Tag Archives: Tom Ford

Black Orchid Bonanza

TOM FORD Black Orchid EDTIt’s still sunny and mild and not even terribly autumnal yet, but the first sign of winter is sitting here on my desk – in the gorgeous, Art Deco, shape of the latest addition to the Tom Ford fragrance family: Black Orchid Eau de Toilette (out October 5).

Unfortunately, I don’t have a bottle of the original Black Orchid (which was an eau de parfum) sitting on my dressing table so I have to take Tom Ford’s word for it that the new Black Orchid (oops, I nearly abbreviated it there to its initials – then realised that that would be a fragrance faux pas!) is a distinct entity with its own character.

This sibling fragrance offers an immediate hit of the custom-grown Tom Ford Black Orchid which, along with tuberose, is at the heart of this carnal, sophisticated scent. The top note is a sensual blend of black truffle and ylang mixed with fresh bergamot and blackcurrant, while the perfume’s dark and opulent sweetness, enhanced by vanilla, is balanced by patchouli, incense and vetiver.

And then, of course, there’s the bottle. I always think that the white Tom Ford fragrance bottles look like they’d have been at home in Jean Harlow’s boudoir; this black version would be perfect for Joan Crawford’s.

* Prices for Tom Ford Black Orchid eau de toilette start at £45 for 30ml; for stockists call 0870 034 2566.


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The Fantastic Mr Ford

Tom Ford Noir Pour FemmeOver a sumptuous dinner at The Balmoral in Edinburgh last week, I was treated to my first taste of the sexy new fragrance from that master of the sexy fragrance, Tom Ford. Following the success of his Noir and Noir Extreme perfumes for guys, he has now created a feminine variation – though, as with many of Mr Ford’s scents, it’s as likely to be coveted by the opposite sex as by the one for which it was designed.

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme is a floral oriental, with opening notes of citrus and spice, a floral heart of precious rose absolute, jasmine and orange flower and a sensual, warm base of vanilla, sandalwood and amber. As with the original Tom Ford Noir, it plays on the idea of a person’s duality: this one captures what is described as “the powerful assuredness” which the TF woman uses to turn heads, and “the vulnerable romanticism she keeps fiercely private”. Put it this way, it’s the kind of fragrance that will stop both men and women in their tracks – if they get close enough…

Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme (from £53 for 30ml) and Tom Ford Noir Pour Femme Hydrating Emulsion (£35 for 150ml) are on sale now. For stockist info, call 0870 034 2566.

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(She Wore) Purple Velvet

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid model shotYou’ve got to hand it to Tom Ford: he creates the most beautiful perfumes, bestows the most gorgeous names on them, and presents them in the most sensual bottles…. His latest creation, Velvet Orchid (in stores from September), is no exception – though I have to say, I don’t care for the advertising image that accompanies it (above).  I didn’t know Tom Ford had a line in wrapping paper …

Still, you buy perfume for the scent don’t you? And this one is an especially voluptuous, creamy heady and feminine scent which, says Ford, takes the DNA of the original black orchid flower into new territory. The woods and spices of the original fragrance fade into the background behind an ultra-feminine floral veil.

Fresh top notes of Italian bergamot and mandarin orpur are offset by the sweetness and warmth of honey and vanilla, while the floral heart fuses everything from jasmine and rose to Tom Ford’s signature Black Orchid accord. The woody, fleshy base of the fragrance is intensely rich, warm and sensual. This is a head-turning fragrance for confident or confidence-seeking women..

Prices for Tom Ford Velvet Orchid eau de parfum start at £72 for 1.7oz.

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The Fantastic (Festive) Five

So many gorgeous beauty gifts out there to choose from – and so little time left … So, here’s my pick of the best, kicking off with this covetable compact (£54) from Guerlain’s Crazy Paris Christmas collection.
Guerlain Crazy Paris paletteThe colours are actually brighter than this photo suggests and this oh-so-wearable palette comes in a beautiful black velvet pouch trimmed with fluorescent pink – to complement the rest of Guerlain’s gorgeous  Crazy Paris range. Clinique Aromatics Elixir Ltd Edition Clinique Aromatics Elixir Perfume Spray Limited Edition (£64 for 100ml) is a must not just for those who are already converts to this cult fragrance, which celebrated its 40th birthday two years ago – but also for anyone who likes their perfume to be sexy yet chic. This special edition bottle is embossed with the signature Aromatics Elixir design.Tom Ford gift setIf you’re wanting to win a lady over, you could not go wrong with a hinged box, initials on the side (not hers – a certain style guru’s), containing your choice of two nail lacquers and two lipsticks from the super-sophisticated Tom Ford make-up range. This selection comes in at £124. Who would fail to be seduced by this gift?  Benefit Love at First Shine setBenefit‘s Love at First Shine (£19.50) is the ideal present for young beauty buff – and a brilliant bargain to boot! Chanel No5 Hair MistAnd, in at number five, it couldn’t be anything other than something from the newly relaunched range of bath & body products that complement the iconic Chanel No5 fragrance. The Chanel No5 Hair Mist (£38) is an elegant way to wear the world’s favourite perfume.

