Tom Ford is a man that knows a thing or two about glamour. I refer you to this image of Gwyneth Paltrow dressed in TF at the Oscars, should you require any evidence. Mr. Ford creates exceptionally tailored suits for some of the world’s most attractive gents in addition to beautiful womenswear pieces that often channel old Hollywood glamour. He pushes the boundaries too and it’s safe to say that Ford is not averse to ‘sexing things up’ more than a little bit, as many of his advertisements will prove!
It’s safe to say that Tom Ford also knows quite a bit about fragrance too, and since he launched his first fragrance way back in 2006, he has created a veritable empire of scent that dominates department stores across the globe. Of course, when fragrance and glamour meet, the results can be very interesting indeed, and within his brand, Ford has many a fabulous fragrance, ranging from the casual chic of Violet Blonde, to the mysterious opulence of Fleur de Chine, with all of the glamour in the world in between.
I speak of the subject of glamour because Ford’s latest feminine fragrance, ‘Noir Pour Femme’, strikes me as a scent that practically pulsates with fierce feminine beauty. Created as the feminine counterpart to Noir, Tom Ford’s popular masculine from 2012, this interpretation for women has been designed to be as “suggestive as a slashed jet-black dress revealing the curve of woman’s shoulder, or the kissable dip of her back”. As you can probably imagine with a description like that, Noir Pour Femme is all sexed up glamour and no shame.
Top: Bitter Orange, Mandarin Oil and Ginger Extract
Heart: Rose Absolute, Jasmine, Orange Flower, Kulfi Accord and Lentisque Resinoid
Base: Vanilla, Amber and Sandalwood
How Does it Smell?
Noir Pour Femme feels decidedly gourmand right from the outset. In the top notes things are particularly opaque and muddied, presenting a scent that is big, auburn and thick. It’s the bold, distinct kind of opening that one has learned to expect from Tom Ford and his Signature Collection, evoking the dark, brooding glamour of Ford’s dramatic debut scent, Black Orchid. Amongst the weighty gourmand notes, which we will get to shortly, the opening offers a refreshing squeeze of orange oil, which gives the impression of luxurious chocolates flavoured with the fresh, zesty rind of juicy orange fruits, to lighten things just a tad.
The signature of Noir Pour Femme is a rich blend of chocolate, coffee and vanilla, all of which are thick and creamy, clashing with a strong juxtaposition of all things sweet, and all things bitter. The kulfi accord, which was also used in Noir Extreme (launched earlier this year), appears here as a lactonic nutty quality that dilutes what would otherwise be an incredibly heavy and oppressive fragrance. These nut-like nuances also play into the bitter facets of the chocolate and coffee impressions, adding a rich, roasted feel that is irresistible and comforting. All of this deliciousness (for want of a better word) is underpinned by a bed of amber and sandalwood – the plush and the smooth, with a touch of fuzzy patchouli for good measure.
Noir Pour Femme feels like a perfect compliment to Tom Ford’s Noir Extreme, rather than Noir, not to mention the fact that it serves as a fitting tribute to the designer’s penchant for all things glamour. It does feel a little bit ‘Tom Ford by the numbers’ as in, it isn’t anything particularly unusual for the brand (that man does like an oriental, for sure), but that’s not to say that it isn’t exciting. Noir Pour Femme feels decadent without being dense, and glamorous without being gauche. It strikes the perfect balance.
Noir Pour Femme is available in 30ml (£68), 50ml (£96) and 100ml (£133) Eau de Parfum. A Hydrating Emulsion (£44) is also available.
Sample via Tom Ford. Image 1 my own. Image 2, notes and quotes via Tom Ford.