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Friday, October 19, 2007

Perfume Review: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (Eau de Toilette)

I am very tempted to simply leave it to Queen to describe Black Orchid Voile de Fleur for you. Because they would do it so much better than I ever could:

She keeps a Moet et Chandon
In a pretty cabinet
'Let them eat cake' she says
Just like Marie Antoinette
A built-in remedy
For Khrushchev and Kennedy
At anytime an invitation
You can't decline

Caviar and cigarettes
Well versed in etiquette
Extraordinarily nice

She's a Killer Queen
Got that agility
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind

Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?

“The alluring potion of Black Orchid is given a warm effervescent modernity with this new entry”, says the copy. And I suppose it is right in a way… Only a tiny bit less robust than the sinfully opulent original Black Orchid, Voile de Fleur replaces the pungently earthy accord of black truffles with a leathery undertone, thus transforming from some (most probably evil) mythical creature of the night into somebody slightly less outlandish and more “urban”…a femme fatale. Compared to the witchy, black-magical, somehow “pre-historic” Eau de Parfum version, the Eau de Toilette is fairly modern. I would place it in the film-noir times of 1940s.

To avoid complications
She never kept the same address
In conversation
She spoke just like a baroness
Met a man from China
Went down to Geisha Minah
Then again incidentally
If you're that way inclined

Perfume came naturally from Paris
for cars she couldn't care less
Fastidious and precise

She's a Killer Queen
Got that agility
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind

The notes that I smell most prominently in Black Orchid Voile de Fleur are gardenia and ylang ylang. The trademark creaminess of the luscious flowers is so thick, you could cut it with a knife. When their buttery quality is taken to such an extreme, gardenia and ylang ylang (as well as tuberose) always seem to me to have a “nutty” undertone, nutty like the sweetly spicy nutmeg, perhaps. Due to the presence of cinnamon, that spiciness is particularly accentuated in Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, and I find that characteristic exceptionally appealing. Another side of the new version that is absolutely irresistible to me is the presence of “leather” (probably a side effect of a pronounced patchouli note)…Gardenias and leather… I don’t think I know of a union more gorgeous (except for roses and aoud, that is ). Funny thing is, my Holy Grail, which is slowly but surely being created within the Made by Blog project, is also based on this yin-and-yang, black-and-white contrast of gardenias and leather.

Because of the lack of raw earthiness and strange, over-ripe fruitiness, and because of the strengthened white floral accord and the sublime leathery undertone, the Eau de Toilette is different enough from the Eau de Parfum to warrant having both…in case you were, like me, one of a handful of people who loved the first Black Orchid. Because of that lack of rawness and fruitiness, the Eau de Toilette is perhaps more palatable, more accessible in a way than the weird and wonderful Eau de Parfum. If those features were what repelled you in the first Black Orchid, you might find the second one to be more agreeable. If, however, the very “thick” and very heady, dark, sensual, sillage-full fragrances are generally not your sort of thing, I would recommend you stay far away from Voile de Fleur. Unlike most Eaux de Toilette, it really isn’t much gentler or fresher or lighter then the Eau de Parfum. Like its magnificent predecessor, it too is a Killer Queen.

Drop of a hat she's as willing as
Playful as a pussy cat
Then momentarily out of action
Temporarily out of gas
To absolutely drive you wild, wild
She's out to get you

She's a Killer Queen
Got that agility
Dynamite with a laser beam
Guaranteed to blow your mind

Recommended at the price
Insatiable an appetite
Wanna try?

Available at Neiman Marcus, $65.00-$90.00.

Image credits: Unknown, Andrea Klarin, Steven Meisel.



Blogger Gaia said...

You know I'm with you on both versions. I just wish they'd have come out with VdF a few months sooner. It's not a fresh scent, but it would have made a great summer night treat.I'm happy the weather is getting to the point I can indulge in Black Orchid. It makes me feel beautiful.

12:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. I love it when the stars are aligned and I'm coincidentally wearing a fragrance you are speaking of (well, sort of... I'm wearing the EdP). I hope there's room in the handful you speak of for a guy who is head over heals for it. I'm not going to be able to try the fragrance until December so I'd be curious if you think the EdT is as possibly borderline unisex as the EdP. I don't care what anyone says, I wear black orchid with a proud smile (a twisted, evil smile) and i'm just curious if the new offering has that flexibility. -Anthony

1:54 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my, how young I was and how I loved "Killer queen". And I'm still close to tears on every November 24th (the day when 16 years ago Freddy, the magnificent died...). So I'm going to take at least my sample of the Original BO now and pay tribute to Colombina, Freddy and Tom Ford...

3:25 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You are absolutely right! It would have been great on a hot summer night. Oh well, it will be great in cold weather too, for sure.

6:42 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Right after I posted this I realized I should have mentioned that, despite the fact that I am speaking of the scent as a femme fatale, etc, I think it would be wonderful on a man. Just like the EDP version.

6:43 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

16 years?! OMG, no way! No way. My goodness, how time flies!

