Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

Total Reviews: 25
Much has been said and made of Neroli Portofino, perhaps one of the first fragrances in the modern era to explore the highly concentrated eau de cologne style. Perhaps this is a marvel of modern technology, possible only in this day and age.

Neroli Portofino is essentially a super concentrated version of the classic cologne (4711) structure. It has a bright, sparkling neroli opening that persists an appreciable amount of time on skin before subsiding to a subtle ambery base. It has appreciable sillage initially and rather good tenacity considering it's basically an amplified eau de cologne.

But there is a caveat.

Personally I'm not certain whether more concentration is always better in the case of eau de colognes. A traditional cologne aims to be refreshing, invigorating and provide brief joy and upliftment, meant to reapplied every hour or two. A super concentrated cologne, therefore, could essentially be self-defeating in its purpose.

If one is just looking for a long-lasting fresh fragrance, there are numerous more exciting options in forms of fresh florals, fresh vetivers and even aquatics.

Secondly, since Tom Ford did Neroli Portofino, everyone has tried to do their own Neroli Portofino aka concentrated cologne. For instance, Malle's Cologne Indelebile (very much alike to Neroli Portofino itself, except for having a clean white musk base) seems to have even more radiance and tenacity than Neroli Portofino.

Personally I prefer traditional eau de colognes (Nicolai, Mugler, Guerlain, Hermes....), fresh florals (Chanel Cristalle), fresh vetivers (Guerlain, Tom Ford, Lubin), aquatics (Bulgari Aqua, Sel Marin) or simply concentrated colognes that are more innovative (many from Atelier Cologne, and possibly others).

While the opening is very invigorating, it can come across as screechy on a bad day.

Note: While I believe this was the first 'concentrated eau de cologne' on the market, I shall be very grateful if anyone is able to point to another 'concentrated eau de cologne' released contemporaneously or earlier.

P.S. My recommendation? Try Mugler Cologne, which is one-tenth the price and ten times as fun. It doesn't last as long on skin, but lasts longer in memory.

11th January, 2018
Another Neroli fragrance.
I tried both versions (normal and intense). Intense is a bit more interesting, bitter, different, but projects less. Normal is more acid and fruity. Smells like a good eau de Cologne. A bit disappointing.
30th December, 2017
It's ok but definitely not worth the cost. Citrusy, light, summery. It's nice but it's nothing exceptional. Really unimpressed with the longevity and sillage as well.
02nd December, 2017
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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
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
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
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)
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
Tom Ford goes Acqua di Parma. A soft neroli/bergamot combo, subdued, understated. If you like these colognes (Parma, Genova) but find them too sharp generally, then Neroli Portofino is a nice alternative.
18th February, 2013
rbaker Show all reviews
United Kingdom
This is not a very bright sunshine fragrance, but a heavier and darker Cologne-type fragrance on me. Neroli with orange blossom, and an amber backbone in the drydown. Much less of a fresh and invigorating 4711-style creation, deeper and heavier and a very synthetic impression. This latter feature, however, adds silage and a longevity of over five hours, but it remains a soso-average fragrance.
20th November, 2012
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If you are a fan of 4711 or Jean Marie Farina (by Roger & Gallet), you will mostly likely enjoy this frag. Fresh/ invigorating/ citrus-herbal-aromatic take on the "kolnisch wasser" genre, this one is quite nice.

It is amplified chic, per Tom Ford, as housed in an aqua square bottle. A great day fragrance, and considerably overpriced and over-hyped. But if you don't mind that, this is certainly enjoyable.

28th October, 2012
Citrus and neroli with a hint of sweetness are the main players here. It's smells nice but nothing special amongst the variety of scents like this from Acqua di Parma and Castile by Penhaligons.

