I am a huge Tom Ford fanboy, as far as I am concerned the guy is a genius.
But unfortunately this one just didn't float the boat for me.
All I got was generic pine, and not a great deal else, it was akin to a watered down Polo Green.
Tom's private blends tend to be great, but I think this is just too generic a formulation to warrant the asking price.
But I do understand why some will love it, hence a neutral.
Notes: Citrus, Basil, Mint, woods and resins, Cypress
I've read about this being compared to RL Polo. I don't smell the slightest resemblance although I can extrapolate where someone may arrive at the notion. I've also read about the comparison to Rive Gauche by YSL and this isn't the case either. However, it is a dead ringer for YSL Jazz. Both Rive Gauche and Jazz share that Barbesol shaving foam accord that Italian Cypress also has. The reason it is most similar to Jazz is because they both share cinnamon on top of that shaving foam accord. My money would go to Jazz which has more depth and boldness. Italian Cypress is somewhat brighter and smooth making it a tad more wearable perhaps as it finishes with a slightly woody resin. However, the cost is prohibitive and since the creation of Jazz, one has to question if this is needed.
As a relatively newbie to fragrances, I learned about this one after reading a glowing review in a men's magazine. Upon going to the Neiman Marcus nearby to test it out, it had the distinction of becoming my first bugged-eyed "HOW MUCH?!?!" reaction when learning the price. Upon subsequent samples I have come to like it more, but it is still too similar to Polo for me to ever justify spending that type of money on it. In fairness, I tend to feel that way about most of the Tom Ford private labels I have come across.
If given as a gift, I would certainly not throw it in the trash, and would pleasurably wear it, but all things being equal, I just liked it, not loved it. And maybe it's my inexperienced nose, but this strikes me as unquestionably a man's fragrance, even though it's listed as unisex on basenotes...
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I love a great cypress note (Cypres Musc by Creed was love-at-first sniff when I smelled it years ago) and Italian Cypress is a great cypress scent. In the first few seconds the resinous, coniferous notes are stiff, dry, bitter and very wonderful. Let’s call it the Yatagan-effect (I love it!) but then it head spinningly transforms into a wide expanse of green pine needles, fresh air (well, the effect of oxygenated pine needles) and a breezy mosaic of cypress trees, leaves, twigs, branches, sap, the whole darn forest. An extraordinary beginning! A green so true, that if you gathered together all of the shades of green in the world and picked the greenest, the epitome of green, this is the one you would choose.
But the top notes are not enough to win me over completely. The base notes are just like Polo (1978) by Ralph Lauren. As the scent progresses its parallel similarities to Polo are astonishing. The creamy wood effect. The whiff of leather at the edges of the green. Ford managed to copy everything about it except for Polo’s longevity since Italian Cypress lasts on me only about 3-4 hours and then disappears (unlike Polo which lasts + 8 hours).
It's dry and woody alright, but not quite naturally woody enough for me as it has a quite soapy feeling to it too as well as a strong air of classic gentlemanly cologny. "Like something your Dad would like to wear" - not mine, he's not that kind of dad, but yes, that's the general idea. I wonder if I quickly grow anosmic to the scent (maybe because it's so close to a single note) because it's barely there, no sillage at all. I tried to refresh my nose with coffee beans but that seems to have had the opposite effect - maybe the scent of Italian Cypress is too close to the warm, roasted scent of coffee beans for it to work? The little I can smell with my nose pressed to my skin is nice enough though, a warm, comforting, soapy/smoky wood.