Tom Ford Lost Cherry : Perfume Review

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Expensive fragrances get more scrutiny, and that’s only fair. If a brand wants you to pay over $200 for a bottle of scent, then you should be certain that you’re getting your money’s worth. In the case of Tom Ford, you’re paying for the name, luxurious packaging and the whole style factor that gives Ford an edge. That being said, the collection has a number of perfumes where even the special markup can be justified. Lost Cherry is one of those fragrances, because when Ford wants a bombshell perfume, he doesn’t hold back.

The name, only a touch less vulgar than Tom Ford’s F*cking Fabulous, suggests fruits and sweetness, but Lost Cherry is a sophisticated blend of woods in the style of Serge Lutens’s original Feminité du Bois. Lutens commissioned it as a woody fragrance for women, a request that at the time made a few eyebrows rise. 27 years later, nobody is surprised by “feminine woods,” but many brands still shy away from embracing the idea fully. In other words, woods play a secondary role to fruit, caramel, flowers or vanilla. Women who want woods, without too many embellishments, might well turn to the masculine side of the fragrance counter. 

Lost Cherry, by contrast, makes woods take center stage. They are layered with dark spices and jammy fruit, but the combination isn’t cloying. It opens on a bright accord of fresh sour cherries, but it darkens almost instantly to woods and burnished spices. The cocktail of rose, jasmine, sandalwood, and a beautiful note of salty vetiver balance out the gourmand decadence of the fruit. Imagine the scents of pipe tobacco and aged Scotch, stewed plums with star anise and roasted almonds. Imagine their sweetness being removed, leaving behind just the intensity and warmth. Lost Cherry was created by perfumer Louise Turner, and the result is quite striking.

For all of his avant-garde posturing, Tom Ford’s line is quite classical. It’s also well-crafted and none of the perfumes could ever be described as cheap creations masquerading as luxury. I wouldn’t necessarily spend the kind of money Ford wants on simple colognes and fougères like Mandarino di Amalfi and Fougère d’Argent, since you can find many equally good options, but for bold woods, orientals and unusual florals, the collection is still appealing. 

If you like Lost Cherry, but don’t want to spend more than $300 on a bottle, I’d recommend taking another look at Feminité du Bois and the whole Eaux Boisées collection of Serge Lutens, Bois Oriental, Bois et Fruits, Bois de Violette. You can also add Fumerie Turque to your list. Another beautiful option is Hermessence Ambre Narguile.  Otherwise, take a look at Estée Lauder Sensuous and its flankers. Lauder is the parent company of Tom Ford and the influences go both ways.

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51 Comments

  • OtherWise: I make valiant efforts to separate my experience of a perfume from my impression of the brand, but I struggle mightily with Tom Ford. I really appreciate, then, that you’ve suggested alternatives in this general genre (some of which I have and love) because I won’t buy Lost Cherry. Sooner or later (probably both), my capacity to enjoy it would be infected by the puerile, greedy vibe that I associate with TF. I’m sure there are other perfume brands that are far worse in so many ways, but I’m pretty sure I can’t get past it with TF. February 1, 2019 at 9:49am Reply

    • Victoria: I also struggle with Tom Ford for this reason. I appreciate the quality of their fragrances and their attempts to keep the line coherent, with enough variety, but sometimes it’s just too hard to tune out the crassness and vulgarity. Anyway, I made sure I reviewed it as impartially as possible, since it’s actually a really good fragrance, but yes, there are alternatives. February 1, 2019 at 10:31am Reply

      • Carla: I agree with you both. For me, Lutens is the whole package I want – romance, beauty, magic, with Bois de Violette and Bois Oriental I want nothing more February 1, 2019 at 1:19pm Reply

        • Lydia: I agree, Carla. February 1, 2019 at 11:59pm Reply

        • Victoria: Agreed! And Iris Silver Mist for me too. February 2, 2019 at 6:50am Reply

          • Lydia: Oh yes! I don’t see Silver Iris Mist for sale these days, but lately I’ve really fallen hard for iris notes and I would so love a bottle. (If it is still in production, I wonder if current bottles still smell as good as my beautiful old sample.) February 2, 2019 at 11:46am Reply

    • Sarah: Otherwise, you took the words out of my mouth! You are spot on. February 1, 2019 at 3:00pm Reply

