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Loretta – Tuberose made modern – July 3, 2015

Image - Tableau de Parfums - Loretta

Three years ago I wrote about an incredibly beautiful patchouli scent by Andy Tauer called Dark Passage, which Tauer described as a “snapshot fragrance”, here for a while, then gone.  It was a limited-edition offshoot of the Tableau de Parfums line which Tauer created to promote Brian Pera's film project, Woman's Picture.

The Tableau de Parfums scents are fully-fledged “portrait” fragrances, the names taken from famous movie actresses, but the scents based on the characters in Brian Pera's short films. The first scent was Miriam, the second is Loretta, launched in October 2012, and the third is Ingrid, from 2013. – they can be purchased on Brian Pera’s evelynavenue website.

Loretta’s character is a young woman, a maid at a motel living a somewhat naïve humdrum life, who daydreams about her other grown-up sophisticated self, a self who is romantic, sensual, seductive and desired. From the website:

“Loretta is an incredibly sensual and erotic story, in which a daydream world becomes a powerful, seductive reality. In Loretta’s world there is music, dance, romantic intimacy, soft light and a natural, childlike shyness confronted with somewhat dark, adult realities. Loretta’s flower is tuberose… dark and mysterious, as opulent and seductive as her reveries themselves.”

Loretta is an incredibly beautiful tuberose scent. Andy Tauer is an extremely talented perfumer with his own very distinct style (he has his way with vanilla), and it’s fascinating to me to hear him describe how he perceives and interprets perfume notes. On his blog post in March 2013, he discusses the one-of-a-kind tuberose note, and how he used its different facets to create Loretta:

“…Loretta is not vintage-inspired like Miriam…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… I used this..together with vanilla that brings in a soft powdery sweetness, lasting throughout 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…Loretta for sure is a big scent, thus I used …salicylates, too. I went for benzyl salicylate…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…here comes the rose that I use…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 of among other things rose absolute and rose oil, the steam-distilled expensive stuff…

…The essential oil of rose brings in another aspect…The spices. I wanted Loretta’s tuberose to be spicy and oriental…I use clove and cinnamon and hints of coriander (just hints). The rose essential oil…blends gently into these natural spice oils, it rounds them, softens them, and adds an exotic, mysterious touch to the head notes…

…tuberose flowers….come with a distinct orange blossom aspect, but without the indolic side of the white flowers…there is only a very, very fine line of citrus blossom…I wanted this citrus blossom aspect a bit stronger and did so by adding an orange blossom chord to the fragrance, with orange absolute in the centre…[which] 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 effect…

…Then, to come to the end, there are the tuberose specials! The TUBEROSE ONLY MOLECULES. The molecules you find only in tuberose. Some of them are lactones…with a creaminess, or a scent reminding [of] roasted nuts…I used a lactone that is quite expensive…add this miracle in reasonable amounts and it does wonders with the tuberose absolute…

…The tuberose absolute that I use comes from.. France…it is super expensive, more expensive than the rose oil, and …in itself smells of spicy, dark tuberose, Add some of the lactones and the tuberose absolute explodes and in front of your nose stands a tuberose, larger than life…”

Opening big and powdery on top of vanilla-soaked sweet dark berries, Loretta is sweet, sweet, but the spice and rose accord immediately add a smoke-leather sensation, almost metallic and steamy, and the sweetness factor notches down. The pure tuberose that blooms in the heart on a bed of orange blossoms is a revelation. Worlds away from the suffocatingly rich tuberose in Fracas or oily indolic blooms in Carnal Flower, it's a seductive bouquet when the sweet tuberose swirls with spiced rose, orange blossom and bits of green vetiver. The base becomes darker and sultry with woods and patchouli, but the deliciously addictive floral heart accord in Loretta remains front and centre, and continues for hours, which is perfection because I can’t stop sniffing myself.

Andy Tauer has told the story of a different tuberose, unlike any other I’ve experienced. Its power reminds me of Dior Hypnotic Poison, but is much brighter, more dimensional.

A sultry, larger-than-life, modern, and incredibly beautiful tuberose. What more could you ask for?

 

Loretta is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $6.00 for 1 ml.