Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

There’s little left to say about this fragrance, that other fragrance snobs didn’t say already. Neroli Portofino is a mildly pleasant, incredibly overpriced citrus-neroli cologne with a musky-herbal undertone and a sort of “laundry” soap feel. Just place it anywhere in the Dantesque limbo between 4711 and Acqua di Parma citrus colognes. Just to be clear, it smells decent: exceedingly dull, even a bit cheap honestly, with no rich or “natural” nuances but a rather sanitized, militarly linear designer feel, also quite faint shortly after the initial burst of citrus-herbal notes. But it’s nice, fresh, safe, “GQ advertising dude” kind of classy. And there’s really nothing more to add. The only interesting thing to add would be a group brainstorming on the reasons why should someone decide to spend that money for this instead of a dozen of drugstore neroli-soapy fragrances doing the exact same job as this with the same exact quality and outcome ( “quick money laundering” would be my best guess).

17th November, 2015
For the money, Neroli Portofino just doesn't stand out for me. It's not a bad fragrance, and has a nice orange blossom, neroli and amber accord that stays linear throughout. My issue is the projection and longevity are extremely weak for an EDP of this price. Mugler Cologne covers this territory much better, as do hundreds of others, so I'll be generous and go with a Neutral, trending Thumbs Down.
05th November, 2015
Plato Show all reviews
United States
I tried a sample of this today at Saks. This just doesn't do it for me, but I can see how it would work with others' tastes. I find it to be too linear and sweet. It reminds me a little too much of suntan lotion, albeit a high quality one.
09th September, 2015
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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
06th August, 2015
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).
23rd July, 2015
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.
30th June, 2015
AlHamr Show all reviews
United Kingdom
Neroli Plastiscino…
15th May, 2015
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.
21st February, 2015
I love the scent of this, but I wish it lasted on me and projected at all. The initial spray smells delectable, but the dry down smells weirdly like A&D ointment. I don't find that to be a negative, though, because it makes me think of my children.

All in all, I'm rather ambivalent about this one. Glad I did not purchase it.
03rd February, 2015
I can't make my mind up about this one. The best I can say is that it's "nice" - which is to say I'm damning it with faint praise. It's pleasant, and opens with a lovely flowing citrus note, then the herbal rosemary base opens up with a hint of lavender over the top. Everything smells very clean and a bit too safe. Longevity is not great - it's gone within a couple of hours. Basically, this is a mass market fragrance selling at a premium, niche price. There are FAR better fragrances in the Tom Ford Private Blend range - Oud Wood, for instance, is one of the best fragrances of the last twenty years - so try it before you buy it.
17th December, 2014
Opens with equal parts Dove soap and Ferre's Bergamotto Marino with hints of Mugler Cologne in the background... it smells like the most expensive soap in the world.

After a few minutes I get less Dove and more Mugler Cologne, only sharper and without the powder that eventually emerges with Cologne, as well as some subtle but very natural clementine notes.

It brings to mind sun, grassy fields, and citrus.

It's probably one of the best fragrances I've ever sampled...

...if only it stuck around for more than 20 minutes. After that it's a faded shadow of it's former self that only serves to remind you of how good it was when you put it on. The price tag is impossible to ignore as well; $150/ 1oz, $235/ 1.7oz CAD is ridiculous for such a poorly performing fragrance, even if it is done in a "traditional Cologne" style.

Neroli Portofino lifts you up into Heaven and then cruelly pulls you back down to Earth within moments.

It rates a solid, solid Positive for scent, but a low Neutral for performance.
08th December, 2014
I really did not like this one.

I gave a good spray on my wrist whilst out shopping and kept checking it during the day.

Nothing changed, it just stayed the same all day long, and what was there was not pleasant.

I just felt like something (perhaps a slug or snail) had crawled onto my wrist, died, and then fallen off a few hours later.

The resulting smell of what was left was Neroli Portofino.

I know this may seem like a very strange thing to say, but the scent of NP just put me in mind of "dead things", even though I don't really know what "dead things" smell like.

