Here's a really good quote from an older thread about Tom Ford that I enjoyed reading. His vulgar and cocky attitude doesn't bother me. I think he's somewhat talented.
Tom Ford is not, and never has been, a true designer. He's more of a fashion conceptualist. Actually, he's an just opportunist who came along at the right place and time, fresh off the heels of a failed modeling career and fast-talked his way into passing off others' fashion ideas (mainly Halston and Yves Saint Laurent) as his own. He can't sew or really draw; he mainly oversaw teams of real designers who implement his ideas.
His biggest talent was for promotion. After the austerity of the early 1990s, he knew the raw, sweaty sex he brought to Gucci would capture people's imagination. (Think of it: People were very rarely actually wearing much in the way of clothes in his "clothing" ads, a strategy other companies like Abercrombie & Fitch have since picked up on.) Again, the right place at the right time. But that wore thin after awhile, and Gucci got repetitive, especially after he turned Yves Saint Laurent into Gucci II. (Yves Saint Laurent actually closed his haute couture house rather than allow Ford to get his hands on it.) He's so limited, his final collection for Gucci was an homage to himself, a repetition of his old designs, which were, for the most part, a regurgitation of other designers' works.
I look at the Estée Lauder counters here in town, and many still have stocks of Youth Dew Amber Nude, which many sales associates told me would be sold out "any day" back last Christmas. And it's almost August now. I suspect I could probably find someone to ghost up a bottle of Amber Nude for me if I wanted to give it as a gift next Christmas. It just didn't seem to capture the public's imagination. Just like the Azurée oil doesn't seem to be. And M7 didn't. And Rive Gauche pour Homme and the relaunched Rive Gauche didn't. And Gucci Eau de Parfum didn't. Even Cinéma hasn't taken the world by storm. Tom Ford has a wooden nose when it comes to scents for the masses. And while each of these scents has their packs of supporters here, they also have nearly as many detractors.
I think claiming the scents are for "perfume connoisseurs" is Ford's way of saying they're for they're for "people who like my odd, thick, dusky fragrances that are proven to be uncommercial and who have too much money and too little sense to realize that almost no one's wearing the scents I made at Estée Lauder, YSL, and Gucci anyway."