Tom Ford Jardin Noir perfume – Cafe Rose, Lys Fume, Ombre de Hyacinth, Jonquille de Nuit

Congrats, Tom Ford, on your new litter of perfumes!  Tom Ford Jardin Noir series births four new perfumes – Cafe Rose, Lys Fume, Ombre de Hyacinth, and Jonquille de Nuit.  Originally these were going to be called “Twisted Florals” instead of Tom Ford Jardin Noir.  You know, I like Twisted Florals better just as a name, a little less cliched than throwing a “noir” at the end of a thing.  Tom Ford had this to say about this twisty floral series – “When you showcase their darker and less innocent aspects, Tom Ford Jardin Noirflowers can become so thrilling and beautiful, they could almost ruin you. That was the sensation I was after.”  As has been noted by no less than the New York Times, at $200 for 50 mls and $495 for 250 mls, this could be ruination of the financial kind if you fall in love.

Let me introduce you to the new litter of Tom Ford Jardin Noir one by one to see if any of them might work over your credit card.  

Tom Ford Jardin Noir – Ombre de Hyacinth

is all about the green-infused hyacinth.  It opens pretty darn freaky, green, earthy, bitter and not super-likable and friendly. I was pretty much expecting this one to be a loser for me or a major winner.  Big freaky bitter earthy green scents, I’m either all in or all out, having had a torrid affair with way too many of them while others just leave me deepening my Juvaderm’ed frowny crevice.  Notes are galbanum, violet leaf, magnolia petals, olibanum, hyacinth, pink pepper, jasmine, benzoin and musk.  Then it starts taking a turn about 20-30 minutes in, a floral softening, keeps the green but waxes it over with incense and magnolia.  Right in here somewhere, it starts to remind me a little of Serge Lutens Bas de Soie, maybe a little big rougher ride, and it stays a buttered green once the earthy, more bitter green notes blend in.  It turned into something I liked, but we weren’t going to have any memorable nights or days together.  

Tom Ford Jardin Noir –  Lys Fume  

Notes on this are Italian mandarin, pink pepper, turmeric, nutmeg, white lily, ylang-ylang, artemisia, rum, madagascar vanilla, labdanum, styrax and oak.   Okay, just wow on the open, no smoke, no lillies, just plastic something – this one scared me worse than the Tom Ford Ombre de Hyacinth.  Probably because I was expecting more – you know, like lillies and smoke and booze!   Given how he’s done his other fragrances in the Private Blend line (Amber Absolute, as my son says, is like putting a beehive on your head, and Tobacco Vanille is a shot of rum-soaked vanilla right in the kisser), this should have been a huffing, puffing black lily dragon, shooting hot buttered rum out of its pistils.  Just when I was getting sleepy, a miracle happened, and rum popped its head up out of this morphing vanilla cloud that was a little peppery.  Still some plastic (wtf?!?!?) smell. Even with the plastic, I was warming up to it, but the bar closed early.  This one took a long time to form an opinion on because of that plasticky note. It eventually dried down, the plastic note took a hike, and it was really beautiful, but I wanted it to be much more smoky and intoxicating.  I’d wear it and love it, but I hoped for something much more twisty-turny. Well, there was the plastic, which is a little twisty, if you like twisty ties in your perfume.

I do not 

Tom Ford Jardin Noir –  Cafe Rose

Okay, wow, great rose – really great rose!  Full, throaty rose and…

zero coffee. 

Notes of saffron, black pepper, may rose, turkish rose, bulgarian rose, coffee, incense, amber, sandalwood and patchouli.  May, Turkish and Bulgarian rose teamed up and smothered Mr. Starbucks in a dark alley outside the cathedral.  The rose is exquisite.  Oh, wait!  30 minutes, and coffee has survived the mugging, I smell movement, but he’s injured and bleeding as those rose thorns continue to clutch at him, drag him back into their prickly embrace.  Yes, these are thug roses – clobber you over the head until you are senseless, but I adore them.

