Tom Ford must love Guerlain Habit Rouge with a passion, because we have already seen its incarnation in Private Blend Bois Rouge, and now in Tom Ford Noir. You can compare this fragrance to others perfumes in Ford’s collection or to a dozen other plush orientals, but you only need to smell Habit Rouge for everything to fall into place. From the fizzy citrus top notes to the leather, tonka bean and vanilla inlaid drydown, Tom Ford Noir wears its Guerlinade well.
But Tom Ford Noir isn’t a boring copycat; it’s polished and well-crafted–Tom Ford is known for putting plenty of money into his perfumes–with enough darkness to satisfy most fans of rich, oriental notes. Women who love Guerlain Shalimar and all things “noir” should disregard Ford’s male oriented marketing and try the new fragrance. As much as I want to say that one Habit Rouge is enough, kudos to Tom Ford for taking such a classical idea and launching it as a mainstream fragrance. In contrast to the classical but dull Tom Ford for Men, Tom Ford Noir has plenty of drama.
Describing an oriental perfume as crisp is just as odd as calling a molten chocolate cake refreshing, but Tom Ford Noir, just like its parent Habit Rouge, are the rare examples of this unique genre. Perfumer Olivier Gillotin gives lots of dazzling contrasts, which you will experience as Tom Ford Noir dries down. First, the cool bergamot laced with herbs feels explosive, but the rich floral accord of rose, jasmine and iris is mellow and velvety.
The plush drydown is another surprise awaiting you a couple of hours later. Here Tom Ford Noir pulls all of the oriental plugs–earthy patchouli, smoky leather, dark amber, sweet benzoin, and animalic civet. Generous lashings of vanilla and musk give the composition a cozy, warm glow. In contrast to Habit Rouge, the animalic growl is subdued, but the incense and amber stand out. Tom Ford Noir has tremendous lasting power and sillage, and a tiny spray is enough to be wrapped in Noir for the whole day.
Tom Ford Noir is nothing new, but as I survey the masculine market today, few new launches stand out and there are even fewer that I would want to smell around me. By contrast, I plan to give Tom Ford Noir as a gift to my husband, with an ulterior motive of sneaking some from his bottle from time to time. And if for no reason but a selfish desire to smell something other than Bleu de Chanel or Paco Rabanne One Million in the subway, I wish Tom Ford Noir plenty of success on the market.
Tom Ford Noir includes notes of bergamot, verbena, violet, pink pepper, caraway, geranium, iris, rose, nutmeg, black pepper, clary sage, leather, patchouli, vetiver, amber, civet, benzoin, opopanax, and vanilla. Available at Tom Ford boutiques, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and other major retailers.
Sample: my own acquisition