The red carpet zoom awards season is upon us, and celebrities could do far worse than to don Tubereuse Nue, the new fragrance by Tom Ford. Even on a bare-shouldered number, just at home. For the vibe. Warm, fuzzy, sexy, this is a rich and thick textured number that smoulders – sweet with white flowers: tuberose absolute Orpur from India at the forefront of the perfume blended with lily, jasmine and Sichuan pepper over an ambery, suede-centred base of benzoin, cacao bean, styrax, tonka, musk, and a slight touch of oud, all the notes disseminated into a smoothness, redolent of the glamourpuss perfumes of yore such as Vanderbilt, Oscar De La Renta, and even Madonna’s Truth or Dare. As with Shanghai Lily, Ford brooks no airy, subtle transparency here, but fills up the flowers’ stamens to their brim with richness and suggestivity: only lightly lascivious.

Every year I read obsessively about the Oscars. And the Golden Globes – all the cinema prizes, I don’t know why. I like to keep up with it all, even if I haven’t been to a single movie theatre in an entire year. As the stars arrive, it’s always intriguing to hone in on their style choices, the ‘ensemble,’ despite the fact that – obvious general attractiveness aside for the most part – actors and actresses are often generally too conservative in their choices, and go with the consensus set up by their personal shoppers. The mermaid silhouette, the trains; the toned arms, the belaboured jewellery or for the men the standard tux – I very rarely personally actually enjoy how they present themselves because it is all just too much of a muchness – standardised wealth set to the fashion rules of the time.

This year, celebrities will be filming themselves at home. So different. No emerging from limousines and setting up a pose for the paparazzi. No ‘who are you wearing?’ No entourages. No packed together in the auditorium. I wonder if they feel bereft of the limelight, or just relieved? In its place, your dressmaker and makeup up and hair people simply coming over to the house after lunch, getting it all done in the living room, before setting up shop for the little camera lens on the home computer. Then, rather than all the smooching and schmoozing and hugging and air kissing at all the right after-parties, just ripping it all off again and changing back into comfortable leisure gear while grabbing some bubbles from the fridge and checking all the reactions and the buzz on social media. Was I in the Best Dressed or the Worst?

My vote for the former would definitely be for Josh O’Connor. I fancied the pants off Prince Charles in the recent series of The Crown (a sensation I found vaguely alarming) – his father, Prince Phillip wasn’t at all bad either. Although my favourite scene of the ‘historically inaccurate’, but utterly engrossing drama was when Princes Diana, played by newcomer Emma Corrin – who, like Josh O Connor won a Golden Globe award for best actor in a Television Drama – danced alone, sealed off from the rest of the world but not from her dreams in a mist-windowed studio to Elton John’s Song For Guy : just a tape in a stereo and her earnest, blue eyed naivety as she imagines a dazzling future, quite heartbreaking to behold; for me, only Prince Charles, in his less superficial rendering of the heir to the throne ultimately came across as anything approaching a real person. All others were embodied caricatures – impersonations. Effective, to some degree, in their somewhat fixed, Cluedo-like characterisations ( I quite liked Princess Anne), though the vinegary, mewled vowels of the ludicrous Royal Received Pronunciation they were all using distracted from the proceedings for me. Only the real aristocracy can speak like that. They still always sound completely ridiculous, but you know that those sounds are being emitted quite naturally from their ribcages. They were born into it. When overdone by a diction coach, for actors from a different class, it comes across as a parody. Only Josh O’Connor disappeared into his role, capturing not only the essence of his character, and the accent, but also the sheer frustration and fury and anguish of a person restricted by their public duty and not allowed to love. I thought he was brilliant. And he looks beautiful , too, in his Golden Globe clothes – outside the box; subtly flamboyant, but very elegant. These colours and fabrics, also, incidentally, are perfect for the new Tom Ford : just a few dabs somewhere on his person in this context would be unusual, ravishing.


