That man Ford is getting under my skin again as well as on to it. As well as releasing small droplets of information and a couple of pics of his ’60s influenced S/S’13 collection (he’s keeping it ultra highbrow and molto exclusive so we’ll have to eventually slink into his Harrods boutique for a glimpse on release), ‘the man who can’ has just released a divine new set of fragrances.
Jardin Noir is a new collection of Private Blend fragrances that reveals the forbidden sides of four of perfumery’s treasured blooms: narcissus, hyacinth, rose and lily. The theme for Jardin Noir is ‘a journey into a midnight garden—a shadowy realm where convention is abandoned, unexpected liaisons occur and iconic flowers drop their innocent facades to reveal the fierce elegance they normally keep hidden.’ And, in true TF style, they are blindingly beautiful. Each centred around one iconic flower, Ford pushes the boundaries and manages to make single note florals, deep and dark and as sexy as his trademark column dresses. This is sophistigoth floral hedonism at it’s best, doing it’s worst to seduce.
Two (of the four releases) caught my attention. The lush and deeply sensual (and bound to be the most popular) Cafe Rose which smells like deep, dark, black rose petals plunged into a tin of prized, sweet dark chocolate powder with the heady sense of over indulgence it promises. Three rose essences (Rose de Mai, Turkish rose oil and Bulgarian rose) merge and are enhanced to bitter sweetness with a pinch of teasing coffee essence. And then incense resin, sandalwood and patchoulli kicks in to massage the senses even further. As sexy as Tom Ford can muster, Cafe Rose will leave admirers kicking and trailing at your heels. We can hope.
Then there’s a difficult but ultimately, perfumista’s choice of the collection – Jonquille de Nuit (translated as ‘daffodills of the night’). This is a fresh bolt of sharp, sinister, old-style Englishness – like discovering The Secret Garden at midnight with a potential lover or kicking off shoes and trampling on fresh petals, the lure is too, too much.
The smell of cut stems is sensually overpowering and that’s what draws in the lover of Jonquille de Nuit. This gargantuan greenness, the smell of sexy, seeping sap tempered with sweetness is a purple haze of violet leaf glory. Wild Alpine cyclamen, acacia and angelica seeds (unusual, I know) are the idiosyncratic top notes that, cut with the bitter orange leaf and Egyptian violet, provide a contrast that’s hypnotic. This is a connoisseur’s fragrance. The sharpness stays but doesn’t strain to scream. Instead, the creamy, furry, powderiness of the scent is covered in a warm amber and orris base which anchors this beauty.
Contained in black Private Blend bottles with lavender labels (a whole new look), Jardin Noir unleashes the subversive beauty of flowers after dark. Check out these new releases alongside their counterparts, Lys Fume and Ombre de Hyacinth at Tom Ford Private Blend Counters at Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods.
Prices are £135 (50ml) and £300 (250ml) for each of the four new fragrances.