The Grooming Guru Awards 2012. Best New Men’s fragrance: Tom Ford Noir.

TOM FOR NOIRggawrd12lThe moment I tried the latest fragrance from Tom Ford back in July, a few months ahead of its official launch, I knew it was a contender for my Best New Men’s Fragrance award. I knew, though, that there was still time for something else to come along and knock it off its pedestal. But that just didn’t happen.

Sweet, powdery and sexy it’s a delicious blend of bergamot, verbena, violet flower, geranium, amber, patchouli and vetiver (some of my favourite notes ever) and has elicited more compliments than any other fragrance I’ve worn all year. When the PR for a rival luxury brand asked me what I was wearing because they thought it was “amazing” I knew the immaculately groomed Texan had yet again come up with something head and shoulders above his competitors. My favourite fragrance of 2012, not by a mile but a few thousand.

Tom Ford Noir, £60 for 50ml EDP from Harrods.

Coming tomorrow…the award for Best Grooming Range of 2012!

Noir – another great fragrance for men from Tom Ford

It’s a very mean and moody Tom Ford that graces the imagery for his latest signature fragrance for men, Tom Ford Noir. In fact, there’s almost something of the night about him, to borrow a famous phrase from former Tory MP Anne Widdecombe (I bet that’s the first time the two names have ever been linked and hopefully it will be the last).

The fact that the man himself describes Noir as his most personal fragrance yet is revealing, especially as he goes on to describe it as “enigmatic, complex and surprising” and a fragrance that “pulls you closer in an almost addicting way”.

Anyway, the first thing that hits you (and hard) is the powdery violet top note. I happen to be a huge fan of violet (it’s a key component of Geoffrey Beene’s Grey Flannel, my all-time favourite fragrance) but it might come as a shock to some men (there’s the ‘surprise’ element then).

Give it a few moments, though, and it develops into something altogether darker, warmer and sexier. If I were to rank it alongside the existing Tom Ford signature fragrances I’d put it ahead of Grey Vetiver but possibly a fraction behind Extreme but given the quality of both those fragrances that’s still considerable praise indeed. If I have once cirticism it’s that Noir doesn’t last quite as long as I’d like but, in the grand scheme of things that’s a minor quibble. Certainly, Ford has yet to come up with a duff fragrance, something few of his contemporaries can claim.

Top notes: Italian bergamot, verbena, caraway, baie rose, violet flower

Heart notes: black pepper, nutmeg, Tuscan Iris resisn, Egyptian Geranium, Bulgarian Rose, Clary Sage

Base notes: Opoponax, amber, Indonesian patchouli, vetiver, civet, vanilla

Tom Ford Noir will be available in October, priced £60 for 50ml EDP