Filed under Flowers, Tuberose

23 responses to “TUBEREUSE NUE by TOM FORD (2021)

  1. Being a lover of anything tuberose I must try this! But I do admit that tuberose + oud sounds possibly overwhelming, and I am not a Shanghai Lily fan.
    I really wish Western mens’ formal fashion would take a cue from South Asia and liven things up a little. I’d love to see a hand-loomed silk sherwani or Zardosi embroidered Jodhpuri suit gracing the red carpet on the latest leading man. California’s ultra Woke would probably deride it as “cultural appropriation” but most South Asians would be extremely flattered to see their traditional garments worn by Hollywood’s finest.

    • It’s a tricky issue : I can see both sides, but think it all gets a bit hyperventilated.

      I do think O Connor tries something new here, and a tiny dab of Tubereuse Nue with the right hair pomade would drive me wild( I love men in flowers).

      It definitely isn’t worth ¥41,000 though.

  2. Tora

    Now I absolutely have to try Tuberose Nue. I love Josh O’Conner, too. Have you seen him in The Durrell’s in Corfu? Such a good series! And last night we watched a movie that I know you would love, The Assasin made in 2015. A Taiwanese arthouse costume martial arts drama that is all about mood, set, and setting. If I could dress in the main character’s clothes for the rest of my life, I would.

  3. Tara C

    Test post – WordPress eats all my comments made under my main email address.

  4. Oh how I must try this scent!! Tubereuse is a much loved note of mine, so heady and all encompasing, in the right composition. I do like the way Tom Ford’s creations seem to be over the top, but in a nice way; adore Plum Japonais, truly.
    The Crown has been on my “to watch” list and now I feel I must get ’round to it. Josh O’Conner is quite nice looking, I must say.

  5. Robin

    Alas, we don’t subscribe to that network. The Crown looks intriguing from what I’ve gleaned. Will have to make do with the current realtime royal drama.

    You would look good in that all-white getup, but I don’t know if you’d feel comfortable in it. Duncan would look good in it, too.

    I don’t know if I’d ever buy a full-retail Tom Ford. I’ve got several sources of instinctive resistance. I do love the way you describe Tubereuse Nue, though. I’m not a huge fan of giant strident spicy camphorous tuberoses, but this, while not timid, seems to go in a much more favourable direction. I suppose I will content myself with my vintage Michelle.

    By the way, N., I now have Coeur Joie in edt. It’s precisely what you described. I could pour it all over my head and be surrounded by a great fat gentle cloud of it, not overwhelmed. To think it came from Germaine C. To her great credit she could make something so tender when she’s know for such tough beauties.

    • I have only smelled it once but was stunned. How good in condition is it ? You must be o cloud nine and I agree -psychologically really interesting, as if she just wanted to float to the other side for a moment and not be iconoclastic ( but do it better than the boys could in any case ).

      • Robin

        It would appear to be in good shape, everything seemingly intact, but I’m expecting a younger bottle in the mail as well so I’ll be able to compare the two. I believe the one I have is seventies and the one that’s coming is eighties or nineties. I agree about Germaine floating to the other side, exploring that much more delicate territory. Quite the touch she had.

        I was wondering why, on first sniff, Coeur Joie had a fleeting impression of Je Reviens, a watercolour JR. I think it’s the same unusual, distinctive and gorgeous combo of orange blossom and violet.

      • Robin

        And nitro-musks.

  6. David

    I love that expression “i fancied the pants off Prince Charles.” Can relate. I have a new client who is the spitting image of the Welsh actor Jacob Ifan (did i manifest this into my life?) He speaks pretty good English, but sometimes he struggles and says things like “How can I express this in English?” I always feel like saying, “Would it help if you took your shirt off?”

    Did you see Josh O’Connor in “God’s Own Country?” With the Romanian actor Alec Secareanu…. you mentioned “just a few dabs SOMEWHERE on his person…. (emphasis mine)….Tom Ford have mercy on my soul….where are the smelling salts?

    I loved your review, too. I am getting into white flowers!

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