If I were in Tom Ford's place, I'd smack his marketing/PR team. And also fire them. You'd think they'd learn a lesson or two from the way his Private Blend was launched. It took more than a year for the line to get the serious attention (and often love) of the perfume community and for serious buzz to start generating among those who test, wear and buy more than one bottle a year. When the White Musk collection was released there was already serious interest, but it wasn't leveraged in a meaningful way. It took ages before samples were available, forcing Tom Ford fans and other sniffers to test all four perfumes at the counters. We sprayed and almost immediately lost track of what wrist and inner elbow had each fragrance, mixing up the names and missing the delicate nuances of the scents in the general chaos and department store air. Most reports and impressions from the first weeks were: "meh". People moved on and lost interest.
By the time samples became available the White Musk collection was no longer the newest, shiniest thing on the counters and the momentum was lost. It's a shame, really, because as I've been slowly discovering, this collection is worth our attention.
Musk Pure is a variation on a familiar theme. Uncle Serge had already created a powdery soft iris-musk blend in his Clair de Musc. Tom Ford's idea is very similar, which might be why I'm still wavering on a full bottle- do I need a butchier Clair de Musc? Musk Pure has a creamier heart and it feels a little less powdery, especially at the start of the scent's development. It dries down quite sweet on my skin and more feminine than the peppery opening suggests, so I doubt those who object to CdM on grounds of over-fluffiness would fall for this one. However, it has a more sensual feel that suggests "sexy" more than "pretty", so lovers of musks are urged to give this Tom Ford another try.
Musk Pure from Tom Ford's Private Blend ($190, 1.7 EDP) is available from select department stores as well as at Tom Ford boutiques around the world. My samples came with various purchases at Bergdorf and Saks in NYC.
Photo by F.C.Gundlach, 1962