Tom Ford Private Blend London: Impressions

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The Tom Ford London flagship store on Sloane St.

I’ve had the opportunity to try a few new scents lately and Tom Ford Private Blend London was at the top of my lust list based on the notes. And, okay, lets face it, the exclusivity. Can’t get it anywhere but the new flagship store on Sloane St.? Sign me up!

imagesThe scuttlebutt on the fragrance was that it was Tom Ford’s first coffee scent. The note list also promised cardamom, saffron, incense, jasmine, oud and woods. While all the notes are up my alley, they pretty much had me at coffee. I simply had to know what a Tom Ford Private Blend based on the note of coffee would smell like.

So without further adieu, here’s what it smells like: not coffee.

All the other notes seem to be present and accounted for but coffee, sadly isn’t one of them.┬áIt starts very peppery, spicy and complex. The oud and cedar are in the fore from the start. When sprayed lightly, it’s a peppery, spicy (cardamom, cumin) incense and wood scent. Sprayed heavily, it’s very dense like many TF Private Blends can be – dark oud cloaked in spices and smokey incense, and with a sweet almost candied floral heart. It’s unisex, but leans masculine with its dense, woody, smokey darkness. The sweetness at the core allows women in the club, but only the strong, self-assured ones who don’t mind playing with the boys.

Am I disappointed Tom Ford London doesn’t have a prominent coffee note? You bet! But it’s a complex, interesting, sophisticated scent nonetheless that I’m glad to have a decant of. It also has massive longevity and sillage that rivals other powerful Tom Fords like Tobacco Vanille and Amber Absolute.

Will I buy a full bottle? Don’t think so. While it’s a very good scent, the blend seems a bit ‘jagged’ and lacks a certain refinement to my nose. But if you’re in the Sloane Street neighbourhood, it would absolutely be worth having a sniff and checking out the new store (opened at the end of July 2013) while you’re at it. Tom Ford London will be available internationally at the end of January 2014.

Inside Tom Ford's London store.

Inside Tom Ford’s London store.

Ava Luxe Cafe Noir

Dear Scent Diary,

Oh. My. God. Can’t get my nose off my wrist. This is dark and deep and delicious and aromatic and genuine and well, just plain gorgeous. This is the type of fragrance that tickles the bottoms of my lungs I’m compelled to inhale so deeply. imagesIt’s true I’m a sucker for coffee scents but this one is more than just java. It’s strong black coffee on steroids with a hint of cardamom and lavender giving things an aromatic edge, while sandalwood and vanilla almost imperceptibly round it out. No kidding around though, it’s all about the coffee. I bet there are some who’ll complain that they smell like they spilled a pot of coffee on their shirt or that someone stuffed their pockets full of beans when they weren’t looking. Yuk, yuk, yuk. I guess I’ll just be over here rolling my eyes at them with both nostrils glued to my wrist. Most would probably call this masculine, but as you can probably tell, I call it unisex.