Tom Ford is the ultimate ‘lifestyle’ brand: i.e. perfumes, and eyewear, and suits, and high heels, for the moneyed, the jet-set, or at least those who have an eye on such a life. It is the the aspirational house par excellence: stylish to the hilt but not about ‘class’; lacking the history, panache, and Parisian rigeur of a Dior or a Chanel; even the Milanese, high end enigma of a Prada, Tom Ford just goes for cut throat pleasure: a lifeline of products to endlessly fuel your chic, private club hedonism.

I liked Fleur De Portofino immediately, much as I did his gorgeously uplifting Mandarino D’Amalfi. This latest release in the light and citrussy azure-bottled range goes straight for the white floral jugular in the most American of veins; like the original Marc Jacobs, an aqueous ‘gardenia’ that, though sharp and synthetic, I did used to wear as a work perfume on and off for a few years, Fleur has that pool-splashed, white flower sensuousness: safe, yet undeniably uplifting and effective in its execution. In comparison to Fleur De Portofino, though, the Marc Jacobs template is thin and one note: this new perfume is more orchestrally lilted and solar, the gardenia substituted for the Tom Ford jasmine and neroli, but flourished and fleshed, significantly, with the star ingredient that sings at the heart of the composition: acacia blossoms, those white flowers that grace the air in these Mediterrean oases of sunbaked tranquillity: a tolu and cistus vanilla base (though these base notes, also allegedly including civet, are virtually imperceptible), and, in fitting with the rest of the Portofino range, in the opening accord, a refreshingly zesty holiday rainbow of bright citrus notes (lemon, bergamot, tangerine, bitter orange leaf), plus trembling syringa flowers to introduce us immediately, as we spritz ourselves in our immaculately set out room, to the theme of fleurs blancs d’été, notes that cleanly, eventually, dry down to a soft, and unthreatening, note of sweet acacia honey.

The whole feel of this scent is of course very familiar, that typical Michael Kors / Aerin Lauder template of female summertime seduction, but in comparison with Lauder’s recent Rattan Gardenia, for example, with its purse-lipped and over-ozoned uptightness, this new Tom Ford release is positively plush; brimming with the ray-kissed, sun-drinking notes that perfectly conjure up the desired setting: the hotel life; the yacht; the cocktail: the guileless, summertime oblivion.


Filed under Flowers


  1. I agree with you on this scent. I find it to be uplifting and a nice carefree floral. It definitely makes me think of the yacht set, oh how I would enjoy being one of them for just a day.
    This scent makes me want to just get out and enjoy the summer weather. I wonder how well it will do in Japan? It does not seem to be too perfume-y so maybe it could do well.

    • You know in Isetan (which you HAVE to experience one day) yesterday there are never as many people hanging around the perfume areas as there are all the rest, but you’re right: I can imagine some people liking this. If it were cheaper I would buy a bottle myself for the summer.

      As for the jet set: you know I really wouldn’t, you know. I would hate them, at least the majority. That bland, beautiful smugness.

  2. Wonderful review! I wore a sample for just one day, and loved it from start to finish. I was having lunch with a perfumista friend, and she couldn’t stop huffing my arm like a crack addict!! In comparing FDP with NP the next day, I found NP to be overly herbsl/bitter, so straight away I went online and ordered a full bottle of FDP (that price! Gulp!) and sold my NP to a friend. Good stuff, this one. I flat out want to wear it all summer long!

  3. jennyredhen

    This perfume sounds like it represents everything thats wrong with the modern world. I think i will stick to my essential oils patchouli , jasmine, orange and lavender… Viva the revolution!!

    • I hear what you are saying, but I can’t be that rigid. In this review I am not coveting that world ( as you will have realized) but I do like a bit of carefree.

      • jennyredhen

        I was being facetious.. sort of. The problems of the world cant really be laid at the feet of a perfume.. a handbag… yes… but a perfume no … LOL
        . Is Eau de Shalimar the same as Shalimar or are they 2 different perfumes????

      • I join you in the loathing of the ‘it’ bag, for sure. Especially with a label displayed prominently (which it inevitably is).

        I don’t know Eau De Shalimar….tell me more.

      • jennyredhen

        I tried to upload a photo here but coudnt so have emailed it to you.. hope that is OK.

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