|The Trolls and the Tuberose|
In order to describe Afteliers "Cepes and Tuberose" I'll retell you a short story I read a while ago. It's called "Border" and it's from a collection of stories named "Paper Walls" written by Swedish horror author John Ajvide Lindqvist.
The main character is a woman named Tina who hasn't got the happiest of lives. She married to a good-for-nothing guy who cheats on her and spends her money. Furthermore, she's big boned, scarred and, by most peoples standards, downright ugly. She works at the customers office but the only place where she feels at peace is in the forest.
One day, a man passes her at the customs counter and she just knows he's hiding something. He also smells incredibly good. During a routine customs search, nothing out of the ordinary is found, though.
Now, at this time she might be sounding really creepy, but it turns out that the two of them are not really humans at all, they are trolls. He is one of the last ones to have been raised free. Tina was taken away from her parents at a young age, tail cut off, put up for adoption among humans in an attempt to integrate her into society. Her parents were institutionalized, driven insane from being deprived their peaceful existence in the forest.
I've had this story coming to mind ever since I first put on "Cepes and Tuberose". That is how I picture those trolls smelling. It starts off with boozy orange, chocolate and marzipan accord. When the orange wears off the cepes (=porcini) reveal themselves. A mushroom perfume might sound odd, but just think of the truffle pigs. The reason why they are so keen on finding those truffles is that truffles smell just like a female pig in heat. Ok, she seems to be hiding a few inches below the ground, never a good sign, but sometimes you don't ask any questions. Now, smelling of truffles would be a bit much, at least for me, but the earthiness of cepes are the second best thing on my internal mushroom sexiness ranking chart, and in "Cepes and Tuberose" - they smell good!
There are other notes as well. I get woody cloves and cedar. Sometimes I get something musky. And there is the tuberose, flickering like an elusive forest fairy. Sometimes she's out in the open, sometimes not, but her glowing pixie dust helps bringing the other notes to life.
To say that "Cepes and Tuberose" smells like an autumn forest would be true but it would not be the whole truth. This is one of those scents that sum up to a whole lot more than the individual notes in themselves. It IS an autumn forest, but it's a sunny one, a happy one, one that is chock full of pheromones, smiling at you, beckoning to enter.
Disclaimer: I read the story "Border" several years ago and I might not have all the details right. There is a lot more to it than what I tell here.
My sample of "Cepes and Tuberose" I bought at the Aftelier Perfumes Website.
Troll image is by Swedish artist John Bauer.