Histoires de Parfums Tubéreuse 3 L'Animale was an instant love for me. It smells like perfume- real and rich, not pretending to be fresh or get out of the way of those who might be offended. Tubéreuse 3 L'Animale is so unapologetically sexy from the very first notes, even if the dirty part isn't actually civet, castoreum or any of the usual suspects. As a matter of fact, the official notes are a bit tame: kumquat, neroli, tuberose, plum, herbs, dry grass, blond tobacco and immortelle flower.
Tuberose can go in many directions. Usually it's paired with gardenia for a diva effect that takes up all the air in the room, but there are kinkier versions with notes that don't seem to belong and yet they magically do (Tubreuse Criminelle by Uncle Serge and Tubreuse Couture from Parfumerie Generalle). Then there's my personal holy grail, Ferme tes Yeux by JAR, which might be the most carnal scent I can think of. It's all about the coupling of tuberose and civet. It scares people.
Histoires de Parfums didn't go quite that far, which is probably good since they want to sell perfume here and there. Tubéreuse 3 L'Animale relies on tobacco and immortelle to carry it from intoxicating white flowers to the realms of flesh and intimacy. It does it by being warm and soft and just a little sweaty. It blooms on the skin the way a test strip can never let on, so sniffing the bottle or the blotter is useless. You don't get the liquid honey feeling unless you wear the perfume for a while.
Histoires de Parfums Tubéreuse Trilogy ($185 per bottle. No. 1 Capricious is a more classic powdery floral and No. 2 Virginale is too fruity for my taste) is available from Beauty Cafe and Miomia. They also come in the new(ish) travel size Nomad Kit ($96 for three 0.46 oz mini bottles. A very tempting deal).
Photo by Norman Parkinson.