Maybe it's just me...
17th October, 2014
Yes indeed, this is in a similar vein as Mulger, 4711, Acqua di Parma Colonia, etc. However, Neroli Portofino is the only one out of all of the options that I tried that has the quality, silage, longevity, masculinity that I was looking for and it didn't leave me wishing for something more. And, while the scent isn't all that original or groundbreaking, there is something a bit more contemporary about Neroli Portofino that, while subtle, sets it apart from many of the "classics". I don't ever feel like I am wearing something old timey when I wear it. These things make it well worth the price, as far as I am concerned. If you like the Eau de Cologne style and want a fragrance that performs like more reliable fragrances that you may be used to, this is probably it.
28th July, 2014
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I Just bought a bottle on ebay, 50 ml for $100. I applied it around 11am this morning and as I am typing this review it is still wafting, the Lavender is prominent on the dry down, a little amber, very slight. Would I pay full price? Yes if I have to. Great bargain. I was looking for a good summer fragrance with a tropical feel. Virgin Island water has too much Coconut to wear casually. Neroli Portofino with a white tee and shorts is unbeatable. Give it a chance, I used up a Bloomingdales sample and decided to make my purchase. It was available cheaper, why not....

12th May, 2014
That first 3 seconds after spraying this I get a honeysuckle note that dries down into a somewhat citrus splash of orange juice. It doesn't last long at all on my skin.
17th April, 2014
A stupendously beautiful neroli perfume, this is indeed just like 4711, but with outstanding projection & longevity. lt also has a woodiness in the base that the other lacks, & it doesn't have that metallic quality that l get from scents like Profumum's Neroli. lt lasts a good ten hours on me; easily the longest-lasting citrus that l've tried. A perfectly refreshing summer scent, & one can't help but think of azure seas when gazing at that bottle.
29th March, 2014
Usually I'm a big fan of neroli scents, but this one just hasn't won me over.

It kicks off with neroli (duh), but it's mixed with orange blossom, which makes it much more floral than most neroli scents. There's candied lime on top and a pinch of aldehydes for sparkle. The whole thing is very soapy, and there's a salty bodies-on-a-beach accord underneath everything.

Maybe it's that I think Fire Island does the flowery bodies on a beach thing much better than this, or maybe it's that I think Creed's Original Vetiver or Bond's Eau De New York are better at green candied neroli, or maybe it's just too soapy for me, but Neroli Portofino just isn't grabbing me.
04th March, 2014 (last edited: 09th March, 2014)
I really love Neroli and orange blossoms occupy a distinct place in my childhood memories. Neroli Portofino is true to its name (take out Portofino). It is a glorious Neroli-Hesperidic concoction that is pure joy. But then I realized that I had to bathe in it to feel its presence and still its silage and longevity were average. If this was an EdC or a body splash I would have understood it, but since it's marketed as an EdP I am really dissatisfied with it. The price tag is inversely proportional to the juice inside that otherwise beautiful bottle. Gilded plates and a nice bottle don't make up for a perfume that does not deliver. Nevertheless NP will look great on your beauty counter!
22nd February, 2014
I love most of the perfumes in the Tom Ford Private Blend Line, some are outstanding. They are different and unique, but not this one, it is just another classical Acqua de Colonia.
Wearing it feels like wearing 4711, people around me think I am wearing 4711, however TF NP goes for around 300 bucks for the 3.4 oz bottle, and 4711 can be found in internet for less than 10, that is 30 times as much.
So, what is the point? If I want to smell like 4711, why spend a fortune,or if I want to impress my friends wearing a expensive an exclusive cologne, why TF NP when they will think is 4711?
And to top it off, there are better versions of the classic Acqua de Colonia like Extra Vieille, or Farina Gegenüber,or Acqua di Parma, or Acqua Classica Borsari or even Mugler Cologne, but if I really want to smell great with a classic Acqua de Colonia I would wear my favorite: Myrurgia 1916.
I own all of the others I mentioned, so there is no space in my wardrobe for Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino
23rd January, 2014
To classic, sometimes annoying.
Very expensive for this fragrance which I agreed is very similar to Mugler's Cologne.
But an amazing bottle color and design.
11th January, 2014
Tony T Show all reviews
United States
Smells too much like Mugler's Cologne.. Very identical.. Longevity is about the same as well as projection on my skin.. Save your hard earned cash folks..
29th December, 2013
This was my first foray into the TF private blend, and it is special to me for that reason alone, but the fragrance is truly lovely. If the whole idea of fragrance is to smell great, this totally delivers. Think of 4711 without as much soap, and much more longevity and you pretty much have this fragrance. Combine this with Tuscan Leather to create a summer blend that unique, and will get lots of positive comments.
24th December, 2013
Soapy which is sad

The headline says it all. It is light and summery and very nice but really soapy when you put it on.

So - I went out and bought the soap! Which is actually rather nice.

Whereas the Body Oil - I even wrote to Tom Ford customer service about it - no reply of course - because whilst it is a nice oil that has some pleasing elements - it is entirely ruined by a kind of mildew smell. Perhaps it is the way it reacts to me - but the mildew aroma is so pronounced I was wondering if somehow my wardrobe had got damp.

