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Bouquet Encore: an incandescent, intoxicating tuberose.

Narcotic and voluptuous to perfection, tuberose is the femme fatale of perfumery. Alternating between sunny and bewitching, this white flower lends its charms to Bouquet Encore, designed by Pierre Guéros (Symrise) for L'Orchestre Parfum.

Once known as the "Indian Hyacinth", it actually originated in Mexico. It was introduced to Europe in the 16th Century and has been cultivated for perfumery in Grasse since the 17th Century. Nowadays, tuberose is produced mainly in India.

This white flower has a somewhat sulfurous reputation. During the Renaissance in Italy, young girls were forbidden to walk in the evening in gardens where the flower grew because of its "erotic" power. Its fragrance becomes more intense as night falls. Its name, in Hindi, means night perfume. Its haunting, narcotic aura comes from the luminous, sensual scent of white flowers, true absolutes of femininity. But it's also powerful because it's a very fragrant flower, giving off its scent up to 48 hours after being cut.

Tuberoses are harvested from August to November.  It blooms twice, first between the end of August and the beginning of September, then again in November. It is a flower with a complex scent. During the day, it is suave, sunny and velvety, a facet that is brought out by enfleurage. This ancient technique is being revived - on a small scale - and involves extracting the flower's fragrance using plant-based (rather than animal) wax.  In the evening, its fragrance becomes more opulent, giving off medicinal and earthy nuances, which are quite faithfully rendered.

Its strong fragrance leaves no one indifferent: it's often a flower you either love or hate. The solvent extraction of its white petals produces an absolute with lactonic accents, sunny, orange and fruity nuances, as well as green and camphor, not forgetting a touch of animality (due to indol, one of the molecules in its organic composition). 

It is often found at the heart of white flower bouquets, adding a strong personality to perfumes. Perfumers like to play up its sunny face and creamy, "coconut" tones, using synthetic notes (benzyl salicylate, lactones, C18 aldehyde). Its camphorous facets can also be enhanced with methylated notes.  

Tuberose absolute from India costs around 11,000 euros per kilo to produce. Tuberose absolute from Grasse, where it is still grown to a lesser extent, is less fruity and indolent. It can cost up to 250,000 euros a kilo. It takes around 3 tonnes of flowers to produce a kilo of absolute and 30 to 50 kilos of flowers for a kilo of enfleurage.

Pierre Guéros has played on the sunny side of the flower to translate an olfactory memory from Pierre Guguen. That of the sensual atmosphere of a night in Barcelona, filled with the scent of bodies still smeared with monoi and rum cocktails. For Bouquet Encore, he sketches a suave melody where white flowers meet the roundness of vanilla, hemmed in with a hint of liquorice. A floral embrace (tuberose, ylang-ylang, sambac jasmine, orange blossom), exalted by Timut pepper, whose voluptuousness languishes on a bed of musk. A sexy, intoxicating fragrance.

Written by Sophie Normand.

Smell and Listen to Bouquet Encore