Sometimes I feel there is an elephant in the room when I smell certain perfumes. It’s the elephant of “I don’t smell that!” Aftelier Perfumes Cepes and Tuberose was not what I expected at all, and I still cannot smell the elements that I “should” smell in it. Here’s a sampling of a few things that have been said about it.
Wild mushrooms, with animal undertones and one of the world’s most voluptuous florals. Wild porcini mushrooms and Italian tuberose play a mysterious and earthy duet. One of my more enigmatic perfumes, it has won many awards and fans. — Aftelier Perfumes description
It calms to a sheer veil of tuberose underscored by dark, earthy — make that very earthy — mushrooms. — NST
It makes me see the best and the worst in myself at the same time. It makes me want two opposites, two extremes, it makes me want what I cannot have and it renders me crazy and angry and sad and deliriously happy at once. — Olfactoria’s Travels
No sweetness and light in Cepes and Tuberose. — Scent and Sensibility
With notes of mushrooms, animal undertones, and everyone’s favorite scandalous tuberose, all of these descriptions make sense. But Cepes and Tuberose had other plans for me.
Instead of a dark and earthy blend, I smell a carnival of happy, mostly edible, smells. The opening notes take me back to days spent at the amusement park as a child. I can remember throwing myself onto the carousel to give my reeling brain a break from back-to-back rollercoasters, against that constant backdrop of all those smells. Hot plastic seats, rubbery bumper cars, oiled machinery, junk food.
Smelling Cepes and Tuberose blind (with no note list) I wrote down the following things that I thought the opening notes smelled like: orange syrup, buttered popcorn, and burnt rubber. Scared? Please trust me that Cepes and Tuberose smells like pure, gleeful fun — a little like a relative of Shalimar, dressed for a night out in Rio.
After a few minutes the opening notes mellow and meld into a sweet orange muscat with a buttery tuberose note complementing. This stage lasts for several hours on my skin, and it finds me putting my wrist up to my nose constantly, thinking “This just smells amazing.” It’s clearly related to the opening, but has grown up just the right amount. On different days, the later stages of the drydown seem to go differently. Sometimes sweeter, and the dessert wine factor is upped. Other times more floral; the tuberose goes creamy, and I notice the benzoin.
Cepes and Tuberose is available from Aftelier Perfumes in various sizes and concentrations. A perfume mini is $45. I found a little goes a long way with my sample.
Rating for Cepes and Tuberose is “3: I like it!” Why? Because Cepes and Tuberose is fun, pretty, and has the addictive wrist-to-nose quality.
When Aftelier Perfumes has its once-a-year open house, and it happens to be a few miles from your own home and fall on a weekend you’re in town, you go to the open house. That’s how I ended up meeting Mandy, who is lovely, and leaving with a small but very generous cache of Aftelier samples she kindly gifted to me. So, a big thanks to Mandy for her generosity, and for the perfume! But I must clarify that although my sample of Cepes and Tuberose was gifted, I am not influenced or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.
Image courtesy MorganMaps.com.