WHAT I SMELL: Black Orchid opens with this luscious citrus that dances upon some candied florals. It’s spicy sweet without being obnoxious . After a couple of minutes, in comes the orchid, big, creamy and smooth and it’s met with a flattened note that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it might be the chocolate note (see notes below), but after a few more minutes that seems to dissipate. After around ten minutes, Black Orchid begins to warm and mellow with the vanilla coming forward like it’s covering the fragrance with a creamy layer of elegance. At around the 30 minute mark, the fragrance becomes more woody that’s dried with some peppered spice. And then at around the hour mark, the patchouli starts to begin to lightly sweeten Black Orchid again. When it’s all said, in the end you’re left with this spellbinding concoction that is greatly seductive.
Black Orchid notes listed in Fragrantica:
The top notes are French jasmine, black truffle, ylang-ylang, black currant and effervescent citrus. In the floral-spicy heart, dwells the Tom Ford‘s black orchid, imaginary more than real, and the base combines woodsy notes (patchouli and sandalwood), dark chocolate, incense, amber, vetiver, vanilla and balsam.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Bringing the 1980s back to the present.
THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE BLACK ORCHID: creamy, bewitching, lush
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT BLACK ORCHID: The Perfume Critic, What Men Should Smell Like, Perfume Posse
BOTTOM LINE: Tom Ford and I have not always been great friends as his perfumes will tend to overwhelm me. Black Orchid could do the same, but if you moderate the application, it’s incredibly beautiful.
- Bone Rating: 4 out of 5 possible bones
- Scent: Oriental Floral
- Classification: Feminine, but can easily be worn by a man
- Expense: $110 for 50ml EdP from the Tom Ford website
May 26, 2014 at 9:20 am
I surprised myself by liking this one! As much as Tom Ford gets slammed for churning out some really forgettable fragrances at premium niche prices, he has clear winners, some of which are in the mainstream variety and pricing tier – lucky for us!
I did a naughty thing recently…my Nordstrom SA gave me a V&R travel spray to be filled with my choice of V&R fragrance and I asked for Black Orchid 😉
May 26, 2014 at 9:24 am
LOL. No one has to know. We can keep that between us 🙂
May 26, 2014 at 11:37 am
That “black truffle” note was unbearable for me, despite the beauty and richness of the perfume overall. Apparently the mushroom family will not join juniper berries as something I don’t like in food, but can appreciate in fragrance.
May 26, 2014 at 11:42 am
You know what… that flattened note that I was experiencing was most likely the black truffle which didn’t overwhelm for me. Thanks for pointing that out…sorry it didn’t work for you.
May 27, 2014 at 12:48 am
I’m with you. Tom Ford Black Orchid is elegant and irresistible, but to me it’s always been a little too….haughty.
May 27, 2014 at 5:40 am
Joan…you are right on…that adjective is the perfect descriptor!
May 27, 2014 at 3:54 pm
I like this one a lot, although by the end of the day it starts to get to me, because it lasts and lasts on my skin. And then I worry that I’m that person in the room with the overwhelming perfume. I thought I was being pretty conservative with just a spritz to each wrist, but it went from day to night like a champ. I need to try it again, though. Haughty *is* a great word for it. I wore it to work and it was still on like Donkey Kong for a fancy event that night. Worked really well in that scenario, I must say.
May 27, 2014 at 6:17 pm
Tom’s perfume’s can be pervasive that’s for sure. I wonder if I would get tired of this as the day wore on as well?
May 27, 2014 at 5:11 pm
I really love this one. I’m with you and Joan; haughty, bewitching, lush are great description for Black Orchid. I always wondered about the “flattened” note as you described… I could never put my finger on it but now I think about it, yes, it smells kind of mushroomy.
May 29, 2014 at 8:06 pm
Usually I wouldn’t care for a mushroom or earthy type note like that, but in this mix it somehow works!
May 29, 2014 at 5:24 pm
I liked Black Orchid, used up a couple of samples and was planning on going for a FB when my mini is over. The other day I decided to compare it to the newest Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid – and discovered that my mini was completely off. Your review came right in time to confirm that the way I remembered this perfume was right and it was the content of the bottle that has changed, not my tastes. I’ll get another sample now.
May 29, 2014 at 8:07 pm
Boy, your sample must have been pretty old… or suffered a great deal from the air and exposure fatique!
June 9, 2014 at 9:13 pm
Oh, Tom Ford fragrances and me don’t get along very well. But after reading your review, I think I should pull out my Black Orchid sample and give it another go.
June 10, 2014 at 5:28 am
Good Lord, we’re pretty close to being scent twins. Tom Ford and I don’t get along well either. This was an exception, but not enough of one so that I would run out and buy it.