Mr. Butterworth, my rather lovely partner-in-crime and Mr. Ford, the dashing designer behind Tom Ford go hand-in-hand. Well, not literally of course. I know that you know that I’d never allow that kind of shenanigans! What I mean is that, whilst not being a fumenerd like you are I, Mr. Butterworth does have a certain penchant for fragrances bearing Mr. Ford’s name.
If you were to take a peek into mine and Mr. Butterworth’s bathroom you would find a big collection of perfumes and although we share a lot of scents there is most definitely a ‘his ‘n’ hers’ thing going on. So if you look hard enough you will see a small contingent of masculine fragrances that belong solely to the Butterworth (although I do occasionally raid his stash), and three of his favourites are by Tom Ford.
Tom Ford currently has four masculine fragrances and about a million unisex private blends to choose from. Mr. Butterworth, with his ever-discerning taste, has found love for Tom Ford for Men, Oud Wood and Grey Vetiver, you could say that he’s a little bit obsessed. Should I be worried? Let’s just say that I will be keeping a close eye on him next time we’re near the Tom Ford counter
Top: Lemon Leafs, Violet, Ginger, Bergamot, Basil and Mandarin Orange
Heart: Orange Blossom, Black Pepper, Tobacco, Grapefruit and Blossom
Base: Amber, Cedar, Patchouli, Vetiver, Moss, Leather and Cypriol
How Does it Smell?
I cannot approach Tom Ford for Men and review it objectively, it simply isn’t possible. My bias towards it is something that is completely natural and of course entirely unintentional. You see, the reason why I can only look at it positively is because it is the smell that I most associate with Mr. Butterworth. Tom Ford for Men is his smell.
Tom Ford for Men opens with a big cacophony of citrus notes, to my nose the lime shouts loudest over the din and it smells mouthwateringly sweet, sour and juicy all at once. Golden ginger, spices and herbs underpin the sweetness of the fruit, making Tom Ford for Men appear appear to shimmer in a thousand hues like the metallic paint job of an expensive car seen from different angles.
With time the effervescent of the citrus subdues and Tom Ford for Men warms up considerably. It becomes quite leathery with touches of sweet amber and orange blossom. Despite the long list of notes I don’t find it to be overly complicated, it is relatively refined and says what it has to say in a straightforward and simple manner.
All in all Tom Ford for Men is a rather handsome, stylish masculine for the kind of man that would wear one of Mr. Ford’s suits. It isn’t groundbreaking, nor is it particularly new in terms of style, it’s just very well done and it really does smell good on a rather handsome man.
To me Tom Ford for Men is the smell of happiness, of true love, comfort and friendship. It is the smell of my favourite person. So yeah, I’m kinda biased…
Tom Ford for Men is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Toilette with prices ranging from £45-£60.
Top: Pepper, Cardamom and Rosewood
Heart: Agarwood, Sandalwood and Vetiver
Base: Tonka Bean, Vanilla and Amber
How Does it Smell?
Mr. Butterworth and I had been lusting after a bottle of Oud Wood ever since we discovered it during a visit to the Tom Ford counter way back in 2008. Don’t ask me why it has taken four years for us to bite the bullet and buy a bottle, I honestly don’t know, but our bottle has quickly become a staple for the both of us.
Mr. Ford is reputed to have been the man who first brought oud into mainstream western perfumery by using it (well, a synthetic oud substitute anyway) in YSL’s ground breaking M7 way back in 2002. Oud Wood is very much a variation on M7s theme – an oud for western tastes, and whilst it may not be a mind-blowing skank-bomb it is a rather beautiful take on perfumery’s most sought after ingredient.
Oud Wood is very peppery up top. There is a dusting of saffron over a dry red rose. It would have an arid, desolate feel if it weren’t for the oud, which presents itself right from the beginning as a big, slightly-sour and intensely rubbery note of wood smoke. It’s an incredibly different take on oud, bearing in mind that most oud-centric scents opt to smell skanky or medicinal, and although it’s a novel effect I wouldn’t ever call it unsettling. This is an oud for the western world remember!
As Oud Wood dries down it becomes creamier with lots of vanilla, sandalwood and amber. It can be a bit of a shapeshifter after a couple of hours, alternating from being silky/delicious to powdery/spicy with the rubber smoke of the oud being ever present as an undercurrent of middle eastern promise.
If you like oud (or even if you don’t for that matter) then do try Oud Wood, I think you might find yourself pleasantly surprised. I included it in The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Oud as “The Stylish Oud” because it epitomises the stylish Tom Ford aesthetic; dashingly handsome, impeccably preened and unashamedly masculine.
Oud Wood is part of Tom Ford’s Private Collection which is limited to only a number of department stores, it is available in 50ml, 100ml and 250ml Eau de Parfum with prices ranging from £135-£300.
Top: Grapefruit, Orange Flower and Sage
Heart: Nutmeg, Pimento and Orris
Base: Oakmoss, Amber and Woods
How Does it Smell?
Grey Vetiver is Mr. Butterworth’s latest Tom Ford jam, having received it for his birthday just under a month ago. Mr. Butterworth, as you probably would have guessed, is rather traditional in his fragrance tastes. I don’t mean that as a criticism, far from it actually, what I mean is that he likes the classic style of masculines so it will be no surprise to you that he quite likes vetiver.
There are approximately a billion and one vetiver fragrances on this planet and very few of them are worth approaching. Guerlain’s Vetiver is very much the standard bearer of the genre with Frederic Malle’s Vetiver Extraordinaire being often seen as the new kid on the block, and the polar opposite to Guerlain’s classic. Grey Vetiver sits somewhere in between the two, right smack bang in the middle of the classic and the modern.
Grey Vetiver is a wonderfully retro vetiver, it opens with a big blast of hissy, sulphuric grapefruit and herbs. Right from the outset it has a strong barbershop vibe thanks to strong vanilla and coumarin nuances. I’d also swear that there’s a touch of lavender lurking in there somewhere…
With time Grey Vetiver becomes less barbershop and more department store. It slides into a comfortable base of moss (relatively clean moss that is), powder and woods. I think it would be fair to say that it doesn’t quite deliver in the dry down and I would have preferred it to be a bit bolder and dirtier in its final stages, but that’s a minor niggle with what can only be considered a very solid offering.
If you already own Guerlain’s vetiver then you might be hard pressed to justify buying Grey Vetiver (unless you are fume head of course, we can justify any purchase with our own crazy brand of logic), they are different fragrances yes, but not so vastly different that you would need both in the same collection. That said, Grey Vetiver is a very good fragrance, and much better than a lot of masculine vetivers out there, I would highly recommend it.
Grey Vetiver is available in 50ml and 100ml Eau de Parfum with prices ranging from £60-£75. A matching aftershave balm (£30) is also available.
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Image 1 my own merged with one of Mr. Ford. Image 2 pic2fly.com. Image 3 iperfume-t.com. Image 4 okazje.info.pl. Notes via osmoz.com