Sexy Times, Part 6: Tom Ford Black Orchid

This was supposed to be a very snarky review. I was going to talk about how Tom Ford, former designer for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, is the ultimate example of all style, no substance, and how if you look in the dictionary under “weirdly inappropriate” you will probably find a picture of Tom Ford, and also how he probably smells pretty bad since he’s admitted in interviews that he loves the smell of body odor. Tom Ford often reminds me of the sleazy uncle who you pray won’t try to grope you at Christmas dinner. And who can forget his infamous Vanity Fair cover? Poor, poor Keira Knightley, is what I’m trying to say.

For the love of God, Tom, please release her ear from your mouth.

However, instead of snark, this review will be offering a great deal of praise to Uncle Tom. You see, I am the kind of girl who carries around a copy of “The Bombshell Manual of Style” in an oversized pink purse wherever I go. I am constantly lamenting the loss of the ’40s and ’50s Hollywood bombshells. Little did I know that Tom Ford was vigorously nodding along to my Hollywood bombshell-related ranting the entire time.

Black Orchid, released in 2006, is the closest thing to old-Hollywood glamour that the mainstream fragrance market is ever gonna produce. Black Orchid opens with dark chocolate and some heady, earthy notes that I can’t quite put my finger on. There is gardenia and jasmine, in the tradition of the great bombshell scents of the past. Eventually a particularly smooth vanilla note and a little incense joins the fray. The first thirty minutes are the most exciting part about Black Orchid, but it remains highly sniffable until the very end.

In a field of ultra-light, “are you even wearing perfume?” type scents, Black Orchid is refreshingly strong. Black Orchid is not the shy, retiring wallflower in the corner, nor is she the loud, drunken chick dancing on the table. She is probably sitting by the fireplace, immaculately clothed in a fitted black dress, laughing with the group of men already under her spell. I find Black Orchid to be incredibly sensual, and I’m dying to have that stylish black bottle on my nightstand.

Disclaimer: An SA from Nordstrom gave me a sample of Black Orchid.

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12 thoughts on “Sexy Times, Part 6: Tom Ford Black Orchid

  1. I found Black Orchid interesting as heck – but unwearable, at least for me. The weird cucumber-chocolate-wet dirt thing just drove me nuts.

    But I absolutely adore Black Orchid Voile de Fleur.

  2. I love both – Voile de Fleur and Black Orchid … so amazingly sensual and elegant. His fragrance for men (not the LE) was very disappointing, though.

    btw, you can get Black Orchid at online discounters. I’m almost out of BO so was checking around for prices.

  3. I really do love Black Orchid. It’s so interesting how it manages to be dark and yet almost radiant. I am surprised to see two lovers of the VdF here- I have never tried it, since most of the reviews seem to be pointing in the “less character than Black Orchid” direction. Clearly I need to give it a try!

    Mals- I’m so sorry you got the dreaded cucumber note. 😦 Did you see my comment on your old LHB post, btw?

    Amy- Thank you for the tip! This is the second time I have bought a bottle of Tom Ford for Men, thinking I really liked it, and the second time I will be returning it, because it bores me to tears.

  4. Count me in a HUGE Tom Ford fan– perfume AND his whole airing his private porn loop in public– just like Madonna did 20 years ago THING he’s got going on.

    I love BO– you didn’t mention the drydown which is the very best reason to wear it in the first place– that powdery cedar/sandalwood thing– yum!!

    VdF a little less, but still utterly sniff-worthy. If you like big bombshell scent, I’ll be interested to hear what you think of that one.

  5. Rita- *hangs head in shame* I didn’t mention the drydown!!!! I think that Tom Ford is very brave indeed for having Black Orchid be his offering in such a fresh, clean, sanitized market. I will smell VdF as soon as the snow clears! I am also interested in White Patchouli. The first few times I smelled it, I thought it was terrible. But the most recent time, I thought I smelled something rather interesting in there. I want to love it because I think the Erykah Badu ad is stunning, although I agree with you wholeheartedly that the whole “black model for a white fragrance” thing is very lazy. On the other hand, when was the last time a black model (besides Naomi Campbell for the new D&G perfumes) has been in a fragrance ad at all??

  6. Man, I didn’t even make it to the drydown of BO… Upwards of 350 test scents over the past 14 months, and only eight scrubbers – of which, BO was one. I couldn’t stand it. Usually I can grit my teeth and hang on, but… just no.

    Must go check comments on L’HB.

  7. All, I finally went to go try VdF at Sephora today, and they didn’t have it! I wonder if it is being phased out? I did retry White Patchouli, which was laughably awful on my skin.

  8. I know that I’m sadly late to the party here, but I’ve been thinking of buying Black Orchid unsniffed from Sephora because it sounds like something I’d love. I’m still reading reviews and thinking things over. However, the perfume is not my main point.

    I really just wanted to echo your sentiments regarding 1)how utterly putrid Tom Ford is and 2) how *incredible maddening* it is that Dita Von Teese is glorified as a role model despite her career. Worse yet, members of a certain vintage-lovers’ forum (shall remain nameless)- think she is the epitome of not only elegance, but intelligence! She chooses her words carefully, but these words are not brilliant. Disheartening…

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