Tom Ford Black Orchid: Opulent dirtiness

Last Updated on January 30, 2013


Photo by Nepheliad on Flickr.

I first sniffed Black Orchid by Tom Ford in August in Salzburg after months of darting past Tom Ford fragrances in several cities without realizing they were right there for me to try on and indulge. It was not a love at first sniff - I find it increasingly difficult to sync with perfumes, nothing seems quite right, and there was also the disappointment of White Patchouli. Based on reviews I thought I'd love White Patchouli, but on my skin it turned into an artificial, unpleasant chemical concoction. I didn't buy Tom Ford perfumes in Salzburg nor in Manhattan, where I visited the Tom Ford flagship store last week.

It was the visit to the flagship store, however, that made me realize something important about Black Orchid: it fits the brand Tom Ford to a t. It's opulent, rich and dark. What makes it different from other heavy orientals is a certain dirtiness you can smell below the top notes. I think this dirtiness is the essence of Tom Ford, a continuous theme in his work onwards from the mid-1990s. It's the x-factor that made him the Tom Ford.

I never imagined it was possible to capture something so abstract in a fragrance. Not even Grenouille with his unwordly talent to blend scents after a single whiff could have replicated Black Orchid.

4 thoughts on “Tom Ford Black Orchid: Opulent dirtiness”

  1. I remember when this perfume started campaigning, I was a sophomore in high school and found a sample of it in Vogue. It was quite a religious experience, if I may say so. At first I immediately associated it with YSL's Opium, whose popularity faded through years, because sweet and light perfumes became more and more popular and flooded the market. In last ten years it was hard to find an alternative to all Escadas, D&Gs, sweet Diors and Givenchys... That most of the women were and are still wearing. But what does a very light/sweet perfume do for one? Does it boost my confidence, does it make me feel stronger? No, it doesn't, it for sure is pleasant, but I just blend in with others and smell like a Ladurée patisserie. It lifts you up, but that's all. I must agree, Black Orchid is dark and mysterious and has the vibe of a rich and strong perfume like Opium, but at the same time it's fruit notes flirt with today's trends and expectations when it comes to a perfume. It is not for every day use, nor for every woman, and one can make quite a statement wearing it, because of it's unusualness and energy that this perfume creates. One day, I'll buy it and rock my socks off wearing it, but for now I'm too much of a wallflower and not feeling ready for such perfume.

    • I so know what you mean about not feeling ready for such a perfume, this used to be my favorite excuse for skipping things I liked. To some extent it's true though - I do not fit everything, at least not at all times.

      When I tried on Black Orchid, the drydown was exactly the same as Dior Addict, this probably being the major reason I didn't buy it in the end (too similar). Dior Addict is my favorite perfume, but I only wear it at night because it's strong. I don't think I would ever (want to) wear Black Orchid in daytime, either. Talk about an overkill. I am much against putting on such strong perfume, or so much of it, that everyone within a one kilometer radius can smell it. I think perfume is a very intimate matter and should only be noticable to those standing very near you.

      P.S. Did you find the sample in one of those issues of Vogue you stole from the library? Just curious. ;)

      P.P.S. Your story with Black Orchid is almost identical to mine with Dior Addict ... There were samples of it in practically every foreign magazine, and I was buying many foreign magazines then. I think I like it so much also because of the connection with those times.

  2. Karkoli bo Tomi osmislio bom Za, ker je On in je Over The Top (dobro, malce maneverskega prostra si dopuščam in sedaj me ni razočarala).
    S tem se ne bom odišavila nikoli. Moja koža ne prenese.
    Je pa Mr. OvrTheTop...poslušala intevju in se raztopila...porkiš karizm puhti skozi vse stisnjene pore.

    • "Tomi" :D <3
      V intervjujih se mi zdi najbolj karizmatična oseba na planetu, v živo ga še nisem videla, ampak težko si je predstavljati, da bi bilo lahko kako drugače.

      O kolekcijah za ženske bom še morala razmisliti, ker sem oblačila prvič videla šele v New Yorku. Definitivno pa je pomp prevelik - niso bum in niso revolucija. Niso kot Black Orchid.


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