Scentbird, Inc., New York, NY 10001
Velvet Orchid description
Tom Ford’s fragrances are intense, moody, and sensual. They are done in a style that is as bold as can be, with each note polished to its fullest, most lacquered profile. If you want to keep things on the down low, scent-wise, this is not the line for you. Tom Ford is for extroverts who live for large gestures and decadent drama.
Velvet Orchid is no different. This is a scent so powerful it took four all-star perfumers (Yann Vasnier, Calice Becker, Antoine and Shyamala Maisondieu) to complete it, and 20 separate notes to pronounce it on the skin. Velvet Orchid is not a perfume; it’s a fever dream of boozy spice, heavy-lidded florals and enough resinous smoke to blot out the sun. But if you’re a Tom Ford fan, you wouldn’t have it any other way.
The Gothic head trip begins with bright rays of mandarin and bergamot, which are stealthily eclipsed by a woozy blend of honey and rum. The opening is slow, re-a-al slow, with endless time for that honey-soaked rum to saturate your senses.
After several minutes, this fragrance stretches out into an endless floral horizon of magnolia and orange blossoms, Moroccan roses, two types of orchids, heliotrope and jasmine. Velvet Orchid’s wild, tangled heart is overflowing with citrusy powder, creamy almond, and ripe, heavy white floral flourishes. And the heart’s beat is still very slow – one thing you’ll notice immediately about this scent is how long each phase takes to move on to the next. Velvet Orchid is operating in ultra-slow motion.
When the dry down finally arrives, it’s as dark as the florals were a hurricane of white flowers. A cloister of smoky resins hangs suspended in the base of this scent. Peru balsam and labdanum at their shiny, metallic best jump out immediately, constrained by a round, rich vanilla and sweet sandalwood. A suede accord spiked with myrrh smooths out the sharp metallic edges, without losing any of their power. The dry down in this fragrance is enormous, and will last well past dawn, as Velvet Orchid is clearly in its own time zone that has nothing to do with how we recognize passing hours.
So be warned: this perfume takes no prisoners but time. The opening, heart and base go on for many, many hours, and all the notes are deep and strong. If you want a perfume that will outlast the sun and the moon, Velvet Orchid awaits.