Jasmine and gardenia supported by vetiver -- giving it a hint of cologne scent while being unmistakably floral.
It fades and I get just a few moments of chocolate-patchouli similar to Angel, and than that fades to a beautiful sweet vanilla that clings for a good while.
Black Orchid isn't pleasant. It isn't easy. It's falling in love - irrationally and uncontrollably. Love in that raw, lustful and chaotic way. Your hair stands on end as your skin tingles. Your insides flip and thrash all around and it makes you feel sick. Longing invades your mind and prevents any useful thoughts from forming, and your heart beats so hard you can see your skin jump at its pulse points. No matter how much you inhale, you just can't breathe. It's overwhelming, stifling...
And despite all of these terrible (terrific) symptoms, you just can't get enough of that sheer possession and desperation! If you've never experienced falling in love that way, you certainly won't appreciate the chaos that is Black Orchid. It's thick, heady & carnal madness! (And yes, that madness is absolutely unisex!)
Mysterious, syrupy, exotic & peculiar. Unforgivably sexy and dripping with personality - there's nothing else quite like it.
Be afraid...be very afraid. This stuff is grandmama perfume with the longevity of a nuclear winter and dark, dirty, coffee grounds all rolled into one. I literally had to scrub off the first layer of skin to get rid of the stench. I had heard this was a good unisex fragrance, and I apologize to all those who love this frag, but this is one of the worst things I've ever put on my skin. It made me ill almost immediately.
Orchid-based fragrances rarely appeal to me, but I scored a free sample of this and decided to give it a shot. I'm not too surprised that it wasn't a winner. It opened with a surprisingly fruity burst - I got melon, but maybe it was the mandarin? - which lingered into the dry down. Very sweet and a little bit cloying for this nose. Eventually it settled down to mostly amber and vanilla with a little hint of chocolate. The orchid/white flower note was present throughout - this was actually the nicest aspect of it for me, even though I often find orchid scents a little insipid. I do think that this perfume is skillfully put together (and worth a sniff if you love gourmand scents), but just not for me.
Lots of sillage, and it lasts pretty well.
Before I go on, you need to know that I am not a Tom Ford Hater. At all. I find many of his fragrances wearable, interesting, and definitely unlike anything else out there. I own a couple. I fly the flag.
But Black Orchid--just, no. Not for me. I loved it on paper. That cucumber/chocolate/floral thing seemed crazy enough to be worth wearing, or at least trying to wear. But I put it on for the first time, and I felt like I had swallowed Ajax on top of a massive slice of chocolate cake. I expected the aquatic top note to fade, but it just kept getting stronger, while the rest of the scent bloomed as well, and then a cacaphony of other things came into play. Remember Monty Python's Meaning of Life? I felt like Mr. Creosote, having devoured the entire menu 15 times over, with John Cleese waggling a wafer in my face, promising, "Eeets wah-fehr theeen." I honestly needed a bucket. Fortunately, I have a sink and some soap.
I have a strong tolerance for intense perfumes, but this crazy accord does not work for me. I'm sure I've smelled it on other people, and nothing horrible happened. But I'll never put myself through that again.