Whoever pegged me as a Carnal Flower lover last year was a year early in her prediction but right on with her assessment. Maybe my love of L'Artisan Parfumeur La Chasse aux Papillons whispered a clue that I had a tendency to fall weak to my knees for white florals such as tuberose, gardenia, jasmine and other tropical, fleshy flowers redolent of sweet nectar. Even though there's something sharp and medicinal weaving through Carnal Flower, and even though I don't like knowing white musk and salicylates are in it, this is really one yummy, stunningly gorgeous, buttery-smooth, creamy sweet tuberose blend I've come to adore. I can't spritz this one directly from the bottle or I know people around me will gasp for air; instead, I decant this heady, potent juice into a glass vial and dab in tiny dots on just two or three points. There's a trace of coconut in this blend that gives it a milky, almost vanillic warmth and it takes me back to summertime. If I didn't have to be so fickle, I think I could call it a signature scent.
The fragrance was composed by perfumer Dominique Ropion whose other heady white floral (jasmine or tuberose-gardenia) themed works such as Une Fleur de Cassie and Amarige I have also worn and loved. They say Americans particularly love gardenia--whether this is meant to be far from a compliment or not, there might be a familiarity factor involved with my loving this type of scent. Still, Carnal Flower is top notch qualitywise and stands on its own as a unique and memorable composition. OK, it obviously follows in Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle's footsteps, but thankfully, it doesn't smell like tuberose + pure wintergreen as its predecessor does.
Les Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower (2005)
Basenotes lists the following notes:
Bergamot, Melon, Eucalyptus, Ylang Ylang, Salycilates, Jasmine, Tuberose absolute, Orange Blossom absolute Coconut,White Musks