Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Smoking Scent (Perfume Review: Tom Ford, Tobacco Vanille)

I remember at one point in my life, I wore The Body Shop's Vanilla everyday that it became almost a signature scent. I remember it being a very gourmand kind of vanilla - sweet, intoxicating, tasty. I smelled good enough to eat. And as I look at my perfume collection, I do wonder why I have only a few vanilla-centric scents. Perhaps I grew tired of it? Tobacco, on the other hand is a favorite note of mine. It shows up on some of my recent favorites, like Serge Lutens Chergui, or the economically priced Spice Bomb by Vicktor & Rolf. Tobacco Vanille is up there on the "luxury" list. Tom Ford's Private Blend line is prohibitively priced, and I always try to resist it because of that. In Tobacco Vanille's case, I almost think it's worth it. This is a very rich fragrance, it *smells* expensive. You know and sense that there is a richness in the ingredients. It opens in an aromatic haze: tobacco leaf, gincer, maple, tonka bean, fermented fruits. It's all over the place yet blended so beautifully. As the perfume develops, it becomes even more denser: the vanilla pushes forward, and there is a liquor note (Rum? Brandy?) and combined with the strengthening tobacco gives a very dark impression. I can imagine this scent on a grandfather at his smoking room, wearing his smoking jacket (I think this would be a perfect scent for Hugh Hefner, for example) This would also fit a Wall Street mogul. I used to work with a couple of them during the 80s, and a couple of them smelled similar to this. But lest you think this is smells "old man," there is a sweet gourmand note (perhaps gingerbread) that makes this smell very now, very modern.On a cold day like today, I reached for this by instinct, and it is perfection. One spray on my scarf and the scent veiled me for the whole day. I know I use the term "modern classic" a lot, but this perfume really does fit that description. 

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