The latest fragrance release from designer Tom Ford is Orchid Soleil, a new addition to the designer's Signature Collection of feminine fragrances and a flanker to 2006's Black Orchid. I have to admit that I didn't really care for Black Orchid, nor for Violet Blonde. Something about Tom Ford fragrances just doesn't "fit" me. But I received a sample vial of Orchid Soleil with a recent makeup purchase, so why not give it a try, right?
Orchid Soleil's composition of bitter orange, pink pepper, cypress, tuberose, black orchid, spider lily, vanilla, chestnut cream accord and patchouli supposedly "captures the seductive warmth and reflective bare skin of the Tom Ford woman." Since I'm apparently not "the Tom Ford woman," I was surprised to find that I enjoyed it more than its sister scents. It has a heady white floral heart that smells (to me) more like frangipani than tuberose. It's not an animalic floral note like a true tuberose could be, but it's still fairly attention-getting. I'm also getting hints of sunny neroli surrounding the white florals and a (very) slightly dirty, patchouli-inflected musk underneath.
Orchid Soleil has noticeable sillage and good staying power, and its "rose gold" bottle is certainly eye-pleasing. However, it isn't as closely related to Black Orchid as you might expect if you're a Black Orchid fan. Instead, it reminds me strongly of Guerlain Terracotta's creamy tropical flowers and musky vanilla, with the addition of a metallic, slightly mentholated edge; it also feels "related" to the cult classic Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse.
Allure magazine recently described Orchid Soleil as "the sexiest, most sophisticated sunscreen on the world's sexiest, sophisticated (and likely naked) woman."1 Vague adjectives like "sexy" and "sophisticated" in perfume copy always make me yawn and roll my eyes; on the other hand, they fit here. Orchid Soleil isn't groundbreaking, and it isn't "me," but if the above description appeals to you, give it a try. You might be more of a "Tom Ford woman" than I am.
Tom Ford Orchid Soleil is available as 30 ml ($82), 50 ml ($120) and 100 ml ($168) Eau de Parfum. The Tom Ford Signature Collection is widely available at department stores.
1. Allure, "Best of Beauty: Scent," October 2016, p. 229.