Eau de Honeymoon – Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Perfume Review

The Neroli Portofino Collection
The Neroli Portofino Collection

Well the wedding has happened and it’s a great big smack bang of a return to normality for my new husband (I just love saying that word) and I. We had a truly wonderful time, the best time in fact, and once we get all of the photos back I will be sharing with you some of the fragrant treats we had during the day, which as you would expect were plentiful, so stay tuned for that!

Now the wedding is over, it’s time to think about the honeymoon and it’s a venture that requires a huge amount of thought. Does one opt for an active city break (I’m thinking Florence or even San Francisco) or a more relaxing trip to a Greek Island (Crete looks fab)? The choices are plentiful and I have to admit that the idea of blue skies, Greek food, sumptuous views and a private pool are most definitely calling my name.

One perfume that seems incredibly befitting of such a honeymoon getaway is Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino. Launched as part of the original crop of Private Blends in 2007, this ode to azure seas and skies has proved so popular that it has been repackaged, redistributed to a wider audience and evolved into an expansive range of bath and body products. Smelling the fragrance it is easy to understand it’s popularity, after all what is there not to like about a crisp, modern and intense take on the traditional ‘Eau de Cologne’?

[Slightly NSFW image after the jump…]

Neroli Portofino
Splish, Splash

The Notes

Tunisian Neroli, Italian Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Winter Yellow Mandarin, Lavender, Orange Flower, Rosemary and Amber

How Does it Smell?

First things first, let’s talk about the elephant in the room; at £140 for 50ml, Neroli Portofino is definitely pricey for an ‘Eau de Cologne’ (despite its Eau de Parfum concentration), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it is an exceptionally well done interpretation on the cologne theme and certainly counts as one of the most enjoyable takes on neroli that I have ever personally smelled. The fact that it now comes in an incredibly cute 30ml size goes some way to making it more affordable however, whether you’re likely to splash out (no pun intended) on such a perfume is entirely down to how you feel about colognes.

From the first spritz, spray or splash, Neroli Portofino unleashes a bright, white sheet of shimmering citrus and blinding neroli that is both full bodied and clean. It brings to mind the image of rows of villas painted a blazing shade of white against a sparkling, turquoise sea. I’m not sure exactly what geographical location this fragrant image depicts but I do know that it is exotic and I desperately want to go there. It’s the kind of place where one can just soak up the sunshine, the local culture and the food simply through osmosis – no real activity is required and in fact, is actively discouraged.

Neroli really is the (rather unsurprising) star in Neroli Portofino. It positively buzzes with the kinetic energy of orange blossom and translucent honey, making for a zippy and entirely joyful summer accord. Interestingly though, this lively feeling is nicely contrasted by a more relaxed and in fact, incredibly languid base of musk that not only gives the whole perfume lift and buoyancy, but also softens it so that the sleepy feel of treading slowly on hot sands isn’t just a distant dream.

Kudos to Tom Ford for successfully reinventing the traditional Eau de Cologne and for turning it into something thoroughly modern, more present and marginally longer lasting. Neroli Portofino is clean, dazzling and wonderfully light. It’s one of those perfumes that perfectly captures the idea of shower-fresh skin and would be perfect for those days when it’s too hot to wear anything heavy or oppressive. In fact, it’s darn good for any day where one wishes to simply smell good and clean.


Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino is part of the Private Blend collection and is available in 30ml (£90), 50ml (£140), 100ml (£210), and 250ml (£320) Eau de Parfum. A wealth of body products, including; Bath Soap (155g; £26), Body Oil (250ml; £47), Body Moisturiser (150ml; £42), Shower Gel (250ml; £42), Body Spray (150ml; £42) and Deodorant Stick (75ml; £34), are also available.

Sample via Tom Ford. Notes via Selfridges.com. Image 1 via thedapperboys.com. Image 2 via eloisedreyer.com.