Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Criminelle (1999)

Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle © Victor Wong
Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle © Victor Wong

While lining up to pay at a Toronto Korean grocery store, a caucasian woman in the shop suddenly screamed, “No, you can’t do this! This is poisonous!” Everyone turned around to see what happened, but all I saw was an old man mopping the floor.

“No, you can’t mix bleach with other cleaning products! It creates toxic fumes and they will kill you!” The woman pointed at the bucket as she spoke very nervously.

I could faintly smell something in the air was wrong, but the store was huge and well ventilated, the toxic fume was not strong enough to cause anyone harm. The more dangerous and sad thing about this was that no one ever stepped up to tell the old man about the situation in Korean, and as much as I wanted to help, I couldn’t because I didn’t know any Korean. The woman ran out of the store to bring a shopping mall security guard to handle the situation, and to her frustration, the guard didn’t know what to say to the old man because they couldn’t communicate. I saw two streams of tears running down the woman’s pomegranate face and before she left the store, she said, “You guys are assholes! Assholes! Criminals!”

Compared to Christopher Sheldrake’s Tubereuse Criminelle where he poured gasoline into a tuberose perfume and called it a crime, Tubereuse Criminelle is a much less deadlier concoction. If you can mentally subtract the gasoline notes or Vicks Vapour Rub smell from this perfume, you have a very beautiful tuberose perfume. He really didn’t have to put those unusual notes in the perfume because before he had created a perfume for Serge Lutens called A La Nuit, a relatively simple perfume that was all about jasmine and it worked. I guess as an artist you have to constantly push people’s buttons and challenge yourself; if you have been painting flowers for years it’s fun to paint a gas station explosion scene where a woman wearing shades and a white Chinese gown walks slowly towards the camera.

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Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit www.zoologistperfumes.com or www.facebook.com/zoologistperfumes for more info!

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