Sunday, December 06, 2009

Tom Ford Private Blend- Black Violet

Black Violet from Tom Ford Private Blend is an odd one. Maybe because it's not what one usually expects from a violet scent, or perhaps it's because Black Violet doesn't smell particularly "black", though it's not a bright scent by any means. Also, it's a bit more understated and restrained than the other Private Blend perfumes that tend to make more of a statement.

Black Violet has an almost familiar wood-citrus-something green opening, that calls to mind too many men colognes. I almost dismissed it the first time I tested the fragrance, because it was just not interesting enough. But the richer and thicker notes arrive quickly, though strangely enough- I smell them more on my wrist than when applied to my neck or cleavage. Go figure. The violet is not what I expected (it's neither candied, rosy nor Guerlain-like) and is quite muted and leafy. There's nothing frou-frou or girly about this interpretation. Then comes a fruit-patchouli accord, something that can be (and we've certainly seen enough examples, like Calvin Klein's Euphoria) heavy-handed and vulgar, but not here. This fru-chouli is a bit jammy but not cloying and works to add body and texture to an otherwise sheer scent.

Black Violet's drydown is surprisingly quiet. It's resinous, mossy (some call it a chypre, but I wouldn't go that far. This Tom Ford creation smells too modern for that. If you want a chypre go for Moss Breches) and smooth. It loses the perfuminess and morphs into an abstract "smells good" veil that hangs at skin level. I can barely smell it after three hours, but I've discovered that my clothes and sheets retain quite a bit of the drydown and smell wonderful, in a modest, unassuming way.

Tom Ford Private Blend perfumes ($180, 1.7 oz) are available from top department stores as well as from Tom Ford boutiques around the world. I bought the limited edition set of the original 12 scents (Black Violet was one) at Bergdorf. Samples can be purchased from the Perfumed Court.

Art: Black And Violet by Kandinski.

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