making ofTableau de Parfums

on the tuberose in the fragrance Loretta

Today, I want to talk about the Tuberose note in Loretta: How I created the tuberose accord. For those not familiar with Loretta: This is the next, upcoming fragrance from Tableau de Parfums. It will launch in autumn 2012, but you can get a purse spray size (7 ml) of it for a limited time in the Kickstarter campaign for Only Child,  my movie project with Brian Pera.

I got a couple of questions on the TUBEROSE in Loretta. I said earlier that it wanted Loretta to be mysterious, oriental and dark and rich.  Let me explain here how and why I did the tuberose for Loretta the way I did it.

When you say “tuberose” there is a lot of attention. Yes, for good reasons. Tuberose is a one of a kind natural scent. Thus, I imagined that it is time to talk a little bit about the different facets that you may find in tuberose, and what I did with them in the Loretta fragrance. It might also shine a light on the complexity of creating perfumes, using a lot of natural ingredients, thus working a bit like 50 years ago. But, just to underline this: Loretta is not vintage inspired like Miriam (the first scent in the Tableau line that references the 30-ies). Thus, there we go. On tuberose….

The natural tuberose scent, in my nose, is very, very complex. There is a sweet, almost narcotic side to it, but WITHOUT any indolic references. Part of it comes from benzyl acetate that is a natural component of the tuberose fragrance, that you also find in ylang or jasmine. I used this molecule, too; together with vanilla that brings in a soft, powdery sweetness, lasting through the entire scent development. Not too much, though. As I did not want to create a vanilla pudding.

Another striking feature of tuberose is its “salicylate” side, a powdery, medicinal, very out-going scent. Natural tuberose is fully loaded with salicylates of all sorts. I think Luca Turin once described the power of salicylates by stating something on the line “add some salicylate and you’ll make it a big perfume”. Loretta for sure is a big scent, thus I used quite some salicylates, too. I went for benzyl salicylate, nothing special there, except that it really adds quite some lovely powder power to Loretta.

Then we have naturally some “green molecules” in Tuberose, there is a citrus-geranium note in it and you find molecules such as geraniol if you do an analysis of the scent. Here comes in the rose that I use in Loretta. It is actually worth an entire post, as I built a complex rose accord into Loretta, that takes the tuberose by the hand and twirls and dances. It consists among other things of rose absolute and rose oil, the steam distilled expensive stuff, actually 2 parts absolute, 1 part essential oil.

The essential oil of rose brings in another aspect that I absolutely wanted to support in the tuberose for Loretta: The spices. I wanted Loretta’s tuberose to be spicy and oriental. Not like a oriental market, but still: Spicy. Thus, I use clove and cinnamon and hints of coriander (just hints). The rose essential oil is wonderful in the sense that it blends gently into these natural spice oils, it rounds them off, softens them,  and ads an exotic, mysterious touch to the head notes.

If you do a head space analysis of the tuberose flowers, you find also a lot of molecules that you find in citrus blossoms, such as anthranilates, or nerols. The flower comes with a distinct orange blossom aspect, but without the indolic side of the white flowers.  But if you smell the absolute of tuberose, there is  only a very, very fine line of citrus blossom. An absolute of a natural flower is -of course- always a man made product and a lot of facets go lost during the extraction process. Thus, I wanted this citrus blossom aspect a bit stronger and did so by adding an entire orange blossom chord to the fragrance, with orange absolute in the center. I did not want to use the neroli because of its cologne reference and its natural sharpness. I rather brightened up the natural orange blossom absolute (that you find in the same amounts in there like the rose absolute) with a few extra molecules added. The orange blossom adds a lot of “flowers” to the Loretta fragrance. And it makes a bridge to the woody notes of the base, as orange blossom absolute comes with a woody side aspect.

Then, to come to an end, there are the tuberose specials! The TUBEROSE  ONLY MOLECULES. The molecules that you only find in tuberose. Some of them are lactones, a group of molecules that often come with a creaminess, or a scent reminding in roasted nuts, at least in my nose. I used a lactone that is quite expensive, a synthetic molecule that occurs naturally in tuberose. Add this Givaudan miracle, in reasonable amounts and it does wonders together with the tuberose absolute. It is magic. The tuberose absolute that I use comes from Biolandes in France. It is super expensive, more expensive than rose oil or neroli, and I use the same amount like rose absolute. In itself is smells of spicy, dark tuberose. Add some of these tuberose lactones and the absolute explodes and in front of your nose stands a tuberose, larger than life.

I will try to continue talking about Loretta and the mysterious, dark sides of it, in the coming days. But first I need to fly to NY, for a cocktail at MIN’s. I will bring a little vial of Loretta with me. When you are in the area: You might get a whiff of a tuberose.

(today’s picture: Tuberose buds, take about 2005 with my nikon)