Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur ~ perfume review

Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur fragranceTom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur fragrance

Voile de Fleur is the new Eau de Toilette version of last year's Black Orchid from Tom Ford, who is making up for lost time, apparently, by launching a grand total of 15 (!) new fragrances this year. Voile de Fleur is advertised as a lighter take on Black Orchid, with added white floral notes and "a warm effervescent modernity".

I really liked Black Orchid — not for myself, exactly, as it isn't my style, but I thought it was terrifically well-done, and its sexy, bombshell quality stood out in last year's sea of insipid releases. A quick check of the reviews at MakeupAlley, however, reveals that not everyone agrees with me. Black Orchid has a dismal "would buy this product again" rate of 38%. Ouch! Further investigation, however, reveals lots of 5 lippie ratings (the highest) and lots of 1 lippie ratings (the lowest, as MakeupAlley doesn't have the option of awarding a 0). This is the classic picture of a love-it-or-hate-it fragrance.

So what of Voile de Fleur? Well, the heightened emphasis on the white floral notes is evident from the start. The dark, earthy, black truffle undertones of the original Black Orchid are considerably toned down here, as is the sweet jammy fruit. Instead, we have a sparkling burst of flowers tempered by a bit of citrus. The floral notes are well-blended and more clean than not, and while diffusive, are more airy than heady. I believe Voile de Fleur is classified as a floriental, but it feels like a straight-on floral, and the woody base is comparatively pale, with nothing like the oriental warmth (or massive creamy sweetness) of Black Orchid.

It isn't a dry scent, mind you, or a light one. But think sparkle instead of full-fat Häagen Dazs, and prettily romantic instead of bombshell sexy, and you'll get the picture. It isn't as distinctive as Black Orchid, prettily romantic white florals not being so very hard to come by, and anyone looking specifically for a daytime, office-friendly version of Black Orchid may well be disappointed. They are different enough that you might easily like one but not the other. Of the two, Voile de Fleur is probably easier to wear, and I would guess it will find a wider audience than the original, assuming those who disliked Black Orchid are willing to give it a try.

Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur is available in 50 and 100 ml Eau de Toilette.

Update: the notes for Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur include black truffle, ylang ylang, bergamot, blackcurrant, honeysuckle, gardenia, spicy lily, black orchid, black plum, black pepper, lotus wood, succulent fruit, warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla tears, patchouli, balsam and sandalwood. It will also be available in 30 ml. (via press release from Tom Ford Beauty)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I smelled the Voile de Fleur scent strip in the BG catalog and found it quite agreeable. I wanted to like the original because I admired its out-there-ness, but it smelled absolutely awful on my skin. Ironically, Voile de Fleur could be the perfect white floral for this white-floral-hater. It's ironic that a version of Black Orchid, of all scents, could be that “toned-down” rendition of a scent category (white florals) that's ordinarily too rich and heady for me.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can't recall if I wrote this before, but it might be fun to have a survey of scents people either detest or are crazy about – no middle ground. I am sure the original Black O would make a lot of people's lists.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I hated it. And I thought it smelled good on no one. There were a couple of really jarring notes that never really blended together. And it seemed to never drydown, it just sat there. You know in “Sleeping with the Enemy” that classical piece that gives Julia the willies everytime she hears it and the same 6 or 7 notes just playing up and down loudly… that's what it was like to me. In theory it sounded cool but wasn't. I'll take my truffles shaved over my risotto, thank you very much.

  4. Anonymous says:

    my problem with black orchid was that it didn't stay “out there” and interesting – withing minutes it morphed into a generic department store scent. so i'm not sure this one would float my boat at all. but i'll give it a shot regardless.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It really is pretty airy, so will be curious to hear what you think of it when you try it on skin. I think it is pretty, but not nearly close to as nice as some other recent white florals, Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia, for instance. But the EL was probably too much for you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Existentialist, hard to survey since you can only catch one side of the story at a time, but interesting! Black Orchid qualifies for sure, and Covet, and going farther back in time, I'd say Angel is a prime candidate.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Yes, I would concur on all counts. As you say, it would not be a scientific survey – more like a casual poll. I think I am just in a mood to stir up controversy today.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL — K, I think it smells good on me but guessing you wouldn't so won't test my theory :-)

  9. Anonymous says:

    This one is way less “out there”, so guessing you're right that it won't float your boat.

