I was going for tomboy meets feminine, and I wanted the vetiver because not only did my father wear it, I did too and so did my brothers. Then we looked at how we could mix it with citrus and florals — I’ve always loved tuberose. [The juice is] unexpected, but fresh.1
That's Tory Burch, talking about her debut fragrance, Tory Burch, which launched last month under licensing arrangements with Estee Lauder. And who, exactly, is Tory Burch?
Flip through stacks of glossy magazines, and you are all but guaranteed to find Tory Burch, the designer who has built an empire on tunics and gold-medallioned flats.
[...] But she seems to be modeling her cool image after that of her former boss Ralph Lauren, the Bronx-born onetime necktie maker who turned a small business making polo shirts in the 1970s into a billion-dollar global lifestyle enterprise.2
And the Tory Burch fragrance? Well, it's a pretty good fit with all of that, especially if you've been watching the designer fragrance market long enough to read between the lines. It's a likable enough fresh floral, a bit sweetish, with a big burst of crisp citrus in the opening and a touch of green tempering the watery floral heart (mostly tuberose and jasmine, or at least, tuberose and jasmine in their modern, cleaned up forms).3 The base does have noticeable vetiver, but it's hardly the focus of the composition, which is otherwise mostly pale, mostly flat, and no more than mildly earthy. Tomboy meets feminine, perhaps, but the feminine mostly won the battle.
Verdict: Tory Burch is not quite linear, but it's close — once the citrus burns off, it's just a slow fade to the end, and while the lasting power is reasonable enough, the end came a bit sooner than I expected from an Eau de Parfum from Estee Lauder. Still, that's the only aspect of the Tory Burch fragrance that justifies calling it "unexpected". It smells completely modern, completely mainstream, and maybe just a little more dull than seems necessary — perhaps a perfect fit with Burch's preppy-chic following? It would fit just fine into the Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger fragrance lines. But if you want something preppy-chic and tomboy, my advice would be to get some Guerlain Vetiver and just wear that — it's what Tory Burch wears, after all.4 Kenzo Air would make another great preppy chic / tomboy / vetiver fragrance, or if you want less vetiver altogether, there's always Dior Eau Sauvage.5 The possibilities are endless.
The reviews for Tory Burch at MakeupAlley, as of this writing, are pretty dismal, but it reportedly did just fine at Bloomingdales when it launched.6
Tory Burch by Tory Burch features notes of grapefruit, pink pepper, cassis, mandarin, neroli, peony, mimosa, jasmine, tuberose, sweet alyssum, carrot seed, vetiver, cedar, sandalwood and white musk. It is available in 30 ($62), 50 ($82) and 100 ($110) ml Eau de Parfum and in a solid perfume pendant ($150). Matching bath & body products are also available.
1. Women's Wear Daily, 8/23/2013.
2. What Does Tory Burch Want? at the New York Times.
3. As always, floral notes are relative, right? A perfumista raised on Robert Piguet Fracas is not likely to find Tory Burch "too floral", and certainly not heady or indolic. But I did read reviews on beauty blogs complaining it was too heavy and too floral, so obviously, your mileage will vary.
5. Just for fun, I tried the Tory Burch next to all three — Kenzo Air, Guerlain Vetiver and Dior Eau Sauvage. To say the Tory Burch came off as comparatively uninspired is an understatement, but it made a lovely argument against the idea that you need niche, or expensive, to smell fabulous, in fact, of the four fragrances, the Tory Burch was by far the most expensive (unless you insist on paying full retail price, and I don't).
6. According to Women's Wear Daily, "Bloomingdale’s sold an estimated $45,000 to $50,000 of the new Tory Burch fragrance at its first day on counter." 9/27/2013.