Tubéreuse Capricieuse & Tubéreuse Virginale (Histoires de Parfums)

This critique must needs be a quick one. Please know that this in no way reflects on the two perfumes being reviewed. But time's a-crunchin', and I'd rather write than not. Does that make sense? Yes? Good. Onward!

Tubéreuse Capricieuse
By any chance does capricieuse mean "passive-aggressive" en français? Because this fragrance started playing major head games on me straight out of the sample vial. The moment I pried the cap loose, a flood of pent-up perfume dribbled down the lovely matte-gold label, dissolving the pigment and leaving metallic streaks all over my hands. Seriously, it was like a scene from Goldfinger. Now, you would think that a perfume capable of guerilla tactics such as these would be a card-carrying baby- slapper, but Tubéreuse Capricieuse turned out to be just the quietest little thing. At first I suspected that its shyness was some kind of ploy, the way that a delinquent teenager acts all polite when he's really planning to sneak out of a window later and toilet-paper all the neighbors' front yards. But no, thrilling as those first paint-melting moments may be, Tubéreuse Capricieuse has no additional tricks up its sleeve. It's prim, dry, whispery, work-safe, perfectly pleasant, and not in the slightest bit capricious. So you can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop-- there isn't any, thank goodness.

Scent Elements: Mandarin, bergamot, saffron, iris, ylang-ylang, tuberose, cacao, white musk, suede

Tubéreuse Virginale
Now this is what I like in a tuberose! So often this flower seems funereal to me, cool and waxen, a little on the ghoulish side. The trick seems to be to heat up the surrounding atmosphere to tropical temperatures so that tuberose's innate coolness reads as refreshing rather than unnerving. Gérald Ghislain fine-tunes the climate with creamy Tahitian tiare blossoms, and a surprise guest: the sweet fruit of the cherry, which lends a certain childlike, optimistic bounce to the formula. Against this riot of equatorial color, tuberose's pale flesh glows like a white opal. I have never seen her looking (or smelling) so radiant. While it has terrific longevity and balance, however, I would not say that Tubéreuse Virginale is ideal for the workplace-- if only because it will have all of your deskmates dreaming about their next vacation when they ought to be filing statistical reports.

Scent Elements: Cherry, mandarin, iris, tuberose, tiare, frangipani, blond wood, patchouli, vanilla, white musk