6:45 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Gardenias. Leather. Cinnamon. Really, how could this possibly not work for me? I have to seriously consider the fact that I may have been terribly foolish to order a sample just now and not go straight for a full bottle.
I also think I need to go see if I can find my sample of Black Orchid and retry it. I could use a nice, witchy scent right now. I remember not being repelled at all by it - just had a sort of neutral reaction. I would rather have been repelled. Maybe my skin chemistry has changed...fingers, toes, etc. crossed.
Do you like Magnolia Pourpre? I know not everyone gets leather in that scent, but it does come out on my skin and I adore the combination. I realize that OVdF will be quite different, but it made me think of it w/ the combo of white flowers and leather.

7:12 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am crossing fingers and toes that it works for you this time!
Magnolia Pourpre smells practically identical to Orchidee Blanche on me, i.e. of iris and honey. :-)

7:15 AM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Wonderful post! Reading this, I am completely persuaded that I MUST have this! But then I remember that I was one of those who was repelled by the original BO, and I can't even remember why--I think I blocked it. It probably was fruitiness, if that's there, but I don't seem to like TF's Gardenias (BO and vint. Gardenia are where you and I part ways:). So let's say you have definitely persuaded me to give this a try--which I wouldn't bother doing otherwise.:)

7:46 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marina, it happened during the first month after leaving Hungary. My beginnings in Vienna were very difficoult and lonely. On Nov.24th from the office I went into the city directly and saw the evening edition of the newspapers about Freddie's death. I broke into tears in front of the St.Stephen's cathedrale, were crying about him, about life in general. Will never forget...
Oh yes, dear Marina, times they are changing (but that's another hero of mine...)

7:50 AM EDT  
Blogger donanicola said...

I'm fascinated by the original, sometimes repelled sometimes attracted but I never sniff it and remain unmoved and for that I salute TF. This sounds like an altogether more wearable version for me (leather!) and I look forward to trying, thanks Marina!

8:40 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Embarrassed to say I've not tried any Tom Ford fragrances, but had to thank you for "Killer Queen." It was part of the soundtrack of my youth. :-)

10:04 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a chance to test Black Orchid and it is one of the most impressive scents... I have to buy it next time I visit Moscow or other place where I can find it.

10:10 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well then I guess my work is half-done :-)

10:14 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am so sorry to hear that. I know all about that kind of loneliness in an aline land. Big hugs!

10:15 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I like when perfumes are love or hate, no grey area in between :-)
I would call this one a touch more wearable than the 1st one. But just a touch.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad you enjoyed it!!

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Dear Anonymous,
Are you in Russia? Welcome to PST! I agree about Black Orchid, a very impressive scent.

10:17 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I have a bottle of BO original, but I can only overcome the truffle every so often. You really grabbed me with the cinnamon spiciness of this one, though.

12:20 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

M, you liked this one much better than I did -- I thought it was nice, but not so interesting as the original BO. BTW, you are becoming the White Floral Queen!

12:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

I wasn't one of the BO hatahs, but I really, really like this one much better. All the fiercness without a lot of the downside people found so hard to take. Great review as always!

4:49 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, since I was, like you an original Black Orchid lover (still am...with the hair frag et al...) I can not wait to score the VdF. You created a lemming. Now that fall is threatening to arrive here in CA, I can break out the edp BO. Yeah! The Queen track was brilliant!

4:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

No truffle here, so nothing to overcome :-)

5:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Yeas, I am getting there, LOL :-)

5:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Exactly, the fierceness is there.

5:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I am glad you enjoyed Queen and that I managed to create a lemming :-)

5:13 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I really want to love the Tom Fords, really I do, but on me they become the vapors of dry cleaning fluid. I even went again this morning to try them...same thing, alas......Maybe some day!

5:59 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh boy - if I try this and love it, I will hate myself for doing so. I have always wanted to be a femme fatale, too bad I don't have what it takes to be one. I just like perfumes that allow me to pretend for a little while. Oh, to be a KIller Queen! :-)

4:48 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Oh, I am sorry :-(

8:32 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You *will* love it, and you *will* feel like femme fatale in it. :-)

8:32 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, no! now i wish i tried the vdf version while i was out shopping today -- i tried the original black orchid for the first time and fell completely in love with it (and bought it), but i assumed the vdf would just be the same but lighter. that's what i get for assuming. ^_^ but ... leather?!? must try.

btw, i've just recently started reading your blog and a couple others on perfumes, and have been turned into a newbie perfume freak! i was at the mall happily trying on a ton of different scents with a friend, and am quite surprised we didn't knock people unconscious from the potent cloud of smell around us. your blog is very informative, and your reviews are vivid and emotive enough to give someone who hasn't yet figured out the difference between tuberose and ylang ylang (me ^_^) a great idea of what a fragrance is all about. beautiful writing!!!

10:24 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love this fragrance - it's the only one I've bought immediately in the shop. I can be quite impulsive but usually like to get used to a new scent for several hours before buying it. I fell in love with this straight away, and all my male friends (and my ex) keep telling me how sexy it smells. They also encourage random strangers to sniff me, which is slightly disturbing but there is something intoxicating about this scent. Now I'm off to try the edp...

5:46 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a familiar scent..I want to buy this for my sister. Does it remind anyone of Cartier?

11:05 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael Jackson's favorite cologne was: Black Orchid by Tom Ford.

8:04 AM EDT  
Blogger Shenola Smith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Shenola Smith said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:07 AM EDT  

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