Fragrance Review | Tom Ford Black Orchid

Fragrance Review | Tom Ford Black Orchid

Is BLACK ORCHID Tom ford's most exotic and alluring fragrance just yet?


Now this is interesting. I remember when it first launched in the UK many years ago and the sales girl told me at length about how this perfume had caused her to be chatted up all evening.

It’s definitely a conversation starter.

The perfume has notes of black truffle, jasmine, citrus and black currant, all smothered with dark chocolate – a collision of dark fruits and spicy florals.

You can just imagine the sensuous perfume advert, where a lovely and willing brunette lays languidly in an expensive hotel. The scent opens with a dose of cocoa, the kind expensive restaurants use in their exquisite confectionary. Then the spices waft across, carrying the florals that would not be out of place in some exotic hothouse on Mars.

And then with one sentence from its maker, the advert comes to a screeching halt.

Tom Ford himself infamously stated that he had created this luxurious perfume because – wait for it – he wanted it to smell like a man’s crotch.

Really Tom? I do quite admire his honesty. Perfume is so often overly romanticised by critics (yep, guilty as charged) and we forget that really, it’s about sex. We want to attract the opposite sex and perfume, apparently, will help us do that.

Questions aside about the similarity between this perfume and a man’s private parts – that’s a review for another website – it is a striking and gorgeous scent. There is a skanky undertone to it, but that is what makes it more fascinating.  We are slightly obsessed these days with being perceived as clean – Americans in particular are very fond of their fresh laundry-inspired scents. A hundred years ago, perfumers deliberately made their creations to mimic the intimate smells of a human body. Jacques Guerlain maker of Shalimar, stated that he wanted his perfumes to smell like the underside of his mistress. Oh-er.

In our modern fastidiousness, we baulk at this notion and head for the Estée Lauder type White Linen imitations. Tom Ford has created something closer to the raw truth of why we buy perfume i.e. to smell like the mistress rather than the wife.

So for anyone who wants to scandalise and tantalise simply by walking into a room, spray yourself liberally with Black Orchid. Just don’t over think it, or you’ll traumatise yourself.


- Helen Easson, Contributing Beauty Editor

Black Orchid

Available at Smith & Caughey's, $145 for 30ml fragrance spray

Words | Helen Easson
Photography & Styling | Veronika Gulyayeva


Helen Easson is a self-confessed beauty addict, with a particular weakness for beautiful perfumes. An international freelance writer and author. Helen’s debut novel, The Legend of Jack Riddle, was published by Capstone Publishing (USA) and Raintree (UK) in 2018. She is currently writing my second middle-grade fiction novel, find out more about Helen’s work here

Helen is based in Auckland, New Zealand