Love at First Sniff – Tom Ford Violet Blonde Perfume Review

Violet Blonde

I like Tom Ford, I find the overall aesthetic of his brand appealing, I thought A Single Man was a triumph for a first time director and he may just be the most ridiculously good looking man on the planet (a fact that makes me hate him just a little). My thoughts on Tom Ford’s perfumes however, aren’t as glowing, in fact they are quite mixed;

Private Blends: I’ve always thought that the Private Blends are OK, I even quite like one or two (Oud Wood especially) but they are ridiculously overpriced for what they are, thus causing my general opinion of them to simply be ‘meh’.

Black Orchid: Gorgeous, dark oriental that is great for half an hour but then it proceeds to get on my tits, it’s one of those scents that, whilst smelling fantastic, takes a lot of effort to wear. I have to be in the right mood for Black Orchid.

White Patchouli: I wanted to love White Patchouli, you don’t know how much I wanted to, the bottle would look so good in my collection and the ad campaign with Erykah Badu was STUN-NING, BUT I point blank refuse to wear anything that smells like French Onion Soup. That said, I haven’t given up on it just yet.

Tom Ford For Men: My boyfriend/fiancée/long suffering wife’s signature scent. What more can I say?

Grey Vetiver: A really nice barbershop vetiver BUT why bother with that when you could have Guerlain Vetiver? One vetiver is enough for me.

Black Orchid Voile de Fleur: Surprisingly, this short-lived flanker to Black Orchid is the best of the bunch, creamy, dirty and slightly spicy flowers, right up my street!

Violet Blonde is the latest fragrance to join Black Orchid and White Patchouli as part of Tom Ford’s ‘Signature Collection’. I guess you’re now thinking, ‘I know what you think of the others, but what about Violet Blonde? Well, to put it simply; Violet Blonde was love at first sniff.

“Tom Ford presents a stunning new scent for a new era of feminine glamour. Tom Ford Violet Blonde is an opulent and dressed-up fragrance that reveals a stunning new facet of violet: ravishing, intriguing elegance. Made with some of the most precious ingredients in the world, it is crafted accordingly to the finest traditions of European perfumery.” [2]

The Notes

Top: Violet Leaf, Mandarin and Pink Pepper
Heart: Iris, Orris Butter, Sambac Jasmine and Sampaquita
Base: Musk, Cedar, Vetiver, Suede and Benzoin [1]

How Does it Smell?

First things first, Violet Blonde is a great name for a fragrance and despite the fact that I keep calling it ‘Violent Blonde’, the name suits this fragrance perfectly.

Violet Blonde unfurls with strong spicy violets. Violet can be a bit of a tricky note, and I have to admit that it’s not my favourite, mainly because lots of violet fragrances have the tendency to smell like ‘Grandma’, and not the cool kind of Grandma (like mine) who wears Shalimar, the dowdy kind that smells of Parma Violets. Where Violet Blonde is different is that along with the violets, which smell suitably dusty and earthy, there is a big dose of pepper (yes, the dreaded pink pepper that is EVERYWHERE at the moment), which gives the violet note a nice spicy lift. There are also a lot of aldehydes up top which add sparkle, which is good because I do love a bit of sparkle, as well as diffusing the sweetness of the violet.

The violets are very prominent during the top notes but as Violet Blonde develops they do take more of a back seat. Iris comes through in the heart, it’s buttery yet powdery and works nicely with the dusty nature of the violets. There are a few touches of other florals, used predominately to lighten, I can definitely smell some lily and jasmine but I have to admit that I get none of the sampaquita mentioned in the notes list.

There is a subtle amount of ‘skank’ running through Violet Blonde that instantly reminds me of Alexander McQueen’s triumphant, yet sorely underrated first fragrance – Kingdom. The cumin/sandalwood combination of Kingdom is mimicked in Violet Blonde, but it’s use is much more subdued and it allows for the floral notes to shine, it doesn’t feel anywhere near as oppressive or dense. Violet Blonde is gold and sparkly after all.

The base is soft and smooth, there is a definite musky quality coalesced with the rootyness of vetiver. There is also a warm, woody aspect that could be sandalwood but feels more like cashmeran, and the effect is very similar to the fuzzy, woody tone of Mugler’s Alien. Luckily for me, the florals do manage to tough it out all the way to the base, and it’s reassuring to get whiffs of those earthy violets every now and then.

Violet Blonde certainly is showy and it is most definitely glamorous. It has good longevity and whilst it’s perhaps not the loudest fragrance on Earth, or of the Tom Ford’s for that matter, it does have presence. I find it to be the most ‘controlled’ of the Tom Ford Signature line, it doesn’t feel the need to put everything out there for all to see, Violet Blonde would rather lure you in and tell you her secrets, she doesn’t need to shout.

The BottleViolet Blonde Flacon

The Tom Ford bottles are the epitome of simple, classic beauty. I admire the coherence of the Signature Collection and for Violet Blonde, Ford has dressed the fragrance in his signature bottle, yet this time the bottle is clear and shows the champagne colour of the juice. The gold cap and plaque add a nice finishing touch. I do miss the standard Tom Ford ribbon that adorns the necks of both Black Orchid and White Patchouli, but perhaps Mr Ford wanted to go for something more toned down.

Availability

Violet Blonde is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum and prices are £45, £60 and £85 respectively.

Disclaimer

This review is based on a bottle of Violet Blonde from my own personal collection.

[1] fragrantica.com

[2] tomford.com

Image 1 via Tom Ford

Image 2 sassisamblog.com

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