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My Week in Beauty


The big  beauty event of the week was a dinner in Edinburgh’s 212121 restaurant hosted by the glamorous girls from Tom Ford Beauty. Once or twice a year they treat us to a preview of the latest scents and lipsticks by the fabulous Mr Ford, but this was a particularly exciting occasion as they were introducing us to a whole host of new goodies. Mr Ford has obviously been a busy boy: he has just launched a comprehensive skincare range, a full make-up collection and three new fragrances – two of which, Jasmine Rose and Santal Blush (from £120 each; www.harrods.com) are limited editions designed to complement the new make-up. The range will be available in selected department stores nationwide from October 3, but is already in Harrods.

Before we got stuck into our unusual dinner – 212121 refers to the structure of the menu – we all had a play with the make-up. Most exciting were the exquisite Tom Ford Eye Color Quads (£62), ten eyeshadow quartets boasting intense colour in a variety of textures. I was very taken with the Sahara Haze colourway, which included a beautiful green (I didn’t quite get why it had the Sahara tag), while my colleague Merle – a poster-girl for vivid blue eye make-up – loved the Cobalt Blue variation (right), and immediately applied some over her existing make-up.

There wasn’t actually time (we did have to dine, after all – and there was champagne to be quaffed) to try out everything so I haven’t been able to form opinions on most of the products but they look every bit as sleek and chic as you’d expect – and unusually practical. It’s really a very logical, and thought-through, range.

The product about which I was most cynical – but ended up
being persuaded by – was Shade and Illuminate (£55), which was born of Tom Ford’s belief that the first step to beauty is to understand the “architecture” of your face. Using the two creams in this compact, you can sculpt and contour the face so that it looks more symmetrical, and to create such illusions as killer cheekbones. Don’t believe me? Well, all I can say is that if this product had existed in 1932, Marlene Dietrich might not have had to whip out her wisdom teeth to achieve that chiselled cheekbone effect : applying the darker shade (using my thumbs and pressing then rubbing) to create a shadow under my cheekbones produced amazing results.


After my champagne-fuelled dinner (and nightcap in the pub), my skin looked somewhat the worse for wear – and felt terribly dehydrated. Luckily, I’d been sent a Clarins HydraQuench Mask (£31; www.clarins.co.uk),which contains moisturising hyaluronic acid and katafray bark – to try a while back so I slathered some on and waited to see what happened… It worked a treat. My skin felt comfortable again – and looked brighter and plumper. This will definitely become a staple of the beauty hangover cure, along with Clarins Eye Contour Gel.


I met my mum for coffee on Thursday and got her verdict on the latest anti-ageing foundation on the market – Sisley Skinleya (£110; www.houseoffraser.co.uk). She loves it! (At that price, she should.. ) She loves the silky smooth feel it gives her skin, and the way it “tingles and feels like it’s tightening” as she applies it, using the brush that comes with it. I thought her skin looked great when she was wearing it – and I felt the same about my own when I experimented with Diorskin Forever Fluid SPF25 (£29.50; from October 3), the latest natural-looking but skin-enhancing fluid foundation from Dior which, like Skinleya, has skincare benefits.


A screening of Alfred Hitchock’s classic chiller Psycho, with live accompaniment by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, was the hottest ticket in Glasgow on Saturday night. And, really, when it came to painting my nails beforehand, it was a no-brainer: blood red was the only possible colour…

I’m already a sucker for Chanel’s new Pirate shade, so decided to dabble in another scarlet, this time Estee Lauder  Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Enchanted Garnet  (£14, from October 3). This beautiful crimson is part of Lauder’s Christmas collection, but since I’m trying to identify which of the many reds on, or soon going on, sale is my favourite, I thought I’d start the research immediately. Mrs Bates would be proud..

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