Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
Black Orchid description
Tom Ford’s Black Orchid is a dark feast of a fragrance. It lures you in with a demure opening of lemons and bergamot, but soon jasmine, gardenia and blackcurrants open beneath the citrus and all innocence is lost. The piquant spice of the blackcurrant stands out after a few minutes and becomes a bridge note between the opening and the sumptuous spices and fruit accords that arrive in the heart.
One of the best things about Tom Ford fragrances is that they always make deep, full impressions on the nose. The heart of Black Orchid is a swirling paisley pattern of rich spice and fruit accords, and rising behind them is the black orchid note, spreading powdery-sweet, indigo petals. The middle of this fragrance has an appealing ruby port wine feel – there’s an aged quality to this scent, as if it had been stored somewhere to mature for many years. And the trademark power is evident as well – Tom Ford is not ever afraid to have the notes in his fragrances make the strongest statement possible. The heart of Black Orchid is meant to make you forget yourself utterly, and drift off on a sea of dark fruit juice and warm, dry spice.
The final phase of Black Orchid is equally impressive and complex. The spice accords have barely settled when out of the base rises a sharply-defined patchouli note, which is every bit as dry and tantalizing as the spices were before it. Cool, almost minty vetiver and a subtle tinge of incense tug the patchouli into different earthy directions, and just when your nose has reached the nirvana of all spice overloads, the dry down shifts entirely into gourmand sweetness. The last few notes of Black Orchid are a combination of amber, chocolate and vanilla.
Somehow this shift only makes Black Orchid that much more bewitching and memorable. The rich texture of this fragrance is one of the greatest things about it, and substituting sweet notes for spicy ones only seems to heighten everything you’re experiencing in the perfume. Tom Ford is out to completely own your attention when you wear his fragrances; there’s nothing “throw-and-go” about any of them. And a perfume that layers spices upon spices in a dark, curling spire of dry heat, only to drizzle delicious dessert notes on top – well, is there any better way to end this feast of a fragrance?