Tom Ford Ombre Leather 16

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Tom Ford gets a fair amount of sass here on Scents of Self (see: “grody mustache” and “unworthy of a Drake verse“), so it’s nice to get to do a positive review this time! (Don’t think this means I’m softening on the stubble, Tom. I know you’re capable of beard greatness.)

Why would you not look like this if you could look like this??
What do I have to do to make you embrace the beard, Tom? Do I have to buy a bottle of Tobacco Vanille? Okay, you talked me into it. 

Ombre Leather 16, the new Private Blend inspired by Tom’s 2016 fall runway, is a superbly plush leather. It’s not a rough, tanner’s leather (think Tauer Perfumes Lonestar Memories, or Tom Ford’s own Tuscan Leather), and it’s not a delicate, handbag suede (Cuir de Lancome, Bottega Veneta). Ombre Leather 16 is a sofa leather, as smooth as the finest leather upholstery. Other notes listed include violet leaf, jasmine sambac, and cardamom, but they keep their heads down; it’s really all about the leather. Is Ombre Leather 16 worth $225 for 1.7 ounces? Only you can make that call. Does it smell like it could be? I have to say it does.

Disclaimers: This post is not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. I tested Ombre Leather 16 at my local Nordstrom.

Tom Ford Soleil Blanc

I consider Drake and Tom Ford to be one of history’s most charmingly unexpected bromances. Drake dedicated a song on his bestselling album, Nothing Was The Same, to Tom Ford’s Tuscan Leather; in return, Tom named one of his (outstanding) lipsticks after Drake.

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But I doubt even Drake would have much to say about the newest Tom Ford Private Blend. If Tuscan Leather merited a whole song, Soleil Blanc barely deserves a verse.

Soleil Blanc’s press release describes it as a “solar floral amber”. It’s a sunscreen fragrance, of the squeaky-clean Coppertone variety rather than a jasmine-drenched French tanning oil. There’s nothing that distinguishes Soleil Blanc from the numerous other sunscreen-y fragrances out there, like Bobbi Brown Beach or Bond No. 9 Fire Island. And at $220 for 50 ml, that’s kind of unacceptable. I was really hoping that Soleil Blanc would be the reincarnation of the heavenly Tom Ford for Estee Lauder Azuree Soleil, but no such luck. Hopefully the next Tom Ford fragrance will be more worthy of Drake’s adoration.

Disclaimers: This post was not sponsored and does not contain affiliate links. I tested Soleil Blanc at my local Neiman’s.

Tom Ford Sahara Noir

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Tom Ford has always been sort of loveably delusional, but Sahara Noir convinces me that he’s just lost any tenuous connection he might have had to reality. No one, in the history of anyone, is going to pay $150 for 50 ml of a mainstream perfume. You know, Tom, if you ever managed to look beyond your grody stubble, you might have noticed that WE’RE IN A RECESSION. GOD.

The reason I’m so disappointed in Tom is that Sahara Noir is a great perfume! It could be extremely popular if the pricing were anything resembling reasonable. Sahara Noir is a perfume for those of us who hate waiting through bergamot or lavender top notes to get to the good stuff. Sahara Noir gets right down to business, and that business is a dry, savory, practically edible amber. This is a firmly unisex perfume, although women might find its total lack of sweetness or creaminess somewhat alienating. I hate to say it, but you probably get your money’s worth with Sahara Noir. Nothing about this heady fragrance smells cheap. That tacky “gold”-plated bottle, on the other hand…

To my wallet’s relief, Sahara Noir is not sweet enough for my personal tastes. So I’d like to give my sample to one of you in the hopes that it will suit you better! If you’d like to win the sample, just leave a comment telling me your favorite Tom Ford fragrance, or maybe the maximum amount you’d be willing to spend on a mainstream fragrance. Or we could reminisce about that time when Tom Ford ate Keira Knightley’s ear! Those were the days.

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Bvlgari Pour Femme

Bvlgari pour Femme is one of the very few florals in my perfume collection. It was created in 1994 by perfumer Sophia Grojsman, who is famous for her roses. For about a week now, I’ve been in the mood to wear pearls. I’ve been wearing them everywhere- to sleep, to lunch, to frat parties (where they are more than a little out of place). So when I walked into Sephora today, subconsciously I must have been searching for a perfume with that elegant, luminous aura that pearls always project. Bvlgari pour Femme opens with a light, sparkling rose very similar to that found in the lovely, popular-for-a-reason Stella McCartney Stella. At this point, pour Femme is more like a diamond than pearls. But soon an (unlisted) violet note joins in, creating a creamy effect that actually smells like a Lancome lipstick. The drydown is pure rose.

Lancome is my mother’s favorite brand, so I personally  find this smell to be beautifully evocative. Frederic Malle Lipstick Rose has that same genius violet-rose combination, and I would not hesitate to recommend Bvlgari as a reasonably priced alternative to Lipstick Rose lovers like myself. pour Femme is a bit thinner, but that is to be expected, what with the $50 price difference and all. On that note, pour Femme is available at Sephora, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman. It is White Patchouli-expensive at $65 for one ounce, $92 for 1.7 ounces, and $132 for 3.4 ounces. But trust, y’all, the people in your life will be much, much happier if you choose pour Femme over White Patchouli.

One of the reasons that I own so few florals is that I have difficulty with their lack of sex appeal. Like a string of pearls, pour Femme is more lovely than it is sexy. It is glamorous, but in a wholesome way. Bvlgari pour Femme is the kind of perfume that could class up even the notoriously tawdry Kate Moss.

Well, almost.


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.