Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Men According to Ford

It's hard (impossible?) to review the new fragrance, Tom Ford For Men, and ignore the controversial sexually explicit campaign that launched it. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, just search for Tom Ford's fragrance web site and click the link to the gallery. Don't do it at work, though, unless your employer favors porn.

It makes me think of Barney Stinson, the character Neil Patrick Harris plays on "How I Met Your Mother". The guy is a porn-obsessed womanizing sleaze ball, but eventually you just can't forget that all the sex talk is coming from Doogie Howser.

Sitcoms and sexual hype aside, I like this perfume, both on myself and on my husband. My nose doesn't detect anything dirty about it. On the contrary: It's crisp, elegant and feels well made and well tailored. There's nothing skanky or tacky in this bottle, and the sillage is moderate and wouldn't offend anyone. It's suitable for a first date as well as for the board room.

The citrusy opening is sharper on my husband and softer on my skin. Actually, I need to spray quite a bit to even get the lemon leaf. I smell more soft green: basil and violet leaf. The development into citrus flowers is seamless and soft. There's no alpha male roaring in this bottle. Out of the base notes, the most prominent for me is the vetiver. It's more transparent than the rich Vetiver Oriental (Serge Lutens), but richer than the very clean Le Labo Vetiver. The drydown has a faint sweet ambery accord, further warmed by several woods. I can't find the promised animalic touch promised by the use of Cypriol, an Indian root (which despite the marketing blurb about never being used before in perfumery, is actually nothing new). Roots, woods and amber aside, this is an EdT and not a powerhouse perfume. It would not fill a subway car.

I'm happy to wear this scent, but would have been even happier if it lasted longer and had more strength. The limited edition Extreme which is due to be out next month is an EdP and should provide the missing depth. I'm very curious to see how it goes (and the images that would accompany that one).

The real target audience of Tom Ford For Men is actually the man, so here is what the bottle's just owner has to say:

You can't write a review concerning the new Tom Ford for men perfume without addressing the provocative ads first. My 2 cents as a man: They grab your attention, pun intended. But if your inner stud is expecting to find a sexy, primal hot and heavy scent, you're in for a surprise. Everything about this perfume, from the elegant bottle to the top and base notes is classy, polished and sophisticated. It is a great scent for work that I would wear after hours as well. Come to think of it, it actually delivers the sexiest scent of all, the pheromone of a polished and successful man.

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