Tom Ford Urban Musk, Jasmine Musk and Pure Musk

Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!!!

There is an SA or manager at the Tom Ford counter at Bergdorf Goodman that has some serious skills.  Every time there is a new launch of a Tom Ford product, out of the blue, a sample of it hits my desk.  I know she does it to others too, and it never fails to just thrill me – whether I like the fragrance or not doesn’t matter, this is a person in sales who truly gets how you sell something.  I got all the new ones except the Suede thing. Isn’t there a Grey Vetiver one too that’s around?  Anyway, I was predisposed to finding lots to like in them just because I’m so darn happy when something I didn’t ask for and really wanted to try lands in my mailbox.

Tom’s fragrances and I don’t always get along. White Patchouli was a mess for me, and I did like Black Orchid when lots of people hated it.  I like a lot of his Private Blend scents, but about the same number of them leave me cold.  I didn’t really like his city exclusive thing because I don’t think his scents are so great or oroginal that he could have the level of exclusivity that  Le Labo does.  Plus, Le Labo is a pretty small line with much smaller sales targets to hit for a launch – and a much smaller advertising budget they have to live up to – plus I think their scents are just scads better, and I’m much more motivated to hunt them down and call in all sorts of favors to get ahold of them. Tom’s – eh, I can wait.

The new musk series he has intrigued me because I’m thinking with his smutty, shirtless, smoldering eyes persona, how could he not do musk in a sensual, bite my lip sort of way.  Well, yeah.

Urban musk has notes of ambrette seed absolute extra, white pepper CO2, cumin, white honey, jasmine sambac, black plum, Tonkin musk headspace and benzoin Laos orpur.  I don’t even know what a lot of that is. The ambrette is pretty prominent from the moment it leaves the spray chute, and me no likey the open that much.  There’s a weird almost tanginess to it.  And plastic?  Kinda, yeah.  I’m not a fan on the open, but as it dries down, I do like it more as the honey and spice comes out to play and the musk makes an appearance.  It becomes much more smooth and well rounded and quite nice, but I wouldn’t really call it earthy or sensual musk, not what I was expecting.  It’s much more soft and cuddly, which I think is what he was going for, and the Urban succeeds in capturing that.  It’s nice, really!  I’m still just a little befuddled, but only by my own expectations.  Of the three, Urban is my favorite. It’s very easy to wear, not an overpowering musk, but also not one that stands out as unique or different.

Pure musk I was prepared to love. I mean, right?  Notes of bergamot, pepper, ylang-ylang orpur, jasmine, lily of the valley, orris butter, orris absolute, jasmine sambac, tonka, benzoin tears and beeswax.  Again, the tangy thing on the open, which I could have lived with, until it morphed into Clean? I swear.  I haven’t smelled any of the Clean fragrances in years, but that’s what I get, or at least some aspect of it just has that window wiper smell that the Clean fragrances have that used to make my stomach churn.  I can’t get beyond that. Even in the longer drydown, it’s there.  If someone else has smelled this, tell me if it’s me or the perfume.  Hate it.  Seriously.

Jasmine Musk is probably my favorite of the three on the open.  Notes of ylang ylang, jasmine, patchouli, orris, vanilla, sandalwood, vetiver, cistus, amber and musk.  This is closer to the straight-up musk I was thinking I’d get. The jasmine is far from indolic to my nose, so it doesn’t go to the more feral, smutty scent I was thinking/hoping/praying it would be.  It’s a fairly standard musk with some floral  and vanilla notes. Well done, soft, but nothing I’m doing backflips over.

I’d wear the Jasmine and Urban Musk happily and like them, but I don’t get the angle they’re going for here to differentiate this in a market that has some pretty great musks already.

Did we cover the cost?  $180 for 50 mls.  That’s the deal-breaker for me.  There’s nothing that special about them that could persuade me to shell out that kind of dough for some pretty average musks.  Narciso Rodriguez does a great musk for less than half that price.  I think they’ll probably wind up doing great, though, because love him or hate him, Tom Ford sells stuff with his name on it.

Hey, my little samples were free, so you know what that means!  You can see if you agree with me or if this is your next new Holy Grail.  Just drop a comment and be entered to win a samples set of these. I think I have enough in my little vials to do like two sample sets.

Tom Ford scents, hate ’em or love ’em?  I fully expect all the Tom Ford hatahs to show up.  I’m pretty indifferent to him, except I do like to look at him.

  • zeram1 says:

    I bought Arabian Wood when it was “cheap” at NM. I quite like it. I also just got back from a 2 week vacation in Paris + “the South of”. Scored a bunch of “exclusifs”. Please enter me in the drawing as well.

  • Tara C says:

    I own Tobacco Vanille and Japon Noir, although I rarely reach for the Japon Noir, even though I admire it a lot. I just never seem to be in the right mood for it, not sure why. I would love to try the musks, although I hear the White Suede (which you didn’t receive) is the most popular so far out of the four. I’m thinking it’s going to be pretty hard to dethrone my beloved Musc Nomade, but I’m looking forward to sniffing!