Tom Ford Jonquille de NuitTom Ford Jardin Noir – 
Jonquille de Nuit

Jonquille de Nuit was the one I looked forward to the most.  Love narcissus, and if you are going to make it all dark and smoldery, hey, that’s enough 411 to have my nose salivating.  Notes of cyclamen, mimosa, angelica, violet leaf, bitter orange blossom, narcissus; base notes are orris and amber.  Thinking Caron Narcisse Noir?  Nope.  It’s all dark and a little twisty on the open, and visions of Dali paintings start swirling about, then – plastic. WTF is that plastic thing?  I’ve never really gotten it from a Tom Ford fragrance before, so I’m suspecting this is a me thing, and I’ll be interested to see what others say about these fragrances.  Ultimately, after the plastic vanished, I liked the fragrance, but it wasn’t night-like, more like night-light.  So it turned out pretty, but not memorable.

For me, Tom Ford Jarden Noir was just, well, okay, with the exception of Cafe Rose, which is a seriously great, great rose, still holding off most of the cafe after a few hours.  

These entries into the Tom Ford Private Blend just have me confused. I’ve gotten used to the over-the-top note saturation of his perfumes, and I was expecting a similar approach to these four. And just no, not, some restraint. Tom Ford and restraint aren’t comfortable living in the same sentence together.  So what do we think happened?  And I am allowing here that my expectations were for dark, malevolent scents, and that they were pretty threw me and turned into the bitter dregs of disappointment.  If he was ever going to go over the top with notes, these four would have been the place to do it.

They are really pretty – the Cafe Rose is great, but I can’t really co-sign that the other three are noir or twisted.

Tom, these twisty florals aren’t going to ruin me, I’m running straight back into the arms of Caron Narcisse Noir.  So wanna try them yourself?  Drop a comment and tell me something – favorite Tom Ford, which one sounds like it might work, if you’re going to just take a miss on them unless you win a free sample somewhere or what you’re doing for labor Day! – and I’ll pick four winners for a sample set of all four in the Tom Ford Jarden Noir series.  (You can try all of the Tom Ford Jardin Noir perfume samples at Surrender to Chance)

  • smy says:

    I’d love to try these! My favorite Tom Ford is Velvet Gardenia which I love. As for labor day – possibly Sesame Place with my daughter : ).

  • sweetgrass says:

    I think Ombre Hyacinth is the one I feel most drawn to. I’m kind of a sucker for galbanum so I’m pretty sure I’ll like it. And the comparison to Bas de Soie sounds promising. The others sound interesting too, though the plastic thing gives me pause. I’ll probably try give them a shot.

    There are actually several TFs that I have liked, though I’ve only tried most of them once or twice. Neroli Portofino and Black Violet are favorites, the latter is actually kind of surprising to me since I’m generally not a big violet fan. I like Tobacco Vanille, though the last time I tried it I kept thinking it would be a great base for something, and it really strongly reminded me of a sticky toffee black tea that a friend in college brought back from a trip to England years ago. I remember liking Italian Cypress too, I think it was the basil that did it for me. I just wish they weren’t so expensive.

  • Sapphire says:

    My Neiman’s has these as well. Didn’t smell the Cafe Rose closely enough, it seems. Ombre Hyacinth smelled just like Bas de Soie to me. Didn’t want to get close to Lys Fume. The jonquil one I may have to smell again.

  • Ninara Poll says:

    Cafe Rose sounds right up my alley, missing coffee or no. The other three… well, Jonquille de Nuit I would have to try before deciding, but honestly, I think the remaining three are a miss for me unless the Sample Gods rain vials down upon me. (Speaking of which, one of my baby Belk’s finally got in EL Private Blend Tuberose Gardenia plus signage to announce it, but have hidden the tester and to top it off, the SAs actually walked away to another department — I think one actually left the store for a break — the few times I saw people attempting to approach the EL counter. Said Belks are also price gouging on the Gaga scent; their most recent flyer has printed $42.00 for the small edt and I think it was $79.00 for the edp, not the $30 and $70 the official press materials promised. I hate Belk’s. I wish I lived in an area that had some brick and mortar competition for it. /rant )


  • Ann says:

    Hi, Patty! I’m going to have to try these soon (my Neiman’s has them now), and of course, no draw for me. My fave TFs are the Neroli Portofino, Noir de Noir, Voile de Fleur (the Black Orchid flanker), and the discontinued 🙁 Japon Noir. And I liked one of the woods, but can’t recall which one (not the Oud Wood, however). Although I do think that scent was one of the first times I’d heard the term “oud.”