  10. Anonymous says:

    LOL — then you're feeling Tom Ford-ish, aren't you?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I'm neither in the love-it nor hate-it camp with Black Orchid. On me, the top and middle notes were not great, but the dry down developed a whole lot better. On me, this was a big drydown which made me think of a 'going to the opera' kind of scent (big and dramatic). I loved the bottle and the ad, but the scent itself is not something I need to have. Will see about this new one, when it comes my way.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I guess I am! Too bad I don't have my sample of Black O with me today, I could have gotten all of my coworkers upset with me in one fell swoop.

  13. Anonymous says:

    HA — it is the sort of scent that makes me sympathize with no-perfume policies in the workplace. It is just too strong for an office, esp. one where the windows don't open.

  14. Anonymous says:

    We are opposites — I like the dirty stuff in the top notes, thought the dry down needed more oomph. VdF isn't so dramatic or “going to the opera”.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mmm. I am in the “love it” camp for Black Orchid, and probably won't bother with VdF. When I first put it on, it goes straight to that serpentine part of my brain and makes me take a deep breath. I would and will only wear this at night; it's definitely not a workplace scent (or mood).

  16. Anonymous says:

    Glad to see another fan. I really enjoy wearing it when I do — I just don't reach for it often since it doesn't feel like “me”. Will be very interesting to see what TF does with his next women's scent, which IIRC, we are expecting in 2008.

  17. Anonymous says:

    R — giggling at the concept of an office-friendly BO, an oxymoron if I ever heard one. When I tried this at NM I got a pineapple-y thing without the signature truffle. Then I got a bottle … somewhere :-) and was stunned when I tried it — it was MUCH riper in that, uh, truffle way. Honestly, I don't think it was my imagination or nose, they were significantly different. I keep trying to find a way to wear it, but it's difficult (I do admire its dis-stink-tiveness). Maybe this fall.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I'm in the Love It camp about the orignal BlackO, but that's not to say it's the little black dress of fragrances! I basically only wear it to bed. There, it's where it should be, carnal and take-me-now-ish. Few fragrances I own do it as well. I only wish that first blast of heady originality would last beyond ten minutes or so. On me, it loses depth and complexity a bit quickly. (Ten minutes, fortunately, is usually time enough!)

    I'm very interested in trying the Voile; I hope I get more of marchlion's impression with it, as opposed to just another floral

  19. Anonymous says:

    Robin, my clarification — I was referring to the original Black Orchid in my comments, I have not tried the new one Robin's reviewing.

    Also, my dimwit mind gets addled every time I see you on here, as there are already two other Robins (going by other monikers). I confuse you with our blog hostess, which makes for some interesting reading of the comments (it's like she's got some multiple personality disorder)!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Several Robins: it IS confusing!!!

    Thanks for clearing up MY confusion about the two Black Orchids. Pineapple, eh? Most interesting. Whatever I own, it's a whole whack of truffles.

    You can tell the difference between this Robin and the original Robin because our blog hostess is the superior nose — and writer.

  21. Anonymous says:

    M, thought you were referring to the original. Don't think you'll like the new (?)

    Robin, doubt you're going to find the VdF to have more depth & complexity.

  22. Anonymous says:

    A good thing! I need to rob a bank. Why, oh why did I choose the world's most expensive hobby to fall in love with??????

  23. Anonymous says:

    I swear that knitting is more expensive!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Actually, you may be right. I just spent $120 on some super-duper ultra-soft chunky 100% wool for a cute little off-the-shoulder sweater for fall. Wow. That HURTS. But I love knitting — when I can find the time — as much as I love fragrance. That, and books and films, which thankfully are a (relatively cheap) thrill. Did you see the new-ish film about Edith Piaf?

