Tom Ford Private Blend
Review by Tom
Interesting and more interesting. I had a nice conversation with Alessandro, the proprietor of All Purpose (the store in LA that stocks some CB I Hate Perfume), and we both commented that blog reactions have made us have to get over our initial (in my case somewhat snobby) reaction to Tom. I find him somewhat louche and when I read about these I kind of rolled my eyes. Even more so when I read the piece in The New York Times skewering his Madison Avenue boutique. Reading some of the reviews I realized that I was coming in with my own prejudices against Tom Ford: not just because he's cuter and way more successful than I (and somehow steadfastly refuses to date me..), but because it seems unbearably.. showy I guess is the word to pop up with so many new releases. It gets an automatic "oh really?" from me.
Having written that I will try to keep an open mind. As open as it's rusty hinges will allow: since everyone else has covered these pretty exhaustively, I'll keep this short.
Intense gardenia, but not as intense as say, Fracas is intense in its tuberose. It's certainly not something that I would recommend wearing to a meeting with the boss, unless you two have a very interesting relationship. I can see where some people get the blue cheese bit- it skates that edge of decay that gardenias do in real life. I like this, but it cries out to be dialed up- Tom cranks the dial to 7, and I wish he had dialed it to 11. But god love him for even going up that far on the dial in this world over-run by fruity floral.
Candied violets (which Fran Lebowitz wrote of as "the Necco Wafers of the overbred"), woods and a plummy sweetness. I don't get much that's "black" here, and at just the point I start to get actual violets, it gets a case of the vapors and heads off to its boudoir.
Really, they could call this one Eau de Coach Store. Just the smell of a new Coach bag, that slightly berry-sweet leather smell. It becomes harsher further on (which I think is a good thing), losing some of the sweetness and becoming more biker jacket than clutch.
Earthy green Old-School Chypre with an unexpected bit of sweetness and... mint? Easily my hands-down favorite. Would I buy? Perhaps not.
Rather cologney citrus opening that frankly doesn't go very far on me until the drydown, with its woody leathery goodness. Perhaps the biggest "meh" of the group.
For me opens with a brief blast that reminds me of Chypre Rouge, which drops immediately and becomes a weird combination of soap and...crystal meth? (don't ask) Becomes more and more "purple" in the drydown, in a "purple prose" kind of way- there is patchouli in there but it's buried under that tickle-the-back-of-the-throat iodiney note that reminds me club days before I woke up and decided to be an adult. Great cover for some of the girls at Hyde "No officer, it's Tom Ford"
Seems as light as Florida Water after some of the others: light leathered amber. Keeps doing a sort of Lutens thing, somewhat like smelling the ghost of Fumerie Turque on a sweater you wore last week.
Noir de Noir
Sweet saffron and gentle roses. Not showy but quite luscious. Like Colombina, I can see where this will become the best seller of the line. I can't say it's my favorite, but it's the most approachable.
Delightfully smoky amber: incense, woods and rich amber goodness. If Moss Britches weren't here with its wonderful weirdness, this would be my favorite. It has fairly intense sillage, so another one that's not for the office, unless you work in the Playboy mansion.
Marvelous sly oud and vetiver. Like Colombina I get leather in there- that new purse smell. It has a lovely woody amber drydown. Certainly the most "unisex" leaning toward masculine smelling one for me. Kelley, I think this Oud is for you..
Not nearly enough tobacco or for that matter vanille. I get March's Play-Doh, candy, and something that smells like the scent from that Christmas Tree shaped air-freshener you get at the car wash over the holidays. No thanks.
4711 on steroids. Check, please!
Okay, I went through all of these in a period of two weeks and I have to write that I don't quite know what to think. On the one hand, I have to applaud both the achievement and the chutzpah: putting out three or four scents at once must be a daunting thing to attempt, but 12? I also kind of wonder if there is a reason that I kind of found most of these a bit wanting: it seems that Tom wants to be out there, testing the limits, but also wants to keep a stylish, loafer clad set of tootsies firmly in a realm where everyday shoppers will feel comfortable. Of course, kudos to him for doing anything that would try to reintroduce glamor back into the perfume world (and some of these are pretty glam). I just kind of wish that he could have cranked up the volume a bit. Jump in Tom honey, the water's fine.
Tom Ford is available at Bergdorf Goodman, $165.00 for 50ml, $450.00 for 250ml.
Image source, Harpers Bazaar.
Labels: Tom Ford