Thursday, 16 August 2012

Tom Ford's take on florals

There's a raft of new scents about to surface for autumn, and Tom Ford's four new Private Blend fragrances are (along with the new Chanel) the very best. Already on counter in Brown Thomas Dublin, they're due to launch officially in September. And they are stunners. Imagine these opaque black bottles, modelled on chess pieces, lined up on your dressing table, for a start....  The sultry hyacinth is one of the most intoxicating perfumes I've breathed in ages, with an earthy green top note that smells like the stems of the flowers and a gorgeous lingering warmth, while Cafe Rose is a blend of rose absolute cut through by coffee. There's also Lys Fume, a heady, smoky lily, and Jonquille de Nuit, which captures that addictive, almost jasmine scent of narcissi – you literally can't stop smelling it on your wrist. Ford describes these as "twisted florals" and they're certainly more sultry than so many rose or jasmine-based scents on the market. Several new launches from the biggest beauty companies, by contrast, just reek – there's a trend for sickly vanilla and overblown patchouli, and it tends to overpower any subtle floral touches entirely. I guess it depends if you like really sweet scents, which belong to the newer family of perfumes known as 'gourmand' – think Laura Mercier's creamy caramel and sugar-scented bath line in scent form. To me, this kind of 'edible' perfume is perfect for a teenage girl, but just too much on anyone else – the olfactory equivalent of eating too many marshmallows.