An Arielle Shoshana Blog

Tom Ford White Patchouli

After seven days of Snowmaggedon here in Baltimore, I finally made it to Sephora and Nordstrom for some perfume testing. I have long been intrigued by White Patchouli, with that stunning ad campaign featuring Erykah Badu. In my humble opinion, it is the most gorgeous ad that I have ever seen in my life. They should have used it for the fabulous Black Orchid, and not wasted it on this piece of dreck. Today was the first time that I actually tried White Patchouli on my skin. Let’s just say that I have some thoughts.

If White Patchouli were a movie, it would be the camp classic Labyrinth– that is to say, it is so awful that it is hilarious. Y’all, I am not a patchouli hater by any means, although I do think that it is often woefully misused in modern perfumery. The patch-heavy Prada is one of my very favorites. However, I can say with complete confidence that this is the ugliest, most unlovable patchouli note that I have ever smelled. It is the Carrie of patchoulis (the Stephen King novel, not the Sex and the City character). Sharp, bitter, and STRONG. Labyrinth is one of my favorite movies of all time, and hardly a week goes by when I don’t watch that classic tale of David Bowie and his epic package. In the world of perfume, however, the so-bad-it’s-good concept doesn’t work quite as well.

What did I tell you? Epic!

If you are, by some chance, a White Patchouli fan (and it does seem to have its supporters on Makeup Alley), it is available at Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. It is far from cheap at $60 for 1 ounce, $92 for 1.7 ounces, and $138 for 3.4 ounces. OH MY GOD DON’T DO IT Y’ALL. Hey, how about this? If you like White Patchouli, please consider Estee Lauder Youth Dew instead. It’s similar in terms of strength, except for the part where Youth Dew actually smells good. It is also a bargain at $30 for 2.2 ounces. And that bottle is the cuteness!

Disclaimer: I sampled White Patchouli at Sephora. I have tried Youth Dew many times at Macy’s before.

8 Responses to “Tom Ford White Patchouli”

  1. Stefanie

    I have to agree with you here, I was really scited to smell WP but I didn’t like it at all, it’s very harsh! Such a shame because the bottle is darling

    • Ari

      Stefanie, I love the bottle so, but the contents… not so much. I am honestly really surprised by how bad this one was. I would have thought it would have been pulled off the market by now! Certainly better scents than this have been discontinued much sooner.

  2. Amy

    When I saw the post title, I was seriously cringing because I was fraid you were going to say you like it! WP is a buzzing, rubbery, sharp mess on me. Whew – I’m relieved!

  3. malsnano86

    Patch is Not Ma Friend, and anything that says “patchouli” in the name is going to make my NO list.

    Hate Youth Dew, too. (Okay, fine, the bottle’s cute. Unfortunately, the juice smells like… well, THAT. It’s taken me years to figure it out, but figure it out I did: it’s tolu balsam combined with patchouli that utterly nauseates me. Opium is probably my Most Hated Scent Ever.)

    • malsnano86

      Forgot to say… “DB and his epic package” made me laugh. Because you’re right, it’s almost as in-your-face as his hair…

    • Ari

      Mals, if I had never smelled a patchouli scent before this one, I’m sure that I would loathe the scent too. What does tolu balsam smell like? And I do find Opium pretty scary. The last of the great ’80s perfumes…


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