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.

  • ucakkurzxg says:

    Hello guys! I have some questions. I mean need some help.
    Where i can read more about this problema?
    Please, don’t derect me to i know about it.
    Please derect me with some links.

  • Flora says:

    HI Bryan – LOVED yuor review, and I agree utterly! It goes on me cold and green for just a few minutes and then, oh my! Such sensuous perfection. I cannot praise this fragrance enough. One of these days a full bottle is going to come my way…I hope I am worthy of The Queen! (My other fantasy is getting my mitts on some TC for comparison…purely scientific of course….):d

  • Bryan says:

    Donna, that sounds great. I love Oranger. Along the same lines, try mandarine with cuir….and prepare to be complimented. :d
    I have tried Bigarade Concentree but not the cologne, which I think I’d prefer. I like my tuberose STRONG and my citrus subdued. I willl try it, though.

  • Donna says:

    Welcome Bryan! Great to have you here.

    I enjoyed your review of Carnal Flower. I am a huge fan of Frederic Malle. I would love to read a review of FM’s Cologne Bigarade sometime (hint, hint). Tommorrow I will layer Carnal Flower with Cuir Mauresque. Thanks for the idea. I also like to layer Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger with Cuir Mauresque~~yum!!!!!

  • Bryan says:

    I want to thank everyone for welcoming me. It truly has made my day. I will be commenting much more now…I just had to break the ice. Thank you again Patty and March, from the bottom of my heart.

  • patchamour says:

    Welcome, Bryan. Your lovely review makes me determined to go out and find some CF to sniff.

  • Marina says:

    Dear Bryan, welcome and thank you for the wonderful review!

  • Hey, in my book, everybody here has cojones. Sorry, I was distracted by a movie reference but I didn’t mean to question the presence of big, big, big cojones on Perfume Posse: O|O O|O O|O

  • Bryan says:

    Thanks Dusan for watching my back. Ms. Helene, I can take the ribbing. I am not touching the size thing with a ten inch…foot…pole.

  • Dusan says:

    March, Patty,
    Not for a second do I question the existence and size of your cojones. Yours, ladies, are way bigger than mine, I assure you! ;))
    Luv ya

  • Dusan says:

    Hélène, I am shocked! It’s Bryan’s first review, and already you’re sizing the poor lad up =))
    I shudder to think what your contributor might have to go through :d

  • Well, if you saw The Da Vinci Code or read it, you could say that you had two V V and now a ^ has been added to the mix. It looks a little small, sorry Bryan, that’s the only size I could find.

  • Bryan says:

    In honor of the review I have Carnal on of course…but I can tell you this…I’ll be wearing TC tomorrow. What are your other favorite Tuberose scents…I love TC, Shalini, Caron (very sweet), MPG and L’artisan, and Annick Goutal. I will honestly purchase, outright any tuberose unsniffed. I may not fall head over heals for it, but I will appreciate it. I also love musk, civet, castoreum, et al…I must try CB Musk.

  • Bryan says:

    Glad I could provide the necessary, ahem, anatomy. Thanks for welcome and the hilarious comments.

  • Patty says:

    Dusan — do you want us to twirl and show them off? :d

    I’m having a tuberose week. CF was yesterday and I had to do TC today after it kept getting a mention, it was crying for me.

  • March says:

    Dusan — like we didn’t have b@lls already<):)

  • Dusan says:

    Well, well, the Posse has grown a pair of b*l*s! Way to go, P&M!
    Popping round to shout out *welcome*, Bryan! I haven’t actually tried Carnal Flower so no input from me, but I did enjoy reading your heartfelt review. And FWIW, I el oh vee ee Tubereuse Criminelle! Looking forward to more of your writing! 🙂

  • Lauren says:

    Welcome, Bryan, and thanks for your review of Carnal Flower.

    I love CF but oddly have never gotten any comments when I’ve worn it – I would certainly comment if I smelled it on someone else.

    Looking forward to your next review,

  • Bryan says:

    Thank you, Marie-Helene, I believe. I love TSS and have read all the archives, along with BoisdeJasmin, nowsmellthis, perumecritic, and perfumesmellinthings. It brightens my day. PerfumePosse just has a special place in my heart, and I’m honored they let me put in my two cents.