  • OhLily says:

    Thanks for the draw, Patty! Lily, hyacinth and rose are some of my fave floral notes, and the greener the better. I’m looking forward to giving these a sniff as I’ve only tried his Black Orchid so far, and she didn’t like me much. 😉

  • Florentina says:

    Dear Patti,
    great review! The one I most long to try is cafe rose. Your description just made me more eager! My favorite from the line has to be noir de noir. Thank you for the draw!

  • Ari says:

    Patty, I also noticed the lack of coffee in Cafe Rose! So weird, especially considering that rose and coffee would be such an interesting combo.

  • Perfumista8 says:

    Last year I fell for Portofino Neroli but this year I’m “meh” about it. I was in love with Tabacco Vanille but it was a spicy mess when I tried it the last time. I’ll have to try again because I remember it being beautiful.

  • Maureen says:

    I liked Black Orchid. I am usually a Chanel girl, but since reading the blogs, I have been trying lots of fragrances, but this is the only one of Ford’s that I have tried.

    This Saturday I will be assisting my boyfriend at his first official gig in a restaurant/bar as an entertainer. He just retired in June from teaching, and he has a seriously great voice. He was approached by an agent at a kareoke night at this Italian restarant and now he is an entertainer. Very exciting! Also, my granddaughter will be 2 on the 6th of September, so there is a big birthday/ Labor Day party at my son’s house on Sunday.

    Hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Thanks for the draw.

  • Nina Z says:

    Perhaps you are becoming hypernosic to one of the synthetics TF is using. This has happened to me with certain lines, even some high-end ones (By Killian, for example). Now I want to try the TF fragrances to see for myself!

  • tammy says:

    The jonquil is the one calling me the most, but I’d love to try the hyacinth as well the rose.

    But yea, I’ll probably have to pass on even sampling them at this price point!

    This weekend we’re doing a LOTR and Harry Potter watch-a-thon. I have yet to see the last 2 Potters, so I’m excited, geek that I am!

  • Eldarwen 22 says:

    The only Tom Ford that I have tried is the Tobacco Vanille and couldn’t get past the bubble gum like note. It does look like I am going to have to try the Ombre de Hyacinth though.

  • Lily says:

    Well I’m probably the target audience for these guys b/c I’m a CdG Synthetics fan and, those little plastic scented flowers they used to make, that’s a fave scent of mine. Mmmmm … a plasticky Lily? Where do I sign up ?!? HOWEVER if it’s one of those bad aromachemical choices where some weird note is showing up for no reason, well, that’s a different story.

    Prior Tom Ford florals have been too opaque, too lactonic for me. My idea of a dark floral is about attitude and not opacity – think de Profundis and not Noir de Noir. If these are atypical TFs that bodes well. For me.

    Most convincing plastic floral = CdG Skai.

    Please enter me, or I will have to wait forever to try these when they show up at my NM b/c Lavender Palm, that took an extra year to appear there!

  • Tony says:

    I would love to try these new fragrance, think cafe rose will be outstanding… My current fav is a tie between Tuscan leather and Noir de Noir… Heavenly scents!!!!

  • Musette says:


    I woke up in such a shitty mood (see? you can tell because I rarely swear on the Posse :Angel:

    Then I read your description of Cafe Rose.

    Man, do I ever need our old ROFL emoticon now! NOW! I have visions of Mr S, in his green sharkskin (HA!) suit, glasses askew, desperately trying to crawl out of that alley…nearly making it to the mouth….only to be grabbed and dragged back into the dark recesses……..

    no draw for me. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed that belly laugh! Feeling way less cranky, even thought one of my dogs smells like he just rolled in a largemouth bass…

    xoxo :Devil:

  • pam says:

    I would love to try these, and especially the Cafe Rose. The Tom Ford I’ve not gotten over yet is the Tobacco Vanille one, and it is waaay over the top. And lasts a century.

  • Jennifer says:

    I’d love to try these! However it may be a dangerous undertaking to do so.Chances are that the Cafe Noir would be a LOVE IT -IT MUST BE MINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!MINE! for either me or my Mom. (It’s all her fault that I got the expensive taste gene.)
    I have and LOOOOOVVVEE Black Orchid and Voile De Fleur. I think I tried the Violet one but it was just okay-I think I prefer my Violets mixed with leather!