Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dulcet, a lusty tuberose perfume

Considered a masculine flower, evident by the elongated shape of the unopened single blossom, Tuberose is an exotic, velvety floral note, a diva of natural perfume. Tuberose originates from central America where the wild species was domesticated by the indigenous people of Mexico. Eventually, like so many plants from the Americas, they were taken to be cultivated across the sea.

Tuberose is available to plant fragrance makers in a few different formats, the most widely used is the absolute produced from the waxy flowers of Agave amica, formerly Polianthes tuberosa, polianthes meaning "many flowers" in Greek, the tuberosa portion refers to the roots. In 2017 the correct name of the species Agave amica was adapted.

The scent of the absolute is a very concentrated, dominated by intense white floral notes. When diluted the aromatics express themselves much more authentically. In my personal use of the absolute and Dulcet, I find the aroma beneficial creating an uplifting and sensual field where I can more easily dive into my intuition and all things related to the feminine.


I approach the creation of botanical perfume making as both a practice of mindfulness and an art, I also teach from this perspective, creating a lineage of conscious perfumers. We begin by checking into our state of mind, clearing away the debris of thoughts so that we are a clear vessel of love, then and only then, we stand in reverence for our “prima materia” the plant matter.

We have an understanding of the materials intimately, the entire circle of life related to the plant(s) we are working with, whether we are distilling, infusing, tincturing or dropping essential oils into a beaker.

We are aware of the elemental properties, the relationship with the eco system from where the plant matter was harvested and/or how it was obtained. For example, working with Tuberose, white flower diva of plant fragrance making who is an “inflorescence” growing upward as a stalk with several waxy flowers.  As I work with her, there is an exchange of energy, I am collaborating with nature knowing that the end product will then be another collaboration between the wearer of the fragrance and their own skin.

Ripples of collaboration are at the heart of this art as we work to transform matter into something sublime that will delight the senses and uplift those that catch whiffs of the aromatic molecules.

The birth of DULCET

Greg's sister Sharon asked me to create a Tuberose perfume for her back in 2014, knowing that she was a devotee of synthetic fragrances, I was skeptical that I could formulate something to her liking, particularly at a price point comparable to the fragrances she was use to purchasing. Then, at one of the World of Aromatherapy conferences I was presenting at, a supplier gifted me a co-distillation of Tuberose and Vetiver. I then was inspired to tackle the challenge which was originally offered to patrons of the perfumery in Agoura, California.

The original and current formula contains eleven different plant essences including tuberose absolute, the co-distillation of tuberose and vetiver, jasmine and a variety of other wood, resins and flowers.

Here in Santa Fe, several patrons sampled the voluptuous Eau de Parfum and requested that it be re-created. I was hesitant due to the costs of the aromatic materials with full knowledge that the end product would be costly and limited to only a few bottles.

The end result is a voluptuous and decadently dark composition featuring Tuberose as our lyric soprano. Dulcet opens with a blush of green under a spectacular vaulted sky, just as the sun drops under the horizon a sultry, melodic dance begins between Tuberose and Vetiver, seducing us in the wake of their embrace.

As with all the fragrance I create, Dulcet is completely handmade. I halved the formula to offer the Eau de Parfum (spray) and the solid. At this moment I have a few bottles left of the Eau de Parfum at this link.
Materials: 190 Proof Organic grape; Tuberose absolute, co-distillation of tuberose and vetiver, jasmine and eight other plant essences including sacred woods and resins.
Fragrance Family: Floral
There is 4 grams by weight of Dulcet as an EdP (Eau de Parfum) within the glass, spray bottle pictured above, which measures approximately 2.25 inches tall x 1.25 wide with the cap on. 
I was planning to make a solid format of Dulcet and including a few of my flower infusions, but the cost for a round tin would have been about $200, so I used the synergy to make more of the Eau de Parfum.

Photos ©RoxanaVilla, Tuberose botanical print by Margaretha-Barbara Dietzsch (German, 1716-1795) Title: White flowers and a butterfly, modified slightly by me, Roxana Villa. 

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