Tom Ford Noir de Noir Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Noir de Noir Eau de Parfum ($195.00 for 1.7 oz.) is part of the Private Blend series and comes in a dark amber glass bottle. When I first spritz it against my wrist, before it’s even evaporated against the skin, I get this burst of sweet grapes, which really doesn’t last long–on a quick, light sniff, along the perimeter of where I sprayed it, I can detect a very subtle sweetness similar to the more grape-like sweetness I detected off the bat.
It develops into a sweet, but earthy, foreboding rose scent marked by almost chocolaty notes. There are hints of a general floralness playing in the background, along with a very muted and almost forgotten vanilla. Noir de Noir is spicy and woody and built around rose. It’s an interesting interpretation of rose that moves into more masculine territory, though if I had to pick, this is still a more classically feminine scent than it is a masculine one. It is entirely wearable on either sex. When the scent finally winds down, the vanilla becomes more pronounced, but the rose continues playing center stage, it just because sweeter and less earthy after ten to twelve hours on me.
A dark chypre Asian, this scent opens with an earthy mantle of richly woven saffron, black rose and black truffle, with hints of floralcy. Underneath, vanilla, patchouli, oud wood and tree moss soften the intensity, making the scent a sensual experience.
One of the reasons I really love Tom Ford’s Private Blends is how long-wearing they are on my skin. Only one or two (I distinctly remember Neroli Portofino being shorter in wear) last less than twelve hours, and with all of the scents, a little goes a long way. I usually use one or two sprays for all-day wear. Full disclosure: this is not my favorite scent, and the first few times I wore it, I specifically didn’t like it (and this was nearly a year ago!). After wearing it again more recently, I don’t dislike it, but it’s not a scent I would gravitate towards as my preferences lean elsewhere. I liked the composition and the way it transitioned and wore over the hours; it never goes soapy, turns to play-doh, or degenerates into something really commonplace.
Spadaro Noche del Fuego Eau de Parfum
Spadaro Noche del Fuego Eau de Parfum ($155.00 for 3.3 oz.) caught my attention because of the packaging. It looks a bit like a lantern to me! The bottle I have is sample packaging, so the real deal looks a bit different (click the link in the beginning, which will take you to a photo of what you’d get if you purchased).
Irresistible bergamot gains unexpected depth when mixed with mysterious patchouli and an exotic blend of sandalwood, vanilla and honey spiked with paprika and saffron. Black pepper, at once warm and cool—like a fire dance in the night—completes the seduction. (You can read the behind-the-scenes story here.
Fragrance is such a personal subject! There are scents we love and hate that are equally loved and hated by others. For instance, I’m not into sugary confections or spring florals when it comes to perfume. I love food-inspired scents for bath products, though. I tend to gravitate and wear more masculine scents, ones often with sandalwood, amber, vetiver, and the like somewhere in the composition. Patchouli and I sometimes get along, so I was curious to try this scent, which has both patchouli and sandalwood in it.
Noche Del Fuego starts out with a rich burst of bergamot before the patchouli makes an appearance. And it’s distinctly marked by patchouli, and if that’s not a note that you enjoy, I’d recommend keeping away from this scent. In the background, there’s pepperiness, a little smokiness, and a subtle sweetness that makes an entrance late in the game. It’s masculine, woody, and fiery. It’s not overwhelming, though, and there’s a subdued citrus that dances in background that gives it a refreshing, clean feel. It wears close on my skin, but it wears for eight to ten hours. The citrus quality makes me reach for this during the summer, as I tend to opt for less heavy fragrances during the season.
Tom Ford Lavender Palm Eau de Parfum
What makes perfume such an interesting subject is really how personal and intimate it is. Not only do we all have our personal scent preferences, but our body chemistry can alter the way a scent develops. Our associations of smell and memory also play a major role. As I’ve discussed before, I love lavender. I love it in earthy, herbaceous forms as much as I do in sweeter, more vanilla-laced ways. When I spied Tom Ford Lavender Palm Eau de Parfum ($195.00 for 1.7 oz.) at Nordstrom a few weeks ago, I knew I had to try it. Tom Ford’s Private Blend scents have worn really well on me (anywhere from 12 to 24 hours, depending on the scent), and it’s lavender-based, so it really had my name on it
Herbaceous. Clean. Stylish. This sparkling Eau de Parfum is Tom Ford’s take on the free-spirited ethos and chic elegance that evokes California. The seductive interplay of two varieties of Lavender forms the heart of this captivating fragrance. Bright citrus notes layered with a moist palm leaf accord, clary sage, sensual woods, and smooth tonka bean brilliantly elevate the earthy Lavender note into a surprisingly refined star.
When I first spritzed it on my wrist, I loved the combination of earthy lavender and lemon with an underlying leafy green note. As Lavender Palm develops, it becomes more sensual and smoother. There’s lavender, but it’s not as present as it was in the beginning, vetiver, and a little sweetness tempered by the citrus notes. A hint of incense dances lightly in the very background, just barely there. It’s not earthy lavender, but it’s not sweet, vanilla-and-lavender. It fits somewhere in between. Lavender Palm has little sillage so it wears rather close to the skin, and on me, it remains highly detectable on the skin for six hours or so, and then it continues to be detectable but to a lesser degree for up to ten hours.
It feels like a surprisingly straightforward scent; it’s not the most complex, but as a fan of lavender, it works for me. I tend to gravitate towards rich, heady, sultry scents, and sometimes, they do feel heavy for daytime wear. It’s a unisex scent, though I have heard several sales associates say this is better on men than it is on women. I couldn’t say I agree, only because I almost love it on me (I really, really like it, but I need more time to determine if it’s true love), and if I can convince the Tech Guy, I’ll get him to try it (he already steals Oud Wood).
