Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
A few years ago, Jasmin Rouge would have had me rushing immediately to the perfume store. The idea of a jasmine laced with spices and enrobed in ambers and woods would have been so appealing that I doubt I would have followed the sensible rule of never buying blindly. Yet, today Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge arrives at a moment when there are already several excellent jasmine dominated compositions on the market so it has plenty of competition. It is an elegant composition, but given its luxurious pricing, I would prefer more surprise and character.
The jasmine character of Jasmin Rouge runs through the entire composition, from the green top notes laced with orange and cardamom to the ambery and indolic drydown. The crisp freshness of the opening accords is layered over the voluptuous richness of the floral notes. While jasmine is the main floral character, there is a distinctive presence of orange blossom and ylang ylang, which have a beautiful buttery quality. The bright, resinous note of pepper suggests both incense and wood, while the sweetness of vanilla rounds out its sharpness.
The first hint of disappointment comes as the fragrance begins to settle into its drydown. The richness of the initial chords wanes and there is nothing to replace it. The fragrance begins to fade into a limpid and predictable pale wood and sharp amber accord. In comparison to the jasmine gold standard Serge Lutens A La Nuit, the leathery Serge Lutens Sarrasins, or the romantic by Kilian Love & Tears, Jasmin Rouge is simply an up-market version of a familiar crisp fruity floral. Though it is lovely, it does not offer any revelations.
Tom Ford Private Blend Jasmin Rouge includes notes of bergamot, mandarin, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, white pepper, broom flower, jasmine sambac, neroli, ylang ylang, clary sage, Mexican vanilla, leather, woody notes, amber and labdanum. Private Blend collection is available at the Tom Ford boutiques, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and Saks5thAvenue. The Eau de Parfum–$195 (50ml), $475 (250ml).
Sample: my own acquisition