Perfume Review: Tom Ford Private Blend Japon Noir, Moss Breches and Neroli Portofino
With notes of "spice bouquet", "purple patchouli", "porto noir", jasmine, leather, amber and vetiver, Japon Noir is an interesting little scent, sweetly-piquant, a little earthy, slightly leathery, zestful and rather charming. It begins with an accord that seems to me to combine citrus with the bright and rooty spiciness of ginger. The "spice bouquet", which I believe also includes cinnamon, grows stronger, and, paired with patchouli, amber and woods, creates a very attractive, slightly powdery, warm, balsamic effect, in a way not unlike the spicy-woody accord in Rousse. Japon Noir evokes in my mind an image of ginger-scented tree bark...google tells me that apparently there exists a wood species called Gingerwood (Tatajyvá), and, in my imagination, this is how it should smell. Apart from the dry and fiery aspect, the scent also possesses a certain vaguely edible quality, in that at times it smells to me like some exotic, boozy, sweet-n-spicy candy. This almost-gourmand trait is very understated, and the scent overall is not particularly sweet; the lovers of spicy perfumes should pay close attention to this zippy number.
Chypre Alert! Fans of the genre should take notice of this earthy-green, herbal-spicy, brooding potion. The first accord of Moss Breches is unexpectedly honeyed, it brings to my mind a vision of a very dark red rose. The crimson apparition lasts no more than a couple of seconds, blink, and the rose is gone, as if swallowed by the mossy-green foliage of a witchy forest. And from then on the scent is devoid of even a hint of anything remotely floral. I smell herbs, especially sage, I smell peppery earthiness of vetiver and a sooty patchouli note reminiscent of moist, pitch-black soil. Moss Breches is not one of the glamorous chypres (like, for example, L'Arte di Gucci or Eau du Soir) that possess a dazzling grandeur demanding lime-light and being dressed to the nines. On the contrary, it has a bewitching wildness about it, an untamed feel, something primal and slightly sinister... it is a scent for nymphs, satyrs and all manner of magikal folk...for casting spells and for getting up to no good under the cover of the night, on the mossy floor of the dark woods.
From the moody darkness of Moss Breches to the sun-lit Neroli Portofino, what a contrast! Portofino, a fishing village and resort on the Italian Riviera is said to be one of the most beautiful Mediterranean ports, and I imagine that it might have served as an inspiration behind this "modern intercontinental version of an iconic fragrance theme" (eau de cologne). The fragrance is not particularly complicated (but then one does not expect a multi-faceted structure from a traditional cologne), but it is very luscious. Neroli here has distinctively bitter, even somewhat spicy aroma; it manages to be neither sharp nor in the least sweet. The citrusy-floral accord is rounded and "warmed-up" by an ambery, slightly woody undertone...the overall impression is of an uncluttered and luxurious composition...Neroli Portofino makes me dream of lounging under blossoming orange trees, with a breeze from the see fresh and cool on my face and the sun spreading its golden warmth over my skin. An Eau de Cologne, however impressive, priced at $165.00 is rather extravagant for me, but Neroli Portofino should nevertheless be a must-try for the connoisseurs of the genre.
Japon Noir, Moss Breches and Neroli Portofino, along with other Private Blend scents, are available at Bergdorf Goodman, $165.00 for 50ml, $450.00 for 250ml.
Image sources, condenastart.com, allposters.com.
Labels: Tom Ford