Sun Worship – TOM FORD Orchid Soleil Perfume Review

Orchid Soleil by TOM FORD
Orchid Soleil by TOM FORD

TOM FORD is a bit of a legend in the fragrance world. Well, that’s more than just a touch of an understatement, if I’m honest, and it would be fair to say that he is one of the few modern fashion designers that has successful built a fragrance empire that works in complete symbiosis with their clothing lines. TOM FORD perfumes ooze with style and finesse, but they often also boast bold signatures that set them apart from the crowd. Sniffing them, one gets the impression that Mr. Ford is genuinely a fragrance aficionado and his collection offers up its fair share of cool classics and olfactory oddities. In short, the TOM FORD fragrance line is one of the best out there.

The first fragrance to be launched under the TOM FORD name was Black Orchid (side note: we mustn’t forget that Mr. Ford launched a number of amazing scents at Gucci and YSL, namely Envy & Rush for Gucci and Rive Gauche Pour Homme, M7 and Nu for YSL) – a scent that quickly established the brand as a serious contender within the industry. Since then, Black Orchid has been remixed and revisited a number of times, the latest version of which is Orchid Soleil, a fantastically radiant blend of florals and warm, skin-like notes. Without giving too much away, I’d say it’s one of TOM FORD’s best offerings to date. Yup, that sounds about right!



A Bold Flower
A Bold Flower

The Notes

Top: Pink Pepper, Bitter Orange and Cypress
Heart: Red Lily and Tuberose
Base: Vanilla, Patchouli, Chestnut, Whipped Cream and Orchid

How Does it Smell?

Oh my, oh my! Orchid Soleil truly is a solar white floral! The top notes present gigantic blooms of tuberose, lily and gardenia, soaked in a glistening sheen of bergamot and bitter orange. Initially, these intense plumes of floral scent are coloured in the boldest shade of coral. They wear a subtle citrus cloak that serves to tame their wild and erotic tendencies, but as we all know, the power of white florals cannot be contained for long and within seconds they explode, bursting with solar flares of heady floral scent.

Orchid Soleil really is an explosion of white flowers. It has the hot, fleshy and almost meaty facets of tuberose, woven seamlessly into the cheesy, indolic nuances of gardenia. For good measure, the salt and spice of lilies contrast the bubblegum sweetness and make for a bouquet that is intense and complex. Together, these flowers are linked by their creamy texture, which makes for a soft and comforting blanket of scent. For a white floral addict like me, Orchid Soleil is incredibly satisfying, mainly because the funkier aspects of the flowers (the cheese, the mushrooms and the indole etc) are allowed to bloom in full, but also because it really does have a sun-worshiping vibe to it. Sniffing Orchid Soleil, one gets the image of beautifully bronzed skin and of flowers seeking the sun with every particle of energy they can muster.

The base is all about smooth textures, whipping up a creamy finish of sun tan lotion, vanilla and gauzy patchouli. The chestnut definitely adds a nutty vibe, which adds just a touch of something savoury to the big finish, giving Orchid Soleil the unmistakeable smell of sun-soaked skin and hinting at the truffle-like creaminess of Black Orchid ever so slightly. Whilst the base may not be as distinct and showstopping as the floral pyrotechnics unleashed in the opening, there is something undeniably comforting about the intimacy of this skin-like floral. Salty, sweet and spectacularly sunny, Orchid Soleil simply is a beautiful floral with a huge personality.

I think we need to coin a new genre for Orchid Soleil, because the go-to category of the ‘BWF’ (Big White Floral) simply doesn’t do it justice. I’m lobbying for the TWF – the Tremendous White Floral – because this beauty packs a punch. It’s a full, no holds barred white floral with a pungent background of funk and skin-like musk, that makes for a blissful experience. If you’re a floral addict, you absolutely NEED to try this. Don’t walk to the stores – run.


Orchid Soleil is available in 50ml (£76) and 100ml (£108) Eau de Parfum.

Sample and quotes via TOM FORD. Notes via Fragrantica. Images are my own.