So - perfume ok, soap good, body oil diasastrous. On with the orange blossom search.

Pros: Soapy at first and then disappears too early once the soapiness goes
Cons: It is the closest I have come to Orangle Blossom"

23rd October, 2013
Special place in my heart...

I really like this stuff. I really do. Wish I could wear it all the time; but sadly, this is NOT(can't stress that enough) for everyday use. I wore this on the night I was married and I can't really think of any other place where a scent like this is appropriate. It gives me that floating through the Mediterranean vibe. This is a spring/summer type of fragrance. If worn on a cold day, it feels like you are being tackled by a 240lb linebacker with 'Neroli' written on the back of his jersey...all day long.

Pros: Longevity, good for switching it up every once in a while.
Cons: Almost too classy. If you wear this in the winter, you're gonna have a bad time. "

07th September, 2013
Underrated development, a great scent

It starts off with a very sharp citrus note. That note picks up in intensity for a few minutes, and after about an hour fades into a more soft, delicious, richly complex citrus fruit-bowl. Something a little darker and more substantial in is there too, but just a bit. Really great stuff, safe for the harshness in of the opening. It is one that I would very much like to get in a split.

06th September, 2013
Everything a fragrance should be

Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino is an exceptional adaptation of the note neroli (and an exceptional adaption of racy advertising). In addition to neroli, there is a light amount of orange, mandarin, lavendar. This makes it a fresh-floral fragrance without becoming too complex and muddled (as many florals do) or too generic (as fresh fragrances often do).

Neroli Portofino is not just another typical fresh soapy fragrance at a niche price, like Atelier's Grand Neroli (and even Jardin D'Amalfi's neroli note suffers from this flaw). Many people on here have smelled the neroli-based Mugler Cologne, but this is not just an incremental upgrade. This is a wonderful fragrance of it's own right that is miles better than Mugler Cologne. The soapy shrill and loud citrus-like neroli (redolent of bandages and alcohol) is replaced by a gentle, delicate, natural and smooth neroli. Think of how Encre Noire's shrill vetiver compares to Sycomore's smooth vetiver. If you removed the vetiver and replaced it with some fruit, comparing Neroli Portofino's floral vibe to Sycomore's wouldn't be entirely out of the question either.

Versatility is where Neroli Portofino shines. This is truly unisex, rather than just labeled such, equally acceptable for both men and women to wear. Age is no issue either, as it's modern enough for any young person to wear with ease, but still sophisticated enough for an older person to wear. This is surely meant for the summer and spring, but don't count out Fall either. This fragrance projects well and has very good longevity compared to most summer fragrances.

What this scent truly reminds me of is business. It's the perfect professional fragrance, as it safe to wear, but also unique. This fragrance is a clean-cut business man, sharp, good-looking, well dressed, both alert and vibrant but also calm and collected. It will last you throughout the day and you will be noticed, but it's never too strong or flamboyant.

This is not a groundbreaking or revolutionary fragrance in any way, but it does take what some fragrances have been trying to do and simply does it better. It is a dependable one suited for daily wear if you choose, one which might have you moving closer to smell it on various occasion. The progression is a bit linear, but it's good that it largely preserves it's wonderful opening rather than forgoing it. The price is not cheap, but it is well worth it's price of admission.

For those who do like fresh, clean fragrances with a little bit of a floral undertone, I cannot urge you enough to try this. Easily one of the best, if not THE best of the Tom Ford line, even giving competition to Tobacco Vanille. As a summer fragrance, it's easily one of my top choices and I know when my decant runs out, I am going to end up with a full bottle of this in my collection very soon.

Do try this one.


22nd July, 2013
the price question

The price discussion. I face it with all the Fords as well as many other costly perfumes. Will you pay, for example, $250 for a quality perfume when there are other comparable perfumes at a fraction of the cost? There is a market for costly perfumes, and if people are willing to spend big bucks, more power to them. So I don't forget the cost of the Ford line, but I try also to consider the perfumes independent of price. I'll admit, it's an odd little dance in my head.

Neroli Portofino is a pretty neroli cologne. "Pretty" is really tossing it a bone. It's certainly not ravishing, it's nothing new, and it doesn't seem like a particularly fine iteration of what it purports to be: a lasting, concentrated Eau de Cologne (edc) made with the finest materials to be found.

