I was happy to finally get a sample of this discontinued private blend, Tom Ford Moss Breches. It's classic and agreeable in the way of a classic men's fougere or fresh spicy option, ala Tom Ford for Men, Ralph Lauren Safari, or Chanel Pour Monsieur (the concentree or EDP versions, especially). Its spiciness harkens back to a time of colognes fit more for one's father, grandfather, etc.
I get the resins and herbs, but the note listing seems incomplete. I get some citrus, and perhaps even some oakmoss. So it's a bit of a mystery to me overall, but certainly the aura is strong, and the connotation and almost memory of scents or situations past. The name might be misleading, as this doesn't strike me as mossy, or swampy--slightly earthy perhaps.
Performance is excellent, strong on both projection and longevity, akin to most of the heavier Tom Ford Private Blends.
7 out of 10
Rich and aftershave-y, this smashes a traditional chypre into a snazzy fougere. The problem is that both are rendered a bit cartoonish, lacking the sophistication usually found within either style. Moss Breches is bombastic; a blaring, shouty kind of a fragrance that's supercharged by a honeyed moss, a soft sage-y lavender, and a smattering of earthy, stemmy things. The textbook chypre-effect dominates but lacks any refinement, and the end result is a somewhat amiable yet gaudy car crash of Mitsouko and Invasion Barbare. It’s enjoyable for the first hour, but it borders on pantomime soon after.
A sweet and endearing honey-beeswaxed version of Derby that wears comfortably on the skin, so comfortably that all those around you will curiously want to nuzzle their noses in your wool sweater! I base this on multiple experiences. Absolutely amazing for the cold days of fall and winter. Wouldn't be without it for one second in my wardrobe. 4.5 out of 5 stars. Ignore any negative reviews on this one as they are completely baseless.
Genre: Alleged Chypre
Moss? This is a spicy gourmand fragrance, not some walk in the woods. The first few minutes are excruciatingly sweet to my nose, as honeyed green hay notes ride on a huge wave of cinnamon to quash any of the forest floor accord I'd hoped for in this fragrance. With time the green notes recede, leaving cinnamon and honey on their own. The honey in Moss Breches is raw, pungent, and animalic, a bit like that in Serge Lutens's Miel de Bois, though far less potent.
As it dries down Moss Breches leaves a trail of soft woods and vanilla. A pretty exit, but disappointing if it's a chypre you're expecting. Taken as a whole, Moss Breches is far from revolutionary, and even a little bit dull. If it's a spicy oriental I'm after, I'll stick to Noir Epices, Eau Lente, or Cimabue, thank you.
The opening is an interesting complexity… it is a bit herbal, sweet, green, spicy, with a firm earthy-mossy undertone. I would say it consciously sparkles and subconsciously seduces at once. I love it…
But unfortunately the variety within the opening lessens and what is left for most of the remainder of the fragrance is an sweet and somewhat synthetic bees wax / moss accord. The use of moss in this fragrance starts well but becomes and then remains dull, thin, a bit unnatural, and somewhat short-lived.
I don’t enjoy the smell of moss in modern fragrances when it’s used as a dominant element in an accord, and I think the restrictions on the use of genuine oak moss have a lot to do with the problems of this fragrance. Whatever… I find Moss Breches quite dull after the excitement of its opening.
24th March, 2014 (last edited: 29th May, 2014)
Got a gd deal on a 30ml decant of Moss Breches & I jumped the gun & blind bought it. I go with neutral because as Jenson mentioned in his review, it reminds of a lot of older classic colognes - I was reminded of VCA PH, Trussardi Uomo (minus the leather) & the like. To me it totally lacks originality.
The oakmoss is definitely there, but my recent acquisitions like vintage Worth PH haute concentration, vintage Paco Rabanne PH, Ho Hang Club etc have much better oakmoss (& are better overall as well).
For the price Moss Breches is found now, I think it's not worth it. Longevity is only about 4 hours, with excellent projection for the first hour / hour & half after which it's muted. The sweetness that comes in after the initial hour is something i disliked (spicy sweetness = spices + patch + beeswax???).
If you like oakmossy colognes, go for this, it will keep you enthralled in it's first hr...
Also I read a comparison to Sova, either on some thread on BN or on Fragrantica - totally uncomparable. Sova to me is a beeswax / hay monster, created wonderfully. Moss Breches does not smell anywhere near Sova...