Hi there Posse! Black Orchid was a huge hit, still is. If Tom Ford did nothing else after it he would still be revered. Actually if he had stopped here and not gone on to a Montale like array of Private fragrances only minuscule differences apart with releases every second week and DCs on a monthly basis, we probably wouldn’t snigger about him mixed in with our considerable awe of his talent and precocity. I love him as much as the next perfumista but sometimes he gets on my tits, yeah? Seriously, he is Estee Lauder extreme. The prices are ridiculous, even though I pay them. OK, end rant. Clearly I am ambivalent about Tom Ford. Let’s talk perfume……
Black Orchid by Tom Ford 2006
Parfumo gives these featured accords:
Top: Black truffle, Bergamot, Blackcurrant, Ylang-ylang
Heart: Black orchid, Lotus wood, Floral notes, Fruity notes
Base: Balsam, Patchouli, Sandalwood, Vanilla, Vetiver, Frankincense
It’s been a long time since I wore Black Orchid. My last very long term partner Varun bought me a bottle back in 2006 or 2007 when it was first released. I wore it a lot, emptied the bottle. I tried it again when I really started in the perfume craving but it didn’t do anything for me, I was caught up in the niche whirlwind and Black Orchid just wasn’t out there, attars or swampy enough to fulfil my needs. Seeing this bottle in my mate Greg’s Sale Doc on FB for a very reasonable price made me jump at the chance to have it in my collection again.
That opening IS weird. Salty twang and ultra sweet blackcurrant and earthy, decadent, dirty old worn sock-ish truffle. Come on! What a freak show. Yet it works, sublimely.
The heart is all of that but heavily overlaid with a warm, watery cordial and hints of peony.
Then it all sort of collapses into a soft focus, unintelligible wash of woodsy/vanilla/sticks/resins that is neither bad nor exciting. Perfectly office friendly. It goes puttering on quietly hum drum, hum drum. Yes, I am giving it a bit of a hard time because after that spectacular opening and very pretty heart I wanted the base to be something rich and inviting. What we get is safe, banal and bland. On my skin anyway, obviously YMMV.
Patty and March reviewed Black Orchid when it was first released.
Do you wear Black orchid? Do you agree or disagree?
Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies