Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Palm : Perfume Review

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

Tom Ford Private Blend Lavender Palm was first presented at Tom Ford’s LA boutique last February. This year it finally went into wider distribution. Created by perfumer Yann Vasnier, Lavender Palm reinterprets the main fougère element, lavender. It frames the note with bergamot, lemon, lime blossom, clary sage, frankincense and woods. It is an elegant fragrance built on a rich aromatic accord.

Lavender Palm opens on a delicious herbal note that is at once sweet and savory. The zesty accents of citrus provide a vibrant contrast to the earthy and green base of vetiver and oakmoss. As the composition develops, Lavender Palm reveals the full spectrum of lavender–the roasted almond sweetness, the floral softness and the aromatic intensity. It feels at once exhilarating and sensual, which is something that took me by surprise. I usually associate lavender notes with something clean and wholesome, and I appreciate a more seductive take. The mossy notes lend the fragrance an appealing salty twist, while the green accents cut through the lush density of its lavender accord. The drydown smells like warm skin, sea breeze and crushed leaves.

Like all Private Blends, Lavender Palm is nicely crafted, but the price tag puts it into aspirational territory that is new even for Tom Ford–$950 for 250ml or $250 for a 50ml bottle. Does Lavender Palm warrant this price tag? I cannot think of a perfume for which I would be willing to pay this much money.

Update: the price above was quoted to me by the boutique. I called Bergdorf Goodman and verified that Lavender Palm will retail for $195/50ml and $475/250ml. Still expensive, but in line with Tom Ford’s usual pricing. Like all other Private Blends, it is available from the Tom Ford boutiques, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and Saks5thAvenue./p>

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27 Comments

  • Jenna: I did a double take when I saw that insane price. Isn’t lavender one of the cheapest perfume materials?? January 27, 2012 at 3:05pm Reply

  • Maja: I really like some of tom ford fragrances but am not willing to pay just because of the name 🙂 oh, well… January 27, 2012 at 3:26pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is less expensive than many other naturals, but it depends on what grade they used. If they used lavender absolute, then it would cost much more than lavender oil. Plus, vetiver, citrus oils, etc. The naturals are very expensive and are constantly increasing in price.

    Still, it does not explain Lavender Palm’s $950 price tag. January 27, 2012 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Victoria: I hear you! I don’t like aspirational pricing either.
    On the other hand, Tom Ford’s Signature collection (Violet Blonde, White Patchouli, Black Orchid, etc.) is more reasonably priced and the fragrances are very good. I prefer it to the Private Blend collection. January 27, 2012 at 3:34pm Reply

  • Memoryofscent.wordpress.com: I am shocked! I tried this and thought it is one of the most unique lavenders I have ever tried but I never noticed the price tag. Ridicilous! I just read that it is a Yann Vasnier. This man is a genious! January 27, 2012 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Mikael: Hi Victoria, I don’t know where your price quote is from, but I think it might be wrong for the bigger bottle. I saw that price while it was in limited distribution and in the white/silver bottle, but now that it’s in wider distribution I’ve seen it in similarly priced as the other Private Blends in EU: €175 for 50ml and €420 for 250ml. Taking into account the US-price of the 50ml, I’d guess the bigger size would be priced about $600 in the US. A hefty price still (and I repeat: a guess)… but I must at least sample this, I’ve liked so much of Yann Vasnier’s work. Thanks for the mini-review! January 27, 2012 at 6:26pm Reply

  • Victoria: That was from Tom Ford’s boutique here. I asked, “you mean, in the regular brown bottles?” They said yes. I nearly dropped my phone hearing this price.
    Thank you for your note. I think that I will call Bergdorf to double check. Still, even $600 is a hefty price tag! January 27, 2012 at 6:34pm Reply

