Tubereuse 40 is the latest release from the New York-based niche line Le Labo. It was created by perfumer Alberto Morillas, and the notes include bergamote, neroli, petitgrain, citron, rosemary, orange blossom, tuberose, rose, jasmine, mandarin, mimosa, oakmoss, benzoin, cedar, sandalwood and musk.
Tubereuse 40, like many of the fragrances in the Le Labo line, isn’t a fragrance that highlights the note in the name; in other words, this isn’t a fragrance about tuberose at all, although tuberose is one of the 40 ingredients. What it is, instead, is a lovely take on a classic citrusy cologne, with lots of orange blossom and neroli (I would have called this one Fleur d’Oranger or Neroli, but Le Labo has already used those names) accented by jasmine and tuberose and resting on a mossy-woods base. The citrus notes are almost incredibly round and full, and they are still round and full a good hour into the experience; Le Labo used a 30% concentration of oils (a dosage higher than many extraits) and it shows.
As with a classic cologne, Tubereuse 40 can be worn by either sex, but it departs from a classic cologne in its excellent lasting power. If you get it on your coat, you’ll still smell it several days later. And what better to smell on your coat in mid-winter than a whiff of orange grove? I usually pack away my citrusy scents in the fall, and then start reaching for them again during the January blahs; but by and large, that is the product of desperation. Few citrus scents are really robust enough to really stand up to winter. Tubereuse 40 is robust enough. L’Artisan’s Fleur d’Oranger, lovely as it is, seems pale and wispy in comparison, and it fades to nothing while the Tubereuse is just getting started.
Now for the bad news. Tubereuse 40 is the first in a projected series of city-exclusive fragrances. You can buy it in New York only, at the Le Labo boutique in Nolita or at the in-store boutique at Barneys. In person, that is — no telephone or internet orders. The price is $230 for 50 ml (*weeps*) or $360 for 100 ml (*weeps harder*).