  • Patty says:

    Helene, that’s wonderful! Perfume blogs are vastly underrepresented on the male end, so that makes me happy!

  • Patty,

    Chuckle… great minds think alike.TSS likewise recruited a writer to offer the “male perspective”.

    Welcome to the fragrance blogosphere Bryan!

  • Bryan says:

    Sariah-Gotta love the ah-hah moments in life….when they come life changes. Ok, I’m getting too deep here….but I do love tuberose. I think my first was Annick Goutal…and I’ve been hooked ever since. I must admit Fracas just doesn’t “do it” for me. I have tried and retried many many times…too much orange blossom on me and not enough tuberose. On others, especially women, I adore it and my collection will never be without it.
    tmp00-thanks for the words of encouragement. I love TC’s top, but I wouldn’t be so enamored, if say, it led to an orange blossom. I need that tuberose in there. It’s my favorite note (gee I wonder if anyone noticed). I love reading other guys’ insight into scents, simply because not enough men speak up about it, though I bet most love ’em.

  • Bryan says:

    Violetnoir-I have to say I think I misspoke about the unisex thing here…I meant that a guy, such as myself, could wear it. I don’t like the word “unisex” anyways and I believe all scents smell unique on the individual. I will say, though, that I wouldn’t give up tuberose for anything. (And I have layered it with Cuir Mauresque…very interesting indeed).
    Angela-I say, hold your head up and wear the tuberose. I know it is demanding, but when you get a whiff of your own sillage….fireworks.

  • Bryan says:

    I am stunned at all the kind words here. I can’t express what it means to me. I’m just, well, stunned.
    Lynne-I wear this scent more often than any other, and with my fickle nose, that is saying something. I will say that I receive more compliments from this scent than any other, which doesn’t hurt the rotation a bit.
    Leopoldo-Thank you for such a kind statement. I believe I’ve read some of your reviews on basenotes…correct me if I’m wrong. I love another man’s point of view too.

  • tmp00 says:


    Welcome! It’s nice to see another guy around here. :d

    I love CF, but I don’t see me wearing it (at least not to work, where I spend most of my days and where I need that bit of brightness and comfort and transportation out of the mundane no-fun work world. The tuberose is just too heady for me to pull off. If I could only convince my (female) boss to wear it. I got her hooked on Fracas, which she applies very sparingly, but still wears to the office. I love those days.

    And for me if Tubereuse Criminelle never went far past it’s Tom of Finland opening I would wear it all the time.

    Hope to read a lot more of your reviews, and please do review some Lutens, a fresh perspective is always welcome (especially one as well-written as yours), as well as a reminder of their worth.

  • sariah says:

    Hey Bryan, welcome and thanks for the review. Carnal Flower is just so shockingly perfect. My first tuberose experiece was Fracas, it was an “ah-ha” moment for me.

  • AngelaS says:

    Bryan, I look forward to reading more of your reviews! Thank you. Tuberose is difficult for me. I adore it, but sometimes I’m afraid it’s bigger than I am. The fight isn’t over yet, though!

  • violetnoir says:

    Hi Bryan!

    I purchased Carnal Flower unsniffed, and never, ever regretted it. I think this is one of the few fragrances that lived up to the hype and became a classic the minute it hit store shelves.

    However, I disagree with you on the unisex part. To me, CF is an all-out heady, feminine fragrance, whose voluptuous heart peaks out from behind the florist-fresh greenery.

    But, on a man, I bet it smells quite sexy. 😡


  • Leopoldo says:

    Great review: precise, incisive and poetic. A brilliant mix.

    I personally am not good with tuberose, though I can easily sniff why CF is such a much loved scent. My favourite part of TC is in fact the opening, which I adore adore adore.

    I also need to sniff out more classics now my nose is wiser.

  • Lynne says:

    Welcome Bryan, your review of one of my favorites is beautiful.:x I`ve often wondered what this would smell like on a man, it sounds delightful.
    Carnal flower seems to work best on me in the colder months. (colder as in California) I guess the weather adds to that florist shop image that I love.
    Hope to see more of your reviews!