  • judith says:

    Great review Patty! The missing suede musk makes me curious, could it be that bad(or that good)? Would love to be entered in the draw. Thanks!

  • pyramus says:

    Tom Ford looks kinda douchey, what with the open shirts and the obsessively trimmed chest hair and the smirk, but still, the alternate-universe me (unmarried and irresistibly fantastic-looking and basically an entirely different person) would do him in a Texas heartbeat.

    And I LOVE LOVE LOVE Black Orchid. It was instantaneous. I smelled it at Sephora in New York and I had to have it. And I’m glad I did, too. Tobacco Vanille is the only one of the Private Collection that I would really love to own, but not at that price.

  • anna says:

    I actually loved TF’s Voile de Fleur. It was strong enough but not as overwhelming as Black Orchid on my skin. As a big fan of jasmine i am curious about the new Jasmine perfume. Please consider me for samples as well 🙂

  • Lora says:

    I’m one of the (apparently) few people who love Black Orchid – still working on my little sample, but will probably end up with a bottle of this. I also really like Champaca Absolute.

    I’d love to try a sample of the musk scents. Please enter me in the draw.

  • smartylicious says:

    OMG, I am the biggest TF fan ! Needless to say I adore his fragrances, please enter me in the draw, I’d love to test his new musk scents. His fragrances are nowhere to be found over here, so I hope I get a chance to smell these. Thanks, Patti !

  • Kate says:

    I like both Narciso Rodriguez scents. I’d love to try these. Please put me in the drawing. Thanks!

  • bella says:

    hi patty,
    i love musk! pls put my name in! I just smelled the new Narcisco and it is a very elegant sophisticated musk. I also really like TF’s White Patchouli. I can’t figure it out since i loathe patchouli!

  • Theresa says:

    Oh, the jasmine musk sounds nice. I really wanted to love the TF Gardenia…but for the first time I understood what people meant about the blue cheese/note of decay in gardenias. Phew, too much for me. Please enter me in the draw! Thanks.

  • Jenn says:

    I sniffed these on card and really liked Urban Musk and White Suede. I was wearing so much though I couldn’t try them on. Therefore I would love to be entered. Thanks muchly for the review. glad to know I’m not the only one that favors the Urban!

  • maitreyi1978 says:

    Please enter me in the draw.

  • Chris G says:

    I’d love to try these, but don’t have access to Tom Ford in my area. Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Pantela Lilly says:

    I love musks, I would love to try these Patty. Please put me in the drawing. Thanks.

  • Billy D says:

    Besides Noir de Noir, nothing of his has ever thrilled me. And I still have not had an occassion where I think I could actually wear it. I have a very specific vision of how I would have to be dressed and where I would have to be going to wear it–a black velvet blazer with a deep red rose pinned to the lapel at an incredibly formal dinner party in an old manor house. I’d still love to smell these though!

  • elizablue says:

    Ohhhh very curious. I love musk, I love jasmine–of course when they’re well-done…Black Orchid and YDAN are rather nice–i’d love to expand Ton Ford horizons and test out this little set–thanks for entering me into the draw!

  • dleep says:

    Tonkin musk headspace? These don’t sound very thrilling to me. I do enjoy musk; however, NR smelled like nail polish remover on me. I had such high hopes for it. I love Black Orchid, the White Patchouli was a disappointment. One day I will have the Tobacco Vanille.

  • Lee says:

    TF does nothing for me. Too swaggering, too “I’m so groomed I don’t even look like I am”, too too…

    And who needs musks other than MKK or CB Musk Reinvention? Clean musks generally give me the heebyjeebies.

  • Shelley says:

    Okay, if we’re weighing in with our TF Himself comments, I’ve got to say sure, he’s attractive in that “um, I’d be disturbed by my feelings if I weren’t pretty sure he’s the kind of guy who dances with the mirror at the clubs.” Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but I sure do get that vibe. Nice check & balance to the uber-groomed hot stuff.

  • carter says:

    Firmly in the indifferent camp. I thought his clothes were terrific, though.

  • Debbie says:

    Hi Patti:))

    I must say most of TF scents are a *miss* for me, with the exception of Tobacco Vanille and Jopan Noir, but I am a true die hard musk lover, and will ALWAYS try anything musk.
    I was excited to read about the Urban musk and the Jasmine Musk, these appeal to me most!

  • Shelley says:

    And the same hope you had a great weekend wishes back atcha!

    Don’t you just love when a sales person knows how to tickle sales? There was a car guy who used to show up on my grandparent’s doorstep once a year, just to say “hi” and check in–but he’d come in a new car from the lot, one he thought they might like, just so they could “keep up with what’s on the market.” They bought every one of their cars from him in the time he sold cars.