  25. Anonymous says:

    The Edith Piaf is waiting patiently in my Netflix queue :-)

  26. Anonymous says:

    I found the film itself required some patience on my part! Long and repetitive, to me, anyway. EP was a bit of a miserable, angry, self-pitying little bird, athough she certainly had her reasons for feeling exactly that. One recent release I thought superb was The Lives of Others. Very astute and a real “page-turner” of a film.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ah, well, I'll watch it anyway just for the music!

  28. Anonymous says:

    It's not a perfect movie, but the actress catches Piaf beautifully, and it's definitely worth watching. (Bring your knitting for the slow bits!) And the music IS a delight.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I'm happy someone can sympathize for the no-perfume policy in a lot of workplaces, including mine. *sob* Not sure about you but you don't know how hard it is for a perfumista to go about breaking the rule yet trying not to smell like one didn't and just merely “bathed”. Ugh! Sillage on the low. :(

  30. Anonymous says:

    Oh, so sorry! I'd have a very hard time with that too.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I just tried my long awaited sample of Voile. One word. YUCK! I can't even begin to break down what it smelled like on my skin, let's just say I never got any of the notes it's supposed to have. I'm so disappointed…;-( However do have the Prada Iris coming so cheered by that!

  32. Anonymous says:

    So funny — I was just in Nordstrom today, listening to 2 women fawn over Black Orchid and gag over Black Orchid Voile de Fleur!

  33. Anonymous says:

    That me all the way! I detest the Voile. I love the original. I just bought the finishing oil and it is fabulous, lush and decadent.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Ah, I'll have to try the oil, thanks!

  35. Anonymous says:

    I asked for Voile de Fleur for Christmas, but got the original Black Orchid instead. I was initially disappointed, but I got over it. On my skin Voile de Fleur kind of smelled aggressively feminine and sensual, which I enjoyed, but made for a less versatile scent than the original. Neither of these are fragrances that should be bought without trying them out first.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Completely agree they should not be purchased unsniffed — and glad you ended up liking the original.

  37. Anonymous says:

    This in no way even comes close to the originality of Black Orchid, so I was surprised that I liked it, especially not being a floral girl. I wouldn't buy a bottle, but it's rather pretty and I wouldn't mind smelling it on someone else. Certainly doesn't provoke the kind of reaction Black Orchid does! It's one of my all time favorites.

  38. Anonymous says:

    thought I'd mention…this was after a second sniff. First time, I thought VdF was rather awful.

  39. Anonymous says:

    The odd thing about this, as with many flankers, is it seems designed to capture a new audience, maybe an audience that didn't care for the original. But you'd think those people would not be interested in trying something that said “Black Orchid” on it? And that most people who loved Black Orchid wouldn't find VdF that tempting. I don't really understand the flanker thing, in the end.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Tried this on my skin today. (Finally!) I actually think the “massive creamy sweetness” label applies more to this than the original Black Orchid – it was so heady and sweet that it gave me a headache! Black Orchid on the other hand wore much more softly than expected.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I like the Black Orchid much better myself. Would love to how they're selling!

  42. mals86 says:

    Just tried this today (rec’d a sample in a swap – it wasn’t one I was going to go looking for, and haven’t sniffed Black Orchid) and found it really, you know, *pretty* and interesting without demanding too much of my attention.

    What’s driving me nuts is that it reminds me of something, but I don’t know what. For some reason I’m having flashbacks to my late-80’s college years… what IS that, that OVdF is reminding me of?? I don’t actually expect an answer, but if anybody has an idea, please let me know. I’m off to check some other sites to see if I can get some insight on this phenomenon.

    (I should just forget it… I don’t NEED this. And to be honest, the Tom Ford ads featuring nude models in sunglasses are creeping me out, so much so that I doubt I’ll be buying Tom Ford anything.)

  43. Robin says:

    Ack. I hardly remember it — remember the original BO much better. So I’ll be no help, sorry!

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