Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 24 September 2012

Tom Ford: Ombre de Hyacinth Review

A new season, and a new Tom Ford Private Blend fragrance to review ... 

This autumn, Tom Ford is releasing the "Jardin Noir" collection, a series of four floral scents, including, Cafe Rose, Jonquil de Nuit, Lys Fume, and this, Ombre de Hyacinth.  I've been lucky enough to have a sniff of all four, and to me, Ombre de Hyacinth is the most distinctive.  The rose, jonquil, and lily fragrances are very nice, but quite traditionally floral - in particular Jonquil de Nuit, or Daffodil of the Night as I've heard it referred to a few times, representing as it does, a traditional English country garden, but Ombre de Hyacinth has a little more of an edge than the other three.

It starts dry, green and bitter, oozing with resinous galbanum, reminiscent - in a very distant way - of the opening of Chanel No19. When sniffed on paper, (but not onskin), there's almost a hay, or drying grass accord, but on my skin, it's a little sweeter, a little more floral, with just a hint of soil beneath, and it's a fascinating fragrance whilst this bit lasts.  Personally, I don't know what hyacinths smell like, but the first hour or so of this fragrance is really lovely, yes it is flowery, but in an unusual green and slightly dirty way, like flowers from bulbs, rather than cut flowers.  MrLippie likes it very much too, which is very unusual for a floral fragrance. 

After about an hour, the jasmine and musks kick in.  I haven't really worn a lot of jasmine over the last few years owing to having overdosed back in the dim and distant past on Serge Lutens A la Nuit (which is a little like being drowned in jasmine - it might be time for me to reinvestigate my vintage bottle, now I come to think of it), it's quite a clean jasmine, polite, you might say, and it sticks close to my skin, without really disappearing at all.  I like it, quite a lot, the scent reminds me of vintage cosmetics, of finely milled face powders and French lipsticks, it's rather lovely.

It's fairly tenacious too, sprayed on skin it will last around eight hours, though I've been able smell it on my skin some 12-18 hours later too, and if you spray it on clothing, it'll last even longer than that.

Is it a classic?  I don't know, and I'm not qualified to say, either, but this is a fragrance I like a lot, in spite of myself.  I thought, originally, that I had a few fragrances similar - almost immediately Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela sprang to mind after that bitter green opening, but I was soon disabused of that notion, it is a floral, but with an unusual crisp green edge and a hint of dirt that I like a lot.  It's one of those scents that I find myself occasionally "phantom-smelling" (where you get an idea of a scent in your mind and think you want to smell that again), and not a lot of fragrances do that.

It's a pricey one, at £135 for a 50ml bottle, but I can see I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this - it's currently on my (mental) shortlist of potential wedding fragrances ...

The Fine Print: The PR department at Tom Ford have kindly forgiven me for my Lavender Palm review, and provided a sample of this for consideration.  I threatened to send my granny round, you see ...

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1 comment

  1. i am obsessed with the Tom Ford fragrances, they're simply gorgeous!



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