Violet Blonde (Tom Ford)

Just a shot in the dark here, but if I had to guess, I'd say Tom Ford needs at least two hours to get ready before going out. His whole image says "Fuck your schedule, my hair needs desperate attention, like, yesterday." Indeed, there isn't a single hair out of place with this guy. He's all spit and polished, shoe-shined, shirt judiciously opened, visually superior to anyone within a hundred-mile radius of his given whereabouts. It's no surprise then that his fragrances are fashion statements of their own. Even less of a surprise that Violet Blonde, his latest feminine, is a fashion contradiction, a perfume paradox of opposing intuitions. It's both subtle and loud, chic and crass, beautiful and boring.

Tidiness is the issue here. The reputation of Black Orchid precedes Violet Blonde, to the latter's detriment. Where Black Orchid is renowned as being a challenging fruity-floral, Violet Blonde is considered to be accessibly haughty, the olfactory equivalent of a Poliform sofa. The fragrance opens with a brilliant array of citrus fruits and violet - sorry - make that sueded violet. The detached coolness of violet leaf is rendered against a sheer leather note that is so brisk and confrontational that it's wonderful. So far, so good.

Gradually the violet and violet leaf begin to fade, and a sparse vetiver accord takes their place. Just as it begins to show promise, the woodsy note is drowned out by a sweepingly "clean" Sambac jasmine. The white flower rides in like one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, its indoles sped into a grandiloquent white rush, utterly devoid of character. The sweetness of the jasmine reminds me of the violet, and in the end I'm left with a very sheer, clean, and strong musk. That musk is like an echo chamber for all the other notes in the scent. They're memorable enough, and enlivened ever so briefly in the drydown, but are essentially neutered of their effectiveness. Like pieces of a puzzle, the violet top notes, vetiver-joked jasimine heart, and musky-blah drydown are all perfectly fitted into a dreamy landscape - the kind you see in a Thomas Kinkade painting. It's very pretty, very bright, and very dull, to say the least. I can see a classy, pearl-wearing Silicon Valley trophy wife wearing this to cocktail parties, but I also see her leaving the party early, and alone. All the young entrepreneurs overlooked her, favoring the sultry, Black Orchid-wearing coal baron's wife instead.

Better luck next time, darling.

1 comment:

  1. I have special perception for the more silent, second-in-command roles very often. I've always been a George Harrison fan, an Iñigo Montoya fan, a Steve Buscemi fan, etcetc...Lol! and I wear the overlooked (although never second-in-command, that's a fact) LouLou ... Who knows? maybe I'll go with Violet Blonde, someday.

    (Honestly I don't give a damn about Tom Ford, but at first sight I can't stand his 'looking like a complete cretin überman-style'... pfffffff)


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