Tom Ford Neroli Portofino : Perfume and Body Products Review

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Portofino

Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

The moment I hear of Portofino, it evokes the vision of a picturesque Italian town on the Ligurian sea coast. I can also hear the waves rocking small fishing boats, the nasal sounds of the local dialect, and the general din filling a town square on a warm summer day. If I let my imagination take me further, I can even smell the bitter espresso, the rosemary encrusted focaccia from the local bakery and the dark salty sea breeze. Even though the touristy Portofino of today is miles away from the quaint fishing village it used to be, it never fails to inspire romantic fantasies. For this reason, Tom Ford named its orange blossom cologne Neroli Portofino, while Christian Dior later followed suit with Escale à Portofino.

Neroli Portofino was created in 2007 by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux, and this year it has been relaunched in beautiful azure blue packaging with a collection of luxurious body products—soap, body scrub, body lotion and dry oil. The Eau de Parfum itself is a very good, if overpriced cologne. It opens up on an aromatic herbes de Provence accord (lavender, thyme, and rosemary), which when paired with the zesty bergamot gives Neroli Portofino an exhilarating quality. It has a cool, crisp character, which is retained even in the drydown. The green floral notes of neroli and orange blossom provide a soft, silky layer to the composition, while the base notes of herbal musk and woody amber lend Neroli Portofino a classical polish.

While it is impeccably crafted, Neroli Portofino does not offer anything that one cannot find in either less or more expensive colognes on the market. Chanel Eau de Cologne, Acqua di Parma Colonia and Thierry Mugler Cologne are much fuller and more interesting explorations of this genre, while Guerlain Eau de Fleurs de Cédrat, Annick Goutal Néroli, and L’Artisan Parfumeur Fleur d’Oranger offer richer orange blossom cologne interpretations. On the other hand, the body products in the Neroli Portofino range are fantastic. The soap is creamy and fragrant, while the lotion is moisturizing and nicely scented. The body oil is my favorite ancillary product, a light, silky blend that absorbs well into the skin, while leaving it radiant and nourished. While our East coast weather is far from the Mediterranean fantasy, at least I have a few more means to pretend otherwise.

Tom Ford Private Blend Neroli Portofino (fragrance family: citrus) includes notes of bergamot, lemon, mandarin, lavender, myrtle, rosemary, bitter orange leaves, jasmine, neroli, orange blossom water, woods, amber, ambrette seeds and angelica root. The Private Blend collection is available at Tom Ford boutiques, Bergdorf Goodman, and Neiman Marcus. The Eau de Parfum–$140 (50ml), $260 (100ml), soap–$35, body scrub–$80, body lotion–$65, dry oil–$70.

Sample: my own acquisition

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15 Comments

  • Suzanna: I love a good body product or two. Some are classics I won’t be without (No. 5 soap) and others are new finds (Eau d’Italie soap). I’ll be looking for the soap and dry oil spray with this Ford. I liked the frag well enough, but as you point out, it’s hardly a thing unto itself. April 5, 2011 at 6:22am Reply

  • Katherine: ooh, I love dry oils. I think that Tom’s perfumes are too pricey for what they are, for the most part, but I think the price point on that dry oil might be right! especially if it comes in the lovely turquoise packaging… it can double as eye candy on my bathroom counter. ;) April 5, 2011 at 8:57am Reply

  • Olfactoria: I love the look of the products.
    Would you say Neroli Portofino is similar to Grand Neroli and Escale a Portofino? April 5, 2011 at 10:36am Reply

  • Mz Kitty: I must be alone in my adoration of Neroli Portofino. :) I don’t normally even like neroli, and this one made me swoon. Nothing else have even come close. You can bet I’ll at least be buying the soap. April 5, 2011 at 11:03am Reply

  • Victoria: I think that it is very nice, but I just find it overpriced. Then again, those who colognes might appreciate it better.
    The body products are superb though. April 5, 2011 at 12:30pm Reply

  • Victoria: The new packaging is gorgeous! I am usually tempted by anything azure blue, but this shade is especially beautiful.
    Want them all! :) April 5, 2011 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: I would say that the two you mention are stronger on neroli, more floral. Neroli Portofino is more aromatic, more like a classical cologne.
    Annick Goutal Neroli is my other neroli favorite. April 5, 2011 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is a very good fragrance, and if one loves orange blossom colognes, it is a treat.
    The soap is excellent. I'm very impressed with the quality of the body products overall. April 5, 2011 at 12:35pm Reply

  • vanessa: I am torn between this one and the L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger as my all time favourite orange blossom scent. NP does come off as quite soapy on me sometimes, so arguably I’ll be okay with my collection of squirrelled away samples, and give the actual soap a miss! April 5, 2011 at 5:44pm Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: I love a lot of Tom Ford’s scents, even though hey are pricy. Does anybody know if he has stopped making the gorgeous, golden body cream version of Black Orchid? I haven’t seen it around as much lately, and it is beyond heavenly. April 5, 2011 at 7:35pm Reply

  • Kurt: The ad reminds me of Eau de Rochas… April 6, 2011 at 5:14am Reply

  • Victoria: I just looked at it, and you are right. Quite similar! April 6, 2011 at 12:33pm Reply

  • Victoria: I have seen it at Nordstrom (online too,) so I think that it is still being produced. I have never tried it. April 6, 2011 at 12:34pm Reply

  • Victoria: Soapy is what I get too, that combination of musks and aldehydes. Gives it a very clean sensation as it wears on the skin. April 6, 2011 at 12:35pm Reply

  • Lisa: I loved this perfume but am very disappointed at the poor quality packaging. April 18, 2012 at 1:32pm Reply

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