This is from Patty — I’d like to introduce you all to Bryan. He’s a great perfume collector, has great taste in scents, and March and I thought we’d like to have some male perspective on the blog from time to time. Please make him feel welcome!
What is a masterpiece? I haven’t the inclination here to dive into the abstract. Suffice it to say, we know what they are when we see them, and most certainly when we smell them. Guerlain’s Shalimar, Caron’s Tabac Blonde, Lanvin’s Arpege. Further, we can justify their existence without actually enjoying them personally. Angel is an easy example, or even the classic Rochas scents which I won’t name for fear of the comments. They are masterpieces though, and I would be a fool to call them anything else.Frederic Malle, or more specifically, Dominque Ropion’s Tubereuse Oeuvre is a formidable runner for the same title. I fell in love with this scent the moment the molecules hit the air…right before landing on my arm. One might say I took a trip through the looking glass and I have no intention of coming back.Some say it is a chilly, florist’s scent. Others, a dreamy tuberose concoction full of sexual inuendo and the like. It is more than that, though certainly the aforementioned are anything but misleading. This is not Fracas’ sibling, nor is it the magnificent Tubereuse Criminelle’s long lost cousin. This is, quite simply, Mr. Ropion’s ode to the blossom which no doubt God created to remind us who’s Boss.
No human can come up with a molecule so complex as to both calm and excite the senses. We ought not even try…just enjoy.
Carnal Flower thus opens with a verdant fresh luminosity. The tuberose is there, hinting at what is behind the curtain. This note, this magnificent note, waits, eager for the proper entrance. We thankfully do not have to wait too long before, graced with an entourage befitting royalty, she is PRESENT. Jasmine and Coconut whisper behind her back. Not viciously, mind you, and they do not call attention to themselves (Mr. Ropion, as a true artist recognizes, knows when too much would have been just that). This tuberose graces us with her presence, demanding full attention, until she tires of us (not vice-versa). (Though technically I suppose we could assassinate her with a little Tide, but am I going too far here?)
The drydown is simply breathtaking, with the beautiful flower never taking a bow too soon; and the topnotes help in maintaining the “unisex” theme. I personally am in Luca Turin’s and Chandler Burr’s camp, that there is no such thing as a man’s or woman’s scent. I wear what I want without the help of advertising executives. On a man, this is a deep fresh scent. On a woman, a floral to end all others.
Carnal Flower is truly one of the most mesmerizing scents to come along in years. It is a scent that captures the true beauty of one of natures most beguiling flowers. Tuberose does not like to share. Mr. Ropion clearly knew the ins and outs of this tempestuous botanical.
Say what you like about this flower, this scent; for it is in fact a masterpiece.