Perfume, Reviews

An Ode to Indole: Keiko Mecheri’s Tuberose

If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to intrigue me in perfume, it’s tuberose, and if there’s another thing that’s guaranteed to intrigue me, it’s strange or unconventional notes, so on the odd occasions when a fragrance embraces tuberose’s indolic side, we have a perfume twofer I simply must smell. Keiko Mecheri’s Tuberose is a fine example of this principle in action.

Over on Fragrantica, it’s currently scored with a dismally mediocre 2.55 with accolades like “pungent fishy” [sic] and “Rubbery, fresh horse dung that’s rolled in grass clippings” and “This is awful.” Naturally, I had to try it, and once I tried it, I couldn’t get it out of my head, so when my favorite fragrance boutique put it on sale over the holidays, I had to have it. It’s taken me a while to muster up the confidence to wear it out and public, and while I can confirm it does make me recall the mid-summer smell of the horse stable not too far my parents’ house, I can also confirm it’s great! Really weird, but great!

If you charted a Venn diagram between the powdery smack of Dubble Bubble and the sweet, animalic accord of a farm, I believe you’d find Keiko Mecheri’s Tuberose square in the middle:

Most tuberose fragrances trade only in the flower’s most attractive aspects. Sure, they’re pretty and creamy and oh so seductive, but they’re a fragrant fib by way of omission. Meanwhile, at the opposite end I’ve encountered a tuberose scent so overwhelmingly indolic that it conjures the sweet smells of decomposing flowers and warm retch. How lovely. Mecheri’s Tuberose feels incredibly balanced in this regard: it can hold you captive even as it brazenly flirts with the flower’s most off-putting qualities.

Sure, it dries down to a much plainer accord of powdery, tuberosey woods, and as with so many of the Mecheri scents, it’s all but over after four or so hours (though that may be a blessing for some with this one), but Keiko Mecheri Tuberose is a queer, captivating ode to indole for a good while in the beginning, and I can’t get enough of it. Try it before you buy it, but by all means, do try it. It’s properly indolic, a real love song to the flower’s filthy beauty, and while I can’t imagine Keiko Mecheri’s PR reaching out for that pull quote any time soon, I promise it’s high praise.

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