  • Bryan says:

    I would love to review a Serge…so many beautiful reviews out there, I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to add much.
    Judith, you crack me up. I’m loving these emoticons. :d

  • Judith says:

    I kinda like the hands. Interestingly, they stop after a little while (which is probably why you didn’t see them).;) I realize, of course, that you couldn’t write about all the great perfume masterpieces. . .I just wanted to put in a plug for the one that defines the word for me. 😡 (now you have me experimenting with the emoticons; I don’t usually use them so much).8-|

  • Bryan says:

    Sorry about the happy face…I didn’t see the hands when I chose it. LOL.

  • Bryan says:

    Judith-I could have written about all the masterpieces that have touched me, but I’d still be writing right now. I adore Mitsouko. I find it haunting and charming at the same time. The extrait leaves me speechless. What can I say, Mitsouko is a given. Thanks for reminding me, and thanks for the lovely words.

  • Judith says:

    Welcome, Bryan. I adore Carnal Flower, and I think your review captured it perfectly!! Thanks so much!

    My only quibble–I cannot read a review about “masterpieces” without expecting to see the word “Mitsouko” (no offense to sister Shalimar):)

  • Bryan says:

    March, I hope I didn’t come across as dogging the florist shop camp. I love that aspect, but I just think it’s so much more. I love the chilly blast too…even in the winter here.

  • Bryan says:

    Patty told me how sweet and kind the perfume community is. Elle, what a sweet thing to say (write). Thank you so much.
    March, I have to say I do love the Rochas lineage in so far as it is just that, a lineage. I adore in theory the likes of Femme and Madame Rochas, much like I adore Cezanne and Sisley. I don’t need to pursue them, but I’m comforted to know they exist.
    I am in Patty’s camp…Tubereuse Criminelle, that is (though I don’t know anything about the pain ; ) The brash opening is to remind me of what I have just done…entered Serge and Chris’ world….NO GOING BACK. (Who’d want to?)

  • Patty says:

    March — TC is NOT work. Think of her as Mistress Tubereuse Criminelle and relax and enjoy it. It only hurts for a little bit.

  • March says:

    Bryan — PS, that was really funny, my comment wouldn’t appear, Askimet deleted it as Spam! I had to go into the dashboard and undelete it, buried in all the stuff about v!agRA… maybe Patty’s sending me a message?:-?

  • Patty says:

    You know what is weird? When I first tried Carnal Flower, I dabbed some on, and then I thought it just disappeared, and while I liked the open, I thought it would last longer. I’m not sure what was wrong with my nose that day, but I kept splashing on more and more. Lord, the people around me that day must have thought I was off my gourd.

    Next time I put it on, it was a bit wow. Sillage for miles. I really think this is one that has to be spritzed to get its full flower.

    It’s always good to talk about your big perfume love. Thank you for writing here!

  • Elle says:

    Fantastic post!! “Jasmine and coconut whisper behind her back.” What a brilliant way of putting it and such a perfect visual. I’m really looking forward to reading more articles from you. Thanks for this one! 🙂

  • March says:

    Fracas I love in theory but, lord, is it hard to wear. (Ignoring your dig at Rochas.:-&#34;) So Carnal Flower belongs in my vanishingly small selection of insanely heady things I wear that feel like pleasure, not work (TC is work.) I’m in the flower-shop camp, but I mean that as an absolute compliment — to me it’s what renders the tuberose manageable. It’s not a cold scent like, say, Hiris. I think it’s a wonder. Great review!

  • Bryan says:

    Thank you so much. My first comment. I’ve been an avid reader here since the beginning and am very grateful to Patty and March for the opportunity to share some thoughts.

    Patty, thank you so much for your generous words and encouragement. March, your posts keep me laughing all day.

  • Pam says:

    Welcome, Bryan! Great first article. I’ve never tried CF and you’ve made it a must-try on my list. I generally like Ropion’s creations. Had to chuckle at your comment on the Rochas classics. Have had much the same experience; I ‘preciate them at a distance. Again, welcome. Looking forward to more reviews. \:d/