Spring Into Fall: Aerin Tuberose, Lilac, and Gardenia

Well, the other day I was reviewing Neil Morris’ Flowers for Men series and was seriously kvelling over the lilac one. Our friend alityke (who is full of great ideas) mentioned Aerin and Lilac Path as being a lovely, true lilac. Me being a lemming I checked out the Aerin site only to find that although they do some of their scents in those cunning and useful travel sizes, they do not for Lilac Path and my days of dropping $150 or so bucks on something unsmelled are over. Unless of course it’s old-school Dior.

Luckily, Surrender to Chance came to my rescue, having samples of not only the lilac, but of their tuberose and gardenia. So I was off to the races.

Now, tuberose can be a difficult note. Some perfumers tone down it at the beginning with citrus, while some either just let it’s freak flag fly and amp it up with other indoles (I am looking at You Fracas, smoking in the corner and knocking back a singapore sling) or adding something else crazy like gasoline (You’re up Tubereuse Criminelle, zip up your rubber catsuit.) Tuberose Le Soir goes with the former, lulling you into a false sense of security with the bergamot opening. But tuberose will out, and this one is lovely, with the ylang-ylang and the woody base. It’s not the shiv in your back that Fracas is nor is it the Krav Maga Kick of the Lutens; it’s the Lizabeth Scott of Tuberose. A husky-voiced creamy blonde who’s deep trouble if you aren’t careful. I love it.

Lilac Path is the lilac of my memories. We don’t get them here in Southern California, or if we do it’s not in the profusion that I remember in Massachusetts, where you will encounter bowers of them. We had an entire wall of the garden at my parent’s house that was planted with them in purple and white and when they were in bloom you could smell it all through the house. While it’s been decades since I smelled the real thing this one captured what I remember like it was 1977 I mean 2007. It’s quintessentially lilac, with the crisp green stems and orange blossom adding the bright sunshine. It’s at Saks and I may have to order a small bottle. Just to keep the card open and running, you know.

Gardenia Rattan was nice- a different take on gardenia. I got heavy marine notes and something a little coconutty, like Coppertone. Aerin is based in the Hamptons I gather and maybe that’s what they were going for- the late evening scent of white flowers while you’re sitting on the chaise in the garden sipping something, the smell of your suntan lotion still on your tanned skin. It’s not my gardenia, but despite everything I would like to believe, not everything is about me. It looks like it may be discontinued so if it’s your gardenia. move quickly.

Tuberose is $260 for 1.7oz, Lilac Path is $145 for 1.7oz, and Gardenia Rattan is available at Saks for $180 for 3.4oz. (It may be discontinued elsewhere- the former two seem to be available at more places.) My samples came from Surrender to Chance.

Photos: My iPhone and Pexels and Wikimedia Commons.

  • Musette says:

    Tom, Fracas called. Wants you to know you’d better lock your doors and windows – because she knows where you live!

    • Tom says:

      She should- she lives in my cupboard. As a matter of face I wore her last night, and tenacious woman she is she survived this AM’s shower. My inner Phyllis Deitrichson is out!

  • Dina C. says:

    Tom, All three of these sound delicious the way you describe them. It’s a cold, windy week here in Virginia, so lovely florals sound dreamy. My aunt in Massachusetts has a huge hedge of lilacs separating her house from her neighbor’s. It must be ten feet tall and twenty feet long. Sadly, I’ve never visited while it was in bloom — it must smell incredible.

    • Musette says:

      My neighbor has a similar hedge and my neighbors across the street have 2 YUUUGE! specimen-type (pruned) in their outrageous lawn. In Spring you can smell my block half a mile away – or so it seems. It’s glorious!

  • Maggiecat says:

    I also grew up with lilacs in profusion in our just north of Chicago backyard and am always on the hunt for a not-overpowering lilac, preferably with lilac as a dominant note rather than a soliflore.. Surprisingly, I found a good one in Gucci Guilty EDP for women Its a beautiful spring scent and would be a great wedding perfume but for all the illicit, panting, forbidden love hype in the advertising. Never has a scent so poorly matched its ad campaign! I’m not sure what the men’s version is like, but both are widely available at reasonable price points (reasonable for these days anyway). Lilac lovers take note!

  • March says:

    What a lovely post! It’s a special feeling when you find a fragrance that captures something you’re looking for … I think I’ve mentioned this but lilacs grow in wild profusion here which always surprises me given how dry it is, great for the leaves — no ubiquitous powdery mildew — but I thought they needed more water. For about six weeks in spring, the entire neighborhood smells faintly of lilac, with certain spots that are powerfully lilac from half a block away. It’s delightful, coming at the end of a loooong winter.

  • cinnamon says:

    Sigh. Great post. My parents looked at a house on the Atlantic coast of New Hampshire with a 100-foot lilac hedge. Alas, they didn’t buy it. The tuberose and the lilac sound very interesting; the gardenia less so. I wonder if my local department store might have them… Will def look next time I’m in town.

  • alityke says:

    Thank you for the compliment Tom. I’m so pleased you enjoy the Lilac Path. I found it very photorealistic of the lilac bushes that flower abundantly in the UK, even the raindrops seem present somehow. I only ever wore it in spring & the competition in my wardrobe for “spring & only spring” scents is fierce. Lilac Path lost out to Floris Madonna of the Almonds, NorthburN Citron Blond, Romilly Wilde Idle & Chanel Beige. She has now moved to a more appreciative home.
    Now I’m off to cook up more lemmings for you

  • Maya says:

    I really enjoy your writing! Great images and a lot of fun.
    I remember when Aerin perfumes came out and was wondering about them at the time. So thanks. Next sample order will include Lilac Path and Tuberose Le Soir. I saw that Aerin also has a Tuberose de Jour, but Tuberose Le Soir sounds better. I love both lilacs, you should sniff the ones in Connecticut 😉 , and tuberose.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks! Sadly the last friend I knew to visit in Connecticut has moved away. So Westchester is as close as I will get. But they have lilac, right?

      • Maya says:

        Westchester in CT or in NY? Lilacs grow in both states and all of New England. Have you ever checked out Highland Lilac perfume in Rochester NY? There is also a lilac festival there – the largest in the US. Sounds heavenly. I tried the perfume years ago and loved it. I had forgotten about it. If you want to check it out, type highlandlilac in search.