Why spend a fortune on this when you can by it's like cheaper and done better elsewhere. It's smells nice but does not stand out enough to warrant the pricetag.
26th October, 2012
An introducing  bright and invigorating  aromatic stage of herbs, orange blossoms, mandarine and bergamot very soon morphs in to something soapy, delicately airy, a bit detergent and smooth. There is an herbal cool aroma (may be patterns of mint, sage or verbena) at the beginning which i enjoy a lot. Neroli Portofino is a tribute to the orange blossoms in the same vein of the classic 4711, some Acqua di Parma Colonia and Eau d'Orange verte, a joyful juice which  is anyway unable to match that level of distinction we catch in the latter.  A soft amber bed envelops and amalgamates the elements  in a soapy conventional dry down with orangy undertones. The juice is easy, initially cool and than slightly warmer, is a pleasant and dignified aroma to me but a bit unworthy of its price and with a short lasting power. A good choice for the warmer seasons anyway. Better for the daily occasions.
21st June, 2012 (last edited: 11th September, 2012)
surge Show all reviews
United States
Finally got a hold of a 50ML bottle of this, have been wanting to try it for some time due to all the tom ford "spa" and beauty products (body wash, scrub, etc.) surrounding this scent getting heavy promotion.

Prior to sampling this I had no clue what neroli smelled like.

First impression -- reminds me of Azure lime without the lime...I guess I know now what neroli is and smells like, and I love it.

It reminds me of a scratch and sniff sticker from 1st grade, but more elegant and with musk underneath it. The longevity on this is absolutely excellent...8 hours at least for me.

Why can't azure lime have this good longevity!? ^_^

This is going to make it into my summer rotation that's for sure...great scent.
17th February, 2012
Pleasant and nice fresh eau de cologne, unisex and catchy bottle.

This smells like "Nenuco" eau de cologne for can buy a litre bottle for 6 Euros.

Can you guess the rest of the review?

Medium Thumbs...
22nd January, 2012
I can't really judge it wile wearing it in the wintertime, but so far it smells like a chemical citrus and some other stuff I can't seem to point out. I will give this a try in the summertime. Maybe it'll be better then.
04th January, 2012
This particular fragrance opens up with an evident neroli note which it's not crude, herbal like in Bois Blond from Atelier Cologne, instead it is slight sweet.

After about 15 minutes the citric aspect at the top disappear giving space to a more comfortable, soapy aroma becoming very pleasant on my skin, but this EDC aspect makes me confuse...

to me this fragrance is a good one, but the price tag is just ridiculous. This fragrance does not worth the price tag. If it were cheaper it would be an awesome daily fragrance.
03rd December, 2011 (last edited: 12th December, 2011)
Eau De Cologne anyone? A long lasting Eau De Cologne which smells fine but sells at a ridicolous and definitely otrageous price. Nothing new, go for the original or for other billions of cheaper interpretation of the same theme.
07th July, 2011 (last edited: 05th September, 2011)
I'm not a huge fan because the smell is too cloyingly sweet to me personally, constantly reminding me of what I am wearing. I would much rather wear this out in the open air on a summer vacation than in the office. Of course, I have always preferred scents that are more subtle to my senses, yet which surprise those who haven't been around me. That being said, others haven't said bad things about this scent on me. Yes I have smelled this type of scent on plenty of Germans, no joke, although I was young and naive and didn't know about 4711.

Other than that, what can I say that hasn't been said? So much neroli at the start, amber base notes, good sillage. Some urinal cakes smell this good, which is kind of disturbing...
05th March, 2011
Smell like tempo tissue from Germany
03rd September, 2010
This smells quite nice but it is really not that much different than a quality neroli fragrance oil. Definitely not worth the price.
26th August, 2009
I joked when this was released, that the name Neroli Portofino sounds like a condominium complex. I kept secretly hoping that I wouldn't like this, since if I bought a full bottle of it and people smelled it and wanted to know what it was, I'd have to say this silly name out loud.

I think NP is best summed up by calling it an Eau de Parfum formula of a classic neroli eau cologe (like 4711) I love eau colognes and while most of them are designed to wear very lightly with no 'oomph', which is disappointing since I want citrus scents to last. I thought that was impossible.

Well NP has this. I used to have difficulty differentiating neroli and orange blossom but ever since I tried NP now I understand completely how different neroli is. Just so fresh and bracing.

The scent has very little complexity and doesn't really 'develop' at all. It lasts longer than the eaux de colognes, of course, but not much more longer than 4-5 hours.

At it's price point (upwards of $150 a bottle), it's hard to fall in love with NP over other 'more affordable' neroli fragrances (Neroli by Czech & Speake comes to mind).
04th October, 2008