Perfume Reviews

Reviews of Neroli Portofino by Tom Ford

Total Reviews: 80
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
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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
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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
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
Bright zesty orange blossoms warmed by a lashing of amber in the base. What's there not to like? If I'm after the best bang for the buck, NEROLI PORTOFINO will not even be in the running. But this is a fragrance review after all, not a price comparison and I like how effervescent it makes me feel. Though I wish it has more of a herbal kick up front I can't deny it a 'thumbs up'.
25th November, 2012
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
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
Smells like rose water which is a lovely scent but not at that price
23rd September, 2012
Nice fragrance! The longevity on this one is very good. Soapy smelling (expensive soap), but overall a very fresh smelling cologne. One of the best in the Tom Ford collection. Women will like this one also!
22nd August, 2012
Nik Show all reviews
United Kingdom
wow. this one wakes you up. like some kind of zesty kick in the face. theneroli is absolutel fantastic, probably the kind of thing other perfume houses will water down and turn into something frankly less ballsy. longevity and sillage are a joy.
06th August, 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)
It's not my favorite citrusy scent, and lacks the sharp citrus of, say, Concentre d'Orange Vert (my fave). But it is good, and I've received lots of compliments. The only negative so far is that it has below average longevity, though it projects well while it lasts.
19th June, 2012 (last edited: 05th July, 2012)
Fresh, young, smart, perfect for a summer daily use wherever you go from a beach in Mykonos to dance in Ibiza.
You can drive your DB9 forgetting you are reaching the 40's ^_^
05th May, 2012 (last edited: 09th May, 2012)
A very nice barbershop-clean scent -- simple and satisfying.
It starts with gorgeous orange blossom and very zesty citrus notes. The scent is light and invigorating, and also quite smooth. There is a hint of wood bark which is typical of orange blossom. Splash this one with abandon, and re-apply often. Good longevity, essentially a cheery orange blossom and soapy scent.
02nd May, 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
I’m a little mystified by the good reviews. I will confess, though, that NP reminds me of a cheap scent from my childhood, so that might be part of my poor response.

Scent starts with an artificial citrusy brightness. Tones down a bit within a few moments, gets somewhat warmer and wearable, but goes nowhere special. I’d like to say more, but really, the frag doesn’t warrant it.
27th January, 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
This opens up nicely with fresh bergamot which I am a fan of.

A flowery/soapy scent quickly develops behind the opening which is not unique per se.

This is a very very safe scent in his line up. No special magic with the blend.

It lasts very long on my skin and has good enough projection. A clear spring/summer fragrance that deserves a little warmth to truly stimulate and give effect to the ingredients.

Would I buy it?

No. I appreciate the quality I am getting here but there are other houses doing a far better job with bergamot and citrus in general. I would rather pay them to do the spring/summer job.

To me, the Private Blend range should focus on what they do best, namely darker fragrances that truly stand out in evenings or in the fall/winter months.

I just wanted to mention that longetivity for this is truly superb. Most summer fragrances get absorbed on me very quickly. I am pondering over a purchase more and more.
07th January, 2012