Glad to finally try this one out, and as one of more hyped Tom Ford Private Blend EDPs (like Tobacco Vanille, Tuscan Leather), the expectations were reasonably high, and most were met: namely, that Neroli Portofino is a neroli-intensive cologne-like fragrance that is stronger than its counterpart, and this is generally true. As another reviewernotes, NP draws from the original "eau de cologne" concept and in that vein, NP can be likened to 4711 itself, with another relevant comparison being Thierry Mugler's "Mugler Cologne" (also hyped plenty in its own right). As expected, NP exceeds both of these EDC options with its EDP concentration, so much of NP's value comes from its concentration. But I would also that its particular take on the concept begun by 4711 is a pleasant combination of notes (surely more inviting than Acqua di Parma's original Colonia, for one). Neroli is central and dominant, but NP isn't so overwhelmingly soapy that it doesn't have citrus or more traditional floral elements as well. Lavender provides freshness, and a blend of citrus notes gives balance.
Neroli Portofino is definitely worth a try, but while among the better TF Private Blend options I've tried, it's a little difficult to justify spending more when there are close substitutes. One would really have to love the original eau de cologne / neroli smell, and Neroli Portofino in particular, in order to opt for this. Very good on the whole, though!
8 out of 10
Neroli Portofino is Tom Ford's take on the classic eau de Cologne type of fragrance. That is, orange flower blossom, citrus, herbs and amber. This is a very simple recipe, and it's one which is available in many forms. This fragrance is just Tom Ford's take on it.
It opens up extremely fresh and soap-like. It's one thing I love about this fragrance. It smells very refined and natural. I can't fault it on smell, and if the intention was to smell luxurious then this succeeds at it.
However, even though this is an eau de parfum concentration, I still find it lacking in projection and longevity. There are issues here which become apparent the longer the fragrance wears in skin. This would not be such a problem (after all, an eau de cologne by nature is fleeting, as it has no base to hold it for an extended period of time), but for the price, this is bad. Because for the price you would pay for this, you would expect it to last at least most of your day. However I only get a maximum of 4 hours with this, and that isn't something I would pay £140 for.
So to conclude, I can't fault the fact that it smells like pure luxury, however it is not an experience which lasts for the time I would want. But then, that's all what eau de colognes are about, a luxurious, satisfying experience which is only meant to refresh the wearer briefly (and they are usually an expensive luxury to begin with). For me, I can think of other alternatives. But if money is no object to you, I will admit the quality is superior to other brands, so if you can afford it, you will smell elegant and refined, just not for very long. Which is the whole idea anyway. I just expected more from a Tom Ford Private Blend (and at this price).
Proof positive that Tom Ford is an ego genius that lives in a quixotic world where no other fragrances exist except perhaps in nature.
You could in theory get rid of all your fragrances and buy EVERYTHING that says Tom Ford on it. The fragrances are nothing new, in fact many houses have launched known examples (Mugler Cologne is the one I am thinking of here). Yet the TF version is so TF: modern and vintage all at once.
I suppose if you don't consult other fragrances before you create your jus then you end up with creations like NP. It's existence serves the purpose of rounding out TF's line...and satisfying TF's need to show you, yes you that he can do it. And better.
I made a mistake and bought this. This is actually a cologne that is ... expensive. That's about it , it gets feedback if that means something to you. I personally prefer Mugler Cologne or Eau de Guerlain. Trying desperately to get rid of it.