In Positano (Perfume Thoughts: Mandarino de Amalfi, Tom Ford)

375x500.25481I think the Southern California June gloom may finally be over, and we are getting some warm weather now. I welcome it, and my old age has made me appreciate hot weather a lot more, as I sometimes feel I am always freezing.  It also made me reach out this morning for Tom Ford’s Mandarino de Amalfi. I remember when I used to have a big trip every year, and obviously that’s not happening this year. But I can spritz and feel like I am at the Amalfi Coast, right? Mandarino de Amalfi makes me feel like that. Even though it is really just your basic cologne, it has some notes that give it heft and personality. The grapefruit, lemon, and basil mix make it a little different, and it has some slightly bitter elements.  There is a bit of jasmine in my skin that keeps it interesting for me, and the dry down is a citrus floral white musk. I can close my eyes and feel like I am in Positano, and for now, that’s good enough.

If You Prick Me (Perfume Thoughts: Rose Prick, Tom Ford)

375x500.58781Based on the bottle, I cannot think of a more appropriate Valentine’s Day perfume than Tom Ford’s ‘Rose Prick.’ The matte pink opaque design just screams Valentine’s gift – and I am sure that is not accidental. Since i love anything  rose, I was of course more than excited to try this. And the notes looked interesting as well: three types of roses, schezuan pepper, tonka bean. I mean, even if it turns out not for me, it’s going to be at least interesting, right?

Too bad it’s not. The promised opening of pepper and turmeric kind of scared me, but on my skin it was just plain old musk. It didn’t even wake me up, just boring white musk. I do admit that the rose that came after it was gorgeous. It is a rose in full bloom, though if I must admit, a little on the synthetic side. Then I do get the tonka bean, which rounds out the base on the woodsy side. And then the patchouli, which gives this a very dry base. And frankly, nothing unique. Rose Prick smells like a hundred different things I have smelled before.

I was very disappointed in this. It’s so generic smelling, and at $335 for a 50 ml, I expected more. I can think of a hundred other choices for my Valentine’s scent before this one.

 

Smelly Metal (Perfume Thoughts: Metallique, Tom Ford)

tf-metalThere’s  certain metallic note that I loathe – the one in Secretes Magnifique makes me hurl – so I was scared to try Tom Ford Metallique.  but this is Tom Ford, so I know that the scent will be beautiful – his perfumes never cross the line to weird, or quirky. Metallique’s ‘metal’ note comes from a major dosage of aldehydes and upon first spray that is what you get. The notes say you will also get Peruvian bergamot and pink pepper but it’s all packaged in a cold sequined dress, so it reads more glamour and couture. The heart of the perfume is gorgeous, concentrated on a white floral bouquet that pretty (lily of the valley and heliotrope) I can see a woman wearing this on her wedding day and it will fully complement the occasion and proceedings. At the same token, I also think a man can wear this with a tuxedo and it would be just as fitting. At some point, I feel that the perfume is turning sour on me, but it is not ‘turning bad’ sour, but more like a flower blooming under lights. And you know what? I like it. It may be the ambrette (musk mallow) or the non-gourmand vanilla that is doing this.  Metallique is definitely an interesting scent – it’s definitely unlike anything that’s out there in the market, and above all, it smells fantastic. I want a full bottle.

Purple Flannel (Perfume Thoughts: Ombre de Hyacinth, Tom Ford Private Collection)

375x500.15916I was at my brother’s house over the weekend and I always raid his perfume selections when I am there, especially heavy on Creed and Tom Ford Private Collection. I chosee Ombre de Hyacinth,  which is very purple. I googled what hyacinths look like, and there are a lot of purple variations so the packaging for this is in line.