  • rosarita: Thanks for the review! I’ve been interested in knowing your thoughts on this one, V. It’s completely out of my price range, even with the occasional Neiman Marcus discount and ebates, and it gets mixed reviews on the Makeupalley fragrance board. February 1, 2019 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s no good going into testing with preconceived notions, but I’ll admit that I expected to dislike it when I first tried it. The perfume turned out to be a pleasant surprise, and I like the way it’s constructed and the way it develops on skin. But the price, among other things I commented about above, is no joking matter. February 1, 2019 at 10:32am Reply

  • Aimbl: Is it as sweet as the Serge Lutens referenced above? I do like the shiseido fem. de boise
    Thanks! February 1, 2019 at 10:36am Reply

    • Victoria: I also found to mention Serge Lutens Rahat Loukoum, which is similar, but maybe less sweet and more transparent than Lost Cherry.

      As for the rest of Lutens I mentioned, Lost Cherry is about the same in terms of sweetness. February 1, 2019 at 10:39am Reply

  • merylam: I really just can’t with Tom Ford’s pretentsious vulgarity, but I have been lusting after this ever since I smelled it a couple of months ago. If it wasn’t for the price I would’ve bought it already, it’s just delicious. It’s still really tempting though.. February 1, 2019 at 10:52am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s really tempting. February 2, 2019 at 6:43am Reply

  • Austenfan: It´s one of the brands that I haven´t explored very much because I don´t like its image (or maybe just the man behind it all). TF just manages to hit all the wrong buttons for me.

    Still, your review is a great reminder that it pays to keep an open mind, besides I did love Shanghai Lily, and enjoyed Café Rose quite a bit. February 1, 2019 at 11:29am Reply

    • Victoria: Those, along with Fleur de Chine and Velvet Gardenia, are my favorites. Lost Cherry might be another one. February 2, 2019 at 6:49am Reply

      • Austenfan: I only tried Velvet Gardenia once, so I can’t comment. I did try Fleur de Chine several times, but it didn’t work for me. It almost seemed like I couldn’t smell ‘all of it’ somehow. I know you liked it, one of your 5 stars! If I happen upon a bottle of this I will sniff, I’m intrigued by the notes.
        And with respect to prices of perfumes; to me it’s mostly about whether I want a bottle enough to wish to pay the required amount. Not a very rational approach, but then my love of perfume has very little to do with being sensible.

        And is it true that they are bringing back Velvet Gardenia? February 2, 2019 at 1:35pm Reply

  • Matty: Thank you for this review. I also can’t come to terms with Tom Ford prices. I’d like a sniff !!!! February 1, 2019 at 12:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s worth trying and comparing with the other perfumes I mentioned. February 2, 2019 at 6:50am Reply

  • KellyC: I think I’m in the minority because I find TF hilarious and am not offended by his outrageousness/vulgarity. I haven’t sniffed this one yet, been tempted by the notes listed and your review makes it even more of a lemming for me. February 1, 2019 at 12:47pm Reply

    • Carla: I don’t know he seems to take himself very seriously; I don’t see a lot of hilarity. I guess he does good fragrances but for fun there are lots of niche brands like État Libre d’Orange and Zoologist February 1, 2019 at 1:23pm Reply

    • Troy: Anyone who calls a perfume Lost Cherry has a sense of humor, vulgar as it may be! Lol. February 1, 2019 at 9:04pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m not offended by it, but it just doesn’t draw me. TF takes himself too seriously for his brand to convey the kind of tongue-in-cheek humor as Etat Libre d’Orange has, for instance. (But there are some people who are offended by ELDO, so that depends on one’s sensitivities.) Anyway, one good thing is that TF takes the quality of the perfume seriously. February 2, 2019 at 6:42am Reply

      • KellyC: And see that’s the part that keeps me coming back. I do find his perfume consistently good and there are so many that work for me. Whereas I don’t seem to click as much with ELDO. The love I have for many of his perfumes make him bearable. 🙂 February 2, 2019 at 11:04am Reply

      • Carla: I am offended by it. I prefer romance to vulgarity. And if vulgar, some humor please! (Etat Libre)
        The way he maintains his facial hair…takes himself seriously for sure!
        He won’t get any of my money although I wouldn’t go so far as to write off Estée Lauder as a whole February 2, 2019 at 11:30am Reply

