What does the word tuberose mean?
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a flowering plant native to Mexico, belonging to the Agavaceae family. The name "tuberose" comes from the Latin "tuberosa," meaning "tuberous" or "tube-shaped". This name refers to the plant's fleshy roots, which develop into underground tubers, giving the flower its name. In fact, although tuberose is often called a flower, it's actually the flower stalk that bears the flowers, while the real flowers are small and sit at the top of the stalk.
In the beginning…
Tuberose originated in Mexico, where it was known and used by the Aztecs long before the arrival of Europeans. The Aztecs cultivated this precious flower in their gardens and used its blossoms to make necklaces and perfumed wreaths for their rituals and celebrations. The Spaniards then discovered the flower when they arrived in Mexico in the 16th century and brought it back to Europe, where it quickly gained in popularity.
Over time, tuberose has become an emblematic flower in the world of perfumery. Its bewitching, sensual scent has seduced perfumers, who have incorporated it into numerous fragrance compositions. Thanks to its intensity, tuberose is often used as a heart or base note in perfumes, bringing a carnal, captivating floral touch. What's more, its nocturnal and mysterious character has made it a prized flower for perfumes designed for special occasions and elegant evenings.
Growing tuberose is a delicate art requiring care and attention. Although it originated in Mexico, it is now grown in many of the world's warmer regions, including India, Hawaii, China and parts of Africa and South America.
Planting tuberose generally begins in early spring, when the tubers are buried in well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Tubers are energy reserves for the plant, enabling it to survive periods of dormancy or drought. Once planted, they begin to develop fleshy roots and green stems that turn into beautiful flowers.
Tuberose thrives in warm, sunny climates, but is also sensitive to frost. It needs plenty of water during its growing season, but proper drainage is essential to avoid excess moisture, which can lead to root rot. During the growing season, the plant must be regularly fed with balanced fertilizers to promote its development.
Tuberose generally flowers in summer. The white, waxy, star-shaped flowers give off a powerful, sweet fragrance that is often described as bewitching and sensual. Growers need to be patient, as flowering can take a few months, but the reward is well worth it.
Tuberose flowers are harvested by hand, as they are fragile and must be treated with care to preserve their olfactory quality. Once picked, the flowers are often used immediately in perfumery, as they quickly lose their fragrance after harvesting. Tuberose is a precious plant and its cultivation requires special know-how, but the result is a unique olfactory essence that continues to captivate perfume lovers the world over.
What do you know about the use of tuberose in perfumery?
Tuberose's olfactory profile is captivatingly complex, making it a key note in many perfume compositions. Its suave, narcotic fragrance evokes floral and animalic nuances, with creamy, milky accents. Tuberose exudes intense floral scents, reminiscent of jasmine and gardenia, but is also associated with green and spicy notes that give it a richer, more intriguing dimension.
In perfumery, tuberose is often used as a heart note, bringing warmth and sensuality to fragrances. It blends particularly well with other floral ingredients, such as rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang, creating intoxicating floral bouquets. Perfumers also marry it with fruity notes such as peach or apricot, which amplify its sweetness and carnal aspect.
Tuberose is also appreciated for its ability to blend harmoniously with gourmand notes such as vanilla, honey or caramel, adding a sensual, sweet touch to fragrances. On the other hand, it can be combined with spicy notes such as ginger, cinnamon or pepper, for a more exotic and bewitching blend.
Fragrances based on tuberose are often described as luxurious and sophisticated, ideal for special occasions and elegant evenings. Its powerful trail and exceptional staying power make it a prized note in niche and high-end perfumes. Whether as the main protagonist or in harmony with other ingredients, tuberose continues to dazzle and seduce, establishing its timeless place in the art of perfumery.
Interesting Fact !
In addition to its perfumery qualities, tuberose is a precious plant with soothing, relaxing properties. Used in aromatherapy, its bewitching fragrance is associated with the reduction of stress, anxiety and insomnia, creating a calm atmosphere conducive to relaxation. Studies have revealed beneficial compounds such as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules, which may protect cells from free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body. What's more, in some cultures, tuberose is considered an aphrodisiac plant, strengthening the emotional bonds between individuals thanks to its intoxicating, sensual fragrance.
Some popular Tuberose perfumes
Here's a list of best tuberose perfumes and colognes featuring tuberose in their composition:
• Fracas by Robert Piguet: Launched in 1948, Fracas is a quite popular Eau de Toilette among the best tuberose fragrances for women with white floral notes including tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom and rose celebrating its opulent, bewitching side. This timeless classic is a rich, sensual floral bouquet you will really like.
• Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle: Created by renowned perfumer Dominique Ropion, Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums Carnal Flower Eau de parfum showcases tuberose in a bold, modern way, with floral and green accents.
• Diptyque Do Son: Featuring tuberose, jasmine, and pink peppercorn, Diptyque Do Son Eau de Parfum offers a fresh and airy interpretation of tuberose, perfect for those who enjoy a lighter floral, green and fresh scent.
• Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori: The Gucci Bloom Profumo di Fiori Eau de Parfum is centered around the bouquet of white flowers, with a particular emphasis on tuberose and jasmine. These flowers are complemented by other supporting notes to create a full-bodied and opulent scent.
• Le Jardin Retrouvé Tubéreuse Trianon: The fragrance likely features a prominent tuberose note, possibly blended with other floral, green, or woody notes to create a balanced and multifaceted composition. Tuberose is a complex flower with facets that can range from creamy and sweet to slightly spicy and green.
• Tubéreuse Nue by Tom Ford: Tom Ford Tubéreuse Nue offers a modern and sensual interpretation of tuberose, a flower often associated with opulence and sensuality. The fragrance opens with a fresh and citrusy burst of bergamot, combined with the green and slightly spicy notes of violet leaf and cardamom.
• Supreme Bouquet (Le Vestiaire des Parfums) by Yves Saint Laurent: The heart of the floral scent features a lush bouquet of tuberose and ylang-ylang creating a harmonious blend of white flowers that evoke elegance and sensuality. The base notes of patchouli and amber add depth to the composition.
Furthermore, some other popular tuberose perfumes are Georgio Armani My Way Eau de Parfum, Kilian Good Girl Gone Bad Eau de Parfum, Jo Malone London Tuberose Angelica cologne intense and Estée Lauder Tuberose Gardenia Eau de Parfum Spray.
Who knows, maybe one day Bon Parfumeur, our 100% made-in-France perfume house, will offer fragrances with tuberose... In the meantime, don't hesitate to visit our website or come and meet us in store!