My first impression? It smells like the classic Grey Flannel. Top notes say galbanum and violet leaf, but the violet leaf is very prominent on me, combined with aldehydes which make this smell very soapy/powdery. The florals intensify after – the hyacinth? some magnolia, and this is the type of fragrance that feels liek it is hugging you. I wore it on a cold-ish day and it felt pleasant and fitting. All in all a nice powdery floral – very nice but nothing too original. I don’t know if I want to pay Tom Ford prices for it, honestly, because Grey Flannel is still available – and for a fraction of the price.

Oh Sun (Perfume Thoughts: Eau de Soleil Blanc, Tom Ford)

375x500.48152Tom Ford’s ‘Eau de Soleil Blanc’ is a nice beachy scent, and you know I am all about the beach scents. This has a bit of coconut, some florals with it, some citrus, that nice orange blossom and they are all blended well in a cologne-like fragrance but is heavier. It’s nice, and pretty, and has that ‘solar note’ that I seem to be smelling a lot lately – this is a lighter take on his Soleil Blanc fragrance from his Private Collection.

But is it worth the price? Off the top of my head, I can think of several other perfumes that smell similar if not very close to this. Sure, this is nice, but it is hardly the most unique and exclusive smell.  Or am I just being bitter because I think Tom Ford scents are expensive (for what they are)

The F Smell (Perfume Thoughts: Fucking Fabulous, Tom Ford Private Collection)

fabuEver the provocateur, Tom Ford has named a fragrance ‘Fucking Fabulous.’  Apparently, that’s what someone said when they were testing the product, and it stuck. Ford said, sure why don’t we name it that, and initially, this was a limited edition fragrance that came with the invitation for his fashion show September last year. I know around this time past year this became available at his stores, but I had already been in the midst of my life-changing year then, so I never had the chance to sample. I thought, with all this whirlwind in my life, do I really need ‘Fucking fabulous’?

I didn’t, and I probably still don’t. This is kind of standard Tom Ford Private Collection fare. It is not entirely unique. It’s very well made, as all Tom Fords are, and  its burst of leather almond opening certainly catches one attention. But I have never really been an almond fan, so I was a little lukewarm with it. As it settles into the heart, tonka bean oil comes up, and we get that plastic, playdoh accord.I don’t dislike it, but I’ve smelled it before. It stays there , and it stays strong, as I would consider this scent in the stealth category. In the end, I don’t like it enough for its price point. Although, admittedly, its name attracts me to get it just for that fact.

And since we are talking about prices what i up with Tom Ford Private Collection being available everywhere? everywhere I turn it’s available – Nordstrom, even Bloomingdales. It certainly doesn’t speak well for the exclusivity of the brand for it to be popping up in all the familiar places. I doubt is Ford is happy about that.

I Smell Fish (Perfume Thoughts, Oud Minerale, Tom Ford)

26153382-1794I am still on a Tom Ford kick, still on a ‘high,’ about it. So as to not lose the high, I opted to spray one of his newer releases. ‘Oud Minerale.’  I got a free 10 ML of this from my Tom Ford SA at Nordstrom, because she said it was a very interesting release and she was sure I would love it. That got me doubly excited about it.

Tom Ford does marine aquatic in Oud Minerale, and it is most unique in the most Tom Ford way. The first burst of spritz? It smelled like – the sea. Like the actual sea – the sea water, the seaweeds, the salty scent of it all . And it almost made me puke. It reminded me of a fishy smell, and maybe because I just had grilled fish for dinner? This actually churned my stomach a bit, and it stayed that way on my skin.  Could it be that there is now, finally, a Tom Ford Private Collection release that I despise?

I gave it a little more time, and my disappointment did not dissipate. As a collector, I see its value – a scent that will probably polarize people and I really should include it on my wardrobe. But, in all honestly, I cannot see myself wearing this. The initial fishy smell gave way to a fishy smell with warm woords (the oud, synthetic smelling here) It’s akin to putting fish on velvet – nicer presentation but still fish. I am close to trying to scrub this off my skin.

