I can only dream of carrying off myself with the way she smells in them (really gorgeous: she gets mauled when she wears Roma, although for some reason Fendi made her smell as if she were lying in a puddle of old beer and cigarette butts – I don’t think she can pull of spice).

    • Luca Turin is WRONG about Cacharel – it is divine; that nutmeg woodiness is so sexy. D wears it sometimes (as did the last girlfriend I had when I was eighteen but I preferred her in Ysatis!)

      Finding love again is a truly wonderful thing, especially after heartbreak and a bit of a desert. I think that’s why the tuberose fantasia is so wonderful – it is like a full expression of that which is why I have to treat her like this (in recent times, with all the postage hassle etc we have trailed off to each other in the gift giving department, but this is a special birthday).

      Love the idea of your beau in Voice Of The Snake. I liked that one when I smelled it.

      Hurrah for love and the perfume that binds!

  8. I remember that my My Mom did have one or two perfumes on her dresser (one was Midnight in Paris) and my Dad had a bottle of Old Spice. I can remember taking the cap of those bottles and smelling them, which could of been the start of my perfume mania.

  9. I loved Midnight in Paris but haven’t smelled it in years.

    • I love the vintage parfum! It really takes you back a hundred years……so cool and cold, like the air on a balcony in the city in the 1920’s. It always reminds me of antiseptic skin
      creams like Savlon – which I have a perverse love of for some reason.

      • This may seem odd, but although I haven’t smelled Midnight in Paris in many, many years, I can still recall the smell of it in my head. I would love to smell the original again but it probably doesn’t exist.

      • I think in truth that memory is often enough. Better, almost. You are an olfactory person – your memory is perfect and correct. If we ever meet up somewhere though, we will both wear it x

  10. That would be great…both meeting up somewhere and both wearing Midnight in Paris!

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