8 aprile 2013

Osmothèque: focus on Tuberose (1/2)

One of the most-expected lectures scheduled during Esxence was focused on tuberose, an essence having as many lovers as haters, and Emmanuelle Giron from Osmothèque had the task to lead us on a tour around this note.
I love tuberose for exactly the same reason why others hate it: for her loud voice evoking a trumpet, for the opennes and exuberancy, with a slightly mysterious background.
Tuberose is native to Mexico, where it was used to flavor ... chocolate! Tuberose flowers are colored white because they bloom at night, when colors are not visible; to attract pollinating insects then, she and all the other white flowers (including jasmine, orange blossom, magnolia, ylang etc.) have resorted to a less "visual" strategy: a stunning perfume.




Tuberose was brought to France at the return from discovery voyages to the new world, and fully took root in the region around Grasse, where the scented leather gloves business needed the loud, sensual fragrance of tuberose to mask the smell of tanning and add the gloves a precious fragrance of flowers.
The tuberose plant fears frost, this is why you put it in the ground only when winter is over. From July onwards the stems get covered with small waxy flowers, which are harvested in the early hours so that the heat of the summer sun doesn't dissipate the precious oils.
The harvest continues through the summer and until the first autumn frost, when the flowering ends. Each hectare provides about 2.5 tons of flowers.
Looking for longer summers, and therefore longer flowering season, the growing of tuberose was extended first to Morocco (the region around Rabat), while today the largest producer of tuberose is the Indian region of Karnataka, where the mild climate make tuberose flower nine months a year.

Then Emmanuelle Giron offers us a touche with tuberose absolute: an extraordinarily rich and velvety scent, warm, earthy, fleshy, minty, with an animalic and camphor-like facet which can be challenging to manage.
Emmanuelle then provides the most famous tuberose soliflores:

Fracas (Germaine Cellier for Piguet, 1948) is the first tuberose soliflore, where the floral facet is expressed in a creamy, hypnotic, a touch fruity (peach aldehyde) way, with only a slight green note.
Chloé (Francis Camail for Karl Lagerfeld, 1975) a white flower triumph with tuberose, ylang, jasmine and neroli adding a soapy touch. Smelling Chloe I can't but think to a scent released a few years later: Giorgio Beverly Hills, by the same author.
Tubereuse Criminelle (Serge Lutens and Chris Sheldrake, 1999) is a completely different take on tuberose, where the canphor-like aspect is boldly spotlighetd by a mix of warm spices (nutmeg and cloves).
Fragile (F. Kurkdjian for Jean Paul Gaultier, 1999) is a light, pale tuberose, dressed up with a pepper note depriving it of any fleshy aspect.
(to be followed here)

pic: tuberose from here, Emmanuelle Giron from here


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