  • Mikael: Hi again, I actually just checked the prices from NM, Saks and Nordstrm, they are $195 for 50ml and $475 for 250ml for all the private blends. They don’t have Lavender Palm listed on their websites yet but I’d imagine it will have the same prices now that it’s no longer in limited distribution. January 27, 2012 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Victoria: The fragrance is really beautiful and definitely worth smelling. January 27, 2012 at 6:38pm Reply

  • Mikael: Oh, ok! I didn’t see your response before I continued with my addition below. Let’s hope the boutique people are talking nonsense and the price won’t suddenly jump up here in the EU… 🙂 January 27, 2012 at 6:39pm Reply

  • Victoria: Ok, this is much better, if that’s the case. The reason I called the boutique in the first place was to find out when it is going to be available and how much it will cost. January 27, 2012 at 6:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mikael, I hope so too! The price downright depressed me when I learned of it. January 27, 2012 at 6:49pm Reply

  • Jenna: V, that’s interesting! What does this lavender absolute smell like? Your review made me want to smell LP and I don’t even like lavender. January 27, 2012 at 7:10pm Reply

  • Ida: This sounds lovely. I love lavender, but unfortunately I’m super allergic to lavender and I break out in rashes every time I get it on my skin. Does anyone else have problems with allergies against plants/flowers? January 28, 2012 at 8:02am Reply

  • Arline: Hi, I am new to your blog. It is really informative and wonderful.

    I too did a double take on the price!!!!! I am a Tom Ford fan, but GOOD LORD!!!!! Lavender is one of my favorite essential oils, for various reasons, but I have not smelled many lavender perfumes that I love. Lavender Absolute does smell beautiful, but STIL!! January 28, 2012 at 8:05am Reply

  • Victoria: Lavender absolute smells more floral, sweeter, with a distinctive warm hay and toasted almond note. It is very beautiful. January 28, 2012 at 9:07am Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you, Arline!
    Private Blend is an expensive line even at their regular $475/250ml prices. January 28, 2012 at 9:09am Reply

  • Victoria: I think that it is not uncommon, and if you get allergic, you should definitely be careful.
    The only one time I got a rash from lavender was when I accidentally spilled a vial of pure oil on my hands. However, I never experienced anything negative from wearing a lavender perfume. January 28, 2012 at 9:12am Reply

  • Martin: Doesn’t $475 seem like a bargain next to $950? 🙂 So, what does it mean, you had to pay almost $500 more just for the fancy chrome packaging?
    Anyway, thanks for the review, Victoria! I love Yann Vasnier’s work and Lavender Palm sounds like it deserves a sniff. January 28, 2012 at 10:53am Reply

  • Victoria: LOL!
    If someone really wanted the chrome packaging, it is still available from the boutique in LA. I actually prefer the brown apothecary bottle. January 28, 2012 at 10:05pm Reply

  • Amer: Even though more expensive than the EO the absolute is still one of the cheapest. Even a 250ml bottle full of it wouldn’t cost more than 60-70 euros and I am guessing big companies can get it even cheaper than that. January 30, 2012 at 3:50am Reply

  • Victoria: I agree, lavender absolute is nowhere near rose or jasmine in terms of price. The quality and the extraction process make a big difference though. January 30, 2012 at 9:36am Reply

  • Belle: Hi, please can someone tell me how to open the 250ml brown bottle, just like in the picture up there. I find it difficult to open. July 3, 2012 at 8:10am Reply

  • aijay: The 250ml is really very difficult to open. Have it and can’t use I because I can’t open. Can any one help July 18, 2012 at 9:42pm Reply

  • mohammad: i also cannot open the bottle, i’m afraid i’m going to break it September 29, 2012 at 12:04pm Reply

    • Sabia: I have just bought a 250ml bottle of santal blush, it seems to be impossible to open it! did you figure out a way to open it?

      Please help!! February 7, 2013 at 8:05am Reply

      • Victoria: Sabia, it’s a spray bottle, and all you need to do is to remove the cap. Is the cap stuck for some reason? February 7, 2013 at 10:56am Reply

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