Tom Ford generously showers us with three new release this fall. Two in his Private Blend range and one in the wide distribution signature line.
Let’s get going then:
Tom Ford Private Blend Santal Blush:
Not so long ago I tested the new Le Labo release, Santal 33, and I found it a bit too butch for my liking. Thanks to Tom Ford, here is a sandalwood that, while still being a bit rough and definitely loud and strong, is also feminine, smoother, minus the menthol and a lot easier to wear for me.
Santal Blush was created by Yann Vasnier and includes notes of ylang ylang, cumin, cinnamon bark, carrot seed, jasmine, rose, cedarwood, Australian sandalwood, oud, musk and benzoin.
Santal Blush starts out a little sharp and rough, but smooths out over the first few minutes, it has the typical Tom Ford volume only in the beginning, then it recedes a little and stays close, but wear for hours upon hours. I find Santal Blush elegant and highly wearable. It is milky and soft, like the best sandalwoods should be. My favorite of the three, by far.
Tom Ford Private Blend Jasmine Rouge:
Jasmine Rouge was created by Rodrigo Flores-Roux and includes notes of bergamot, mandarin, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, white pepper, broom flower, jasmine sambac, neroli, ylang ylang, clary sage, Mexican vanilla, leather, woody notes, amber and labdanum.
While Jasmine Rouge starts out very promising, with indolic jasmine, spices and creamy ylang-ylang layered with red fruity notes, I can’t help but feel let down by the base. The drydown could have been amazing here, but somehow it doesn’t deliver.
After the first hour, the first half of which is very Tom Fordian in volume and presence, Jasmine Rouge steeply declines into non-descript scent territory and that is not what you would expect from a perfume in this price range. Jasmine Rouge feels like a broken promise.
Tom Ford Violet Blonde:
Violet Blonde includes notes of violet leaf, mandarin, pink pepper, orris, jasmine, benzoin, cedar, vetiver, musk and suede.
Of the three Tom Ford signature scents, this is the only one I would consider wearing. While the Private Blends offer many a coveted fragrance for me, I never quite got the appeal of Black Orchid and White Patchouli, their “put in everything you have, then shake” attitude is not compatible with my preferences.
All this rambling serves a purpose – namely to state the profound difference between Violet Blonde and the two previous perfumes. While the first two are dark, heavy, intricate, baroque and sexy perfumes, Violet Blonde is almost light in contrast. It is a lot more delicate and more sheer, more modern in feel, but still retains a certain loudness, sometimes almost to the point of bothering me. If you are anything like me, apply sparingly.
Violet Blonde opens with violets – green leaves and fruity, slightly peppery violets. I am reminded a bit of the candied variety. The opening is rich and plush, a sweet jasmine peeks through and the fragrance turns more an more powdery over time as orris makes itself felt. I’m not a huge violet fan, but this is nice enough. The base turns woody and a bit musky, the benzoin sweetening it, while a whiff of leather keeps it from being too girly at any point.
While I liked Violet Blonde the first few times, I did not expect to really love it. But the more I wore it, the more I liked it. Will there be a bottle in my future? Well, budget allowing, there will.
Of the Private Blend fall releases by the house of Tom Ford, I prefer Santal Blush, although probably not to the point of purchasing a bottle. I am waiting for the new Hermessence featuring sandalwood. Jean-Claude Ellena’s Santal Massoia is in all probability a world or two apart, but I want to compare the two takes anyway.
What is your favorite of the three?