I have been continually reaching for it since it first arrived and sometimes wear it before bed. There’s a lighter quality to it compared to other scents in the Private Blend collection that makes so wearable and fresh–so perfect for spring. At this price point, this should be a scent you love and reach for often. It should do something to you, for you; should make you feel beautiful, powerful, lovely, or bring you back to a most cherished memory. If you like to wear lavender, this is worth testing. I love sites like The Perfume Court, where you can purchase small samples of scents to try or for scents you enjoy wearing but perhaps not enough to own a whole bottle. I didn’t see this scent up there yet, though.
Haus of Gloi Perfume Oils for Valentine’s Day
Haus of Gloi has created five scents for Valentine’s Day. Perfume oils are available in small sample vials ($3.00) or a 5ml amber glass bottle ($15.00). The photo above shows several vials of various scents. I’m still working my way through their regular catalog of scents, but I did trial their recent seasonal ones. Their perfume oils last six hours or so on me, with some scents tending to stay longer on the skin.
- Come Hither is described as being inspired by herbs and roots used in Hoodoo to attract a mate. It has Bourbon vanilla, tonka bean, rose oil, Queen Elizabeth root, saffron threads, and honey in it. On me, it’s feminine, soft, and rosy–there’s a subtle, sweetened rosiness that is rounded out by an earthy quality. There’s also a hint of herbaceous greens that is most noticeable in the first twenty minutes of wear but fade away shortly after.
- Odette is described as “clean sun dried linens, tuberose, ginger lily, and white musk.” It’s a crisp, musky, and floral in the beginning. After a few hours of wear, it transitions into a more sweetened floral. The scent smells fresh and perfect for springtime, but the sweetness does pull it back a bit once it settles against my skin.
- Who Needs Love is described as “chocolaty orbs, coated in crystallized coffee – filled with a pomegranate and raspberry filling.” At first, it’s a subtle sweetness mixed with a gentle tartness; there’s the sweet-tart taste of raspberries with the earthy sweetness of chocolate. For a scent with as many food descriptors, it’s not overly foodie. As the scent wears, the raspberry really starts to prevail with the chocolate becoming a backdrop. It was my favorite of the spring scents, which is funny, because I don’t typically like dessert-based scents.
- Spring Tonic 1 is described as “Californian lemon, Mexican lime, parsley, and dandelion greens.” There’s a tart bite of citrus initially; there’s the sourness of the lemon, the crispness of the lime, and there’s a grassy element that gives it a green note. It smells like a really fresh, crisp salad. On me, the lemon seems to pull ahead after a couple of hours of wear.
- Spring Tonic 2 is described as “fresh cucumber, parsley, and dandelion greens.” Lots of crisp cucumber from the get-go, mixed with the green, peppery scent of parsley. The cucumber wanes a bit, and the scent turns greener, almost grassy.
Tom Ford Violet Blonde Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Violet Blonde Eau de Parfum ($100.00 for 1.7 oz.) is a new pillar of Tom Ford’s signature collection for women. It joins Black Orchid and White Patchouli. The notes include: violet leaf, Italian Mandarin, baie rose, Tuscan orris absolute, Tuscian orris butter, jasmine sambac, benzoin, cedarwood, Haitian vetiver absolute, musk, and soft suede.
It opened with strong burst of floral notes with a sweetened, fruit-laced edge over a backdrop of peppery greens. There was an inkling of the greenness from the violet leaf when it opened, but it quickly transitioned to fragrant, floral jasmine, which was the prevailing note on my skin for some time. The jasmine blended with the rooty qualities of the orris (iris root), so it was cool and just softer than crisp; like the first few days of fall, where the air coolly caresses and you realize the seasons have just changed.
I appreciated the damp, mustiness the orris notes imparted–they enhanced the depth and added another layer of nuance. It made it distinctly autumnal for me and suitable as the weather slinks into sunny but cool afternoons. Autumn is my favorite season, especially the precious few weeks, because it’s blissfully temperate with leaves just beginning to change and no fireplaces have been switched on. It’s fresh and green and lovely.
Violet Blonde encapsulates some of those qualities–the freshness and green crispness of autumn–but it is more floral than anything else. It never turned achingly sweet, which is a direction that tends to remind me of youthfulness, and instead, it evolved to an earthy jasmine with soft, creamy woods that took away some of the edginess of the opening of the scent but made it more wearable. Violet Blonde reads elegant, polished, and subtly feminine–ultimately, a sophisticated, layered scent that’s not as heavy or as daunting as Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection, but in some ways, more refined.
Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau de Parfum
Tom Ford Santal Blush Eau de Parfum ($195.00 for 1.7 fl. oz.) launched a month or so ago. After the first spritz, I get hit with a tidal wave of musk. Then the sandalwood really comes through and spills over the musky undercurrent. There is also a floralness around the edges; for me, subtle enough that it doesn’t resonate as a floral scent, because on me, the woodiness seems to prevail.
I’ve only briefly tested some of the other scents in the Tom Ford Musk Collection–as in on cards at stores–and found the musk to be too much, but I found Santal Blush to be a much better match for me as I like musk but in more restrained doses. I think Santal Blush nails that–you definitely need to give it a moment to settle (it goes from too much to balanced within fifteen seconds), because it seems like it is too much initially but softens quickly.
Half hour into wear, it’s creamy and woody but spiciness from the cumin emerges from the background to play softly with the sandalwood and musk. Once we stretch past the hour mark, it is a delicate mix of sweet and spicy, musky and woodsy scent that’s warm and creamy. It wears beautifully and well on me; at full strength for eight hours and then subsides over the next twelve–it lingers faintly against the skin the next morning but has mostly worn away.