Tom Ford Shanghai Lily ~ perfume review

Tom Ford Shanghai Lily

I fell for it so hard that on any given day if I don’t have other perfume wearing plans it ends up on my skin.

I honestly cannot think of anything that smells like it and it definitely joins one or two other launches as being the most exciting perfume released this year…

Not just a bit of love for this one, but a big burning love.

That’s Bois de Jasmin, The Candy Perfume Boy and Perfume Posse, respectively, talking about Shanghai Lily, one of the four fragrances in the Atelier d’Orient collection from Tom Ford (the other three are Plum Japonais, Fleur de Chine and Rive d’Ambre). They’re all in the Private Blend range, and as I’ve written before about my general lack of affinity for Tom Ford Private Blend, I won’t belabor the point other than to say that the two quartets released just before Atelier d’Orient, Private Blend White Musk and Private Blend Jardin Noir, did nothing to shake my suspicion that the whole line is overrated and overpriced. Still, when Atelier d’Orient came out last year, I dutifully smelled them all on paper blotters at Neiman Marcus. I did like Shanghai Lily the best of the four, but I didn’t like it well enough to chase after a sample, so I went on about my merry way and forgot all about it…

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Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Oud ~ fragrance review

Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Oud

I’ve never been tempted to smoke, but I love the smell of tobacco. Years ago I lived in an apartment whose former occupant smoked Dutch Masters cigarillos. I found a few empty packages — plus an envelope crammed with skull x-rays, go figure — in a cupboard. When the seasons turned, the fetid aroma of long-dead cigarillos wafted from the sheetrock. Delicious. Where I now live, on warm nights my neighbor settles into his backyard hot tub after swing shift at the sewage treatment plant and watches movies on his laptop while he smokes cigars. I like smelling the hint of smoke that made it as far as my bedroom window.

But, for me, head and shoulders above these smells is the aroma of pipe tobacco. Maybe it’s because one of my grandfathers smoked a pipe (when he wasn’t burning through packages of Winstons, that is), or maybe it’s the romantic idea of things associated with pipes — wood-paneled libraries, fireplaces, and cocker spaniels — that allures me. Whatever the case, I’ve longed to find a perfume that captures this fragrance without being too sweet or on-the-nose precious.

Could Tom Ford Private Blend Tobacco Oud be it? I ordered a decant unsniffed…

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Holiday fragrance gifts 2013, part 4

Our series of holiday gift posts continues with gift ideas for the men in your life, although there are plenty of “unisex” ideas in the other articles, and there are probably a few things here that women might like. If you missed them, check out Part 1: scented body products, Part 2: travel sizes & coffrets and Part 3: home fragrance. Up next: fragranced teas and chocolates.

More shopping ideas: check out Persolaise’s round up of holiday 2013 fragrance gifts.

Acqua di Parma candle holder and Colonia candle

From Acqua di Parma, a candle holder fashioned from wenge wood and buffalo skin: “The wood’s strength and hardness, along with its black streaked dark hues, blend perfectly with the soft and compact brown buffalo skin that trims the entire edge. The leather has a discreet hot stamped logo.” £140 at Harrods in the UK, Colonia candle is sold separately, £53…

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