      • Fazal: I could be wrong but I think Tom Ford has not been involved in the creative direction of perfumes under his brand for a number of years. He still lends his name per licensing agreement but someone else is in the creative direction seat now. So TF perfumes over the last few years including the names of the perfumes got no input from Tom Ford. It seems to me Tom Ford has developed new interests such as showbiz in addition to fashion so he has stepped away from relative mundane roles such as art-directing perfumes. Only the perfumes in the early years of Tom Ford have his imprints and in many cases, he sought inspiration from his time at Gucci and YSL or looked to classics of 70s and 80s and re-interpreted them. February 5, 2019 at 4:22pm Reply

        • Victoria: Until a few years ago he used to at least smell them, but yes, Estee Lauder’s creative development team is in charge. TF does have a good taste in perfumes and some of the fragrances he personally liked did go into the Private Blend collection, even if the creative team thought that they duplicated the existing portfolio. On the other hand, he’s less involved these days. February 6, 2019 at 4:32am Reply

    • Merylam: My problem isn’ t that I am offended, in fact I find it all quite tame, but TF thinks he is this great artistic provocateur, but actually it is mostly just a cynical cash grab cause his prices are exorbitant. We are just silly enough to fall for it.

      That said, I really want lost cherry and I think ‘a single man’ is a gorgeous film. He does esthetics really well. February 2, 2019 at 7:27am Reply

      • OtherWise: My feelings exactly, including about the lovely film. I don’t find the TM shtick to be outrageous and offensive; it’s actually kind of pedestrian in its crassness, I think. That said, I really do want to sniff this cherry concoction TF is pushing. February 2, 2019 at 8:45am Reply

  • Sandra: I feel like I have boycotted TF fragrances when he discontinued Fluer de Chine

    I am bitter February 1, 2019 at 2:33pm Reply

    • Trudy: Me too! That is the one TF that I really loved. February 1, 2019 at 8:31pm Reply

      • Victoria: I actually finished a bottle of it. February 2, 2019 at 6:51am Reply

        • Carla: Oh I did like that one! I tried it after Victoria’s Review. I guess Ford is the trashy Lutens February 2, 2019 at 11:44am Reply

    • Victoria: I know! It was one of the best perfumes he had. February 2, 2019 at 6:51am Reply

    • Maria: That’s my favorite perfume. I have a second bottle waiting in the wings that I ordered on eBay as soon as I heard it was discontinued. February 3, 2019 at 1:47pm Reply

  • Trudy: I will give this one a sniff out of curiosity and because of your beautiful review. I too am apprehensive of TF products because of all that has already been mentioned in previous comments. That and the fact that Fleur de Chine was discontinued and I loved that one! I will also check out the Serge Lutens you mentioned. Thank you for giving me a new avenue of fragrances to explore. It sounds like a very beautiful avenue indeed. February 1, 2019 at 8:41pm Reply

    • Trudy: Well, it seems as though a lot of people don’t mind the 320.00 price on this as it seems to be sold out everywhere. Either that or it was released in very limited quantities to create a buzz. Oh well, more reason to explore the Serge Lutens fragrances. February 1, 2019 at 8:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I tried it at a duty free store and they also had only a couple of bottles left! February 2, 2019 at 6:52am Reply

  • Tami: Grateful I’ve had the chance to experience this one. I enjoy cherry-scented things, and love to bake with cherry, so it seemed right up my alley. At least from the scent perspective; nthe cost, not so much 😉

    I first tried it before it was fully released. At that point it was sold out! My local Neiman Marcus had a tester and sprayed a very paltry spritz on a test strip. Even at that it was pretty powerful but to be honest my initial thought was “that’s a lot of money to smell like a cherry danish.” I later had a chance to spritz my skin, and then got a very small decant. I wore it today to refresh my memory—it’s still going strong 12 hours later! It’s a powerful scent and mostly I’m picking up cherry tobacco at this point of the evening.

    If this were less expensive and more accessible, my guess is that it’d be the 2010’s “version” of Poison, at least where I live. It conjures up that combination of sophistication and just-this-side-of-cloying that stylish filles “of a certain vintage” enjoy 😉 February 1, 2019 at 11:23pm Reply

  • Lydia: I respect your impartiality, Victoria.

    I’m mildly curious about anything that might carry a bit of the Feminite du Bois fragrance code, but all I’d do is try the Ford scent. I’m not offended by the name, just bored by it. (I anticipate a day when explicit sexual references in the fashion/beauty industry make people laugh and roll their eyes because they’ve been so overused they are neither shocking nor innovative, just dusty and stale.)

