Tuberose: Why It's a Commonly Used Fragrance
It would be hard to describe tuberose in just a few words because it is one of the most bewitching scents used in perfumery. Some tend to use words like voluptuous, fleshy or narcotically sweet to describe the aroma that comes from white, star-shaped clusters sprouting from long green stems. Regardless of the specific vocabulary used to capture this alluring flower, there is no doubt that the fragrance has a very potent, sensual impact on those who inhale it.
How Tuberose Rose in Popularity
There are plenty of stories in history about the use of tuberose and its popularity as a fragrance of desire. It’s said that during the Victorian era, young women were cautioned to stay away from the night blossom in case an accidental whiff of the bloom would awaken deep, illicit desires. In India, young women were warned about breathing in the fragrance after dark because of its strong aphrodisiac powers. In American colonial times, this gorgeous yet heady flower had a strong presence. The Aztecs kept it a sacred bloom and attributed it to the Aztec Aphrodite, goddess of love, flowers, beauty, dance and earth.
While it’s called a rose, it has no relation at all and comes from the Agave family. Tuberose is native to hot, arid regions of the Americas, but it's also found in Mexico and India. It’s a perennial plant that grows from a bulb, and it was so intoxicating that it was brought to Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, China and Comoros for cultivation. King Louis XIV of France, a man of exquisite taste in perfume, brought more than 10,000 bulbs to plant around the palace of Versailles. Beyond the fragrance that can last for up to 48 hours after a bloom is picked, the star-shaped flower is both beautiful and delicate.
How Tuberose Performs as a Fragrance
Many believe that tuberose is the most fragrant of all plants. The longevity of the scent is one reason, but the distinct properties of the odor are another reason. Like many other white flowers, such as the ylang-ylang or orange blossom, the note is described as being deeply creamy, with the intensity growing as night falls. It is a flower that blossoms in the night, lending itself well to the notion that deep, sensual desires will come alive when surrounded by the powerful scent. The flowers are most fragrant after sunrise, which is why the blossoms are hand-picked at just the right moment before extracting the compounds.
What is unknown to those who can’t get enough of the fragrance is that the chemistry of the aroma contains indole. This ingredient is commonly found in white flowers and can be likened to the scent of mothballs. As the fragrance is diluted, the rotten smell that was once prevalent takes on a sweeter undertone. The body also releases small amounts of indole during sex, which affirms why there is such as sensual attraction to the tuberose fragrance. It’s this combination of both sour and sweet or delicious and rotten that suggests intimacy and intoxication.
How Tuberose Works With Other Scents
Because of the velvety, exotic opulence that comes from the flower, it doesn’t take much at all to provide an olfactory indulgence in tuberose. Many fragrance lines, whether for candles, perfumes or other scented products, will combine the scent with others to produce a range of indulgent tones. More sophisticated scents will let the tuberose be the star of the show. It is a more expensive ingredient and takes nearly 1,000 flowers to produce just one kilogram of absolute scent. Though a reconstitution of the scent can be used, it does differ slightly from the natural scent of the flower.
The top notes in tuberose are slightly narcotic, with a hint of medicinal properties. Just a few seconds later, you get the presence of candied or honeyed nectar, but it can grow to be very intense quite quickly. It blends well with similar white flower fragrances, like jasmine or gardenia. By manipulating the concentration and particles in the aroma, some fragrances have more perceived camphor-like notes. The rich aroma can also blend well with the following tones:
- Ylang ylang
A heavier fragrance will have a higher concentration of tuberose, while a small concentration will enhance the presence of light floral scents. Warm air or climates also seems to intensify or amplify the fragrance, causing a little to go a long way as the scent tends to linger.
How Tuberose Impacts the Senses
The most pronounced effect the scent has is on the olfactory sense. The fragrance release a feminine scent with layers of nuances. It can range from bright, sunny or orange notes to a more medicinal tone related to camphor. It has a slightly carnal, animal smell but yet is subtle and sensual. The variety in the tones has given tuberose absolute a place in multiple blends of essential oils to help with relaxation, romance and sensuality. It’s also helpful in promoting feelings of self-confidence and assertiveness, assisting with soothing aggression, and calming anger.
When used in natural fragrances and perfumery, tuberose absolute is said to offer the following benefits:
- Relieve muscle spasms
- Reduce physical tension
- Relieve insomnia
- Reduce restlessness, nervousness and irritability
- Soothe anxiety and depression
- Ease stress-induced conditions
How Tuberose Fits in the Home
Fragrances as rich as tuberose don’t just need to be worn to be enjoyed. While some of the more popular uses are in perfumes, there are many ways to incorporate the luxurious scent inside your home. Candles are a relaxing and effective way to release the magic and power of this delicate yet impressive flower throughout your home. Depending on the fragrance blend you choose, you can create an atmosphere of calm and relaxation or spice up the night with passionate desire and sensuality.
Bring Tuberose To Your Home
Give your home something new and exciting with a Nomad Noé candle. There are several carefully blended scents to choose from, including the highly desired tuberose. See what everyone is lusting after by lighting your own hand-poured, fragrant candle.