For a cologne to be successful, it must offer one of two things: faultless quality or an interesting variation. Cologne is certainly nothing new, and because of the simplicity of its componentry (search for the recipe and you'll find it easily) it's not hard to find excellent and inexpensive versions. Interesting alternative colognes are not hard to find either. Examples: CdG Vettiveru, Atelier Cologne’s Rose Anonyme and Trefle Pur, Maison Francis Kurkdjian Cologne pour le Soir.

A neroli cologne isn’t new, so Ford isn’t attempting the inventive variation. As for quality, Neroli Portofino falls a bit flat to my nose. The emphasis on bright florals, with a grounding in a sweet musk, gives a fairly two-dimensional impression of neroli. EDC is meant to be a brief, invigorating experience. Neroli Portofino abides by the former principle, but neglects the latter. Neroli Portofino misses the point that cologne’s success comes from simplicity, not refinement. Refinement looks like overbreeding when the mark is missed, and Neroli reads like the shivering, overgroomed teacup poodle of the edc set. (For a different take on a neroli cologne at 1/5 the price, try Comme des Garcons Anbar.)

The ad photos for Neroli Portofino capture what find least appealing about Ford-world. It purports to be racy and shocking. To me it reads as contrived and tired. Over-styled, sexless nudity might capture the Ford esthetic for his fans, but it just looks like those ridiculous laughy-smily Bijan ads from the 80s-90s to me.

from scent

24th June, 2013
A grown-up, refined answer to 4711

Imagine a world-class chef making a Big Mac using Kobe beef, artisan cheddar, a fresh-baked bun, organic LTO, and a McD's secret sauce using homemade mayo and ketchup. On one level, it'd be amazing, but on another...well, it's a little overkill for a Big Mac.

That's what Tom Ford Neroli Portofino's a top-tier take on the classic German cologne, which most of us know through 4711. While 4711 has no staying power, TFNP will often last 12hr+. While 4711 has distinctly chemical undertones, TFNP smells all-natural. TFNP is distinctly more refined, higher quality, and all-around better than 4711. In the end, though, it's a single-note neroli cologne. If that's what you're looking for, TFNP will give you the best neroli cologne you've ever had (and it's honestly one of my favorite scents for that reason). If you're looking for something complex and intriguing, TFNP will disappoint.'re not paying top dollar for a prime steak, just a world-class Big Mac.

Pros: Great neroli note, *amazing* longevity
Cons: Single-note, expensive

03rd June, 2013
Kol Show all reviews
United Kingdom

bought this to go on family holiday early May 1st night out asked Mam if she'd pinched my aftershave Tom Ford as i was wearing Aventus No she said im wearing Avon forever Salma Hayek 14 quid a bottle. I couldnt tell the difference. TRUE !!

Pros: Longevity
Cons: to expensive

23rd May, 2013
Lot of strengths, few weaknesses

First wear test of Neroli Portofino today.  Wore it to work with 4 sprays.  It was slighltly sharp right out of the gate, so I'm glad I applied at home just before making my drive, as that gave it time to settle before arriving.  


I get a super fresh, clean, soapy and slightly floral set of notes.  That's pretty much it, very simple to my nose, but effective.  Drydown didn't change a huge amount, just that some of the top notes obviously receded, but it stayed fairly linear.  


The earlier references I've seen to Mugler Cologne seem to hold up.  I happen to have my bottle of MC in my desk drawer, and I took a couple of spot checks to compare the two today.  Open wasn't identical - although both are very nice - but as they each dry down, I swear the gap closes to almost nothing.  Don't ask me to explain it, they just come across as very similar to me.  


As for reports of short longevity, I can report that this wearing lasted me the whole business day, PLUS.  I'd brought a sample of Creed's Himalaya, with the intent of applying it sometime in the afternoon to get 2 wearings in today.  At 5:00pm, I literally had to wash the Neroli Portofino off before I could apply the Himalaya.  It was close to my skin, but still hanging on very admirably, and staying composed at that point.  That's an 9.5hr day, at the point I washed it off.  I believe it would've made 10+ hours no problems, and it was strong enough that the girlfriend would've definitely noticed it.


So, net-net, I really enjoyed Neroli Portofino.  Would I buy a FB based on this wearing?  No.  Mugler Cologne is so much less expensive and yet so good in comparison, it'd be hard to justify.  However, I would like to get another larger decant to continue trying NP against some of the other similar frags: Atelier's Grand Neroli, and Creed's Neroli Savauge being the ones that jump off the page as requiring a comparison.  


I'll update as I get more intel.  

Pros: Super fresh/clean, long-lasting
Cons: Price point, not complex

22nd May, 2013