    Contrast that with SA’s who grudgingly offer a sample of L.A.M.B. or Fantasy *with* a purchase, and that after I prompt them with a “do you have a sample of anything else you think I might like?” Zoiks!

    Please don’t enter me in the drawing. Now I’ve got enough of a mad on that I’m gonna take my attitude and ask for some samples without purchase. Harumph! 😉

  • Connie says:

    Oh, I agree, he is so hot to look at … alas 🙂

    Would love to try these so, please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

  • Melissa says:

    I took a quick sniff at Nieman’s a couple of weeks ago and like you, I preferred Urban. It was oh-so-slightly dirtied up to my nose, and I mean very slightly. Maybe the cumin? But in the end, it was pretty basic. I liked White Suede too, although I recall it as pretty understated and maybe bland.

    I like a few of the TFs, particularly, Amber Absolute on a cold day for its resinous, incensey blanket of scent and Tobacco Vanille, which is a guilty pleasure, also for the dead of winter. Champaca Absolute is nice in the summer.

    But, I doubt that I will purchase any of the musks, unless I re-try and one of them wows me. I was pretty fragrance-fatigued on the day that I sniffed them, so off to Neiman’s I will go. No need to enter me in the drawing.

  • Silvia says:

    Yet to find a musk that works well for me but will try these just in case. Strongly disliked both Black Orchid and White Patch but there are several of the Private Collection that whilst I am not madly in love with, I enjoy wearing. Makes sense ? I agree with Louise that he does masculine better. Might need a FB of Tobacco Vanilla at some point, possibily my fav of the lot.

    With ref to one of your recent posts, I also suffer from recurrent back pains in exactly the same spot as you, between my spine and shoulder blade of the mouse arm side. Must be a posture thing and it comes and goes, but boy it hurts!

  • Maura says:

    The Jasmine sounds the most promising to me as well. I’m *meh* over most of his line but have and enjoy Japon Noir. Would love to sample…thanks 🙂

  • Sue says:

    Thanks for the review and draw, Patty. Having just started to “get” musks, I’d love to try these.

    BTW, have you tried the Narciso Rodriguez Musc Collection EDP yet? (The cool, purple-metallic bottle ones March reviewed last week, I think.) The Nordstrom near me unfortunately didn’t have testers yet. Thanks!

  • Louise says:

    Musk and I have a difficult relationship-my anosmia is profound. Still, I’ll surely give these a spin next time I can brave Neiman’s.

    I like several of Tom Ford’s scents, including Black Orchid on a really cold day, Tobacco Vanille for sweet, Tuscan Leather, Italian Cypress, Japon Noir, and the Men’s Extreme on bf’s chest. I think he does his more “masculine” scents quite well, and would gladly gift some favorite males with TF.

    Ceptin’ the price. I don’t mind the advertising, the hype, the arrogance of the man. I just can’t see paying the price for these medium-quality scents, and I have paid far more per ml for many other scents. Just can’t do it 🙁

  • jan V says:

    I’ve not tried these but would love to-could be love or intense dislike. Black Orchid and BO Voile both were way over the top with the florals on me, as are the PB’s. White Patch was also somehow wrong for me as well.

    To my total surprise though, I adore Youth Dew Amber Nude. Having never been a huge fan of YD I was totally amazed at how much I love this…the tea, spice, wood, leather and I even imagine a hint of incense! Just figures it is dc’d.

    I still h-a-t-e the name “youth dew” though-sounds to me like something old clinging to the past or pubescent body fluids…so much is in a name and I refer to it as Amber Nude!

  • lulllull says:

    I would love to try theese out. I’ve been waiting for them a long time but has to wait until samples of them comes out on the perfumedcourt. Im crazy about musk so I think theese might be it!

  • Alica says:

    I love musk in general, thus would like to try these three. Thank you for entering me.

  • mharvey816 says:

    I got them, too! Jhanie at BG is the bomb.

    Unlike the NR offerings, I can actually smell these. But you’re right about the price being a dealbreaker. I already have too many TFPB bottles sitting on a shelf, staring at me with that “j’accuse!” look in their eyes (if they had any, of course). But this I vow: if I’m ever allowed back in NYC unescorted (still doing penance for my Sniffa purchase total last year), I will most definitely march into BG just to buy something from Jhanie. If only JASON! could be convinced to send out all the new Guerlain samples in the same way.

    • Louise says:

      I offer to go with you to NYC so you won’t be “unescorted”, and you know what a good influence I’d be :))

  • Lisa says:

    Oh, I’d love to try these new ones. I also quite liked Black Orchid and was happy to snap up a bottle of this at Winners, if you can believe it! I would probably like the new musks because I don’t care for the skanky musks, but the prices, well, I can always hope these also show up at a Winners too some day.

  • tmp00 says:

    Tried these this weekend and was underwhelmed. The list of others that would get my money before these would run pretty darned long (don’t need to include me in the draw thanks..)