London calling…

Tom-Ford-London-GQ_25Jul13_pr_b_1There’s a real flurry of activity in the Tom Ford Beauty camp this autumn, with so many great things launching in such a short space of time that devotees like myself don’t really know what to mention (or wear) first. As well as the immaculately turned-out Texan’s first dedicated male grooming range and Private Blend Oud Collection (I nearly wet myself when I saw that for the first time) there’s London, a brand new fragrance specifically created to celebrate the launch of the new Tom Ford store in Knightsbridge.

The press release for London is littered with words like “carnality”, aphrodisiac”, “animal” and “feral” and for once with a press release they’re worlds that perfectly capture the spirit of the fragrance they’re describing. Though it has a lovely floral heart, with geranium and jasmine, and a base rich with oud, cedarwood and birch tar oil (one of my favourite notes), it’s the musk that grabs you. It’s this hyper-sexual note – one I tend to associate with Roja Dove’s men’s fragrances – that turns London into one of the most sensual fragrances in the entire Private Blend collection.

I remember talking to a perfumer from across the pond who’d had lovers all over the world and she told me the men from London, despite their coyness and reserve, were by far the kinkiest she’d encountered. This unisex fragrance may well just reinforce that observation.

Tom Ford Private Blend London will be available from the Tom Ford Boutique from September priced £140 for 50ml eau de parfum.

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

Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is about to create an even bigger splash.

Regular followers of this blog will know that I’m a. a big fan of Tom Ford fragrances (esp his Private Blend Oud Wood which is one of my favourite scents of all time) and b. an equally big fan of his gobsmacking gorgeous Neroli Portofino collection.

With its sparkling blend of citrus, floral and amber notes Neroil Portofino has always been the perfect fragrance for summer and from May you’ll be able to live out the infamous ‘splashing’ adverts for real with the introduction of the Neroli Portofino Eau Fraiche Body Splash.

Perfect if you like layering your fragrances, it comes in a generous 236ml sized bottle and is designed to be splashed all over (within reason). For me, it’s this summer’s must-have product.

Available from May priced £85 for 236ml body splash. For stockists call 0870 034 2566

 

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Tom Ford’s Lavender Palm – hitting the right note?

I love lavender. I grow my own (English of course) and at the end of the summer harvest it and hang bunches of it on the back of my doors or make lavender bags for my wardrobe (brilliant for deterring clothes moths).

Strangely, however, I’ve yet to find a lavender fragrance I can actually wear. This one, though stunning, is no different. It features two types of lavender to give it a real floral ‘hit’  and throws in a little lime blossom, vetiver, cedar and green moss for good measure but is spoilt, for me, by the addition of tonka bean which gives it a cloying sweetness that gives the lavender a slight sickliness.

Mr Ford himself, I believe, is a big fan of Caron’s Pour un Homme De Caron, a fragrance that launched back in 1934 and one characterised by its punchy lavender note. Again, it’s a fragrance I just can’t wear but this time because I find it sharp and abrasive.

It’s possible, of course, that as much as I love the smell of lavender, I’m simply not destined to wear it. But if you do know of a fragrance I might like let me know! In the meantime, my search for lavender lushness continues….

Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection Lavender Palm is available now, priced £125 for 50 ml eau de parfum.

The Grooming Guru’s Top 5 Autumnal Fragrances

I was going to compile my Top 5 fragrances for Autumn for a blogpost on here but since Men’s Health pipped me to the post and asked me to compile a list for them I thought I may as well simply share the link with you. So to discover why I think Dsqared’s Potion is magical and Roja Dove’s Danger Pour Homme is positively pornographic simply click here!

DSquared’s new fragrance for men is magic

Before you start complaining I did warn you a while back that there would be a raft of fragrance reviews on here in the run up to Christmas. But think of it as a service – I’m simply weeding out the goodies from the stinkers for you so that Father Christmas doesn’t fill your stocking with fragrant faux pas.

Up for review today is Dqsuared Potion, which after a stint of excusivity at Harvey Nichols is now available nationwide (you can buy it online from escentual.com). Now, I must say, along with Roja Dove’s Scandal Pour Homme and Mark Birley’s Charles Street, this is one of my favoutire fragrances this year. And by now you will have sussed that I can be a bit difficult to please.

Part of the reason I love Potion, I suspect, is that it reminds a lot (and I mean a lot) of one of my all-time favourite fragrances, Tom Ford’s exquisite Oud Wood. Bizarrely, it appears they don’t share any significant notes except for amber but trust me they are similar – both being woodsy, earthy and aromatic.

The difference, of course, is in the price. A 50ml eau de parfum spray of Potion is just £43.50 compared to £120 for Mr Ford’s fragrance.  As much as anything, it’s delightfully autumnal scent so if you fancy treating yourself before the man with the white beard arrives, give it a go!

Oh, and how nice to see a rogue boob appear in a men’s fragrance ad. It’s been too long.

Tom Ford undoes all my good work

You know, it’s annoying. For years I have been telling men not to be tempted to eau de toilette their tonkers or perfume their privates because it’s such an obvious sign they’re trying to cover something up. It was a battle I hoped I was winning. And then what happens? Tom Ford comes along with an ad for his Neroli Portofino fragrance collection and undoes all my good work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice ad and all but it sends out such a terrible message regarding intimate hygiene. Men, please don’t try this at home ok? It’s not funny, it’s not clever and it stings like hell.

Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino collection: magical stuff

Followers of this blog will know that The Grooming Guru has a real weakness for luxury bath soap. For me, unwrapping a bar of luxury soap is akin to unleashing a little bit of magic and a really good bar is a sensual, elemental and transformative thing – able to alter your mood as well as cleanse your body.

And if, like me, you share this love of luxury soaps you’re in for a real treat with the new bar that features in the line up of  Tom Ford’s new Neroli Portofino collection.

Based around Tom Ford’s Private Blend Neroli Portofino fragrance – with its unisex blend of Mediterranean citrus notes and bright, summery floral ones – the collection features features a whole range of bathtime goodies, including a bath oil, body moisturiser and shower gel.

When I unwrapped the soap it literally filled the room with its fragrance – a bit like a scent bomb. What’s more, it’s infused with olive fruit oil and date seed extract to provide a creamy, skin-nourishing bathtime experience. In three words IT. IS. AMAZING. And if you you have to go without food to afford a bar do I strongly suggest you so.

The Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Collection is available from Selfridges right now. The soap is £25 for a chunky 155g bar.