Le Labo Tubereuse 40 is a very unusual tuberose perfume. If your idea of tuberose is a Fracas diva or a heavy tuberose-gardenia bomb, you're going to be surprised and even disappointed. Men who usually don't entertain the idea of wearing white floral perfumes will find Le Labo Tubereuse 40 quite enjoyable and wearable without raising any eyebrows around. As a matter of fact, from the very first time I encountered Tubereuse 40 I noticed it smells better and more interesting on the husband.
After wearing Le Labo Tubereuse 40 frequently in the last couple of months I think I know why.
Tubereuse 40 has a very long-lasting, crisp and assertive opening that is all neroli. It remains very classic cologne for at least half an hour, teasing one's nose with some lemony whiffs before it softens a little into a more visible orange blossom absolute (the difference between neroli and the absolute is the method of production that creates the distinct scent of each. The original raw material is the same).
The perfume develops into a curious green thing. The floral part makes me think of tiny little blossoms, not the raw sexuality of tuberose, gardenia and their likes. There's a leafy, mossy thing going on in the background and the citrus facet hangs around and makes guest appearances here and there, especially if I wear Tubereuse 40 on hot days. I sprayed it lavishly last month just before going out to the antique market in Paris on a very hot day (temperatures were in the 90s). It was a wise decision as the scent not only lingered through the heat, stinky food stands and general flea market questionable moments, but was quite reviving and clean. There's something musky in the dry-down, similar to what you get in several Le Labo perfumes, and that keeps things smooth and clean as well, without going the cheap laundromat way.
The bottom line is that I smell all the components that make Le Labo Tubereuse 40 an enjoyable perfume. Some people have the right skin chemistry for it: the synergy that makes it an extraordinary orange blossom-tuberose perfume (see this review on Best Things In Beauty). I don't, which is why it never develops beyond the clean and green zesty spurts on me. Too bad, really, considering it's the one Le Labo exclusive I can buy in person anytime.
Notes: Ambrette absolute, bergamote, cedar, jasmin absolute, orange blossom absolute, mimosa absolute, oak moss absolute, petit grain, centifolis rose, absolute tuberose .
This concludes my series about Le Labo city exclusive perfumes. You can read the rest here:
Vanille 44 (Paris)
Musc 25 (Los Angeles)
Poivre 23 (London)
Baie Rose 26 (Chicago)
Aldehyde 44 (Dallas)
Le Labo Tubereuse 40 will be available for the month of November through the house's website (lelabofragrances.com) and Luckyscent (samples are already on sale at $10 per 1.5 ml). A press sample for consideration and review was sent to me by Le Labo.
Photo of model Benedetta Barzini by Irving Penn, 1967, from myvintagevogue.com