December 14, 2009
Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle/Dominique Ropion
It's a surprise to find I am so enthralled because I've never been a fan of tuberose as a dominant note. So often it has affected me like the cloying, overwhelming quality of a lily in a closed room. Still, long after getting to the end of a small sample I found it lingered on my mind, so I got another, larger sample, and now realize it's one worth aiming for in full size, costly though it is. This one is worth it, as a great example of the perfumer's art. I see from the list of perfumes composed by Dominique Ropion that tuberose seems to be a predilection of his, a type of material that is both naturally dominant and malleable to subtle pushes in different directions that will directly lead into other notes of a perfume's composition.
Editionsdeparfums says that Ropion used head space technology to capture and then analyse the formula of real tuberose, which must be why that sense of a living flower is rendered so realistically. He then exaggerated certain aspects and married them to a soft musk that weds the perfume to the skin. That is probably what keeps the tuberose from taking over and becoming overwhelming as it is often wont to do. Instead it combines with an individual's skin tone in such a way as to bring the liveliness and grace of a heady floral into the personal envelope of warmth and character of the wearer. Other very softly rendered notes, melon and coconut among them, act as stepping stones leading down to the musk. Since this perfume came out in 2006, many have written about its particular lyrical beauty and addictive quality, and now I know from experience everything they say is true.
Above Blue and Green Music by Georgia O'Keefe