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The initial top notes smell nothing like Tom Ford For Men (which to me, is a good thing, because I disliked TFFM). I can't even believe they're marketing these under the same name! Once the bracing, slightly turpentine-ish initial effect faded, a musk note appeared that took on a much more smooth, sophisticated character. My initial impression was of a few things: leather shoe store (you know like the smell of Florsheim with all of those leather shoes on display?), shoe polish, tobacco (not smoke - tobacco, there's a difference) and musk (a very dry, very textured musk...animalic in a 'fur coat' kind of way). The leather/shoe shine/tobacco/musk combo is pretty much where this scent stays for quite some time. But oh, what a place it is. Just as nice as any of Tom Ford's Private Blends that I tested. I would compare it to the 'feel' of Tobacco Vanille, Oud Wood and/or Tuscan Leather - but, this one's different enough to have its own signature accord.
The oud note popped up here and there. Oud and I have a love/hate relationship. I either love scents with it (Black Aoud by Montale) or they kind of gross me out (M7 by YSL). This scents oud is peeking out from underneath a blanket of musk. This works perfectly to keep the medicinal/burnt effervescent rubber note in check. At certain points I'd take a sniff of my arm and 'get' the oud note strongly (which had me worried - I thought it would have an M7-ish drydown), and then the very next sniff, the oud would be gone and it was just musk. Quite magical.
The drydown is when the regular Tom Ford for Men notes arrived. Lemon oil, not quite as sharp as the top notes of TFFM, and the musk mixes with the lemon so that its musky lemon oil. Then the more synthetic 'musk' basenotes arrive with a little bergamot (or some other herb) thrown in. When this scent dries down completely it's gone! This is the same thing that happens with the regular. However, by the time this happened I was sufficiently wowed by the journey to the basenotes drydown, so I didn't mind.
This scent shares a similar vibe to the Private Blend scents: Very formal (this is not the scent for casual wear), sophisticated and wonderful sillage. It almost makes me wonder if this juice was slated to be put out under the Private Blends line and Tom snagged it for his own scent? In fact, I will even go as far as saying TFFME smells like something Tom Ford himself would wear.
03 October, 2008