Hypnotic Tuberose – Review: Nasomatto Narcotic Venus

By Tara

“The fragrance is the result of a quest for the overwhelming addictive intensity of female sexual power”

say Nasomatto about Narcotic Venus.

How’s that for a mission statement?

nasomatto venus

I tend to find tuberose more than a little overwhelming. I feel like it’s trying to dazzle me with its intensity rather than gently beguile me with its seductiveness.  It can also have buttery overtones which make my stomach churn and a camphorous quality that literally leaves me cold.

It’s precisely that bold character which makes tuberose so divisive.  It’s a love it or hate it kind of note. If you love it, you probably have more than one tuberose perfume in your collection. If you hate it, you probably don’t like to even see it mentioned in a note list.

I am trying to admire it, or at least develop a healthy level of respect. So let’s see how I get on with Narcotic Venus…

The brief list of notes is as follows; tuberose, jasmine, lily and spices. The perfumer is Alessandro Gualtieri who has done a number of perfumes for Nasomatto including the jasmine loaded Nuda.

I don’t hold back when first testing my sample. I apply 4 hefty spritzes to my arm and let it settle for a moment. When I go in for a tentative sniff I’m relieved not to be repelled. This is good news considering Narcotic Venus doesn’t break you in gently with anything as wimpy as a citrus top note.

The tuberose is upfront, loud and proud (as ever) but the lily and jasmine flank it nicely. All three work in harmony and it has quite a mesmeric effect. A heady mix for sure but it also has a lush freshness. Imagine a giant floral arrangement of recently cut flowers, radiant and fragrant.

It’s not too sweet or at all indolic, which definitely helps. As for the spices, they are either so well blended or muted that I can’t pick them out.

I’m not about to become a tuberose convert but I do find it wearable at this point. I assume it’s made of good quality materials because it’s smooth and doesn’t screech. It is a little buttery and there is something faintly medicinal, but both of these classic traits are low-key.

The sillage is not nearly as huge as I had anticipated.  After about an hour the cold store freshness fades and it becomes warm and sensual, slowly turning into more of a skin scent. The bottle is labelled “Extrait de Parfum” and the lasting power is excellent.

From this stage on it remains linear and gradually it starts to get to me.  It goes to my head, mimicking that feeling of oppressiveness you get in very high humidity.

It’s not an obvious man-eater like Fracas or a cold bloodied shocker like Tubéreuse Criminelle. Narcotic Venus takes you over by stealth. Those flowery fumes seem innocuous at first but then you suddenly discover that you’ve been overcome.

tuberose-london-1

It does what it sets out to do. It surreptitiously delivers a steady stream of hypnotising tuberose and watches as you sink slowly to your knees.

I say this to all you tuberose lovers: knock yourselves out with this one.

(For some reason it is now listed as Narcotic V. on the Nasomatto website.)

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28 Responses to Hypnotic Tuberose – Review: Nasomatto Narcotic Venus

  1. cookie queen says:

    Morning! I met this dude in Milan, but didn’t try any fragrances. I will remedy that in my up and coming Pitti trip and see if I can try them all. You have made me very curiouser and curiouser.
    xxxxxx

  2. Sabine says:

    Guten Morgen!
    I am not a tuberose hater but I need only a tiny tiny little bit of it, homeopathic doses, really. NV was therefore too much. The whole line is actually a bit too much, subtlety lies elsewhere, but I liked Black Afghano and Hindu Grass.

    • Tara says:

      Guten Morgen Sabine!

      LOL at homeopathic amounts. From those I’ve tried, the line does seem to be focused on creating bold fragrances. Black Afgano wasn’t the hashish fest I expected but still not for me. I would be interested in trying Hindu Grass and Silver Musk.

  3. Vanessa says:

    ‘Narcotic V’ – I think I just found myself my – and Val’s ;) – own mission statements, one I am personally not at all hopeful of ever living up to, but I might have fun trynig some white floral divas in the (doomed) attempt. Tuberose is a note I struggle with, but want to love. I do like it in certain perfumes – New Look 1947, Roja Dove Scandal, even Carnal Flower on a good day – but it is hit and miss with me. I am curious to be ‘knocked out’ by Narcotic Venus though, having read about how you succumbed. To be honest, I am pretty sure I tried it in Liberty’s once, but the specific memory is lost, perhaps surprisingly. I think it was quite heady, but I wouldn’t have tested it on skin.

