Tubereuse Criminelle by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1999

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Post by Gabriella

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Hello fragrant friends!

Today I want to share my very personal story on how a bottle of a special fragrance came into my life. Almost two years ago, I was in a very bad place. I had returned to Sydney from London after recently getting engaged to Mr M. We moved in together, I was starting a new chapter with the man I loved and it should have been a tremendously happy time for me. However, one thing stood in my way: employment.

The job market for the sector I was in was particularly dire. I searched and searched and got knocked back either because I was way overqualified or just not senior enough. One month turned into two and then three and suddenly, I had been out of work for the longest time since starting in the job market at 15 packing shelves at a local grocery store.

DepressedPhoto Stolen Sander van der Wel Flickr

Still, it should have been fine. Mr M was happily supporting me financially and for the first time in years, I had time to think. But therein was the rub. Work had been so much part of my existence for so long that I now defined myself through my job. Without one, I felt like I had lost my identity and furthermore, my existence. As time rolled on, I became more depressed. I mooched around, drank more, ate tons and put of masses of weight which only exacerbated my unhappiness. When Mr M came home from work, I snapped at him. I was not a very nice person to be with.

Eventually, I did get some freelance work, but it wasn’t quite enough. My birthday was coming up and I would have been out of full time work for six months by that time, something I desperately didn’t want to happen.

So on Mr M’s advice, I went to see my parents who live up in northern New South Wales. It would be a breath of fresh air, allow me to spend some quality time with my Mum and Dad and hopefully, snap me out of my black dog state.

One day, I was doing some of my freelance stuff in Dad’s study. Rummaging around his desk drawer for a pen is when I spotted it: there in the drawer was a bottle of…..

Tubereuse Criminelle by Serge Lutens 1999

Tubereuse Criminelle Serge Lutens FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine, orange blossom, hyacinth, tuberose, nutmeg, clove, styrax, musk and vanilla

I was flabbergasted, excited and also perplexed. This was obviously my birthday present but how did Dad know to buy me this? Sure, Dad knew of my perfume love and I’d probably mentioned tuberose as a note here and there, but he certainly didn’t know Serge. And how had he discovered Tubereuse Criminelle, which at that point, had only been recently released into the export line?

I went into the kitchen to see Mum.

“Mum, don’t tell Dad, but I think I have accidentally found my birthday present.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, the perfume in his desk drawer. But how did Dad know about it and how to get it and that I’d want Tubereuse Criminelle?”

“Well, you’ve been so very down lately darling and we know you love perfume and tuberose and all that. So Dad did some investigation online and found that this was a good one and quite hard to find. He just wanted to give you something really special to make you happy.”

Tears came to my eyes. The thought of Dad reading perfume reviews and doing background research was beyond overwhelming. I was deeply, deeply touched and thankful. It was a very special present in more ways than one. Now when I take that precious bottle out, I am reminded that good can come out of bad. The jolie laide character of Tubereuse Criminelle with the sharp mentholated opening before the full bloom of white flowers is a reminder that things do get better.

And, I’m also reminded that there is a hell of a lot more to life than work. It’s not the thing that defines me.

Tubereuse Criminelle Serge Lutens Trees Sun WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

For more in-depth reviews of the scent itself, please see Bois de Jasmin and The Candy Perfume Boy.

Tubereuse Criminelle is available at
Mecca Cosmetica $166/50ml
LuckyScent $150/50ml
Surrender to Chance has samples starting at $4/.5ml.

Do you have a special story on one of your perfumes? What’s your take on Tubereuse Criminelle?

With much love till next time!

M x

15 comments on “Tubereuse Criminelle by Christopher Sheldrake for Serge Lutens 1999

  1. Azar says:

    What a beautiful and touching story! Thank you so much, Madeleine.

    Things do get better and I can’t let my work define who I am either! I’ve been a musician for so many years that I think, dream and speak music but still consider myself to be novice. Music is so much of who I am but it is not REALLY who I am (whoever that is)!

    Azar xx

  2. What a touching and heartfelt story! You dad sounds like the best. Such an incredibly thoughtful gift. I hope that things have since improved and that Tubereuse Criminelle has been a wonderful companion along the way. Thank you, Madeleine!
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  3. Lavanya says:

    That is so sweet that your Dad did so much research and actually landed on the ‘right tuberose’ (atleast to my nose..:))..I love this perfume too- It is one of y favorite perfumes of all time. And thanks to your post it is my SOTD..;)
    Lavanya recently posted…Marni by Marni : Ms Charming?My Profile

  4. cookie queen says:

    I have so many thoughts going through my head I can’t catch one to write down. A post to make one think. We need more of these. Good for the spirit. Bussis and a hug. Val xxxx

  5. Maya says:

    Thank you for the beautiful perfume story! It’s literally heart-warming because it’s about real love. That’s the greatest gift of all.

  6. LaurenW says:

    I loved your story, Madeleine. Your dad is the one in a million that would research perfumes just to find one that would mean so much to you.

  7. I really like this story and it’s a reminder that perfume is more than notes and accords – it’s about love and the joys of being alive, even when they seem few and far between. thank you for writing this.
    Catherine du Peloux Menage recently posted…Sunday Scent Salon 1My Profile

  8. annina says:

    What a wonderful story, thank you so much for sharing! What a sweet daddy. I have one I adore too.

    I have tried TC – not my style, but impressive work. Tuberose used to be my favorite note, now I have an iris and galbanum obsession. But I still love a bit of tuberose now and again.

  9. […] much more if it wasn’t priced so outrageously. £195 that’s 3 – 4 Serge Lutens (Tubereuse Criminelle, Bas de Soie, Muscs Koublai Khan, Un Bois Vanille or Noble Leather’s sweeter and lovelier […]

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