Frederic Malle Carnal Flower

...the Babe Paley of fragrances.

Carnal Flower, by Dominque Ropion for Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, is the perfume that fully revealed the glories of tuberose to me. I’d long known about Robert Piguet Fracas, the 1948 masterwork by Germain Cellier, as it had often been thrust upon me as the “ultimate tuberose”.

But as much as I enjoy smelling Fracas on others, it never seemed like an appealing idea to actually wear it myself. A spray or two in, I begin to suffocate on the candied sludge of hyacinth, jasmine, orange flowers and tuberose. It’s a topless chorus line of every sweet flower ever invented. I guess I’m just not enough of a stage for these bosomy showgirls.

Carnal Flower’s quite the showgirl herself, but here the tuberose has stepped outside from Fracas’ stuffy burlesque dressing room for some bracing fresh air. I love that I can smell leaves in this bouquet. Carnal Flower is voluptuous as all get out, but it’s the green aliveness of the florals that lends wit to its wiggle.

Carnal Flower is available from and, starting at $195 for 50ml.


  1. I just sampled this myself last evening, and I loved it. Exactly as you said, fresh green opening, then full-on tuberose with the rubbery, coconut notes accentuated, it settles into creamy woodiness, which makes it (almost) wearable by a man. I would wear it (I think great art is genderless). For me it stays fresh and never veers into candied sweetness. Thanks for the review.

  2. Agreed, Scott, art is genderless, and so is the stuff you put on and inside your body (uh, perfume and food, unless you had something else in mind). I've heard from a whole passel of les dudes who dig Carnal Flower. It is a pure parfum, though, so go light when adorning yourself with these flowers of carnality.

  3. And just to clarify, I was affecting a french accent in print with "les dudes", rather than alluding to drag kings.