How to choose the right one for you
While this is a bold statement, there is some truth to the idea that there is nothing that Tom Ford cannot turn to his elegant hand, be it fashion, the movies. or, in this case, colognes. While many designers have managed to establish a presence in the world of perfumes – Saint Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Dior among them – few have had the same impact in such a short time as the creator-turned-director-turned – all-round-modern-Renaissance-Man. Far from being a flash, or rather a splash, in the pan, Tom Ford’s fragrance collection is as impeccably edited as his own wardrobe, not to mention just as sharp, uncompromising and luxurious.
The history of Tom Ford perfumes
The first perfume under the aegis of Tom Ford appeared in 2006, with the launch of Black Orchid, a perfume intended for women, but whose clientele has become 30% men. A little over 10 years later, the impeccably dressed Texan now has more than 40 individual eaux de parfum, mostly gender-neutral. Many were surprised that the perfume was one of Ford’s first true solo ventures (his first menswear collection only appeared a year later, in 2007), but it turned out to be a movement. inspired and who revealed his true love of art. form. He even once admitted in an interview that he thought cologne was more important than clothes. Much of the success of its top-selling fragrances like Black Orchid, Noir and Oud Wood comes down to their sheer quality. “They’re distinctive, powerful and made to last,” says Marcus Jay, author of The Chic Geek’s: Men’s Fashion, Grooming & Style Guide. The fact that Tom Ford was never afraid to play with unexpected combinations is also important, whether it is pairing raspberry with leather for Tuscan Leather, or smoky oud wood with a salty marine accord, as it did for Oud Minérale. “In addition to a common sense of opulence and wealth, there is a boldness in all of its scents,” says Josephine Fairley, award-winning journalist and co-founder of The Perfume Society. “There isn’t a shrinking violet among them.” The key ingredient in these scents, however, isn’t vetiver or vanilla, it’s the DNA of the creator of Tom Ford. “He’s the absolute master of seduction and really understands the allure and sex appeal of perfume,” Jaye explains. The legendary perfectionism and attention to detail of the 56-year-old, meanwhile, ensures quality control. “It’s well known in the industry that he’s incredibly involved in the development of his colognes, and I think it shows,” says Fairley. “At the end of the day, that’s why they’re considered ‘cool in a bottle’ and why Tom Ford is not just a style icon but also a ‘perfume icon’.”
In an effort to cater to both luxury fragrance connoisseurs and casual shoppers (not to mention all pocket depths), Tom Ford’s fragrances are split into two distinct lines: a Premium Private Blend collection and a Signature line. more accessible, in addition to several mini-groups within them.
Luxurious and experimental, Tom Ford’s Private Blend collection was launched in 2007 and, in the designer’s own words, is his own “personal perfume lab”, where he can create original scents that are not constrained by convention. of traditional perfumery. “These scents are a bit bolder, a bit more uplifting, and generally more uplifting,” says Fairley. “Each scent begins with a single note extract like amber, tobacco, black violet, leather or gardenia.”
If the Private Blend collection is a laboratory for Tom Ford’s wildest olfactory experiences, then his Signature collection is where the most successful of those experiences are perfected and presented to the wider market. Although more affordable than Private Blend colognes, fragrances like Tom Ford Extreme, Velvet Orchid, and Gray Vetiver still have the integrity and complexity of their more expensive counterparts. “Regardless of the collection, Tom Ford’s taste in scent is really good,” says Nick Gilbert of fragrance consulting firm Olfiction. “Each perfume is well constructed and perfectly polished.”
Linked by a common sensuality and adapted to the evening, the Noir collection currently comprises four key colognes: Noir, Noir Eau de Toilette, Noir Extreme and Noir Anthracite. Unusually, since they share a name, these fragrances are distant cousins rather than siblings, each with a different composition having little to do with each other. The original Noir released in 2012 is warm and powdery, while the eau de toilette version is lighter and more lemony. Noir Extreme is smooth, spicy and pasty, while the newer, Noir Anthracite, is smoky and oaky. To complicate matters further, there’s also Noir de Noir – an earthy, spicy rose scent that’s part of the Private Blend collection.
Like Doctor Who, Tom Ford’s version of the classic cologne, Neroli Portofino, exists in many incarnations and everyone has their favorite. Neroli Portofino Acqua has a bitter, almost sporty side, while the Fleur de Portofino is more honeyed and floral. The original, however, should be the starting point for any perfume lover. Composed of citrus and aromatic herbs, this is one of the best summer scents available and ideal for men who like their colognes light, fresh and understated.
