From black orchid to bitter peace, these are the best Tom Ford perfumes that are worth sniffing out, from Selfridges, Lookfantastic, The Perfume Shop and more
Tom Ford scents have become a byline for posh designer perfume done right. From the launch of his blockbuster hit, black orchid, to chart-toppers including jasmin rouge, grey vetiver and neroli portofino, it’s clear this suave Texan truly loves all things fragrance and his line, particularly the private blend collection, really channels this obsession.
Celebrating a time when perfumes “were” perfumes, these are fragrances you wear to dial up the glamour, (echoed by his make-up collection that was launched in 2011). With potent bouquets using rare ingredients, these incredibly glamorous (and unisex) concoctions range from fun and flirty to the more dark and decadent sophisticated scents favoured by Hollywood starlets of yesteryear.
His private blend collection features stout, square bottles inspired by chess pieces and occasionally provocative names (“rose prick”, “f—ing fabulous”) echoing the designer’s penchant for pushing boundaries.
Depending on your particular perfume peccadillo, we defy you not to find something that suits among Mr Ford’s offerings. Cheap these are not, but if you happen to have one of these scents on your bathroom shelf, you can pretty much guarantee it will get used up and not gather dust…
How we tested
We tested how each scent changed and developed on our skin, as well as exploring the originality of the bouquet (did it smell like every other “designer scent”?). We also visited the Tom Ford boutique on Harrods’s sixth floor, where we were taken through the collection from the lighter, fresher scents, through to the darker and richer numbers to see which ones really stood out from the crowd.
The best Tom Ford scents for 2021 are:
- Best overall – Tom Ford bitter peach, 50ml: £240, Selfridges.com
- Best for those with a sweet tooth – Tom Ford lost cherry, 50ml: £240, Lookfantastic.com
- Best for a classic rose with a twist – Tom Ford rose prick, 50ml: £240, Selfridges.com
- Best for wearing with some posh lingerie – Tom Ford santal blush, 50ml: £178, Tomford.co.uk
- Best decadent and rich scent – Tom Ford black orchid,100ml: £123, Theperfumeshop.com
- Best light and fresh scent – Tom Ford eau de soleil blanc, 100ml: £123, Theperfumeshop.com
- Best starting out scent – Tom Ford oud wood, 50ml: £178, Tomford.co.uk
- Best seductive, masculine scent – Tom Ford Tuscan leather, 50ml: £178, Tomford.co.uk
Tom Ford bitter peach, 50ml
As someone who normally hates “fruity” scents, our tester was nonetheless knocked for six by this beautiful bouquet. Launched just before the second lockdown, it didn’t get as much fanfare as it deserved. But with its sharper-than-sharp fuzzy peach notes, combined with a bold blood orange accord, this bouquet is a stroke of genius which has quite rightly won it an underground following. We also have a soft spot for the peachy-hued bottle that will look stunning on any dressing table.
Tom Ford lost cherry, 50ml
Best: For those with a sweet tooth
Not many perfume brands can do “sweet” scents well without coming across as corny or making the wearer smell like they’ve been covered in jam. Not so with this charming little newcomer, which combines soft notes of marzipan with all the nostalgic charm of a glacier cherry, to dial up the glamour “I Love Lucy” style. Ideal for those who have a sweet tooth but don’t want a sugar crash afterwards.
Tom Ford rose prick, 50ml
Best: For a classic rose with a twist
This scent turns the traditional rose perfume on its head, inspired by Ford’s private rose garden (alright for some), this stars no less than three roses: Rose De Mai, Turkish and Bulgarian rose, giving it some serious flower power. It also contains a spicy kick of pepper to lift the pretty rose notes out of the flowerbeds and give them a sassy, thorny edge. The name might raise a few eyebrows but we kind of love it (but maybe don’t give it to your grandma for her birthday).
Tom Ford santal blush, 50ml
Best: For wearing with some posh lingerie
Considered one of Tom Ford’s classics, this launched at the same time as his make-up collection and we can totally imagine spritzing ourselves with its sultry aroma as we get ready to go out. Our tester loved how rich and unusual this was, with a sensual backdrop of sandalwood (one of the most seductive ingredients in a perfumer’s toolkit), which graces the skin like silk chiffon, infused with a medley of woods, florals and spices.
Tom Ford black orchid, 100ml
Best: Decadent and rich scent
This one is classic yet polarising, the very first scent Tom Ford launched which celebrated the designer’s love of patchouli – a rich earthy note, prized for its de-stressing and aphrodisiac qualities. This punchy patchouli is combined with a unique black truffle accord which gives it its signature richness (which might be a little too much for some tastes), together with zesty notes of bergamot to add some extra sparkle.
Tom Ford eau de soleil blanc, 100ml
Best: Light and fresh scent
This smells like a cheery summer’s day, with sparkling notes of bergamot, and orange and pink pepper, set against a delectable backdrop of pistachio and orange blossom which give it strength and staying power. It dries down to a warm base of cardamom and sweet tonka bean, perfect for spritzing if you’re heading off on a beach holiday, or whenever you want to channel the essence of summer all year round.
Tom Ford oud wood, 50ml
Best: Starting out scent
This is said to be Ford’s number one seller and for good reason. Perfect for seasoned oud-wearers and newcomers alike, the woody, smoky character of oud is magnified here with a mesmerising cocktail of amber, spices and rosewood – making for a particularly warm and enveloping scent. Plus, being an oud, it boasts some serious staying power, ideal for those drawn towards deeper and darker scents.
Tom Ford Tuscan leather, 50ml
Best: Seductive, masculine scent
Created to conjure up the “prime animalistic” side to leather, this has night-blooming jasmine as its secret weapon (an extremely sensual note in perfumery) underscored with rich, smoky notes of frankincense. Like sporting one of Ford’s signature leather blazers, it adds the perfect stylish touch for anyone sartorially minded, while its warm, leathery character is guaranteed to turn up the heat a notch or two.
The verdict: Tom Ford perfumes
While Tom Ford is probably best known for his black orchid scent, we adore bitter peach and predict it to be a future classic in the making. Cheery and wearable, yet utterly unique, it’s just the thing to lift the spirits when gloomy current events, combined with the weather outside are too much to bear. While some might find Tom Ford scents a tad too strong, this is delicate enough to please most olfactory palates, with enough clout to stay on the skin for a good part of the day.
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For more perfume ideas, read our guide to the best women’s perfumes: From Tom Ford to Loewe
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