Matiere Premiere dial the romance up a notch with a tuberose fragrance to rival some of the best out there.
Absolute and enfleurage tuberose grown specifically by, and for, Matiere Premiere, ginger, green tea, pear.
French Flower by Matiere Premiere will be an easy sell to those who already love and wear tuberose fragrances. Satisfying, intoxicating and vibrant, it’s hard to imagine people who love tuberose not falling for this scent – in many ways it has all the hallmarks of becoming a classic of this particular flower’s fragrant genre. It delivers tuberose, and then some.
But what is less clear is this fragrance’s ability to turn the heads of those who aren’t tuberose devotees already. Will they be won over by this intense and sometimes polarising ingredient?
The idea behind French Flower was to take inspiration from the smell of tuberose fields at night. Tale has it that French teenagers were told to stay away from the fields when the tuberose flowers were at their aromatic height, at dusk, because they would be overcome by the aphrodisiac qualities of the scent and end up getting themselves up to all sorts of mischief. So it is a youthful conjuring we have here of tuberose. An innocent tuberose with a hidden sense of sensuality. And herein lies the lure of French Flower – it isn’t a heavy, typically more old fashioned type of tuberose here. Nor is this a hyper modern, abstracted scent. What we have is something in between. A beautiful tuberose which smells real, like it is growing right in front of you. That’s the beauty of this fragrance and what will indeed win both tuberose and Matiere Premiere new fans.
This idea of youthfulness and cleanliness of composition is in evidence in the start of the scent which opens with a juicy, green pear note. It’s almost crisp and a little tart, sparkling off the skin with little motes of effervescence. If it were a drink it would be lightly carbonated, and that is the impression that the opening gives; lively, sparkly, and excitable.
As French Flower begins to really heat up, the green tea and ginger also come into play. The ginger gives a sense of warmth – it isn’t really noticeable unless you are looking for it, but it adds a further lift and sense of brightness. The tea aspect gives the fragrance a touch of something stem-like, and roots it in the earth, again touched with greener, but bright, new growth.
The supporting ingredients are deployed judiciously to bring out facets of the tuberose which are new, dewy, and unblemished. They uplift the main player rather than vie for attention themselves, and apart from perhaps the pear, you aren’t really going to notice them too prominently, other than to benefit from the tones and shades that they help to enhance in the main body of the perfume itself. The take home message here is really that if you don’t like ginger, for example, don’t be put off from trying this scent.
In wearing French Flower you don’t have to wait too long before the real star of the show unfurls her petals and really starts singing.
The tuberose starts almost as a bud within the composition. The floralcy is hidden behind the green tones – still there, but disguised. As the fragrance ages, the tuberose starts to release that intoxicating floral aroma as if the flower is ripening and unfurling. It’s bubblegummy and sweet, dusky and creamy, warm and musky and so intensely floral that it feels like you might have shrunk down to elf-like size and taken up residence within the flower itself. This is tuberose for tuberose’s sake, it delights in the beauty of the flower and allows it to shine in all its multifaceted glory.
Sometimes there is a tone in tuberose which smells like skin warmed by the sunshine, and that is in evidence here – reminding us again of the inspiration behind the fragrance – but the scent doesn’t feel contrived or overly engineered. It’s the sort of perfume where the quality of the ingredients does a lot of the work – and indeed that’s the whole idea behind Matiere Premiere. I’ve never smelled the tuberose fields of Grasse at night, but if they smelled exactly like this scent in the real world then I would not be at all surprised.
There’s nothing jaded or worldly-wise about the composition of French Flower, it has a purity to it which is delightful and fascinating in its own right. The tuberose is nothing short of thrilling. This is not a scent where you have to go hunting for the star of the show, she is there in spades already with her arms open, waiting for you.
Beautiful, serene, almost spectral at times but also warm, abundant and tender. French Flower is a must buy for anyone who loves tuberose already and certainly a must-try for anyone who is open to being seduced by this most French of flowers. If you like creamy scents, white floral scents, or fragrances which are flecked with greenery then French Flower has something for you and what a delight she is.
The other stuff
The perfumer for French Flower is Aurelien Guichard.
The longevity and projection of this scent are both really significant. In terms of longevity, French Flower lasts easily eight to ten hours on skin, often more. On the sillage front it trails beautifully and projects to beyond handshake distance or more. If you find yourself liking tuberose but being easily overwhelmed by it then try going very light on the trigger to start off with.
French Flower is a fragrance which is robust enough to work well in warmth and even hot weather. It will easily compete with things like sun cream if you want to wear it on the warmest days of the year. It also feels like the sort of fragrance which will be suitable for a variety of occasions. I find it quite special, so will likely wear it for evenings out, or days when I want to treat myself to something really nice and indulgent. It feels like a treat of a scent, but it is versatile enough to not be put on a pedestal if you want to wear it during the daytime too.
As noted, the whole idea of Matiere Premiere is to allow beautiful raw materials to be the star of the show, supported in the different compositions by very judicious use of other ingredients. They do this superbly well.
The whole range of Matiere Premiere are modern and clean, with hefty glass bottles and a smart black cap. They look beautiful when sat on a shelf or dresser. Everything about the range is high class but low bling – understated but very satisfying elegance indeed.
If you would like to know more about the brand, listen to our podcast episode with Aurelien Guichard, perfumer for Matiere Premiere.
French Flower is available from the Matiere Premiere web boutique where it is priced at €195 for 100ml EdP. We were very kindly gifted a bottle of this fragrance by the brand when we visited them in London.