    On the other hand, I used to love Bois Oriental and Bois de Violette, so maybe I’ll just skip the Ford and revisit those. February 1, 2019 at 11:55pm Reply

    • Carla: I wore Bois de Violette the other day for the first time in at least a year if not more. I enjoyed it so much February 2, 2019 at 11:31am Reply

  • Wendy Jean Knospe: Thank You for this review! I am learning so much! The perfume world is overwhelming. February 2, 2019 at 12:13am Reply

  • Lydia: Oops, Iris Silver Mist. (Apologies. I must remember to check for typos when I’m this sleep deprived. 😦) February 2, 2019 at 11:48am Reply

  • OnWingsofSaffron: I read this post this morning, and applied Louve by Serge Lutens. That’s the on “cherry scent” I own and it’s way too sweet. This afternoon I was in town and on a whim, I tested Lost Cherry in a shop. First I thought: okay, Louve less sweet. After an hour or two, tobacco entered and for a short while, this melange was very, very sexy indeed! Then it moved on to a slightly old fashioned gents’ aftershave, and the thrill was gone. Now, after around six or so hours it smells pleasant.
    Makes me think a bit of those paintings of a person’s life in different phases: childhood, strapping youth, middle then old age.
    Who would have thought: Lost Cherry has a story to tell. February 2, 2019 at 4:37pm Reply

  • Aurora: Many thanks for listing alternatives in your review. I do like quite a few of the TF I tried, especially Sahara Noir and Fleur de Chine, but I waited for both to be discontinued so that I got them very heavily discounted, I still regret their discontinuation though. And I got a decant of Champaca Absolute and Noir de Noir which was enough.

    I think you are right about woods for women: Serge Lutens really did us a service by promoting them in his collection. Does Lost Cherry resembles Cartier Delices in any way? February 3, 2019 at 12:38pm Reply

  • Zazie: Lovely review!
    I found lost cherry quite striking and unique, and extremely beautiful and wearable.
    Since many seem to dislike the brand, I take the liberty to toss in comparison: Guerlain’s la petite robe noire… to my nose they fit within the same (cherry themed oriental) niche, without being dupes. Frankly, I don’t think there are any real dupes out there, though I do see the relation with the SLs…
    Since I don’t know much about Tom Ford the “persona”, except enjoying the movie he directed, I have experienced his make up products without prejudice and with great enjoyment: you pay luxury prices, but the quality, coherence, experience and attention to detail is there. Many charge luxury prices, but few live up to their market positioning. I’ve been less lucky with the TF perfume line, though I have found a few I really like.
    But Lost cherry…might be love! February 6, 2019 at 7:05am Reply

  • Doris Cho: Hi, Sorry It is is side comment, I seem not able to find reviews/information on House Maison francis kurkdjian creations? February 8, 2019 at 12:45pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t remember if I’ve reviewed any, so if they’re not listed, then probably not. February 8, 2019 at 3:01pm Reply

  • Madaris: After this review I decided to burst my budget by purchasing Lost Cherry on eBay. I am not regretful! Whenever I wear even minimal doses, people exclaim positively. A couple have looked at me weirdly when I answer, “Yes, there is a tobacco note in this & in many fragrances”, but then, as a retired librarian, I don’t travel in very sophisticated circles. The only other fragrance I wear that demands notice is my old treasured bottle of original Organza Indecence. Incidentally the Tom Ford website now has in a new stock of Lost Cherry as of yesterday. February 20, 2019 at 3:12pm Reply

  • Nora Sz.: Hi Victoria and perfume lovers,
    I sampled Lost Cherry yesterday. I really like the top bursting with cherry aroma. The drydown reminds me of my beloved Coco by Chanel, yet the fragrance is distinct enough to declare : it’s a match!
    I sleep on it, but I may get a bottle eventually. I also found Fucking Fabulous rather unique and live my bottle of Shanghai Lily to bits. April 19, 2019 at 10:12am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, it has a great drydown. All in all, a well-crafted, interesting perfume. April 21, 2019 at 3:41am Reply

  • Stephanie Klein: Dancing Roses by Victor & Rolf is my favorite cherry. I love it all the way through. April 21, 2019 at 10:03pm Reply

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