    • Tara says:

      I want to like it too but not sure I’ll ever be able to do a 180 like B did and fall in love with Carnal Flower. At least you can wear that one on a good day. I think my tolerance is increasing though.

      Heady is the word for Narcotic V. It all became too much for me but I think that’s the point of it

  4. Michael says:

    No indole? Shame… I like a good stinky Tuberose. I must admit I haven’t quite “clicked” with Nasomatto yet but this one sounds lovely :)

  5. Suzanne says:

    Tara, given your fear of tuberose, I commend you for your bravery, lassie! :)

    It’s been a long time since I tried Narcotic Venus (in Paris), but I found it gorgeous then, as I’m sure you’re not surprised. I loved reading about it from your point of view, and I do think that you were very open-minded when you sampled it, and you described it quite well.

    • Tara says:

      Lovely to see you Suzanne. i gave Narcotic Venus a good go! The early stage was rather lovely. I just need to build up my tolerance :)

      I love that you are so at home in billowing tuberoses, beastly musks and smoky vetivers.

  6. Asali says:

    ‘I feel like it’s trying to dazzle me with its intensity rather than gently beguile me with its seductiveness’ that’s wonderfully put, exactly how I feel about tuberose. I was therefore very surprised to actually love tubereuse 1 and 3 from the histoires de parfums line. I think I have a fair sample amount of Narcotic V. somewhere waiting for a special moment to shine ;-) all in all I’d say that my tuberose tolerance is definitely improving, although I don’t think it will ever extend to feeling at home in the likes of Fracas and TC.

    • Tara says:

      I’m interested to learn you like the tuberoses from Histoires de Parfums. I’ve never tried them but will bear that in mind as we seem to have similar feelings about tuberose.

      Fracas was way too buttery for me and TC was better than I expected but still not something I can see myself falling for.

  7. Eva S says:

    You inspired my SOTD Tuberose Criminelle :-)
    In the beginning of my Perfumista career I found Big White Flowers in general too overwhelming but my tolerance has by now increased dramatically and I really enjoy tuberose scents in particular. Favorites are Tuberose Criminelle and Carnal Flower, I should try Narcotic Venus as well.
    I haven’t dared go back and try my sample of Fracas again though…

    • Tara says:

      That’s really good to hear. I think it’s great when tastes change. It opens up a whole new category of fragrances to explore and enjoy. I admire Tuberose Criminelle a lot. I think a little dab on a hot day could be cooling and very striking. Do give Narcotic Venus a try if you come across it.

  8. Tina G says:

    Hi Tara, I don’t know much about the Nasomatto line, having only tried Black Afgano. I do enjoy tuberose in all it’s fragrant incarnations so am encouraged to give this a try. Thanks! Tina G x

    • Tara says:

      Hi Tina G,
      If you enjoy all kinds of tuberose you should definitely give Narcotic Venus a go. The early stages are very pretty – big, dewy florals. You’ll probably enjoy the rest too as you are a tuberose fan.

  9. Kandice says:

    Would love to try this as I enjoy tuberose. However, it’s not clear whether they ship to the US, and they don’t have samples so they seem to be out of reach in more ways than one. Enjoyed the review though – thanks!

  10. I read this and left a lengthy reply but the ethernet seems to have eaten it. I was just coming back to see if you replied. How could you?
    Mainly the comment said: Well done you. LOVE tuberose. Wish I’d been there with you.
    Portia xx

    • Tara says:

      Portia, I’m so sorry the interwebs ate your comment. I HATE it when that happens. I try to copy my comments beforehand posting just in case, but mostly I can’t be bothered.

      Anyway, thanks for your support of my tuberose exposure therapy! I think I’m getting better with white florals generally but that’s the big one.

      Wish you’d been with me too.

  11. Undina says:

    Nah, unlike Vanessa, I stopped even struggling with tuberose – I know that I strongly dislike it ; -) But since there are many tuberose lovers, I appreciate good perfumes in that genre, even if I cannot wear them at all.

    • Tara says:

      Yes, there’s a lot to be said for being content at developing an appreciation and leaving it at that. There’s so much else out there, there’s no need to struggle if you don’t want to.

  12. Laurels says:

    I feel the way you do about tuberose, and I find your four big sprays very brave. I’m glad you lived to tell the tale!

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