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.

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.