Tom Ford Violet Blonde

Tom Ford Violet Blonde seems to signal a maturation for Tom Ford’s young fragrance line, both in terms of the scent itself and of his portrayal of his scents. I, for one, am truly thankful to see this maturation.

I was deeply disappointed by the advertisements for Tom Ford’s early fragrances. You know the ones I mean. It wasn’t the sex- hell, most perfume ads these days are only a strategically placed bed sheet away from being soft-core anyway. It was the objectification. Those ads proved to me that Tom Ford is just as comfortable with objectifying women as his straight peers. Did you ever notice how there are no faces in the Tom Ford for Men ads? The models could have been replaced with blow-up dolls and no one would be able to tell the difference. In contrast to those earlier ads, the Violet Blonde ad exposes only model Lara Stone’s lovely face. Maybe I’m just not “edgy” or “sophisticated” enough to see why Tom Ford’s variety of oversexualized models are so different than anyone else’s.

Violet Blonde is also a much more polished scent than Tom Ford’s first effort, Black Orchid. Black Orchid was promoted as an old-school, glamorous perfume, as evidenced by the Saks ad copy: “The sensual and sophisticated fragrance… evokes both timeless luxury and worldly glamour.” I like Black Orchid, but I did not find it particularly sophisticated. It was much too sugary. Violet Blonde, however, fits the Saks description rather nicely. It is both sophisticated and terribly sensual.

Violet Blonde starts out rough. The first 10 minutes or so are a discordant jumble of fruity notes and earthy iris. Wait it out. You will be rewarded with the most luxurious, seductively smooth jasmine fragrance. Even I can’t resist such a lovely smell, and I don’t even like jasmine!  Jasmine is still a very popular note in perfumery, but modern jasmine fragrances are too often weak and pale compared to the voluptuous jasmine scents of the past. Tom Ford has done an excellent job of modernizing the jasmine fragrance without losing its soul. It is neither pornographically va-va-voom or  skimpy and sanitized. Violet Blonde is just right.