Coco Pine (Perfume Thoughts: Vert d’Encens, Tom Ford Private Collection)

375x500.40087For me, the only question when I am trying out a new Tom Ford Private Collection perfume, is not if I will like it, but how much will I.  Because let’s face it, most perfumes I don’t like are the ones who bore me, and Tom Ford never does – there’s always something there that’s interesting, and even if I know it smells like something else, he always puts something in there that either elevates it, or makes it turn somewhere else. And I always always want them, although we do know in life we can never get everything we want.

And I love Vert D’Encens, truly. What strikes me most about it is that it reminds me of Christmas, because it smells like a combination of chocolate and pine, and almost always at Holiday time those two are entwined in my life.

The scent starts in the forest, with some smoked woods, and some smoked leaves, and pine. Lots of lotsof pine. I remember there was a year I was selling fresh wreaths for charity and I overdosed on pine scents – the real one, not Lysol – and to this day whenever I get pine, I go back to that time in my life (there were other significant things happening in my life then, of course) So this initially brought me back then, but then a rich dark coco note comes in, and those two intermingle seamlessly, and as I sniff myself just right now, all I could think of is chocolate covered pine. There’s a certain melancholy feel to this perfume – it’s somewhat somber, and definitely heavy, but it is also very subtle, and personal – it’s a little bit of a wallflower, and doesn’t really project. I can even imagine what I would wear with this – a tweedy something or a corduroy jacket perhaps. It skews more gentlemanly, and I feel like can only be smelled by someone close to the wearer.

I am glad I tested this now, because I feel like this would be the perfect Holiday scent for me.

Splash (Perfume Thoughts: Neroli Portofino, Tom Ford)

nd.12192Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is really, essentially, just an eau de cologne. It smells like your basic toilet water version that’s been done enough and well before. So what’s makes this Tom Ford creation special? Is it the abundance of neroli that creeps up on you after the drydown? Perhaps it is, but there’s something very bright, sprightly, citrusy thing here that is very joyful. There’s a yellow in the greens, and the repackaged blue Tom Ford signature bottle just exudes freshness, cleanliness, a splash of cool water in the summer heat. While I experience triple digit temperatures in the desert right now, I find myself always reaching for this. Somehow I feel like the sun is not as harsh, the heat not as blazing. I am and have always been a victim of marketing.

Summer Whites (Perfume Thoughts: Orchid Soleil, Tom Ford Signature)

nd.38650I wish I were very rich that  could afford to collect all the Tom Ford fragrances both in his Signature and Private Collection. As a designer house with regards to scents, his is close to perfection. I really cannot even think of one fragrance of his I dislike. Sure I like some more than others (Tobacco Vanille is greater than Sahara Noir, for example) but even the lesser ones are above and beyond some of the niche offerings out there.

So, Orchid Soleil. This was released earlier in teh summer, and I am just sniffing it now, and I wish I had discovered this earlier because it is a great summer scent, in the most unexpected way. How does it smell like?

Pretend you just put on Fracas, and some gardenia scented lotion, chewed some bubble gum, and then you walked to the beach, put on some sun tan lotion, and laid out in the sun.

This is a white floral – gardenia, lily, tuberose and tuberose and tuberose – but somehow the floral doesn’t explode or bomb – there is that sun tan lotion note that keeps it contained,  and there’s just a bit of vanilla to make it smell kind of gourmand-y, and there’s that orchid note. It’s a well blended white flower scent that is unusually soft, and is great on a beachy summer night, or a city summer dinner, or a smoky rooftop party. But wait, there’s more – I think this would even be lovelier in the fall, the lower temperature will make this feel more gauzy, like that feeling of summer ending, and looking forward to the change in season. I love it so much that the reckless part of me wanted to get it right away when I sniffed it at Sephora today. Luckily, the practical Virgo in me told myself to wait, as I know I can probably get this cheaper somewhere else. Or even better – this would be a great Birthday gift for me, so is anyone listening?