“The number of Tom Ford fragrances now available has increased dramatically, but it’s the wood and oud scents that men associate with it the most,” Jaye explains. Oud Wood, the star of the collection, has been so successful that it is one of the few colognes to offer its own accessories, including a body moisturizer, shower gel and beard oil. The Tobacco Oud (spicier and, as its name suggests, with a hint of tobacco), the Oud Fleur (floral, with lots of pink) and the Oud Minérale, which should not work but which combines the smoky scent, are also worth a visit. wood with a salty marine accord.
The 10 best Tom Ford colognes
Patchouli has long been a mainstay of men’s fragrances thanks to its earthy aroma, but Tom Ford’s Private Blend interpretation tops things off with hints of amber, musk and leather, so you don’t smell like somebody else. one who just attended Woodstock. “Like all of Ford’s scents, Patchouli Absolu is essentially genderless, but it smells especially good on a man’s skin,” Fairley explains. “On a woman, the creamy and suede notes emerge, but when men wear it, it’s the woody side that comes out.” Buy Now: £ 158.00 for 50ml
Taking inspiration from sparkling blue waters, cool breezes and lush Mediterranean foliage, it’s no wonder Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino has become one of the designer’s best-selling creations. A wonderfully fresh blend of Sicilian lemon, neroli, bergamot, lavender and amber, the fragrance’s emphasis on uplifting citrus notes means it’s the perfect pick-me-up for travel, sport or those disappointing summer days when all you see are clouds. Think of it like the sun in a bottle. Buy Now: £ 119.90 for 50ml
Built around a huge purple floral note, this 2012 scent begins with a powdery and spicy scent, thanks to a combination of iris and black pepper, before ripening on the skin into something warm and creamy, thanks to its use of vanilla and amber. As well as offering good longevity on the skin, the notes of Tom Ford Noir add to an evening scent worth having in any fragrance collection. Buy Now: £ 96.00 for 100ml
“The original Black Orchid was a fragrance marketed to women, but men embraced it fully,” says Gilbert. And it’s easy to understand why with this summer version, which fuses floral notes of tuberose, lily and orchid with pink pepper, vanilla and patchouli. Borrowing or sharing perfumes with the fairer sex is nothing new, but it’s fair to say that Tom Ford made it not only acceptable but desirable. “I think men could adopt any Tom Ford scent, but I’m especially a fan of this one, which smells like a tan.” Buy Now: £ 81.50 for 50ml
Wood of Oud
One of the most notable colognes in the Private Blend Collection, Oud Wood takes one of the most recognizable yet polarizing ingredients in perfumery – the oud – and makes it accessible to everyone. Exotic and sensual without being too rich or too strong, its smokiness is tempered by notes of citrus, cedarwood and patchouli. “Already something of a classic, Oud Wood is rich, lush and warm – everything you would expect from a men’s fragrance,” says Jaye. Buy Now: £ 158.00 for 50ml
Warm, spicy and, thanks to a huge dose of incense, Bois Morocain was originally launched in 2009 before disappearing from the shelves to reappear for a second chance at success in 2017. With cypress, cedar and thuja (a wood found in Morocco), it smells like a cross between a hot, dry sauna and an old church pew. Quirky and demanding rather than downright appealing, but worth going. Buy Now: £ 250.00 for 100ml
Based on one of Tom Ford’s favorite notes, this contemporary take on a classic vetiver cologne boasts a tangy, fresh and lemony opening, which means it works just as well during the day as it does in the evening. . “I love gray vetiver,” says Gilbert. “It’s tangy, clean, perfectly oaked and very well balanced. Buy Now: £ 72.00 for 50ml
Loved by men and women alike, Tom Ford’s punchy take on a traditional leather scent exudes sensuality with notes of saffron, black pepper, jasmine, tobacco and amber wood. But it’s the unexpected addition of raspberry – a move that takes him in an unexpected, very “Tom Ford” direction – that keeps Tuscan leather from being just another animal number. These are potent stuff, so be careful not to over-vaporize. Buy Now: £ 158.00 for 50ml
Tom Ford for men
Already 10 years old (making it practically a modern classic), this woody and spicy signature cologne is everything a Tom Ford fragrance should be – sultry, heady, and complex – but at a price that most fans can afford. The touch comes with the addition of Moroccan grapefruit blossom – a precious ingredient harvested by hand from flowers only three weeks a year – with top notes of ginger, tobacco leaf and bergamot. Buy Now: £ 56.50 for 50ml
Released in late 2017, this deliciously creamy and almost edible blend of almond, tonka bean and clary sage oil has sparked the kind of publicity most brands can only dream of. “The scent isn’t as fabulous as the name suggests,” Jaye says, “but it’s worth wearing it just so you can say ‘Fuckin fabulous’ when someone asks you what scent you have. . ” Somehow, we suspect that no one would love the reaction you get more than Tom Ford himself. Buy Now: $ 310.00 for 50ml
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