Perfume Directory

White Suede (2009)
by Tom Ford


White Suede information

Year of Launch2009
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 36 votes)

People and companies

HouseTom Ford
Parent CompanyEstee Lauder Companies

About White Suede

White Suede is a shared / unisex perfume by Tom Ford. The scent was launched in 2009

Reviews of White Suede

White? Suede?

White suede starts out with a nose-hair singeing chemical suede scent that seems like a shoddy copy of Heeley's cool-to-the-touch Cuir Pleine Fleur. It’s not half-hearted, or ‘not-quite’, it smells defective. The jarring topnotes give me a bit of fight or flight reaction, and I have to make certain not to shit myself.

In perfumery the notion of suede is usually conjured with references to tea, dried leaves, birch, violet and the like. And, while true that ‘leather’ notes might more precisely be called ‘tannery’ notes, the chemistry involved in White Suede is undisguised. White Suede grows quieter, but never less shrill and gives the nerve-wracking sensation of a siren passing you, fading in the distance, but always sounding too sharp in pitch.

By chemical I mean unnatural. "Natural" is the verbal equivalent of zero in mathematics. Strictly defined, imaginary, entirely conceptual. In common usage "natural" is falsely fundamental. We use it with a wink and a nod and make a point of never defining it and hoping nobody else will either. It carries enormous significance, principally judgement--good and worthy--but has no meaning in fact. I find it hard to use the word in a sentence.

But 'unnatural' is another bird entirely. It’s campy but not blatantly humorous. It comes to have much more meaning than 'natural' because it's like saying, 'all that crap over there--the things you stuff inelegantly into that word "natural"? It's not that.' 'Natural' is a consensual fiction that we don't dare pry into. 'Unnatural' in perfumery means that you can’t hide the chemical origin with a botanical ‘note’. ("Watch out, girl. That chemical flower note will torch your ass!") Again, judgement is implied, but camp saves day because, though you use the word, the implicit irony means you don't believe the literal meaning of it.

So, White Suede is as unnatural and chemical as they come. It's a reminder that an imbalanced perfume made with mostly aromachemicals has a higher risk of flying out of control than one made of mostly botanicals. White Suede isn't the person humming a vague ditty out of tune. It's the forgotten, full, screaming tea kettle that you hope will soon run dry and burn the house down.

30th May, 2013
A scent based on white musk (the clean smell of plain white soap) with a pleasant suede smell on top. Later in the day, it got sweet with a touch of vanilla. It's pretty, but doesn't feel particularly special to me. Meh.
21st January, 2013
Suede and white musk with a bit of saffron is what I'm mainly picking up and it smells very generic indeed. I'm suprised with how bad and cheap this smells to me, almost like hairspray. Thumbs down.
26th October, 2012
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
A very nice leather/suede note starts off, a very nice note indeed. After an hour, though, it collapses and remains so close to my skin that I have to use an olfactory microscope to smell it. After two to three hours it is gone. Nice while it lasts.
08th August, 2012 (last edited: 15th September, 2012)
Tom Ford's White Suede = Tide. Enough said.
04th January, 2011
Tom Ford Private Blend White Suede

Tom Ford released the White Musk Collection subset of his Private Blends in 2009. My favorite of the four scents is White Suede. One thing that can be said about the Private Blends is the name of the fragrance tends to give a good indication of what you're going to get. No Le Labo bait and switch in this line of fragrance. What I like so much about White Suede is it has a lovely refined leather to it that I have only encountered in one previous fragrance, Serge Lutens Daim Blond. The major difference is that Daim Blond is accompanied by a dark apricot and White Suede is accompanied by an herbal aspect. That herbal aspect is evident right from the top as saffron, thyme and mate tea combine. The thyme adds a smoky herbal character while the mate adds to the smokiness but gives an unusual note which I like a lot in this scent. This all gives saffron the opportunity to be the slightly leather and hay note that leads into the leather heart. The heart is plush suede leather. This is leather that has been lovingly treated and refined. There are no rough edges here. I love this form of leather and it is one of the reasons I return to Daim Blond over and over. It will also be the reason I keep coming back to White Suede. The base is a mix of musk over amber and sandalwood. White Suede has outstanding longevity and little sillage. It might be the closest wearing of the Private Blends, so far. For something that is part of the White Musk collection White Suede is all about the leather and it is good.
16th November, 2009

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