Tom Ford Patchouli Absolu

Source: ebay.uk.

Source: ebay.uk.

The latest Tom Ford fragrance is a personal love note to patchouli that seeks to reinvent the genre. In Patchouli Absolu, Tom Ford says he’s used a “breakthrough new material” and untraditional construction, in addition to piling on layers upon layers of patchouli, in order to create the ultimate soliflore that amplifies his “beloved” ingredient’s inherent characteristics in the most refined way possible.

Source: Brownthomas.com

Source: Brownthomas.com

To an extent, he succeeds quite well, which means that Patchouli Absolu is a scent that only a true “patch head” would love. I’m one of those people, and, yet, I’m not in love with the fragrance. I expected to be, because there are few ingredients that appeal to me more than true, brown, spicy patchouli. Unfortunately, I found the latest Private Blend to fall a little short. It’s a nice fragrance with some truly lovely parts, but it’s not a patchouli that I would wear myself. Continue reading

Favorite Florals: Listed by Flower

Source: designzzz.com

Source: designzzz.com

I’ve been thinking lately of the fragrances I enjoy within specific floral categories. It started, in part, because a friend of mine is slowly expanding beyond his comfort zone, and tipping his toe into a whole genre of fragrances that he had previously avoided. In general, though, I’m frequently asked, “what’s your favorite _____?” amongst the vast selection of rose, gardenia, orange blossom, and other florals out there. So, I thought I’d do a list, based primarily on one criteria: what I personally adore and reach for, own as a full bottle, or want to buy for myself. In several instances, however, I’ve included what I think is a good example of a fragrance within that floral genre, even if it doesn’t work for me personally.

Jasmine peacock created from jasmine flowers. Source: Hdwallpaperes.com

A peacock created from jasmine flowers. Source: Hdwallpaperes.com

As always, I have to emphasize that perfume reviewing is subjective and personal by its very nature, so winnowing fragrances down to a personal favorites list like this is even more so. A few other things to note: I’m not going to cover every possible category of floral (or else, this list would be endless), and, to the extent possible, I’m going to stick to soliflores (or fragrances centered predominantly around one flower). As a result, many scents that I love are omitted solely by virtue of being very mixed in focus. (For example, my beloved Alahine from Teo Cabanel; Puredistance‘s delicate Opardu; Amouage‘s stunning chypre-oriental hybrid, Fate Woman, or its Ubar, a larger-than-life, yellow and gold, 3D floriental powerhouse.) Also, I should emphasize that perfume lovers can be very fickle creatures. What I’ve listed is what comes to mind today, and it might not be the same next week or even next month.

Finally, because this is all so personal and subjective, there will be omissions from the list that might surprise people. For example, I simply do not think much of Portrait of a Lady or Carnal Flower, period. It is heresy, I know, but neither one impresses me, so I’m not including them in their respective categories of rose or tuberose. After all, this really is about what I like or think is good, right? Finally, the fragrances within each category are not ranked by order (so it mean nothing if a scent is put at #1 or #4), and I’ve also tried to avoid the vintage category wherever possible.

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Tom Ford Black Orchid & Velvet Orchid

"Black and Gold Yin Yang" by Dynamicz34 on DeviantArt.com. (Website link embedded within.)

“Black and Gold Yin Yang” by Dynamicz34 on DeviantArt.com. (Website link embedded within.)

Tom Ford‘s new Velvet Orchid feels like a mirror image of his famous, Black Orchid. Their contrasting essences are: light and dark; day and night; an easy, approachable purring, versus bold, overtly seductive growling. One reason why is that the creamy, velvety florals at their core are infused either with bright citruses, boozy vanilla and caramel amber, or by a multi-faceted bouquet of bitter-sweet chocolate, patchouli, and earthy black truffles. Both fragrances are very enjoyable to wear, even compulsively sniffable at times, but which one you prefer will probably depend primarily on your personal style. Some might find Velvet Orchid to be a de-fanged version of its older sibling, while others may think it’s a considerably easier, softer fragrance.

BLACK ORCHID:

Source: parfum-shop.kz

Source: parfum-shop.kz

Black Orchid ad by photographers Mert  Marcus. Source: perfumeglamour.com

Black Orchid ad by photographers Mert & Marcus. Source: perfumeglamour.com

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Tom Ford Costa Azzurra (Neroli Portofino Collection)

Source: Tom Ford Press Release PDF

Source: Tom Ford Press Release PDF

Tom Ford has added Costa Azzurra and Mandarino de Amalfi as two new, summer fragrances to join his extremely popular Neroli Portofino. The trio now comprise The Neroli Portofino Collection, but are also part of the higher priced Private Blend line. Both fragrances will be released in early July, and are not yet available in most stores. Yesterday, I took a look at Mandarino de Amalfi. Today is Costa Azzura‘s turn.

Costa Azzurra is an eau de parfum created by Yann Vasnier, and described in the Tom Ford press release as follows:

COSTA AZZURRA evokes the fragrant and sun-baked landscape of coastal and island Mediterranean woods, where pines and oaks mingle with wild-growing herbs and salty water. Continue reading