(images from W Magazine)
Now, I need to say right off the bat that reviewing these Tom Fords is tricky. First, there are 12 of them, which is a lot for the nose to sort through; and second, everyone has an in-built prejudice about Tom Ford… over Black Orchid or just that they think he is a media slut/darling or some other thing. I don’t really have a strong feeling about Black Orchid or Tom Ford, I just like to see what he will do next… and I sorta wanna be that mannequin *blush*. Come on, admit it, Tom is totally hot. Not sure what team he plays for, but I don’t really need that info for my fantasies.
My fear for these scents is that people will sniff all 12 quickly and move on, flip off the gorgeous, urbane Tom on the way out and not spend the time you need to with each one. These are well done, each very different from the other, though I did not think that as I started just sniffing the bottles, and worth close inspection, but I recommend a slow review of them for yourselves — try one or two a week or a month or a year. I’ve been living with them for a few days now, and they grow on me as I try each one and give it the proper time to evaluate. Now, my best guess is that most people will not find more than one or two they would want to plunk down the cash for a full bottle at the price point they are. My belief is because I see many of the people who have been trying them gravitating to one or two scents and loving them, and they are completely different from what someone else is choosing. If they were cheaper, $100 or less for 50 ml, my guess is a lot of people would find several worth having. Do I think they are overpriced? Sure! Isn’t most perfume? I find the L’artisans, much as I love many of them, to be ridiculously overpriced at now $120 for 100 mls. To Tom’s credit (yeah, first-name basis *rolls eyes*), the ingredients seem to be of excellent quality — they don’t smell cheap in the least.
The 50 ml bottle is $175, which is in the same price range as the Armani Prives. They do have the much larger 250 ml bottle for $450, which is a bargain, get two! — well, relative bargain — and especially so if several people elected to split one (I probably will do a one-time bottle split later on, one at a time, after people have had a chance to try them, but I would do big splits of it only, at least a 1-2 ounces for each split, so about 65 for 1 oz and $130 for 2 oz — so don’t despair! — hit the contact us button over on the right if you might be interested), though you will all be fighting over possessing the bottle, which is truly gorgeous — hefty, simple, classic — Tom does great bottle. Lasting power on most of these has been quite good. Now, remember, I think four hours is perfect hang time for a scent, but I try and forget that when I comment on longevity. The Tobacco Vanille lasted overnight on me, leaving a beautiful skin scent the next day that was enchanting — I can still smell it after 24 hours, just softer and closer to my skin — but I don’t know if that is true for all of them since I pretty much doused myself in all of them the first two days and have recently started showing some restraint and doing two at a time *squirms*.
Moss Breches — there is nothing not to love here unless you hate green notes! Notes of fresh wood, spice, beeswax absolute, Moroccan clary sage, Hungarian tarragon, Corsican rosemary, labdanum, patchouli, benzoin. This is my favorite in the line so far because it is everyday wearable, but more particularly because I am a Green Note Ho. This feels like a green chypre from decades ago – a grown-up girl smell. The sage and tarragon lend some zip to it so it doesn’t meander off into boring on the open. As it dries down, more of the labdanum, patch and benzoin show up to give it teeth and depth, and that’s where it captivates me completely. It is green on the open, and then turns into a wonderfully wearable and elegant woody green chypre. ’tis love.
Tobacco Vanille — I pretty much did not expect to like this one at all. Notes of tobacco leaf, spice notes, tonka bean, tobacco flower, vanilla, cocoa, dry fruit, sweetwood sap I hate The Nazgul (Hermessence Ambre Narguile) with a passion, and some of the notes in this sounded suspiciously like relatives. Are they? Kinda and kinda not. There are some similarities, especially on the open, but, for me, Tobacco Vanille is a warm, fuzzy lovable Nazgul. The tobacco, spice and tonka are pronounced and blended beautifully together to hold off the sweet vanilla, fruit and sap notes in the open, keeping them in a great tension between earthy tobacco and sweet fruity vanilla. I was sniffing through it on tenterhooks, afraid it might go the wrong way, but no! It finds a lovely balance between the gorgeous tobacco and the other notes quickly in the drydown and truly smells like a slightly sweet pipe tobacco. The most charming thing was how it smelled the next day, softer, warmer, richer. If you have a favorite memory in your life of a beloved that smelled like rich pipe tobacco (my dad did), you will adore this smell. You may adore it even without this memory, but this is a scent I’ll happily curl up with any time, it gives me a wonderful hug. Men or women should feel perfectly at home in this.
Currently, all of these are available from Bergdorf Goodman in NYC. I recommend the lovely Helga at 212-872-2581.