Black Orchid by Tom Ford

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

David Apel

Black Orchid by Tom Ford

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 xx



Portia also writes for Australian Perfume Junkies

  • Ann says:

    Great post, dear!! Your writing is always so enticing and draws me in every time! I love Black Orchid, but tend to forget about it. Nothing is better than a little spritz/dab of it on a chilly day to warm things up. I also love the BO Voile de Fleur.

  • Diana Smith says:

    SO, I guess I really enjoy Black Orchid because I enjoy that woodsy, resin, vanilla dry down common to many of my favorite perfumes.

  • Diana Smith says:

    I like and have the Black Orchid. I also like Santal Blush, and think it’s a great office scent, but don’t like it enough to spend that kind of money for a whole bottle so stick with samples from STC every so often. i was a big fan of the original Samsara too, for the sandalwood part, and wore it incessantly in my early 20’s when it was released.

  • Maya says:

    I have not tried Black Orchid. Until last fall, I completely ignored Tom Ford. Then I tried Noir de Noir
    in my hunt for a dark rose and fell in love, so I checked out other Tom Fords. I like the Private Blend perfumes and though there are no other loves yet, there are those that I want decants or travel sizes of. Jasmine Rouge is a definite, while possibles are Tobacco Vanille, Plum Japonais, Soleil Blanc……..I still have a lot I want to try so this will probably change. I’m having fun with this line.

  • filomena813 says:

    I loved Black Orchid when it first came out. I still do like it and wear it once and a while but prefer Velvet Orchid now.

  • Ellen says:

    I loved Black Orchid and still have it in my collection. I also like Sahara, Noir de Noir, Amber Absolute, and Vert Boheme. What bothers me about the present direction of perfumery is the staggering prices which place many of the niche fragrances beyond the financial scope of the average person. I know the answer is decants and samples, but that is not the same as a FB. With prices so high,I can’t even ask for some as a gift, nor can I give it. Exclusivity by the creation, not the price, would be great.

  • hczerwiec says:

    I’m very meh on Black Orchid. I do love the Vert ones (especially Vert Boheme) and some of the leather and tobacco scents, but my god! the prices!

  • rosarita says:

    I’ve loved Black Orchid since it first came out, it’s distinctive and unique imo. The Signature line is what I like about Tom Ford perfumes rather than the Private Blends, I have yet to smell one I really like but I’m a fan of White Patchouli, Black Orchid Voile d’Fleur etc. Not a fan of the Black Orchid flankers like Velvet Orchid et al, they just take the teeth out of Black Orchid original and the dark part is what I like most.