Tom Ford had famously said that Italian Cypress, one of his Private Blend perfumes, was conceived as an homage to 'a seventies gentleman … that you never see any more,’. You don't smell many scents like that, either.
Italian Cypress is a very polished fragrance. It has a sense of purpose from the very beginning and it's clear it was composed in order to impress and seduce. It's cool- both in attitude and in the air it gives. The top notes are green and herbal with a hint of spice. When I wear it I smell a hint of sweet cinnamon, but I suspect it's a skin chemistry thing- on my husband, the rightful owner of the bottle- it's all green, all the time.
I love a good cypress note. Eau d'Hadrien in its original, pre-IFRA days used to have a beautiful cypress emerging from under the crisp and tart citrus, smelling like an afternoon nap in a cypress grove somewhere warm and beautiful. Goutal's Hadrien is (was. Nowadays it's just a poor excuse of a scent) a lot more casual, though. Tom Ford's interpretation of the note and the Mediterranean garden is more elaborate and refined. It's sweeter, spicier and dries down into an incensy, mossy wood that speaks of Italian landscapes just as much as of sophisticated dining rooms where witty conversations, laughter and beautiful people are in abundance.
I bought the bottle for the Blond, who fell in love with it the first time he tested Italian Cypress at Bergdorf, but I wear it happily myself. I know that some women might find it too masculine, especially if they never enjoyed wearing sneaking spritzes from old bottles of the original Ralph Lauren Polo (in the green bottle. My dad went through countless of them. I helped). All that green stuff works well to cut the heat on a summer day, but I like it year-round. The drydown is especially stunning and almost chypre-like, the way very few scents, masculine or feminine, dare to be nowadays.
Italian Cypress as well as the other Tom Ford Private Blend perfumes ($180, 1.7 oz EDP) are available from Tom Ford boutiques around the world, select Saks and Nordstrom locations and, of course, Neiman and Bergdorf.
Photo of Alain Delon (I just made my mom really happy): stirredstraightup.blogspot.com
Photo of Italian landscape just outside Viterbo is mine. Taken with my first digital camera in 2003. I miss Italy.