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Exploring the Origins and Uses of Tuberose in Perfumery
Tuberose, native to Mexico, made its way to Europe and Asia around the 16th century. Once extensively cultivated in Grasse, it is now mainly grown in gardens. India has become the world's largest producer of tuberose, followed by Egypt. Remarkably, tuberose continues to release its scent for two days after picking. To preserve its delicate aroma, the flowers are hand-harvested and extracted using solvents such as ethanol, instead of steam distillation. Tuberose absolute carries a heady, persistent fragrance with notes of honey, wax, cream, and warmth, reminiscent of honeysuckle and orange blossom. This absolute is often used in the creation of prestigious, oriental, and floral perfumes.
Fun Fact: Madame de La Vallière, the mistress of Louis XIV, placed tuberose flowers in her room to prove she wasn't pregnant, as the scent was considered unbearable for expectant mothers. In Italy, young girls were forbidden from evening strolls in gardens to avoid the tempting allure of tuberose flowers.
Iconic Tuberose-Based Perfumes
Since the 1930s, tuberose has played a central role in crafting iconic fragrances. In 1948, Fracas by Piguet was released, a now-classic perfume showcasing opulent tuberose aromas. Created by the bold Germaine Cellier, Fracas also features a surprising fruity note, achieved through a blend of natural and synthetic materials. In 1985, Dior highlighted tuberose with the timeless fragrance Poison, a captivating concoction of intense tuberose, sandalwood, apple, patchouli, labdanum, rose, spices, and honey.
Fun Fact: Tuberose-infused perfumes were especially popular during the 1980s, when women sought to make a bold statement with their fragrance choices. The powerful scent of tuberose perfectly captured the spirit of modernity and assertiveness.
In 2014, Réminiscence introduced the fragrance White Tubéreuse, a harmonious yet dynamic scent. The pairing of tuberose with cumin creates a persistent aroma, softened by a honeyed note for a sensual impression. The composition, featuring coconut milk, banana, spices, and a creamy essence, balances the fragrance, transforming it into a nearly tropical experience.